The Raven

Somewhat retouched and with transparent backgr...

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I always thought the photographs that Edgar Allan Poe appear in are sometimes creepier than his writing! Something in his eyes, his expression. The way he is looking at the camera make you want know what he’s thinking. What he’s feeling. As a master poet, storyteller, and professional tortured soul, we’ll have to settle for his words to give us that answer.

His work is still as fresh and inspired as was when he first composed it. Becoming a part of our collective cultural consciousness. “The Raven” for example, is as iconic as Apple pie and football, albeit just a wee bit darker, but still just as iconic. To me, Poe‘s words have an emotional impact that is rarely seen. A perfect storm of meaning, rhythm and meter which hits with such force it can literally take your breath away.

There is a sense in his work that he is trying to tell us something. Not just about the darker side of life and yes, death, but perhaps on a more deeper and spiritual level. Commenting on our human condition through verse. I often wonder if his initial military background perhaps helped to shape his view on life and death. His job as one who prepared shells for artillary must have peaked his interest in where those shells would eventually land, and the harm they inevitably would do . . . .

Poe made valiant efforts to live solely off his writing. Something that I admire greatly as awriter myself. And eventually held jobs as not only a writer, but editor and critic.

His Gothic, horror and satirical writings were way ahead of their time. He also dabbled in science fiction and even physics. His was a mind that had no off button. A facile writer who pushed the boundaries of his time and art. Like many great artists Poe operated on a different plane. Or at least I like to think he did. Yes, he was here with us on earth, but it is clear from his works that he was acutely attuned and aware of, shall we say, “other realms.” Maybe that’s just my overactive imagination working overtime, lets just say in the least, Poe was fascinated by the macabre, the unexplained. Commenting on that very otherworldly fabric of man that was just out of reach. Out of reach to most, except for Edgar Allan Poe.

Perhaps it was this awareness, this constant torture that seemed to envelop his soul which hastened his demise. Maybe his own art, his own pen poisoned him in some way. His own quest for answers leading him to one dark alley after another. Maybe the beginning was the end for Poe? What we do know is that alcohol, depression and the sudden death of his wife Virginia, (who incidentally was his cousin,) caused his downward spiral to quicken, culminating with his own death in 1849.

From this genius’s life we are left with his genius. On the printed page adapted to stage and screen Edgar Allan Poe’s work has stood the test of time and I’m sure far exceeded his own expectations. His writings are often as mysterious as his image. Dark and haunting with something just below the surface we just can’t put our fingers on. It is like he knows something we don’t, and instead of coming right out and telling us, he wants us to figure it out on our own.

So, In honor of the 202nd birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, I had to dig up this old classic clip featuring Vincent Price. The poem is scary enough, but as a child I remember seeing this and pulling the covers over my head. Long before the Internet we had the great Vincent Price who could read the phone book and scare the B-Jeezies out of you!

Here’s to the great Edgar Allan Poe, Happy Birthday . . . “Nevermore.”


Tweet long and prosper

Live Long and Prosper Shirt

Image by Sam Howzit via Flickr

“Space, the final frontier . . .”  I loved those words spoken by the indomitable William Shatner at the beginning of every episode of Star Trek.  Thinking about that classic line prompted the question, what is our final frontier? What is the space we travel in every day? Some of us every minute of everyday. The answer? Cyberspace, the Inter-nets, of course.

Having jumped right into the social media gravitational pull the past few weeks, I have found it is both an intimate conversation at a coffee shop and a shoot out at the OK corral. I can’t help but feel like some of the first settlers going west. Staking out their claim in that wild frontier.

Tweeting with a quasi regularity,  I was struck with the feeling that I had been here before. Memories from my Rock n Roll days began to creep into my mind . . .  A time long ago, when me and my best buddy and guitarist Vini would take to the streets late at night, band flyers and glue in hand, pasting up most of the east village one corner at a time. Trying not to, but invariably pasting our fliers over top another band’s fliers. Knowing full well by morning the same would have been done to ours. It was a decidedly low tech way to announce a show but in the early to mid 90’s it was just about all we had. Did it work? 99 percent of the time I’d have to say no.

