Silence is no longer an option.

Please, if you have not read the Stanford Victim’s words, I strongly encourage you to do so. It will take a bit of time, but you can spare it.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra?utm_term=.tbq31ekrX7#.chQ41VvGWX

As a sexual assault survivor, I can no longer be quiet or secretive about my pains. I can no longer attempt to ease my frustrations with cases and stories like these by simply crying or telling my parents how I feel about them. I am not here to bring attention to my offender or details about my own case, but in regards to this horrifying rape culture that surrounds and invades our society and minds, silence is no longer an option.

The Stanford Victim’s final paragraph in her letter addresses other victims or girls who have found themselves in similar situations, and I suppose this is the purpose of my writing as well. This is not just the story and report of one victim and one offender; this is ALL of our stories. This case is not just about a short (and ridiculous) six month sentence. Read the words of the victim, as they are more important than the judge’s. The pain of this type of survival is lifelong; it’s not six months or six years. I’m writing, because I have been encouraged by this woman, this hero, this courageous ambassador whose own strength comes from knowing other women (and men) have gone through this as well.

If you have not watched The Hunting Ground, I ask that you watch this to discover how much of a problem sexual assault on college campuses is. Furthermore, this documentary investigates the way that school officials and media handle the discourse of these crimes, whether it involves victim blaming or excusing the offender. This 1 hour and 43 minute documentary is available on Netflix, or if you wish, you can rent it from Amazon for $4.99.

Here are some facts regarding sexual assaults on campuses.

  • More than 16% of women on college campuses are sexually assaulted.
  • 88% of these women do not report.
  • In 2012, 45% of colleges presented a zero on sexual assaults for their campus.
  • Only 2-8% of sexual assault reports are found to be false claims.
  • 95-98% of reported sexual assaults are not false.
  • 26% of reported sexual assaults lead to arrest…
    • And from that 26%, only 20% of those lead to prosecution.

While I’m not a great or talented mathematician, I can clearly see the ridiculousness of these percentiles. And with the Stanford Victim, she was one of the 16% and of that 16%, she was in the 12% of women who report, and of that 12%, she happened to be in the 26% of reported sexual assaults that lead to arrest, and even within that 26%, her case was only one number in the 20% of those that lead to prosecution… and even with that prosecution, strong witnesses, and immediate hospital evidence and reports, her offender is facing six months of county jail time and probation, since a lengthier sentence may “have a severe impact on him.”

This type of case not only presents a carefree or not-that-bad sentence or punishment for past or potential offenders, it discourages victims to come forward. It tells victims, “Hey, it’s really not worth it to say anything,” and “I mean, even if you do say something, he’ll probably get away with it,” and “Keep your mouth shut,” and finally, “We. Don’t. Care.

Without going into too much detail, it took massive encouragement and support for me to say anything about my sexual assault. The first people I tried to tell were in disbelief; they knew this guy (as did I), and they asked how much I had drank. They said, “Well, we saw you kiss him earlier that night.” What they didn’t see was the bruising, the lacerations, the permanent tear, or the blood. I tried to reach out to a few hotlines within the first 48 hours, because I didn’t know what to do. Of the three hotlines I tried, one had a busy line that I waited over 20 minutes for, one wanted me to leave a voicemail (a voicemail!!!), and the third redirected my call to the voicemail one! A few days after the fact, I told my mom first, and then my dad a couple days after that… and I cry more thinking about the pain and anger on their faces than I do about the actual event. My siblings were infuriated, specifically my sister, Danah, who has always been just as protective of me as my parents have. After speaking and crying with two close friends, I took a deep breath and stepped forward with only the support of my family and Rick and Niki Denton.

An official report was filed, and within two weeks, it was dropped. I still had my bloodied clothes, texts from the offender saying “sorry if things got too aggressive or rough,” and my gynecologist who was willing to speak for me to the detectives and in the case of a trial, comparing my tear to that of a tear from a harsh baby delivery. Nonetheless, my case was dropped with insignificant evidence and no first-hand witnesses. I was one of the 16% who were sexually assaulted. I was one of the 12% who reported, and of that 12%, my case was one of the 74% reported sexual assaults that did NOT lead to arrest. It’s sickening for me to speak about my experience: the details, the memories, the lack of support, and the failure of the justice system. But as I said before, I can no longer be silent. While my assault damaged every aspect of my life (social, academic, psychological, physical, mental, religious, etc), the Stanford Victim’s words encouraged me to speak strongly about my experience and to be more than a statistic… and hopefully, just hopefully, my words can encourage others to step forward too.

