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⬛ Black Lives Matter⬛ Selections on systemic racism⬛ Jared Seide’s recommended reading⬛ Lambda Literary Awards⬛ Upcoming Readers Write submission deadlines
⬛ ANNOUNCEMENT
Black Lives Matter 
We grieve for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and James Scurlock — only the most recent and visible Black lives lost to violence, often at the hands of police. We stand in solidarity with protesters all over the world marching in their names. Both on and off the page, The Sun supports the cause of social justice. If you’re able, please consider joining us in contributing to those working to end systemic racism, inequality, and police brutality. A list of organizations we support is included in the full statement on our website.As an organization whose staff is predominantly white, especially one in a homogeneous publishing industry, we have much work to do. We are committed to understanding our privilege and overcoming our implicit biases, and we welcome feedback that makes us better allies to marginalized voices, particularly Black and brown ones.
READ OUR FULL STATEMENT ⯈
⬛ FEATURED SELECTIONS
Selections on systemic racism
We’ve gathered selections from The Sun’s archive that examine white supremacy, systemic racism, mass incarceration, police brutality, and other related issues. They are all freely available for anyone to read and share. We will highlight more from our archive in the coming days.
We Will Be Seen
Tressie McMillan Cottom on Confronting Racism, Sexism, and Classism
by Mark Leviton | February 2020
“The way racism often works is to simply transmute the definitions of words: if you somehow manage to meet the standard, we’ll just revise it so you don’t. . . .

White supremacy is defending inherited privilege and resources and the ability to pass them on. Until you disrupt that, I don’t know that we can change the economic base of culture and community.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom
To Protect and to Serve?
Alex S. Vitale on the Overpolicing of America

by Mark Leviton | September 2019
“It’s a mistake to think of each episode of police misconduct as an isolated incident that might have gone another way if different officers had been involved. It’s not about individuals. The problem is a political imperative toward overpolicing.”
READ MORE SELECTIONS ⯈
⬛ RECOMMENDED READING
Jared Seide’s Recommended Reading List
In our June 2020 interview, “The Power of Story,” Jared Seide discusses how listening to each other can restore our humanity. Seide, the executive director of Center for Council, often works with people in difficult settings — such as Hutus and Tutsis seeking restorative healing after the genocide in Rwanda, activists and police in California communities, and incarcerated people and correctional officers in state prisons. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is finding ways for people to maintain meaningful connections in a time of social distancing. For readers interested in learning more, he offers this reading list of essential books on navigating vulnerability, working with compassion, and the power of listening from the heart.
Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet
by Joan Halifax 
Halifax is a brilliant teacher who has written about cultivating compassion in great depth. This insightful book invites us to sit courageously with all that confronts us, and really discern how best to serve. I’ve found this to be a powerful and foundational practice. 
The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace
by John Paul Lederach 
Lederach writes about the need to envision a world where the well-being of our grandchildren is profoundly connected to the well-being of our adversaries’ grandchildren. He explores the notion of “critical yeast” — how small acts of compassion by a committed few can have enormous impact. 
SEE FULL READING LIST ⯈

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y

Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc

The prequel to SLIES titled “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” will be out in September. Shelly goes to New Orleans to prepare for going to ES, but when she encounters sexism, racism & illegal activities by government agents, she begins to question whether she is the right person for this opportunity.

My friend summarized Heather Cox Richardson’s post

But she asked me to post the original too. I’m not using my friend’s name because her husband works for the govt. She’s afraid of repercussions and in this time of Trump, that’s a very distinct possibility.

This…this is a daily must read – below are points to skim but highly recommend you read in entirety to understand full scope of all events
~~COVID19 numbers up, epidemiologists predict 5,000 to 6,000 Americans a week will die from the disease.
~ ~Trump campaign delivered a cease and desist letter to CNN demanding CNN retract and apologize for its poll showing Trump 14 points behind😂
~~Judge John Gleeson accused Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department of “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power, attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States. It has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public’s confidence in the rule of law.” (referencing Flynn who plead guilty as charged – -Yes, I’m guilty, I did that!)
~~1,250 former members of the DOJ asked IG, Michael Horowitz, to look into Barr’s involvement in last week’s attack on the peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square before Trump’s walk to St. John’s.
~~Prominent military leaders opposed Trump’s use of force against demonstrators, supported protesters’ concerns, and pointedly defended the Constitution. Trump sided with white reactionaries rather than current military leaders.😲
~~Retired Army General Petraeus, said, “The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention.” Trump shocked with “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a… history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.” Trump’s base, is keen on Confederate imagery. Within hours, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races and its venues.
~~Trump was trying to figure out how to turn calls for racial justice into a fight over “LAW & ORDER” Tweet, tweet, tweet, GOP leaders were trying to figure out how to keep that shift from turning into offensive race baiting.
~~Moot point GOP. Trump announced first rally to be in Tulsa, Oklahoma—where coronavirus cases are spiking—on June 19.“Juneteenth,” a day commemorating the end of slavery in America. Tulsa is where the 1921 race massacre, in which white mobs destroyed the wealthy Black neighborhood of Greenwood (aided by firebombs dropped from private airplanes), murdered as many as 300 of their Black neighbors, injured hundreds more, and left 10,000 people homeless.