Fast forward to present day, me sitting at my desk tweeting away, seeing my latest faux- important missive flash before my eyes, only to be replaced by another’s faux- importance, then another, and another and another .  . . (you get the picture.)  I find myself at times getting caught up in the information overload that is twitter. You can lose your Self if you’re not careful . . .  “Damn it Jim I’m just a writer”

The thing that struck me almost immediately was the incredible potential to reach people on twitter. Band flyer analogies aside, Twitter can reach millions in seconds, and without glue stuck to your hands!  That’s not to say it is an easy proposition. Riding that stage coach out west, into unchartered territory requires one to be flexible. Learning as you go.

There are rules on twitter, well, I suppose there are, but I think everyone has their own. There own code of conduct, so to speak. Some follow everyone that follows them; some have thousands of followers but follow very few; Some shamelessly promote; Some help you to promote; Some spam; Some are quite earnest and are there to learn from others in this endless sea of cyber humanity. Some combine all of the above into an information assault that would make the invasion of Normandy look tame in comparison.

At it’s core Twitter is an information conduit to the world. Information coursing through virtual human bios and beings, passed on, re-tweeted, only to be pasted over again and again and again. It is an endless Twitter machine that needs to be fed 24/7/ 365.  It is everything and it is nothing. Beaming us up and out into the world 140 characters at a time. But no matter what your motivation, Twitter has a powerful potential to give back many times more than it gets. The only catch is, you have to figure out how to actualize that potential. The answer of course is different for every person. (That’s the real catch.)

So follow, and be followed. Let your voice bellow out into this final frontier which I am sure is only the beginning. Feed the machine and let it feed you.

Live long and prosper . . .

Blackbirds why?

A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius pho...

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Blackbirds falling from the clear blue sky

we take your broken wings and wonder why

do you die . . .?

We are all still waiting for the answer to arrive…

Blackbirds why?

Blackbirds why?

Why do you fall from the clear blue sky?

Blackbirds falling in the dead of night,

no one’s there to see your fright,

the darkness hides . . .

reason and the truth from all of our wondering eyes.

Blackbirds why?

Blackbirds why?

Why do you fall from the darkened sky?

Blunt force trauma is the answer now.

Schools of fish- two hundred cows,

all fall down . . .

But really when’s the last time that a school of fish has drowned?

Blackbirds falling from the clear blue sky?

We take your broken wings and wonder why?

Do you die?

We are all still waiting for the answer to arrive.

We are still waiting for the answer to arrive,

We are all still waiting

for the



arrive . . .

Leap of faith

What happens if we just try? Or better stated what’s the worst that could happen? I think many of us, (us, all being humans) can be at one time or another paralyzed by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection. But I think what we’re really afraid of is trying. Taking that first step out into the unknown.

Whether it be that first key stroke of that first novel you’ve always wanted to write . . .  That first “hello” to that special someone you’ve always wanted to talk too .  .  .  Signing up for that first day of class for that degree you’ve always wanted to go back to school for . . .   But more often than not, we don’t do it.  Feeling somewhere deep in our collective DNA that taking that first step will lead to failure, and even worse rejection.  So why even go there, right?

I remember when I got my first opportunity to write a novel. I had submitted a collection of poems to Dutton Children’s Books. An untitled, loosely tied together thematic collection of teen- dom in all it’s glory and angst.(Mostly angst.)  I got a call from the head of the imprint at the time telling me they really loved the poems but what they really wanted me to do was turn those poems into a novel. My response?

Sure, absolutely, no problem.  Do it everyday . . .

Did I have a clue at the time almost ten  years ago as  to how I was going to do it ? Absolutely not.  But I tried. I wanted it BAD. I wanted to write a novel. I felt I had a lot to say. To share, to give . . .

I took a leap of faith and challenged myself in every way possible. Did I have doubts? Of course.  Fear?  You bettcha. (Okay, I was saying that before Sarah Palin.) But I never let myself get paralyzed by that fear.  Easier said than done you’re thinking,  but I did it.  And those poems after 3 1/2 years of blood, sweat and many tears turned into Names Will Never Hurt Me . Now, more than 6 years after it was published, it is still being used across the country in a host of ant-bullying programs and discussion groups at schools and libraries. Bringing greater awareness and understanding of this ever-present problem.

