No More!

I don’t usually comment on current events. I prefer fictional events, usually concerning dragons or spaceships or magical realms.

But these school shootings…they have to stop! Enough is enough! How is this still happening? How do we live in a “free” world in the 21st century, yet we’re shackled with issues like the death of our children? I don’t know the solution. I wish I did. (I feel like Captain Picard could work this out in his sleep.)

Here’s what I know…I know I’m tired of press conferences about gun control and mental health. Because we’ve gotten really good at talking about it. Yet here we are 16 years after Columbine and we are still just talking. We live in a nation divided. The “free” world is littered with semi-automatic weapons, internet bullies and dead kids.

You can’t trust the media because everyone has an agenda. And one wrong step on social media and you can almost hear the hate mail flooding in.

But amidst all that shit, I think we can all agree…Republicans and Democrats, homosexuals and heterosexuals, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, men and women…we don’t want to hear the names of any more dead children.

News outlets bring experts on to talk about what we “could have” done to prevent this. In 3 months they’ll be back to tell it to us again, so what’s the point.
We have failed this country if in 3 months we are still just talking.

I went to see The Martian this weekend and it was a beautiful movie. But it made me sad, because it looked like a fantasy world. And there weren’t any dragons or Hobbits or Wookies or wands. But it didn’t feel real. Not the man on Mars part, but the hopeful, helpful Nation waiting on the Earth below.

We live in a broken, scary, partisan world. A nation divided. A world divided. And I don’t have the answers. This blog isn’t about the answers. I’m not nearly smart enough to have the answers. But I can ask questions. And maybe we’ve been asking the wrong ones.

I read an article the other day that really asked a lot of the right ones. (Read it here.) Even that writer doesn’t have all the answers, but hey, it’s a start!
If The Martian taught me anything, it’s that there are many people out there who are much smarter than me. But what I have is hope. I believe in a better future. I believe we can still change things. I believe that celebrities aren’t the only people who can use their voice to make a difference and that politicians don’t all have to be slime balls (though I’m still waiting on confirmation.)

So let’s stop listening for the next announcement that someone has lost their cool and gone on a killing spree. Let’s start using our God-given brains. What do we need to ask? What do we need to do?

The first question I might ask you is – do you want to wake up to another school shooting? Do you want to see this happen time after time? Do you want killers to be immortalized and victims to be forgotten? We know the names of the shooters and the bombers, but can you name the victims? Seems to me a young troubled teenager, looking for a place in this world, with demons too loud to fight might just think taking up a gun is the only way to be heard. After all, that’s how Harris and Klebold and Lanza and Cho and Harper-Mercer were heard. They may have died, but I sorta think they got what they wanted. A media circus dedicated to them.

I think of my baby nephew who was born days ago. He knows nothing of right or wrong. He doesn’t know the hateful things people do to each other. He is a blank slate. He is a clean slate. He is the hope that tomorrow won’t be hell on Earth. And I’m terrified for him. It’s not just colleges and high schools anymore. Sandy Hook taught us a whole new meaning of the word fear.

So let’s start asking questions. Questions about why anyone would need a semi-automatic weapon…period! Questions about why the gun show loophole is still in effect to this day. Questions about why politicians can’t get out of each other’s way and walk across party lines to shake hands and understand that this is not a world we want to be apart of. And that every day people like you and me will no longer stand for press conferences and expert opinions about troubled killers who are allowed to do these things. I don’t want opinions…I want solutions.
image

*Photo Courtesy of My So Called Crafty Life

Which Nerdy Hairstyle Is Your Favorite So Far?

I’d love your feedback on what you’ve seen so far. And what you’d like to see more of in the future. I’d love to hear your feedback and thanks for following!

 

Nerd in the City Book Club

A Time to Reap

By Jonas Lee

22819890

“After Carter Gabel arrives back from his most recent travel through time, he learns that his unpredictable syndrome isn’t the only thing in his life he’ll have to find control over.” – Back of the book

This day and age YA books about youths with extraordinary skills and powers are pretty common. But Jonas Lee’s voice stands out in the crowd! Carter Gabel is a confused boy who’s world is much bigger than he knows. And when thrust into circumstances beyond his control and understanding he not only rises to the challenge, but becomes better for it. In this future, there is something called Chronological Displacement Syndrome. Basically people with this “affliction” leap back in time at random and without choice. But what Carter doesn’t know if that this power is controllable. Along the way he learns more about his family, a girl he barely knows and about himself.

I had a chance to ask Jonas Lee a few questions about his book. Here’s my interview:

NitC: What were some of the stories and authors that influenced you growing up?

Jonas: It’s hard not to mention the likes of Stephen King being an influence as a writer. He has written something that everyone has seen at one point or another. Other great authors would include the likes of Joe Hill, Clive Barker, Lois Lowry and Madeline L’Engle. One of my favorite books I’ve actually read through the most is called The Thief of Always. I think writing from a younger perspective can help draw everyone toward that age again.

NitC: In a post Hunger Games/ Divergent/ YA centric world, did that effect your writing at all? DId you find yourself actively trying to distinguish your voice or did it come naturally?

Jonas: This novel was very organic. Honestly, I took no inspiration from any other YA novel. They are all very popular, but for me, it just wasn’t how I envisioned a teenager talking or acting. So I had to channel a little of my youth and mix that in with how I envisioned Carter to be.

NitC: Is this the book you set out to write? How did it change along the way, if at all?

Jonas: This book is not what I initially set out to be my first novel. Quite honestly, I completed my first book and tried the traditional route for awhile with trying to find an agent and so on and so on. In the meantime, I started this chapter by chapter story out of the reservoirs of my think tank. It got to be so fluid and fun to put together that there really was nothing much to think of or change throughout the way.

NitC: Do you personally identify with Carter Gabel and in what ways?

Jonas: Carter holds a certain quality of mine in regards to when he talks to himself. I always find myself saying something like a smartass like him inside my head. His outlook on his life is how I wish mine could be at times. Impetuously ready to do something and prepared for anything. I think I tend to overanalyze everything to a fault.

NitC: If you lived in the Star Wars Universe, would you be apart of the Rebellion of the Empire?

Jonas: Oooo, such a difficult one. I’d have to say out of the two, I would have to choose the Rebellion. Something about trying to be stealthy versus flexing might. Although, I would ultimately rather by part of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild. Always loved Boba Fett the most.

If you are looking for some post summer reading that is quick and captivating, the please go pick up A TIme to Reap right now!! And let me know what you think!

Get it here.