When best selling author Allie Burke sent me this post she gave me hope. Whether it is her character, personality, the way she was raised, or her attitude regarding life, Allie, has given us all hope that it is possible to live a bully free life.
While there will always BE bullies I have to believe there is a way to train up bully proof kids. It might not be fair – and probably isn’t fair – but I keep coming back to the parents. What can the parents do to bully proof their children? How do we raise our kids to have kind hearts? Can we as a society expect parents to raise a kind generation of kids when the news headlines are splattered with parents who are bullies themselves? How can we, as the village, help children who have bully parents?
I wanted to post something positive today and this post by Allie is about as positive as one can get on this topic, I think. Thank you Allie for writing for me. I have included the links to the books mentioned and I hope you will check them out!
If I think long and hard, I do not recall a time when I have ever been bullied. In the fifth grade when I cried in front of my choir teacher because I had convinced myself that the entire class hated me and I couldn’t sing (which I couldn’t, but that is not the point), the next day every single one of my classmates said hi to me, told me how much they loved my voice, and that my red hair was awesome. Fast forward seventeen years to a world wherein ninety-seven percent of my life is conducted online, someone in my network (who can hardly be accounted as a bully) singles me out on social media, and I suddenly have a grid of supporters—my friends—who stepped up and protected me the second I even said the word.
This is my life. I never, ever, ever ask for help, but I don’t have to. My friends are that amazing. I am very lucky.
Unlucky for the rest of the universe, however, is the fact that my life as a writer with a multitude of brilliant, caring, loving friends has made me oblivious to an issue that is real and that is a serious problem.
I often tell my friends who claim that other people are not empathetic and don’t care about certain issues that humans cannot be faulted for their passions. That there is diversity in the world and just because I’m not advocating currently for anti-bullying in this country that doesn’t make me a bad person, just like the guy who is advocating bullying but who is not advocating for mental health is not a bad person. I am not going to beat my beliefs over your head; if you don’t care about the rights of those with mental illness, fine. Kind of a douchey thing to not care about, but whatever. It’s not really my business.
However. It may be about time I start really paying more attention to bullying.
I caught wind of Bestselling Author A.S. King on social media (but of course). I had never read her work or really heard of her, but my only regret in reading her words is that I didn’t read them earlier. Her Everybody Sees the Ants is the first of its kind that sheds light on a teen issue in the most artistic, literary way.
They don’t know what love is. Here they learn what hate is, and I am so sad that they might never know love because hate came first. ― A.S. King, Everybody Sees the Ants
Here we have a teenage boy that is being bullied so badly that his psyche pushes him to an imaginary land in which his grandfather can be found. This imaginary land is the Vietnam War. Because the Vietnam War is so much easier to survive than high school in America.
Everybody Sees the Ants is of course a product of fiction, but the truth is there. The soul-splitting sadness someone experiences when they see a child in pain. The power is there, when you’re sitting in your car reading this book on your lunch break and you start crying and suddenly the Anti-Bully Project and the hundreds of other advocacies make perfect sense. Kids are not just being kids. Your child does not need to toughen up. You don’t need to pay for a self-defense class.
It is your country’s responsibility to address an issue that we know exists. The educators. The system. The NSA, especially if they’re going to monitor everything we do anyway. It is their call to make sure no child is ever afraid to go to school and no adult is ever afraid to get axed on their doorstep by some insecure author who is mad about that negative book review you left on Amazon.
And if they won’t do it, we have to.
As a human being who has never (really) been bullied, I am pleased by the parents who refuse to give up, the advocates who refuse to shut up, and the children who deserve better.
And really–I would rather suck truck fumes than deal with this sort of shit forever. Mom says that Nader is a loser who will grow up to be a loser and that I’ll understand when I’m forty. But I want to understand now. ― A.S. King, Everybody Sees the Ants
An American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.
Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.
From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.
Visit Allie at http://wordsbyallieburke.com
TRUTH IN FICTION: Paper Souls by Allie Burke
Bestselling Author Allie Burke, diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 2011, is announcing the release of Paper Souls, a literary fiction novel that exhibits the reality of psychosis in the surreal style she has come to be known for.
Burke uses Paper Souls to shed light on an illness that is so often shoved under the rug and forgotten, by utilizing her own experiences with the illness and producing a fictional account of one woman’s struggles to appear normal in a world that never seemed normal to her in the first place.
The novel holds nothing back against its raw, emotional backdrop, telling of Emily Colt’s damaging experiences in mental institutions, her attempts to hold on to her failed relationships, and follows her from one city—and country—to the next in her quest to find normalcy. It keeps a close eye on her recovery through holistic healing, and falls backwards, as Emily falls back into psychosis, again, and again.
“Literature is about awareness,” Burke says in an interview. “Writing in any form is about awareness, to keep society aware, and no one seems to be aware of the trials the people with this illness have to navigate. No one seems to be aware of how many schizophrenics commit suicide every year, or care. That’s why I wrote Paper Souls.”
Paper Souls is available in e-book and paperback from Booktrope Editions on Amazon.