Names Will Never Hurt Me was the first of three poetic novels I would write. A style of merging poetry and prose into one form.  Telling the story through sometimes short bursts of poetic emotion through the eyes and lives both internal and external of the teens I created. (The four teens in the case of this novel.) A music producer friend of mine once compared this book to the film “Pulp fiction.” Most likely because of the different ways I told the story, and the varied points of views.  How one single moment in time could be frozen and viewed from four distinct and different angles, all the while never losing it’s immediacy. The creation of this book came from taking one step, and then the next, then the next . . .  Never looking back, but always forward. Telling myself not to be afraid even when I was. Telling myself, what’s the worst that could happen?

That book also became a springboard for my speaking career. Which just took off after its publication.  Giving me the opportunity to speak to teens directly about the problems they face everyday, both at school and at home. Opening up an honest dialogue about bullying, racism, ostracism, the potential for school violence . . .  What goes on in that unseen world of a teen’s mind .  . .   After speaking, without fail, a student would walk up to me and say, I know that kid in your book he sits next to me in AlgebraOr, I am that kid, I am Kurt, where can I go for help? What can I do?

My experience with how “Names Will Never Hurt Me” came to be is a template I use for every book that I write. When I sit down at my desk every morning I am taking a leap of faith. That first step into the complete unknown. Uncertainty is the writer’s  constant companion, accompanying us on our daily journey through plot and character development. Draft after draft, revision after revision, with each pass, each chapter, each paragraph, each sentence, each word . . .  we take that first step all over again.  Not knowing exactly where our words will land, or how they will be received when they finally reach those waiting eyes and ears, hearts and souls . . .

I could have easily not tried on that day I received that phone call about my poems.  As a matter of fact I could’ve just said, no, I’m not a novelist I’m a poet, and I really don’t think I can do that. End of story.  Just given in to that innate fear of the unknown, that fear of failure. But I believe along with our innate fears, we also have the innate ability to overcome those fears. To push past them, over them, through them, and tell ourselves what’s the worst that could happen?

The answer to that for me is simple.

The worst that could happen is that you’ll never know . . .

The Road Less Traveled

Growing up in a household with two powerhouse writers had the same affect on me as it would any other kid. My mantra was;

“I don’t want to do what my parents do.”

My late mother, Newbery-award winning author Virginia Hamilton and my father, the iconic poet Arnold Adoff, never pushed me to be a writer, or pushed me in any particular direction for that matter.

Instead, they let me gravitate towards what I was interested in. Encouraging me along the way. But soon, it became obvious to all, that music would be my first love.

Music and words were all around me growing up. My father always had on the radio or the stereo. (That’s right I said stereo 🙂 I was fortunate to grow up with some of the best music from all genres as the soundtrack to my childhood. Being that my father had been good friends with and used to manage the legendary bass player and composerCharles Mingus, jazz figured prominently in that soundtrack. Personally, I think I connected the most with the rock and folk music of the 60s and 70s, with artists such as Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills and Nash, Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles, Janis Joplin. Then I discovered Led Zeppelin and that was it for me. From that point on, rock-n-roll was my passion and my mission. I can remember vividly how I felt while listening to this music. It took me places in my imagination, exotic and magical places, and I believe, greatly fostered my creativity. I went to every musical concert imaginable, day dreaming about what it would be like to be onstage, the star of the show! I soon had my own “garage band” and I was off and running as a wannabe rock star drummer.

After majoring in music in college it was off to New York City to seek my fame and fortune, but like many who came before me, the bitter pill of rejection was what I found.

I began writing as a way to make myself feel better while going through this hard time of rejection and even worse, just being flat out ignored by the record business. I had been in pursuit of a record deal with my band for close to ten years, and it was apparent that it just wasn’t going to happen. So I started writing for the the same reasons as I did when I was a teenager. Back then, I wrote songs to release my emotions and help me get through the ups and downs of teenage-dom. So when the rock-n-roll star thing didn’t work out, I began to write again, this time without the music. Just the poetry. And, boy, did I have a lot to say.

During this same time, two things happened that I just couldn’t ignore. One was the sheer volume of poems, short stories, novel sketches, etc. that I was amassing, and the second was how incredibly awesome I felt while producing these early works. It was at this time that I really felt I was onto something and that it was just the beginning.

