***07/2019: Quick update / sidebar***Please note!
Many thanks to Imaginary Foundation for usage of “Beginning is Near” as JPNoteworthy’s iconic homepage artwork. It is truly one of my favorite photos and they kindly allowed me to use it on this site. So many times images are lifted off the web without giving the artists or creators their due. Please DO visit their website for more info about what they do or to buy a print. Thank you!
After reading my previous “About Me” narrative, I decided it was time for a refresh. Things have certainly changed. My family has changed. My work situation has changed. The world is still turning but the way I see and experience it has radically changed. Looking at my About Me statement from just two years ago I felt a disconnect. About Me was overdue for an edit.
Roughly 18 months ago, I began doing background research for a historical fiction genre novel. I’m hypothetically still chipping away at it, but if I’m being truthful with myself, I’m a bit stuck at the moment. I only mention it here because it’s the research process that brought about the insights which contribute to this blog today.
The storyline pivots around two characters based on my Spartan grandparents, who somehow lived through unthinkable conditions during WWII and the civil war that followed. I learned of some fascinating details of their life in the early 1940’s and these details gave form to the fiction I envisioned. In order to lend authenticity and greater plot detail to the novel, I began researching WWII from the Greek perspective, including diving into archives of telegrams and letters sent between Americans abroad and other power brokers all over the world, and to President Roosevelt.
Typical me, once I set my attention somewhere I’m never satisfied until I hit the root of a matter. Dark corners are irresistible to me; they beg investigation beyond the shallow. Now, curiosity is certainly a wonderful thing on one hand, because I am seldom bored. But on the other hand, curiosity can turn into a never-ending rabbit hole of searching and gathering information like a hoarder. Sometimes one has to stop searching and just do.
Getting sidetracked, I didn’t write much of anything for a while, and that is certainly evident from the long gaps in the posted essays here on Noteworthy. My research on WWII lead me to research other U.S. shenanigans abroad and I came away both enlightened and more cynical. My studies altered my perspective sharply: the way that I view diplomacy, war, and empire has certainly taken on a new edge.
Given the major paradigm shift, and my novel being temporarily sidelined, I am focusing my efforts on dabbling in short story writing and producing the independent citizen journalism you will find here on Noteworthy.
I’m admittedly irregular with my posts, which tend to be rather long and detailed. Currently, I’m investigating a number of meaty topics for readers: censorship as it relates to public discourse of controversial subjects and the murders of many investigative journalists; government contract spending with particular focus on international issues; the large number of sex trafficking arrests since PizzaGate 2016 (yes, I said PizzaGate – I know you’re rolling your eyes but reserve your judgement for now), and advocacy efforts toward ending mass incarceration.
Independent media is a strong and increasingly necessary component of information-sharing today. Many hear “independent” and associate it with “fake news” but I’m here to tell you: there are a lot of good reporters on the internet. Some of their stories are not being covered fully by our legacy media or perhaps they are brushed off as unimportant. Writers, documentarians and journalists like Chris Hedges, Abby Martin, James Corbett and many others inspire me in their fearless and fascinating approaches to story-telling.
Personally, I have no political agenda but the truth, and I belong to no party though I’m sure some would label me as quite Liberal. I take fact-checking and source material seriously and promise to post links so readers can verify my findings as easily as possible. My writing isn’t journalism in its purest form, I admit. I’m a skeptic. I’m often blunt and sarcastic. And I’ve had it “up to here” with empty patriotic rhetoric and endless, unwarranted war mongering. My personal opinions and somewhat acerbic observations are peppered throughout my work, mostly because I can’t help myself but also because informative reporting need not be boring.
Finally, I’ve decided to add a new page: Poetry / Rambling Thoughts. Given the controversial nature of the news items I cover, I suppose it’s a little weird to admit that hitting “publish” on that page made me feel incredibly vulnerable. The poems are rather personal and esoteric in style. But I am not one-dimensional in my writing interests and I think this blog should reflect that. I have fun with word-play and proprioceptive writing, which is when I don’t think or self-edit: I just write intuitively. Pluto Retrograde: Rooting Out My Dark Side is a good example. Poetry functions as a negative-emotion purge for me; a safe space to dump my fear and anxiety so it doesn’t take root inside of me.
Thanks for reading – and please, consider entering your email on the home page to “Follow” my blog and receive inbox notifications whenever I post. I would love to hear from you, by email or in the comment box under each post (comments need my approval and so may not appear immediately). Message me particularly if you notice an error or would like to make a request that I cover something you care about.