And, God forbid, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, don’t delay. DNA and physical evidence are precious. Do something as fast as you can. Go to the hospital. Get support. Speak up (and if you don’t have support, I will help you to my very best ability). I wish I had gone to the police and hospital immediately… I think about how I could’ve reacted differently all the time. It haunts me still to this day, so please, be smart, be safe, be wise, and be strong.

For those who have not reported, please please please do so. While my case was dropped, the offender’s file now has a mark in it… his name is on the board. And while he still roams free and while my friends still unknowingly mention his name here and there, I did the best I could. I lost… but at least I fought.

And that’s what I want everyone to do. Fight. Whether you are a victim, a witness, a friend, or a shoulder to cry on… Fight. It shouldn’t be a defensive course of action like “what can you do to prevent men from assaulting you.” This kind of discourse permits loopholes and opportunities in an offender’s case like “she drank too much,” “she didn’t say ‘no’ specifically,” or “she was dressed like a slut.” Instead, the incredible physical and psychological damages need to be emphasized in our culture, and the judicial punishments should match these terrible offenses. In order for this to happen, we need to speak out. Stand up for your friends; they’ll remember that. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t be a “neutral” when it comes to someone you know or a case close to home.

Open your eyes and ears to the cries of victims, and refuse to be silent and standby in a culture where it’s unsurprising to hear of a brutal rape or sexual assault on a college campus, whether the attacker is an athlete or just your regular student.

Yes, it is a tortuous process, and yes, sometimes there are little or no results. But doing nothing and saying nothing will never ever change that.

I encourage you to share this article, talk about it, comment on it, or think about it.

All the Best,

Emily Akin

PS. Whether you are a fan or not, Lady Gaga performed a hauntingly beautiful tribute to the issues of sexual assault and its victims. It is featured in The Hunting Ground, and it was nominated in this year’s Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Here is the link to the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmWBrN7QV6Y. It’s called, “Til It Happens To You.”

Food for Thought: An Incomplete Investigation into Christianity and Vegetarianism

As the title suggests, I haven’t come to any sort of decisive conclusion, but the following thoughts have been eating away at me. (Yes, that’s right, there will be puns). In addition, while this might have the mood and questions of a persuasive piece, it’s really just brain vomit – slightly organized brain vomit. I’m not asking anyone to change their lifestyle or eating habits; however, I am seeking input.

For those seeking a TL;DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read), scroll to the bottom.

For those who do not know, I think animals are great. They’re wonderful and beautiful, incredibly unique. I have a special love for mammals and birds, perhaps due to their fluff, fur, and feathers. While lobsters and snails are interesting as well, I feel like the main three categories of American meat is based on chicken, cows, and pigs. Thus, for the majority of this inquiry when talking about meat, I’ll be referencing product from these animals.

Furthermore, while I personally could not do it, I am not anti-hunting. Here’s a quick overview of my hunting beliefs for insight and perspective. Like most will say, I would rather have an animal die via a precise bullet wound than starvation. However, I believe all should follow hunting regulations. I suppose this has more recent relevance from 2015’s Cecil the Lion. I’ve not done enough research to make a case for/against exotic hunting, but on the surface, I disagree with it.

With all that said, let’s delve into the question at hand. Should Christians (or animal-lovers) be vegetarians, or at least, a lot more health conscious of what they are eating – specifically Christians living in first-world countries? With the wealth and opportunity in the United States, I feel as though there is less of an excuse for anyone, not just Christians or animal-lovers, to not educate themselves or seek more humane food products.

Let’s take a quick peek at the handy-dandy Bible.

Genesis 1:20-26 [ESV]

            And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

            And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds – livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

            Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Small Break and Fun Points: Animals were created before humans, and the first listed task or purpose of humans were to have dominion over the animals (not ignoring the other functions of man). Let’s continue.

Genesis 1:28-30 [ESV]

And God blessed them [man and woman created in His image]. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Thus, based off of these verses, God in His creation intended for humans to eat the vegetation in the Garden of Eden. Now, let me simply state, I completely agree with religious practice or notion of keeping culturally relevant. I understand that animals follow a nice Circle of Life and food chain. As such, I’m also quite aware of the sacrifices and consumption of animals throughout the Bible.