From my teens into my twenties, I really had been writing poetry—but with music. Later, in my thirties when I first started writing professionally, I already felt comfortable with words and how to express myself. It was not that much of a stretch from songwriting to writing poetry. And from writing poetry to writing poeticnovels was, I feel, a natural progression. Starting small and then expanding. Just seeing one piece at a time, working on it, giving it a title, and then going on to the next piece. All the while staying connected to the emotion of the moment. What the character is feeling, thinking.

I believe my first experiences with music and poetry organically prepared me for writing this type of book, the novel in verse or poetic novel. Completely by accident, the ingredients were all there waiting for me to put them all together.

Writing a poetic novel is very freeing; I love how I can make a piece more prose-like if I wish or more poetic, depending on what is best for the book at that particular time. Ultimately, for me, this style of writing gives the story immediacy and a raw emotional impact that sometimes is lacking in a more traditional young adult novel. More importantly, the poetic novel is all-inclusive in its readership, bringing together the facile reader with the reluctant and the “I never even finished a book before” reader.

It is truly a win-win for both author and teen alike. I would suggest to all writers to try your hand at one. It forces you to connect on that primordial level, not only with yourself but with your characters. It is the emotions of the character-splat onto the page. Ideally unfiltered and unencumbered by that long arm of the author.

When I speak to students, teachers and those pursuing a career in writing I like to use my path as an example. An example of a career which was born in the most organic of ways. I wrote and still do from the inside out. Getting in touch with one’s innermost feelings, moving far beyond your comfort level, breaking through to that pain and experience truly is the garden of artistic creation. What grows there is real. It may be hard to harvest, but it is from this garden that grows the truth. The deepness of one’s soul is where we must all start as writers.

It is where our story is born . . .

Raging against the machine

Do you find my brain? - Auf der Suche nach mei...

Image by alles-schlumpf via Flickr

After careful consideration and much field testing, I have come to the premature but inescapable conclusion that the internet and more specifically social media is having a negative affect on human beings and our society as a whole.

I believe the reason narcissism is running so rampant online, is because everyone can see their name and picture up on the big (little)  screen. Up in lights so to speak.  We don’t all just have 15 minutes of fame we have fame 24/7/ 365.  As long as we’re plugged in we are famous. We can see ourselves shinning bright, like twinkling cyber-stars against the black, bandwidth sky.  Whatever comes into our heads can be shared. Can be pushed out to millions of people, like it or not our voices will be heard.

Blogs like this. Seemingly giving some sort of informed opinion. Why should we care? Why should you read this? The answer is you shouldn’t, and there’s no real reason to.

We are all experts, why? Because I just said so and now it has been retweeted five hundred times, that’s why.

Yeah, it’s great to see the headline unfold, or discover some coverup before it hits the mainstream, but the internet is not going to stop evil men from doing evil deeds, you’re just going to know about it faster. Does it shine a light on corruption? Sure, is it a deterrent? I don’t think so. Does it uncover hidden truths, it can. Will it stop lies, I don’t think so. Information breeds disinformation, manipulation abounds.  What we see is not always what is real, and what is real is not always what we see.

Personally, I have found you don’t have to have the internet to uncover hidden truths. You can find out for yourself.  Back in the early 90’s I took a trip to Dallas TX with a friend. One day I ventured off by myself to see Dealey Plaza with my own eyes. I had read much about the Kennedy assassination. Including Two wonderful books by Mark Lane, books that had real pages that even turned brown if you left them out in the sun. But I digress. I took the “official” tour, looked out that window at the Texas School Book Depository. Realized the sheer improbability of it all.  I walked up the grassy knoll, stood by the fences, walked and stood at different locations that the “unofficial” tour suggested. Ah, the truth, sometimes it can stare you right in the face. That is if you leave your house and look for it . . . There is nothing that could have then or now, replaced the experience of seeing history up close and yes, quite personal.

I believe we have all been re-wired. The constant stream of information, updates, texts, tweets, scrolling, clicking . . . It is starting to change us . . .  We all have the attention span of an ant. And I know for a fact that ants have very short attention spans. I know this because I once saw an ant and I took a picture of it and uploaded it to Twitter and it got retweeted so it’s true.

Facebook for all the fun we have on it, and personally I am just as guilty as everyone else, as I love to post the potty training habits of my daughter, I mean that’s beyond narcissism. Really Jaime?  It’s fun, it’s a great way to stay connected and as far as social media goes it may be the most benign form, that said, as a multi billion dollar company FB is probably one of the biggest threats to our privacy that we’ve ever known.  And with every change, it invades more.

