I feel like I've fallen down a bit on the job promoting Because the Angels the last few days. Partly it's because of the school shooting in Newtown, CT. It seems callous to promote a novel after someting like that. Although when I said as much in my Facebook status, my brother took up the reins in a comment and promoted it for me.
One of the things I value about working with Christian Peacemaker Teams is that I get to work with people of different ages, and one of the benefits of that, is that I get to learn how to use social media.
Last spring, my novel Because the Angels appeared in paperback. I wrote about the spiritual circumstances of its genesis in Where the sacred has met the profane in my fiction-writing life: The story behind my novel, Because the Angels.
This is a bit dated, since I haven't been able to read normal size print without pain since about 2000, but I thought it was still worthwhile as a reference. The un-annotated works are mostly sources from Dr. Jane Adas. It also chronicles my own growth--I'm a bit embarrassed by the naivete of expressed in some of the annotation I wrote in the mid-1990s.
Abboushi, W.F. The Unmaking of Palestine. Brattleboro, VT. Amana Books, 1990.
I missed the perfect photo yesterday, because an ISM volunteer got in my way.
We were monitoring the Saturday afternoon settler tour, during which heavily armed soldiers accompany sympathizers of the Hebron settlers through the Old City. Often in the past, I've seen soldiers make a real effort to periodically move the tour groups to allow the residents of the Old City to pass to their homes, but there's a new Paratroopers brigade in town and they weren't allowing anyone by.
The chance to catch my breath hasnâ€™t happened yet. I meant to give a blow by blow account of the interrogation at the airport, but then I lost my passport, so there have been the adventures dealing with that, and then today I almost found the passport but then had my wallet stolen.
On the morning of October 28th, the day before our â€śOccupy Aerojetâ€ť action, I spent a couple hours in the neighborhoods around Aerojet Ordnance, handing out fliers about the storytelling and soil and water sampling we were to do the following day. The varied reactions serve as a portrait of the differing interests and concerns within the Campaign to End Depleted Uranium Munition Production in rural Tennessee.
My first stop was Davy Crockett High School, about a mile from Aerojet Ordnance on State Route 34.
A few months ago Depleted Uranium (DU) was a sinister weapon of war to my ears, albeit intangible and nondescript. Confronting Aerojet Ordnance, a DU weapon manufacturer outside Jonesborough, TN on this CPT Delegation, is serving as an immersion course in DU munitions and the physics and chemistry behind this radioactive waste. The fog is slowly lifting for me.
Now that I've been here in Jonesborough longer, I'm starting to feel less at a loss for where to start with the issue of DU. Two things in particular have helped that happen. First, on Saturday, our delegation helped Dr. Michael Ketterer of Northern Arizona University collect some more samples for his ongoing work in tracing the level and spread of DU contamination from Aerojet Ordnance. Then on Sunday, we had a press conference in Jonesborough, which connected us with a few people from the local community.
The more I learn about depleted uranium, the more I realize how little we know for certain about its effects on quality of life and health. While we can say for certain that war kills, the details about DU's impact in the whole picture are conflicted and under-researched.