Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why I Write IV

I get letters from readers almost daily. I love them all, but once in a while one brings me to tears.
Hi Ginny!
Just wanted to update you a bit! Sorry it's been so long, things have been pretty busy, but I have some exciting news. 
I'm a senior this year, and I just received my acceptance letter to my top choice college for their Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program English major. The school is renowned for its early- and special-education programs, and they have a 5-year integrated Bachelors and Masters program. This year my school introduced ASL as a class to fulfill the foreign language requirement, and my teacher is excellent with tapering to her students and having individual expectations from each so we get the most from the class. Also, they've added a relatively new Bridge program and I'm close friends with a Deaf student from the program. Her and her interpreter have been a tremendous help to me. I'll never forget the look on her face when I signed to her for the first time and pulled her into conversation with my friends. I truly feel like I'm making a difference, though a small one, because Joey's story gave me a glimpse of the Deaf perspective and helps me to understand that the little things matter. The message from Hurt Go Happy still sticks with me to this day, and it relates to my different life experiences as I grow older. My signed copy still sits rightfully displayed on my dresser; I would like to again say thank you. 
I hope all is well with you, and to hear back if you get the chance!
                               Lauren

Friday, March 3, 2017

An Australian children's book author hates us. . .

 And who can blame her. If I was treated by Australian immigration the way she was treated, I'd feel the same. How is Trump's rhetoric making us safer? If you alienate your friends, who's left to care next time you need one.
 
 

Mem Fox on Being Detained by US Immigration: 'In That Moment I Loathed America'