The internet as a whole is just a repository for everything we’ve ever said, thought, or burped in our lifetime. A living documentation of all our failures, our triumphs, our tragedies. We rail against this or that and it is imprinted, recorded, stored forever somewhere out “There” it exists. Waiting to be retrieved at the worst possible time.  Is that a good thing? One could argue that it’s up to the individual to be careful as to what he or she says. But what about free speech? As we all know free speech comes with a heavy price. Now, our speech, our status, where we are, where we go, what we like,  what we think in a moment of intoxication, or bitter boredom, all of it can come back to haunt us, or worse, be used against us . . .

But why are we now bound by this infinitely boundless and limitless technology? Why does it have a stranglehold on the very fabric of our day-to-day existence? Why are we all playing this game? Do we have to? Is it to late to go back? Back to a simpler time. A time when we took walks outside and talked to people in the flesh? When we had to wait three days for a letter?

I’ve been sucked in like everyone else. But Is there an escape? Will the world as we know it cease to exist if we stop posting, updating,  tweeting, and checking the news and . . . . Can we slow down? Can we jump off this speeding train?

One of my latest pet peeves with social media is the lack of historical perspective, or context especially on Twitter. The context for most discourse is usually the last 30 seconds. Or perhaps the last hour, or maybe the last week. In rare instances maybe the year. It is information in a bubble. 140 characters telling us the most up to date information in a vacuum. As it relates to absolutely nothing else. In a chat or discussion an expert can be any one who has an opinion. Or tweets the fastest. It is a contest of the absurd. Whoever gets the most followers wins. It is virtual classism, a caste system if you will, couched in a feel good, self promoting machine that lulls you into thinking that you have to be a part of it. Am I a part of it? For now, yes. Have I ever been comfortable being a part of it? No.

Do I really know what I’m talking about just because I tweet it, or post it? And should you listen to me? Which opinions do we give more weight to? The ones that make us laugh, or cry? The ones we agree with even though they may or may not be based on fact or anything more than the tweeter’s own limited personal experience?

Do we all really need phones that are so powerful they could launch the space shuttle? Why do we always have to be connected? What happens if we disconnect? Will that quiet and brave act actually connect us on a deeper level?

I feel like we collectively in this country and for that matter around most parts of the world have become voyeurs of the highest order. Always peaking in through the windows of stranger’s lives.  Even many of our  friends on FB are people we couldn’t recognize in “real” life. People we don’t even really know.

Why is it that we have this need to reveal our innermost thoughts, desires, experiences to the world? Is it something innate in our collective DNA. Lying dormant, waiting for the internet and social media to trigger it? Or do we all just want to be heard? Are we as human beings just very lonely creatures who crave contact from other human beings. In an increasingly dangerous world, it is far safer and easier to make contact and forge relationships (however surface they may be, ) online than out there in the world. (In most cases that is.)

For me, the “grid” makes me nauseous a lot of the time. It makes me nervous. The constant flow of everything, all the time. Like drinking ten cups of coffee in a row. Even when it’s turned off, you can feel it.  It takes time to really turn it all off. A few days off the grid and you can begin to relax. Not feel anxious about missing the latest post, or tweet, or update. But the craving returns, like a bucket of KFC chicken, or a chipotle burrito. You’ve gotta have it. You have to know what’s going on. What did I miss, what happened?

What do we all hope to gain from all of this? Is there an endgame? Is there a winner? Are there losers?

This is a work in progress. A dispatch from someone who still doesn’t really buy into the whole thing, but is still going along with it. (at least until I post this.) Hoping he will see what everyone else sees. Playing along because, it’s what everyone else is doing.  But this person is getting tired of playing. Tired of the grid pecking away at my attention span. Tired of peaking through windows just because I can.

Tired of feeling like this whole social experiment is not really what we’re supposed to be doing with our time . . .

Sonny with a chance . . .

Demi Lovato

You know it’s funny what will be the catalyst for getting a blog off the ground. I’ve been wanting to write this for some time, but it wasn’t until I read the article about teen sensation Demi Lovato checking herself into a rehab clinic and dropping out of the Jonas Brothers tour that I was pushed to put virtual pen to virtual paper.

