January 7th, 2021

Reckoning

This post represents yet another delve into United States politics, so if that is not of interest to you, please feel free to click away now.

Yesterday, a friend of mine inquired on social media when the United States had become a place where what was happening at the Capitol would happen (that’s a paraphrase). This was my response:

“My serious and not the slightest bit sarcastic answer would be when the country collectively (citizens, electors, elected officials who should have understood and appreciated the risk) allowed Donald Trump to assume its presidential office. Political perspectives aside, Donald Trump repeatedly during the 2016 campaign season demonstrated a propensity for delusion, stark uncaring for and lack of knowledge about both citizenry and US governmental institutions, and an astonishingly (and disturbingly) undeveloped capacity to self-regulate, especially when triggered. He consistently continued to display all these characteristics upon assuming office, and he was repeatedly enabled by all manner of elected and government officials who appeared to feel that either political philosophy, party authority, and/or personal loyalty should take precedence over the real and clear risks these traits in an executive leader (especially the highest one in the country) posed. While horrifying, this course of events is not a surprising or unlikely result.”

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August 30th, 2020

Charity Sunday: World Wildlife Fund

I’m sneaking in under the (deadline) wire to participate in this month’s Charity Sunday, hosted by author Lisabet Sarai. Charity Sunday, which takes place on the last Sunday of each month, is a blog meme that invites authors to choose a charity to support and donate a set amount to said charity for each comment received on their respective post. I appreciate the generous nature of this meme and am grateful to Lisabet for conceiving of and hosting it, and I am glad to participate this month! Please see the link list at the bottom of this post to visit the other participants of today’s Charity Sunday.

Usually, I would be likely to choose a more local charity, but it happens that the well-being of wildlife is resonating deeply with me right now. I appreciate the World Wildlife Fund‘s (WWF) mission and work on its behalf, and I am happy to donate $3.00 per comment left on this post to their worldwide work.

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June 3rd, 2020

On Aspiring to Awareness and Having Much to Learn

Many people who haven’t known me for more than twenty years likely aren’t aware that I used to want to be a cop. So much so that for four and half years, from age sixteen to twenty-one, I was a Police Explorer in my hometown. The Police Explorer program is a branch of the Boy Scouts that allows youth to serve as limited-involvement “cadets” with police departments. I wore a uniform and helped with things like directing traffic at college football games and foot-patrolling neighborhoods on Halloween to help ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters. Explorers also attended bi-montly meetings that discussed and taught about different areas of police work and accompanied officers twice a month on ride-alongs during their shifts.

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May 24th, 2020

Charity Sunday: Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) #AnimalRescue #CharitySunday

Welcome to Charity Sunday, a monthly blog hop hosted by author Lisabet Sarai at Beyond Romance.

I started volunteering at Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a no-kill shelter for cats and dogs that is local to me, in March of 2014. Since then, barring three few-week hiatuses, I have been there almost every Sunday to walk dogs, and usually been there at least one additional day per week to do things like snuggle cats, oversee multi-dog play groups, and work with potential adopters. I’ve also done things off-site like help with fundraising and write the “Dog of the Week” and “Cat of the Week” columns for the weekly volunteer newsletter.

The onset of awareness and caution around COVID-19 threw a wrench in that, and I haven’t been to FOHA now since mid-March, which is the longest period I’ve gone without being at the shelter since I started volunteering there. It has been hard to stay away, but I have taken seriously the request from public health professionals to stay at home, and it has felt appropriate to me to do so and to let the staff at FOHA (which, as an animal shelter, is certainly an essential business) do their jobs without the extra risk of my coming on-site and into their physical workspace as a volunteer.

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May 16th, 2020

The Erotic Literary Salon 12th Anniversary Party (Online)!

Longtime readers of this blog may remember several previous appearances I have made at the remarkable Philadelphia Erotic Literary Salon founded and curated by Susana Mayer. It is indeed a venue I have truly appreciated, both on my own behalf as a place Susana has graciously offered me to promote my own work, and also as a space to offer attendees to write, read, and/or take in erotic words spoken out loud. Susana had a beautiful—and obviously accurate—notion that such a space seemed to be largely missing in our culture, as well as desired, whether overtly or on an underlying level.

And here we are twelve years later…with the Erotic Literary Salon still meeting the third Tuesday of each month and going stronger than ever! Under the current circumstances, the Salon has moved online and, as it was in April, will be held via Zoom this month. Tuesday, May 19, will mark—as well as celebrate—the twelfth anniversary of the Salon’s existence!

In addition to this celebration, I am honored that Susana has offered me the opportunity to read from my brand new short story collection, Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness. I don’t know which story I will read from yet, but I am so appreciative, as usual, to have the opportunity to do so for her audience. While the reasons for the move online are obviously sobering, the Zoom setting also offers the opportunity for attendance from those for whom travel to Philadelphia has been untenable.

Given this new online setting, Susana is only charging $5 (half the usual price of admission) to attend the Salon while the event and its audience adjust to its new virtual environment. Ticket sales will stop Monday, May 18, so this weekend is the time to procure yours!

For more information about the Salon or how to sign up to read at it, as well as a link to a basic Zoom tutorial, please visit the Salon website. Thank you, and we would love for you to virtually join us on Tuesday!

Love,
Emerald

“We light it up, we won’t come down, and the walls can’t stop us now…”The Greatest Showman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “The Greatest Show”