(My personal sidebar opinion- I am sure the confederate flags will be flying high at his first rally in celebration of Trump, the Imperial Lizard, upholding his loyal devotees common devotion to racism, inequality, hate, lies and oppression. This location and timing, clearly meant to race bait, leaves no doubt that this horrid man, like his father before him, is clearly a supporter/leader of the KKK, White Nationalist and Populist movement and is now flaunting his racism openly hoping to incite violence.

Heather Cox Richardson

June 10, 2020 (Wednesday)

“We’ve made every decision correctly,” the president said Friday about the coronavirus, “and now the trajectory is great.”

In fact, our Covid-19 numbers are up. They had begun to level off as hard-hit New York brought its infections under control, but now other hotspots are emerging. Arizona, Florida, and Texas, along with fifteen other states, are seeing increases in Covid-19 cases. Already, more than 112,000 Americans have died and more than 1.9 million are infected, and from now until July 4, epidemiologists predict 5,000 to 6,000 Americans a week will die from the disease.

The pandemic was not on the president’s mind today.

Today the Trump campaign delivered a cease and desist letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker demanding that CNN retract and apologize for its recent poll showing Trump 14 points behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The letter says the poll is “designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling.”

This is clearly the work of Republican pollster John McLaughlin, whom Trump hired on Monday. McLaughlin’s career is based in the (false) concept that political polls showing Democrats ahead of Republicans are deliberately skewed toward Democrats in order to discourage Republicans from voting.

CNN’s lawyer responded to the letter by noting that this was the first time in its history that CNN had been threatened with legal action over a political poll, and that “to the extent we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media.” He noted that McLaughlin had little credibility, and concluded: “Your letter is factually and legally baseless. It is yet another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or hear. Your allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety.”

Virtually every reputable poll shows Biden leading Trump by double digits, so why is the Trump campaign picking this fight? The cease and desist letter might be a way to calm down the president, who is apparently on edge these days. But it might also be a way to try to rally the Republican base around the idea that, as recent fundraising has said, the “Trump Army” must fight off “the Liberal MOB.”

The campaign seems to be embracing military language as opposition to the president intensifies. Today the retired federal judge who was asked to examine the Justice Department’s unusual request to abandon the case against Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn– after Flynn had pleaded guilty– filed his report. Judge John Gleeson accused Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department of “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power, attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States. It has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public’s confidence in the rule of law.”

More than 1,250 former members of the Department of Justice also wrote today of the need to defend the rule of law. They asked the DOJ’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, to look into Barr’s involvement in last week’s attack by law enforcement on the peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square before Trump’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

A rift between the administration and the military became clear last week when prominent military leaders opposed Trump’s use of force against demonstrators, supported the protesters’ concerns, and pointedly defended the Constitution. Trump deliberately widened that rift today, siding with white reactionaries rather than with current military leaders.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both of whom had been caught in Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square, are eager to unify their troops, 43% of whom are people of color rapidly becoming disaffected. The idea of renaming Army bases named for Confederate generals has been on the table for awhile, and they talked of actually doing it in this tense moment, even as protesters and city officials are pulling down Confederate monuments.

To historians, this is a no-brainer. Confederate leaders tried to destroy the United States and succeeded in killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, so the idea that we have any federal recognition of them is wild. And they were fighting to enshrine human enslavement in the laws of a new nation, and from there to spread it across the world, so for a country founded on the idea of human equality to honor these men seems particularly self-defeating. As General David Petraeus, the retired Army commander in Iraq and Afghanistan said, “The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention.”

Politico reported that the military leaders thought the idea was an obvious move, but Trump shocked them with a series of tweets saying “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a… history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations… Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”

Trump was clearly siding with his base, which is quite keen on Confederate imagery, rather than with those calling for equal justice. But that base is apparently getting smaller. Within hours of his tweets, NASCAR had banned the Confederate flag from its races and its venues because it “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” NASCAR said.

The decision was announced before tonight’s race in Virginia, where Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only African American driver, was to compete in a Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint job. Wallace, born in Alabama, had said there was no place for Confederate flags in the sport. Tonight he was wearing a black “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt, and applauded the decision. “This is no doubt the biggest race of my career tonight,” he said. “There’s a lot of emotions on the race track.”

Not everyone approved. Helmet artist Jason Beam tweeted: “ignorance wins again, NASCAR you realize the North had slaves too, lol not just the South, you want to remove the American Flag as well, idiots.”