However, the treatment and conditions of these animals were a lot less grossly “regulated” than our current food production. While there were pastures and farms, there were no factories where baby chicks were forced through a meshed metal tube or industries that specialized in taking animals away from their mothers to produce more milk or meat. While I know not everyone has a love or care for animals like I do, I hope this still brings to light or asks questions about what we should do. I’m not the biggest fan of PETA, as anything to the extreme can be quite dangerous or ridiculous.

I’m simply asking – In 2016, in a prosperous and wealthy country, what is right or better for a Christian to do? For strong believers or universal wonderers (like myself), would God be pleased with us eating (delicious yet incredibly cruel) meat from KFC? Are we taking care of these animals and respecting them as God’s creatures? Are you applying the same thought process of animal cruelty as people place on cats and dogs to pigs, chickens, and cows? I don’t have the answers. I likely never will, but these are definite curiosities floating around in my brain.

I’m not completely against eating meat, please know this. And to be completely honest, this is all VERY new to me. I’ve never been a vegetarian, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be one. However, I am beginning a quest to change my eating habits and my diet. I’m not necessarily encouraging anyone to join me on this journey. But think about it, maybe!

As of Thursday, January 28th, I’ll be avoiding the consumption of chicken, cows, and pigs. I know all you bacon-lovers are gasping in sympathetic despair, but hey, more crispy goodness for you. Rather than a vegetarian, I’ll be a practicing (as best as I can) pescatarian. Hence, I’ll consume fish and shellfish. Why not spare the little fishies? The butchering and production of these foods are not as inhumane as our destruction of our mammal and bird friends.

My exceptions for eating meats will be meats that are kosher. According to the International Kosher Council, “For an animal to be kosher, it must have split hooves and chew its cud.” This does not include pig, so I’ll be avoiding that at all costs. No, I am not Jewish, but I respect the kosher laws, as their slaughter has to be humane. These animals are killed in one-blow, performed by highly qualified specialists known as the Shochet: pretty much someone who won’t “butcher” the process (hah). In regard to poultry, chicken, turkey, duck, and goose are all kosher birds. Camels, rabbits, and any carnivorous animals or mammals are not kosher.

If I’m absolutely craving and dying for some type of meat aside from seafood, my other exception will include free-range and cage-free animals. Although many of these animals still go through forced suffering and mutilation as well as uncomfortable environments, it’s not as bad as large-scale, industrialized meat factories. Simply put, I just want to make an effort. A very do-able effort that I believe has more pros than cons for ME. Not necessarily everyone else, but ME.

If you’ve lasted this long into this read, I commend you! Thanks for caring enough (or being bored enough) to make it to the end. In no way am I trying to brag or persuade others to follow the same diet or lifestyle. This is a new and somewhat exciting decision for me, and who knows how long it will last. More than anything, becoming a pescatarian is more than a dietary decision; it’s personal. It’s me, Emily Akin, actually acting upon something I care about or believe in. For some, it might be a change based on religion, but really – I just love animals and hate cruelty.

I expect claims of hypocrisy and occasional criticism of this decision like, “Well, that’s hypocritical to eat fish still” or “Why not become a full-on vegan since eggs and milk usually come from chickens and cows in inhumane environments?” My response? I honestly don’t know, but I’m certainly making an effort to become less harmful and decreasingly supportive of meat factories and horrific living conditions for animals.

Obviously, I’ve thought of these efforts as well, but I want to be smart about this – and I feel like baby steps are okay. More than anything, I don’t have all the answers. I only have my opinion, and yours… if you’ll give me it.

TL;DR [Too Long; Didn’t Read]

Last week, I started my very new journey of becoming a pescatarian, someone who does not eat meat but eats fish. When I do have cravings for meat, I will completely avoid pork, though I will eat kosher beef or poultry; kosher foods have certain rules about humane executions. If I’m really craving something, I’ll go for cage-free and free-range chickens. Would God be pleased with how we treat the animals we eat or take product from? I’m not trying to make you change your lifestyle. I’m just excited about mine, specifically about doing and acting on something I believe in. Also, if you’re a Christian or animal-lover, I encourage you to at least think about these things. Finally, give me your input (please).