By Mem Fox, Guardian UK
01 March 17
The celebrated Australian children’s author tells how on her 117th visit to the US she was suddenly at the mercy of Donald Trump’s visa regime
 was pulled out of line in the immigration queue at Los Angeles airport as I came in to the USA. Not because I was Mem Fox the writer – nobody knew that – I was just a normal person like anybody else. They thought I was working in the States and that I had come in on the wrong visa.
I was receiving an honorarium for delivering an opening keynote at a literacy conference, and because my expenses were being paid, they said: “You need to answer further questions.” So I was taken into this holding room with about 20 other people and kept there for an hour and 40 minutes, and for 15 minutes I was interrogated.
The room was like a waiting room in a hospital but a bit more grim than that. There was a notice on the wall that was far too small, saying no cellphones allowed, and anybody who did use a cellphone had someone stand in front of them and yell: “Don’t use that phone!” Everything was yelled, and everything was public, and this was the most awful thing, I heard things happening in that room happening to other people that made me ashamed to be human.
There was an Iranian woman in a wheelchair, she was about 80, wearing a little mauve cardigan, and they were yelling at her – “Arabic? Arabic?”. They screamed at her “ARABIC?” at the top of their voices, and finally she intuited what they wanted and I heard her say “Farsi”. And I thought heaven help her, she’s Iranian, what’s going to happen?
There was a woman from Taiwan, being yelled at about at about how she made her money, but she didn’t understand the question. The officer was yelling at her: “Where does your money come from, does it grow on trees? Does it fall from the sky?” It was awful.
There was no toilet, no water, and there was this woman with a baby. If I had been holed up in that room with a pouch on my chest, and a baby crying, or needing to be fed, oh God … the agony I was surrounded by in that room was like a razor blade across my heart.
When I was called to be interviewed I was rereading a novel from 40 years ago – thank God I had a novel. It was The Red and the Black by Stendhal – a 19th century novel keeps you quiet on a long flight, and is great in a crisis – and I was buried in it and didn’t hear my name called. And a woman in front of me said: “They are calling for Fox.” I didn’t know which booth to go to, then suddenly there was a man in front of me, heaving with weaponry, standing with his legs apart yelling: “No, not there, here!” I apologised politely and said I’d been buried in my book and he said: “What do you expect me to do, stand here while you finish it?” – very loudly and with shocking insolence.
The way I was interviewed was monstrous. If only they had been able to look into my suitcase and see my books. The irony! I had a copy of my new book I’m Australian, Too – it’s about immigration and welcoming people to live in a happy country. I am all about inclusivity, humanity and the oneness of the humans of the world; it’s the theme of my life. I also had a copy of my book Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. I told him I had all these inclusive books of mine in my bag, and he yelled at me: “I can read!”
He was less than half my age – I don’t look 70 but I don’t look 60 either, I’m an older woman – and I was standing the whole time. The belligerence and violence of it was really terrifying. I had to hold the heel of my right hand to my heart to stop it beating so hard.
They were not apologetic at any point. When they discovered that one of Australia’s official gifts to Prince George was Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, he held out his hand and said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Ms Fox.” I was close to collapse, very close to fainting, and this nearly broke me – it was the creepiest thing of all.
I had been upright, dignified, cool and polite, and this was so cruelly unexpected, so appalling, that he should say it was a pleasure. It couldn’t have been a pleasure for him to treat me like that, unless he was a psychopath.
In that moment I loathed America. I loathed the entire country. And it was my 117th visit to the country so I know that most people are very generous and warm-hearted. They have been wonderful to me over the years. I got over that hatred within a day or two. But this is not the way to win friends, to do this to someone who is Australian when we have supported them in every damn war. It’s absolutely outrageous.
Later in the hotel room I was shaking like a leaf. I rang my friend, my American editor and bawled and bawled, and she told me to write it all down, and I wrote for two hours. I fell asleep thinking I would sleep for eight hours but I woke up an hour and a half later just sobbing. I had been sobbing in my sleep. It was very traumatic.
After I got back to Australia I had an apology from the American embassy. I was very impressed, they were very comforting, and I’ve had so many messages of support from Americans and American authors.
I am a human being, so I do understand that these people might not be well-trained, but they now have carte blanche to be as horrible and belligerent as they want. They’ve gone mad – they’ve got all the power that they want but they don’t have the training.
They made me feel like such a crushed, mashed, hopeless old lady and I am a feisty, strong, articulated English speaker. I kept thinking that if this were happening to me, a person who is white, articulate, educated and fluent in English, what on earth is happening to people who don’t have my power?
That’s the heartbreak of it. Remember, I wasn’t pulled out because I’m some kind of revolutionary activist, but my God, I am now. I am on the frontline. If we don’t stand up and shout, good sense and good will not prevail, and my voice will be one of the loudest.
That’s what it has taught me. I thought I was an activist before, but this has turned me into a revolutionary. I’m not letting it happen here. Instead of crying and being sad and sitting on a couch, I am going to write to politicians. I am going to call. I am going to write to newspapers. I am going to get on the radio. I will not be quiet. No more passive behaviour. Hear me roar.
Ginny's thought for the day: 
There is nothing scarier than a peon with power.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Shame, Shame, Shame.

Born male, seven-year-old Eli lives as a girl and attends a Jewish day ...
What makes which bathroom a transgender child uses so important to The Donald? With all the other messes he's created in his one month in office, how did this violation of the civil rights of CHILDREN, float to the top of his agenda? 

Could where a child pees be more important than, for example, sitting down for your daily intelligence briefing, or assessing the cost to American taxpayers of your weekend flights to Palm Beach on Airforce One? 

Transgenderism is the result of a prenatal hormonal mix-up, not the choice a rebellious two-year-old child makes. You cannot say antisemitism and racism have to stop out of one side of your mouth, and consign children to ridicule and a life of discrimination out the other.

 
 Trump at African-American History Museum denounces anti-semitism and racism: 'It has to stop.'

  Talk about timing...

  When We Rise

Saturday, January 28, 2017

There's a lesson here

Cesare Brai's photo.
"A wolf pack on the move :
The first 3 are the old or sick, they give the direction and pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they  would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed;
 then come 5 strong ones, the front line;  
  • In the center are the rest of the pack members;  
  • then the 5 strongest following.  
  • Last is alone, the Alpha.  
He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack.
The pack moves according to the elders' pace and help each other, watch each other.

