TWO BIRDS WITH ONE DIAMOND
A fiction anthology for veterans and their families and interested readers. The goal is reducing the horrific suicide rate of vets.
As a college English professor, I've had many returning vets in my classes over the years. Some were so affected they needed "special handling instructions," which accompanied their entrance into my classes. In their essays, I sensed a hesitancy to discuss their experiences, especially if it concerned combat or other traumatic events. As a vet without combat experience, but also as son of a father who was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, I knew Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can cause a wide range of issues concerning the discipline one must endure under emotional circumstances. For example, although I never saw combat, I was raped by five men at night at the Seal Beach jetty, and I was attacked by eight college men at a party in 1966 in the Washington D. C. suburbs. I was a twelve-year-old boy in the first instance, and I was a twenty-year-old Navy enlisted man in the second instance. Both these events caused me the trauma about which I refer. I became a reclusive, dark-minded alcoholic, and I could completely relate to my veteran students and their traumas.
This volume will be written by vets, for vets and their families, and for any concerned citizens who want to help prevent the epidemic of suicides going on in the United States of America at the present time. The latest facts say that over 20 vets will "call it quits" each day, and that figure has been steadily rising over the last decade.
I believe that only by fiction can one express the soulful realities that go on inside a human being's mind. Reality is an illusion that is ultimately changed into an emotional, dream-like state. With this in mind, these stories will be fictional so as to give the authors the emotive flexibility to produce the best work on the theme of PTSD, its reality, and its possible cures.
I am featuring a story I wrote called TWO BIRDS WITH ONE DIAMOND. It's about a thirty-eight-year-old first class hospital corpsman who is "volunteered" by his sponsor, a sixty-five-year-old former Vietnam enlisted chopper pilot, to take calls at the San Diego Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline. Instead of a vet, he gets an eleven-year-old, highly intelligent, daughter of a vet who previously committed suicide by jumping off the Coronado Bay Bridge. She wants to join her father, and this is when the "action dialogue" takes place. I believe dialogue, when carefully used, is the key to powerful emotion. No need for detailed action or horrific killing scenes. It's the inside of the character, as expressed by words they say, which can ultimately reach the soul. My vet authors will be able to read my story to get an idea of what I'm looking for in the way of subject matter. The creation will (hopefully) take over from there.
We also hope your emotional heartstrings will be "plucked" by this anthology as well. Whatever we make "over the payment to authors, editors, and illustrators" will be distributed to effective PTSD treatments, including suicide prevention, all over this great country of ours.
Risks and challenges
The challenge will be to collect really great stories for this anthology. I have the gall to expect stories that will affect the insides of people to the extent that they may re-consider taking their lives. Nothing can be more difficult in this age of liars and "mansplainers." The fact is, PTSD can be felt by any person who had an emotionally traumatic experience. This includes civilians. However, we shall limit our focus to vets. Any civilian can also learn and love these stories as well (we hope).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)