June is coming to a quick close. And anyone who knows me, knows summer is my favorite time. So quick is not a word I want to apply to any of the summer months. But with the close of June comes July —
and she can multiply too!
WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTH
My friend Charlie O’Shields has created an art phenomenon. World Watercolor Month. What started as a solo painting-a-day last July, has mushroomed to envelope the globe and become a one month paint challenge this year. It’s purpose is two – maybe threefold.
Speaking awareness for children’s art programs and needed art supplies.
Paint 31 watercolors each day of July, for the love of art, growth, and fun.
Meet artists around the world, sharing and encouraging each other.
I accepted this challenge. Excitedly. Happily. Nervously… Hmmm. To paint with no expectation but enjoyment? What a totally foreign concept. Lately, I’ve been painting for fun — and it’s been… FUN!
Follow my fun. See my experiments. Comment on my untried techniques. I’m sure we’ll have some laughs. I’ll post my daily watercolors on Facebook and Twitter, and when there is something exceptional (positive thinker here) I’ll post on Instagram . I might even put a few in my portfolio. This whole month is a mystery, so anything can happen.
Speaking of mysteries. I must give a plug for Brian Thiem’s novel THRILL KILL which will be released in bookstores on August 9th. The reviewers like the term “Police Procedural,” but I find that rather flat and wuld much rather read a good “Cop Thriller.” But that’s me. Either way THRILL KILL promises to be a fast-paced police story. Detective Matt Sinclair discovers the viciously murdered body of a young woman he once knew; but he and his partner find there is more at stake than solving her murder.
From reading Theim’s first novel,* I can tell you this author doesn’t grow stale with a shallow plot-driven tale, though there is action to satisfy the demon in us all. His genius lies in the turbulent waters of the psyche, he ushers us into his characters lives and minds. He creates a tension between emotion and action that requires delicate balance. Brian Thiem is an author you’ll want on your bookshelves to read again and again. My copy of THRILL KILL is on pre-order and I can’t wait till August! (oh no, there I go wishing my summer away)
*RED LINE published in 2015 won critical acclaim. I enjoyed it as one of my favorite mysteries of last year.
PERSIAN GULF TRIBUTE
Operation Persian Gulf
Neillsville, Wisconsin July 19 July 25
Persian Gulf Veterans from all across America are invited and encouraged to be a part of this 6-day celebration to honor them and welcome them home at the Persian Gulf Memorial in this summer. This fantastic “Boot Memorial” is a tribute to all of the men and women who have served. The Wall of Remembrance is making a stop there on its national tour, as well. This is a REAL memorial to the Gulf Veterans of the USA. An impressive, beautiful structure in the shape of a boot, with benches and flowers and statues and more. So much thought and symbolism has gone into designing this. Come join us! Let us give you a Welcome Home! you’ll never forget.
All gave some; some gave all.
IT’S THE REAL THING
You should watch this video with the Coca-Cola jingle from 1971 that went:
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony; I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company…
Somedays I long for the simplicity of life suggested by that song. Let’s just everyone in the World love one another and sing on a hilltop and drink Coke and be at peace. But there is no peace. And I can only imagine the war-rages of the past, even though I try not to. And today’s horrors of war are too frightening to contemplate.
“The Real Thing” is that many men and women are returning home having lived war’s brutality. They suffer for years with emotional and mental disorders that disrupt their relationships and abilities to function. There’s an epidemic of military related suicide in this country that is unprecedented. You know; you have heard about the 22+ men and women taking their lives every day.
It’s my time to fight for my countrymen — for my veterans. I’d like to teach you to sing, but that won’t get us far. Let’s sit down for a Coke instead. There is much to be done in the war against military-related suicide. What will I do, you ask? Whatever is your God-given talent. You and I together can accomplish so much more than I can alone. Charlie O’Shields taught me that. Last year he painted 31 watercolors for each day of July all by himself. This year he has organized the whole world to paint with him. I guess you could say he’s teaching the World to sing. We are limited only by our inhibitions and negativity.
C HINTZ STUDIO — The Help a Vet Exhibit is part of my fight against military-related suicide. It has been unsuccessful. I guess as an idea, it is good to know what works and what doesn’t, but it is disappointing. The drawings and paintings are available until July 4th. Remember all artwork bought from this gallery goes to support Stop Soldier Suicide Organization* and helps empower veterans to overcome war trauma.
REVISION: END VET EPIDEMIC has been changed to… Civilian Call to Action is my new page on Facebook and another battleground to fight the epidemic of suicides in the veterans’ community. It’s a place for people looking for information or with information to share. There are campaign stories, testimonials, items for sale that promote awareness, organizations at work, etc…
The War Within by Jason Roncoroni. Although this 5-Part series was intended for service members, veterans, and family members, I found his writing about the mind of the warrior extremely enlightening.
Retiring as an Army Lt. Colonel, his service in Iraq and Afghanistan has given him genuine insight from his own war trauma. Jason Roncoroni offers real hope in this series – hope to us all – and by the end has proposed some radical and realistic ideas to bring an end to this military-suicide tragedy.
I have all 5 blogs in the series at Civilian Call to Action. I am going to put them into one document for easy reading, but for now you can find them on this Facebook page.
STOP SOLDIER SUICIDE Is a nonprofit organization of veterans helping veterans. They offer great national resources for immediate solutions and alternatives. They follow each vet who calls for help two years as they learn to step out of the darkness into a life of empowerment.
Contact Stop Soldier Suicide if you’re a veteran wanting help or your loved vet is in need. For 24-hour assistance call VETERANS CRISIS LINE 1-800-273-8255 #1
Have a great July!