All the Best,

Emily C. Akin

A Tale of Two Goldens

image_5Three months ago, the Akin family said a heart-breaking farewell to the sweetest and happiest dog. On July 22, Sally, our 11-year-old golden retriever, passed away, and we were left distraught, empty, and lost. We adopted Sally when she was only a few months old, and she had been the light and love of our family ever since. Luckily, the veterinarians and staff at Countryside Vet made the passing much easier for us. However, this coping “ease” was still one of the hardest moments of the year for my family and me.

774408_10200396381781449_342317040_oLeaving the vet, we just weren’t the same. I drove home, separately from my parents, and listened to nothing but the engine of my car. When we all arrived home, we entered quietly. Dad put up Sally’s old food bowl, and we placed her toys back in her box. We attempted  to pretend as if nothing happened for a short 3 minutes, hoping everything would be okay. However, this silence quickly melted into an overwhelming devastation. We cried, cursed, shook, and became silence once more. It seemed as though the first four stages of grief were hitting all at once: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression. I was nowhere even close to Acceptance. My mother struggled the most out of all of us. For our family (and for many families), our pets aren’t just pets. They’re sons and daughters. They’re brothers and sisters. They mean so much to us. If you’re lucky enough to be loved by an animal, then you’ll understand this incredible bond. There’s just something about loving an innocent animal who loves you with a passion that’s almost unconditional. Always happy to see you, always appreciative of your time, and certainly dependable.

For the next week, I battled the crushing depression and emptiness by napping through the day and spending a lot of time with my dog, Mable. Though, sometimes it was difficult to witness Mable look around the house for her best friend and sister. Those two were inseparable. Every now and then, I would walk by my mother sorting through laundry or my father would walk in my room to check on me. These brief encounters really didn’t need words; instead, they simply consisted of a gentle embrace which usually transformed into a tightening, shaking grip. A grip that said, I know… I miss her too. My heart hurts now just thinking about it. 1262714_10202031292093185_1616816146_o

Within the same week that Sally passed away, my parents and I started talking about when we would get a pet next. We decided to wait a while and let our hearts heal, but about a month or so later, we were finally ready. Unfortunately, our friend, Debbie Sloane, a golden-retriever extraordinaire and breeder, had no litters available. When we reached out to this trusted lady in Atlanta named Pam, Mom discovered that all puppies were promised. Thus, we thought we would have to wait months before adopting a new love into our family. Although somewhat exciting to think about a future pet, this was honestly a bit depressing. We were ready!

12063638_10208224708564726_6594235534030864119_nHowever, on Saturday, October 17th, around 11 pm, Pam, the breeder in Atlanta, texted my mother with exciting news: a puppy was available from the most recent litter! A previous customer backed out due to health reasons, and Mom agreed to take the baby as soon as possible. The following day, Mom and I ventured out to PetSmart to purchase a kennel, dog bed, toys, treats, food, you know – the essentials, for our new puppy! Picking out tiny treats and little kibbles for a 2-month-old baby was certainly exciting. Monday, October 19th, Dad and Mom traveled down to Atlanta to pick our love; they chose the smaller of two remaining girl puppies. [Special Note about our pup: She was the last one to come out of the litter. The breeder thought her dog was only going to have nine, and the momma dog stood up, then out came our pup!] The three of them didn’t get home until 10:30 pm that night, and it was the longest day of my life. It was like three Christmas Eves’ worth of anticipation and excitement.

12046907_10208224708724730_4734319556323611112_nNow, we are the proud and loving owners and family members to Ellie! Our choice of name comes from Pixar’s film, UP, a beloved favorite of the Akin family. “Adventure is out there!” Ellie loves crunchy leaves, shoelaces, fingers, toes, and exploring. She also tends to flop over every tenth step or so! Puppies are so clumsy, cute, and curious! With her adoption, our hearts are full again. Our emptiness has been cured with a new, revitalizing energy, giving all of us a pep in our step and an exciting reason to come home. For me, I already have Mable, but my parents and brother need their own loves too! I know Sally is looking down from dog heaven (which is honestly a heaven I would like to go to rather than the human one). I know she will guide Ellie to be a good dog and true comfort… especially since Mable doesn’t really have maternal instincts. She is simply a grump.