I guess on the face of it, another teen star going to rehab could just be written off as another sad story of  just another broken soul losing their way. But with this star it was different. I guess first off it’s because I have a connection with her, well my almost 3 year old daughter does I should say. Yes, I know she shouldn’t be watching those older shows like “Sonny with a Chance” or the movie “Camp Rock 2″ but you come over and tell her that okay? Anyway, my daughter just loves Demi Lovato. She talks about her like she’s one of her friends. “Hey, that’s Demi Lovato.” She’d say when her image would flash across the screen. (She never called her Sonny, which was her character’s name. A fact I always found interesting.) Or “That’s a Demi Lovato song.” And start spontaneously dancing to one of her latest hits. Sometimes she would just say her name for no apparent reason, those two words having resonated with her young mind on some sort of magical toddler level that I’ll never know.

I have to admit that I can see the appeal. Ms. Lovato takes charisma to whole other level, a triple threat of acting, dancing and singing, she is actually quite good at all three. But most of all she makes my daughter smile and laugh and dance and sing. So when I read the latest news involving my daughter’s “friend” I wanted to dig a little deeper than the headline and what I found, sadly dovetailed perfectly with what I had originally intended to write about.

You see, from what the initial reports say, Demi Lovato suffered from cruel bullying as a child growing up because of weight issues and as a result has dealt with eating disorders, and cutting. My mouth dropped when I read this. I immediately thought of where my energies have been lately. In the early planning stages of trying to put together a teen summit to address bullying and suicide. Still grappling with the most recent spate of suicides. Still hungering for a solution to this deadly epidemic. And then came Demi. Smiling, pretty and bubbly on the outside, but who knew what she was going through on the inside? Who knew what she had endured. Demi’s story is not unique. Sadly, I’m sure thousands of teens across the country deal daily with eating disorders and some sort of self-injury. Teens and children are bullied everyday. Verbally, physically, on the internet.  When will it stop? When we all say enough is enough?

I suppose for Demi it came with a fight with one of her dancers after a show. That was her enough moment. But think about this. If a star like Demi Lovato with all the resources and money at her disposal has to quit a huge tour to check into rehab to deal with these issues, how much of a chance does the ordinary Joey or Debbie have? When they have had enough do you think they can just quit whatever it is they’re doing and be rushed into rehab? Most likely when they reach their breaking point something far more tragic will occur. Hurting themselves or someone else with fatal results has now become all to common of an occurrence.

Another question comes to mind in thinking of Demi’s situation. Perhaps what you and I write off as another broken soul who’s lost their way, is really a bullied soul who just couldn’t take it anymore? The bullying never actually stopping even years later. Manifesting itself into all sorts of self-hating  thoughts and behaviors. Growing each day like a cancer, metastacizing until a critical mass is reached. A mass that is far too big to be removed without harm to the patient . . .

I believe broken souls are meant to be healed. They don’t have to stay broken. But I think we have got to get to the core, the source of the brokeness  first.

A friend made a comment to me after the recent suicide of a teenage girl, a girl my friend had known since the teenager was a small child.  She wondered aloud what the effect on a young child would be to know that they are loved by something far greater than themselves. And that God has a plan and a purpose for them. A loving God who will be there no matter what.  If a child was taught this at the earliest of ages would it help?

Every Sunday morning my daughter goes to her “class” at church.  Complaining all the way that she doesn’t want to go, then when she comes back, it’s all she talks about. Her little drawings, and messages. Some bible verses and messages I’m sure she doesn’t get yet, but a lot I’m sure she does. She is learning that she is loved, by someone even greater and more powerful than mommy and daddy. Imagine that? Now, do I think that her sunday school class will somehow protect her from all the bullies and bad that could come her way? No.  Do I think it will help her deal with all the bullies and bad that could come her way as her little life progresses? Yes. And why not. No matter what your particular faith or spiritual bent, we can all agree that all we really need is  love. We need to love and be loved and to give love in  truck fulls. Kids and teens are dying for love, literally.

I wish Demi Lovato the best. I hope and pray she can begin her healing away from the bright lights and look inward and finally realize that she is loved. A love that no bully or mirror could ever take away . . .

As a father, It’s times like these that I’m glad my daughter is just turning 3 and I don’t have to explain to her that her favorite “friend” is hurting and needs help. But it’s also times like these that make me realize that one day I will.

One day I will . . .