It seems that the lines of Trump’s election campaign are solidifying. Two days ago, the Washington Post reported that Trump was trying to figure out how to turn calls for racial justice into a fight over “LAW & ORDER”– as he keeps tweeting– but Republican Party leaders were trying to figure out how to keep that shift from turning into offensive race baiting. Trump’s announcement today that he is resuming his rallies makes that point now appear moot.

The first rally will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma—where coronavirus cases are spiking—on June 19. This day is also known as “Juneteenth,” a day commemorating the end of slavery in America because it was that day in 1865 that African Americans in Texas finally learned they were free. Tulsa is also the site of the 1921 race massacre, in which white mobs destroyed the wealthy Black neighborhood of Greenwood (aided by firebombs dropped from private airplanes), murdered as many as 300 of their Black neighbors, injured hundreds more, and left 10,000 people homeless.

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y

Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc

Sherrie’s newest book “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans: Shelly’s Journey Begins” will be out in September.

Today’s Picture: 08 May 20

Thanks, Stuart, for the lovely photos! ❤
Sherrie Miranda's historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc

Stuart Aken

A day of sunny periods, today. Luckily, I caught some of that sunshine with my phone.

Pictures of the outdoors to brighten the day, especially for those confined inside.

If you enjoy this, please share it, so others can enjoy it, too. Thank you.

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Breathing Gratitude

Fell in love with this poem …
Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc

Kate Gale: A Mind Never Dormant

What we do on our day off: Two hour walk with dog, breakfast,

editing, dinner party for four of us. Small and comfortable.

What I do previous days: Slather in bed with a migraine.

I take the hard stuff of the press badly and bundle up with pain like having a banshee as my nursemaid.

Then friends call and I start to breathe again.

So today, ready for the walking, the dogs, the editing I do on weekends.

Tomorrow my son goes back to Vietnam and it will feel like the party is ending.

Why people want to be rock stars? No division between party/work/life.

Why people want retirement? You can sleep in.

Why people want a lover? So they won’t be lonely.

And I’m not lonely, not with family, friends or dogs.

And if someone says, and they do, that I don’t deserve all this?

They are right. Love…

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Day Whatever – Lockdown

Nope!
Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc

S C Richmond

Is this just me???

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Penguin Books Coming Out Soon

I obviously haven’t read these, but as an author, I like to share books.
And while we’re on that subject, what do you think about me posting short reviews of recent books I’ve read? I can easily find them on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
Let me know!
And keep your eyes open for the prequel to SLIES (see below for more info). It’s titled “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans: Shelly’s Journey Begins.” It will be out in April.

Books Coming Soon in 2020

In whis ultimate preview guide, discover the biggest new releases coming out in the next few months! From edge-of-your-seat thrillers to swoon-worthy love stories, you’ll be the first to know when your next favorite book is hitting the bookshelves.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird Book Cover Picture

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

by Josie Silver

Written with Josie Silver’s trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life’s crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.
  1. The Glass Hotel Book Cover Picture

    The Glass Hotel

    by Emily St. John Mandel

    From the award-winning author of Station Eleven (“Ingenious.” – The New York Times), an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events-a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.
  2. Camino Winds Book Cover Picture

    Camino Winds

    by John Grisham

    Welcome back to Camino Island, where anything can happen—even a murder in the midst of a hurricane, which might prove to be the perfect crime . . .
  3. Eat a Peach Book Cover Picture

    Eat a Peach

    by David Chang and Gabe Ulla

    The chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious gets uncomfortably real in his debut memoir. David Chang lays bare his self-doubt and ruminates on mental health. He explains the ideas that guide him and demonstrates how cuisine is a weapon against complacency and racism. Exhibiting the vulnerability of Andre Agassi’s Open and the vivid storytelling of Patti Smith’s Just Kids, this is a portrait of a modern America in which tenacity can overcome anything.
  4. The Women with Silver Wings Book Cover Picture

    The Women with Silver Wings

    by Katherine Sharp Landdeck

    “With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve.”—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls
  5. The Red Lotus Book Cover Picture

    The Red Lotus

    by Chris Bohjalian

    A twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.
  6. Girl Decoded Book Cover Picture

    Girl Decoded

    by Rana el Kaliouby and Carol Colman

    In a captivating memoir, an Egyptian American visionary and scientist provides an intimate view of her personal transformation as she follows her calling—to humanize our technology and how we connect with one another.
  7. Redhead by the Side of the Road Book Cover Picture

    Redhead by the Side of the Road

    by Anne Tyler

    From the beloved and best-selling Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection.

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

How Writers are Actually Actors

This is so true! Funny how once somebody says something you can totally see it, whereas before you had never given it a thought!

A Writer's Path

by Ryan Lanz

“As a writer, I am just an actor in a play, telling a story that needs to be told.”

-Rita Webb

I hate memorizing lines.

In my teens, I had a brush with the acting bug. I enjoyed the thrill of being on stage. The thunder of the applause was intoxicating. I lived in southern California at the time, and I briefly considered having a go at acting. The main problem: I hated memorizing lines.

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