So much can happen in three months. As 90’s band, Semisonic, sang in “Closing Time,” a song certainly everyone can relate to, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Sally’s death will always be a sensitive, sore, and saddening topic, but Ellie’s birth and adoption provided us with excitement, love, and purpose once more. How wonderful it is to fall in love with something so fast.

11214373_10208224710084764_3961022147319877384_nNonetheless, I hadn’t made an update in quite a while, and Ellie seemed like the perfect life event to document and share. Memories like adopting Ellie should be experienced with all loved ones.

As an animal person, and especially a dog person, I would love to hear your origin story about any of your pets, whether they be cats, dogs, birds, lizards, whatever! Or perhaps, you can talk about the recent passing of a loved pet. How did you cope? Writing this blog entry may have been entertaining for some and enlightening to others, but beyond all else, this post was therapeutic for me. Expressing the anguish and excitement of the past three months in a concise but earnest post truly granted me an opportunity for a self-evaluation of my buried emotions and issues.

So please, share with me! Also, fellow WordPressers, if you are an animal blog or site, OR if you know of one, please suggest them to me through comments or messages. I would love to follow some more writers and bloggers!

  12063687_10208224709804757_2997523641320153065_n All the Best ~ Emily C. Akin

Autumn Highs

Ah, the Autumnal Equinox! The first day of fall. I like firsts, in general, for the same reason I like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I love setting goals and looking ahead to what’s in my near future. Autumn has a lot in store for me.

P2P 2Yesterday, my parents returned from a long journey on a Parks to Parks Model-T tour. They spent a lot of time in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and other western states. They slept most nights in a pop-up camper that my father built and designed from scratch. Not to mention, he made the Model-T truck as well!P2P 1

Needless to say, I’m a proud daughter, and I’m jealous of their adventures! Dad has been gone for over five weeks, while Mom has been gone for two. Today, Dad and I put the cover on the pool, appropriate for the first day of autumn. We also spent most of the morning catching up on each other’s adventures: his were sublime, beautiful adventures, while mine were small but amusing.

MrStinkyJoe, my brother kept me company during my parent’s vacation. We played an excessive amount of ping-pong and enjoyed the start-up of college and pro football. We even adopted a little fuzzy black caterpillar named Mr. Stinky. Giant-Leopard-MothJoe picked the name. However, I regret to announce Mr. Stinky’s died yesterday. MrStinkyRIPTurns out, he would’ve transformed into a beautiful Giant Leopard Moth! I’m normally frightened or jumpy around insects or creepy-crawlies, but he was our temporary friend.
Next time I find a little, fuzzy, black caterpillar, I’m going to jar him and provide a safe environment for him to hibernate through the winter.

While Joe went to work during the day, I edited from home, taking the occasional break to walk Mable outside or take her on a small car ride. She made a friend in our neighbor’s dog, Moses, a Great White Pyrenees mix. Although he’s already twice as big as Mable, Moses is not even a year old yet! Nonetheless, this is Mable’s first and only friend ever since our family’s golden retriever, Sally, passed away back in July. I was beyond ecstatic to see my fur baby running and playing with another dog; it was quite therapeutic for Mable and me.Moses 3

Moses 1 

With the completion of Afghan Storm, I’ll be looking for more work as an editor. Whether you need a small essay reviewed or an entire novel edited, contact me. We’ll make plans and establish a strong mode of communication. If you have writing friends, please suggest me to them. Everyone has a story in them. As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing,” so allow me to help you write and bring out the best in you!

Thanks for reading! And please, feel free to subscribe for little updates from yours truly.

All the Best,

Emily Claire

Mable Wolf

In Memoriam

September 11, 2001

I was in my 4th grade classroom at Maryville Christian School with my friends and favorite teacher, Mrs. Ivens. We had just finished our morning prayer requests and had moved on to reviewing our current week’s Bible verse for Friday’s recitation. We were interrupted with a message over the school’s intercom. Although I can’t remember exactly what was said, I do remember the office assistant telling us a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. The entire school, Kindergarten through 12th grade, was to assemble in the gym for prayer (Note: My entire school had maybe 320 people in it at this time).

I immediately burst into tears. Loud, ugly crying. Everyone in my class was confused, and one of my best friends asked me what was wrong. Mrs. Ivens walked over to me, bent down, and asked me if I was okay. I wailed, “My dad is in New York City!” I was too young to know whether his location would be affected or not. We marched into the gymnasium, and I held my teacher’s hand in the back.

