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Robin Huffman – Woman Reinvented and Reborn

Posted by on Sep 19, 2019 in Writing | 0 comments

Several weeks ago, I met an extraordinary woman. With an extraordinary story. Robin Huffman worked as an interior designer and project manager with a global firm in New York City. In 2017 after 29 years at the firm, she decided to take some time off to volunteer at an ape and monkey sanctuary in Cameroon. It was intended to be a break from the grind of corporate city life. Just a summer to re-set. But at the sanctuary, she was tasked with caring for a tiny, blue-faced monkey named Maasai.   Maasai (Moustached guernon – after a photo by Ian Bickerstaff; 20.5 x 28 Acrylic on paper) Robin told me that until then she had never felt any maternal instinct. “I didn’t even like to babysit,” she said. But when this fragile baby, who fit in the palm of...

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The Two Sorriest Dogs in America (Part 1)

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in Writing | 0 comments

I have never written a book or a story in which I didn’t know the end. Didn’t know the middle. Didn’t have an arc. Didn’t have an outline. I’ve never written a book or a story with anyone else (except my editor). Until now. I’m going to start a story not knowing where it’s going to take me. Always open to ideas from readers, friends, and interested parties. Just throw ‘em out there and I’ll weave them into the writing. This story (inspired by a headline I saw on Facebook) is about a woman who walks into a shelter and asks to adopt the two dogs who have been there the longest. Edna Marble twisted the rearview mirror down to check herself. The lines in her face were still there. So was the dull, gray hair she tied back...

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Fake News – Behind the BigAg Machine

Posted by on Jun 2, 2019 in Writing | 1 comment

In The Experiment, investigator Jude Brannock travels to a quiet farming community in rural Vermont to find her young protégé who has inexplicably vanished from his undercover job at a laboratory that is testing a new drug on animals. Although a fictional suspense novel, I have always tried to research the issues around which my stories revolve. In this newest book, genetically modified plants and the farmers who resist the chokehold of giant agribusinesses like Monsanto play a part. Because I’m not a scientist, I rely heavily on organizations and websites that will provide me with unbiased information in layman’s terms. I thought I had found one such site in The Genetic Literacy Project. Their tag line is “Science Not Ideology.” Their archived articles cover such topics as Crops & Food, Health & Wellness, and Sustainability, amongst many others....

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Thoughts on Animal Rescue Stories

Posted by on Mar 23, 2019 in Writing | 0 comments

I am trying to discipline myself when it comes to Facebook scrolling. But I admit that I get bogged down when it comes to animal rescue stories. I am compelled to watch the video or read the story to the end. And given the number of shares and likes they all get, I am not alone. Many psychologists say that because, as humans, we are aware of our ultimate death, we dream of being rescued ourselves. Beginning at birth, we survive because our parents save us from hunger and predators. To be worthy of rescue, the infant adapts to the script of its culture and tries to grow up to be a hero esteemed for saving others. Perhaps. But that speaks to our relationship with other humans. What about with animals? It has made me wonder what it is...

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Book Review – The Tusk That Did the Damage

Posted by on Nov 11, 2018 in Writing | 0 comments

  In my pursuit to find contemporary animal-themed fiction, I came across a remarkable novel called The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James. It is told in the alternative voices of an elephant, a poacher and a filmmaker – each of whom provide a different perspective on the state of conservation in India. The elephant is nicknamed The Gravedigger. Orphaned by poachers as a calf and sold into a life of labor, he has finally escaped the abuse by one of his caretakers and has gone on a deranged rampage in the Indian countryside leaving human victims. The poacher is the younger son of a poor rice farmer drawn into the money-making world of poaching. Into the story is thrust an idealistic young American filmmaker who is trying to capture the inner minds of elephants. It is,...

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