Again I am left speechless by nature ... I knew that wolves are different, but didn't realize how much we could learn from them...
 
I didn't know wolves put the elders of the pack FIRST ... a lot of people on this planet should take note... they are to be seen up front, setting the pace and direction while enjoying the protection of the rest... and not invisible at the back of the line. " 
 
Unknown author

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why I Write Part III


Vivi, sisters, and Win

Yesterday, I received this wonderful letter from the mother of these lovely children. I cried. There is no greater gift a writer can receive than to know she's made a difference--large or small.


Dear Ginny Rorby,

I am writing to you about one of your books How to Speak Dolphin. I have read this book many times and I love it. I am around Lily’s age and my brother Win is around Adam’s age.Win has autism just like Adam. He does not have severe autism like Adam but he still acts like him. He goes to therapy and goes to a regular daycare.They aren’t even a daycare for kids like Win, but he has a nice lady who goes to school with him everyday and they love him a lot.
Your book has let me know that I’m not the only one who might feel like Lily does about Adam. I have a special love and bond for Win who I have for no one else. I can’t have sleepovers at my house with friends, he comes into my room and messes up my bed, and he screams when he wants something. I know he can’t help it and I really understand it but it is very hard not to feel discouraged. Lily met Zoe who is blind and a sick dolphin named Nori. They both made Lily realise that it’s okay. Adam might always deal with autism but things will be alright. This book has taught me that it’s okay too. Win is wonderful and might always deal with autism too but he will be okay. Like Adam, Win has people who love him and want what’s best. I love Win and better understand what he’s going through because of Lily and Adam.
This book has changed the way I look at kids or people with special needs just like Win has. I am more patient and kind with those who have special needs because of him. I absolutely love this book and hope you can write more about things like this. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book.
From your biggest fan and best reader,
Vivi T 
Searcy, AR

The real Adam

Friday, December 2, 2016

Something Lovely to share



HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THIS?

https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 1.jpg?attredirects=0

anja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career towards photographing animals and wildlife.
In one of her most recent projects,
Brandt shot photographs of a highly unlikely pair of friends – Ingo, the Belgian shepherd; and Poldi (Napoleon), the one-year-old owlet.
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 2.jpg?attredirects=0
Poldi and Ingo are both pets of Brandt’s, and have formed a bond over the past year that the photographer simply couldn’t ignore.  
Brandt is a professional photographer, and has years of experience doing photoshoots with various animals.  
Ingo, the shepherd, is one of her most loyal and popular models.
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 3.jpg?attredirects=0
The dog is very very well educated. He is able to do every order by far.  
Head down, head right, stay, sit, everything… but not so with the birds.”
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 4.jpg?attredirects=0
Brandt describes the relationship between Ingo and Poldi as somewhat of a ‘protector-protected’ relationship.  
Ingo is a guardian for Poldi, whom Brandt states “doesn’t know how to live free”.
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 5.jpg?attredirects=0
Poldi didn’t hatch until two days after his six brothers and sisters, and has always been very vulnerable due to his size. 
Ingo, on the other hand, comes from a family of strong and oftentimes ruthless police dogs.
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 6.jpg?attredirects=0
Ingo is very protective over the year-old owlet, and their bond is as strong off-camera as it appears in Tanja’s photographs.
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 7.jpg?attredirects=0
They respect each other and they can read each other.”
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 8.jpg?attredirects=0
Ingo is often photographed with various birds (such as the Harris hawk)  
and other animals, but he doesn’t share a bond with anyone quite like he does with Poldi.
https://sites.google.com/site/sundayfamilyhumour12/sunday-family-humour-27th-november/sunday-family-humour-27th-november-page-2/Ingo and Poldi 9.jpg?attredirects=0