Inside the gym, I easily located Danah and Joe, my older sister and brother. Danah was a senior, and Joe was a junior. I was allowed to speak with them shortly, and I can’t remember much else. Later in the day, Bart, my oldest brother and freshman in college, came to pick me up from school. He had come home between classes to console my mother, who was in deep shock. The night before, Dad had spoken with her over the phone, telling her he “could see the Twin Towers from his hotel room.” I can’t remember exactly, but I believe he was staying in a Holiday Inn for work. We were horrified, as we could not reach Dad and did not know whether he was safe. As a surgeon for the University of Tennessee Hospital, he was at a special conference. In the news, they showed a Holiday Inn with damages to the building. For my nine-year-old brain, this footage left me scared and hopeless. I finally was able to calm down once we knew he was okay, but it is still a terrifying day. How lucky we were.

In New York, Dad and his fellow doctors went to the streets and damages to try and help those who were injured. However, Dad reported to us later about how most injuries were minor, needing only a few stitches or little bandaging; everyone else was dead. He remembers the ash-covered people, the sirens, and the chaos. Most prominently, Dad witnessed the first of the Twin Towers crash into the other.

Better than my own words, here is an excerpt from my mother, Ramona Akin, about the events. My sister, Danah, posted September 11, 2014, about this event and her memories. I replied, and her post from a year ago inspired me to write this piece. In my mother’s comment, she wrote:

The few things I remember about that day was that I was in total shock and disbelief. Deep inside I knew that your Dad was okay because I so desperately asked God to protect him. However until I heard anything definitive I was unable to ask questions of the woman on the line as I was stuttering so badly. I was so thankful that Bart had come home between his classes at UT. He was able to help me through the fear and confusion I was feeling. I also remember cleaning the kitchen “for when Dad comes home” but deep inside feeling the redundancy of the items in the kitchen. I was so dizzy and consumed with nausea when I finally heard from the secretary at the hospital that Dad was okay I could barely understand her words. I also remember not knowing about the horrible situation until your (Danah) teacher called from school. Even as I watched it on television it was as though I just couldn’t comprehend the whole event. I had not been watching tv before your teacher called as I was trying to organize things in the kitchen. Because of my ADD I was stuck in a loop of “what do I need to do now.” When I knew no one could hear I cried out to God please don’t take him, I need him as does the whole family.

Her words still bring tears to my eyes. It is almost unfathomable to believe that was fourteen years ago.

This brings me to the common question now, where were you on 9/11? What does it mean to you? What other events will always remain in your mind?

USA, California, Los Angeles skyline, sunset

Dog days

What a wonderful and slightly uneventful long weekend. I must admit, I feel a bit guilty for not making a single post during this time. On Saturday, I sipped a couple beers at the Northshore Casual Pint, and I entered to win a gorgeous Yuengling bicycle. My chances were high, as you had to be at the drawing on Monday night to win; luckily, not many people knew this. yuenglingUnfortunately, on Monday night, I didn’t win. There were only 3 other contestants there, and then a girl who had just entered in one ticket that day ended up winning. She didn’t even know what she had won. I was quite sad. I’ve not had a bike since I was 9 years old. If I had won, I would’ve likely sold it for two or three hundred bucks and purchased a nice bike instead of a one-speed beach cruiser.

labor2On Sunday, I spent my day working outside and spending time with Mable. She was due for a trim behind her ears and around her tail, so I brushed her out, trimmed her, bathed her, and blow-dried her with a small Black&Decker leaf blower without the nozzle. She didn’t seem to mind. She enjoyed the mother-daughter time.

I even managed to grab a cute photograph of her sniffing a flower. labor1What a darling. I’m simply in love with my dog. As a reward for the tolerance of the bath and grooming, I put her in bed with me for a nice two hour nap. It was certainly deserved and very relaxing. Her fur smelled amazing, and it was beyond soft-to-the-touch. On Labor Day, I worked on Stan R. Mitchell’s next big hit, Afghan Storm. With every page I edit, I can tell it’s going to be a best seller! This following week will be devoted to cranking out some major hours on this work, since I’ve got an approaching deadline (October 1st). After that, I’ll be looking for some other work to go over, so please contact me with any interest in an editor!

Until next time,

Emily C. Akin