Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Sunday, February 03, 2013
"As I watched in horror, I was certain that I would lose my entire family."
excerpted from God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation by Joseph Sebarenzi and Laura Mullane
For the last several weeks I've had the great pleasure of working with Omar Reda, M.D. He is a man of remarkable talents, tremendous achievements, and great humility. His biography reads: "Dr. Reda is a Libyan American psychiatrist who graduated from Benghazi Medical School in 1996, worked as an ER physician before leaving Libya for fear of persecution. He then obtained a Masters certificate in global mental health from Harvard University in 2007, and finished a residency in psychiatry from the University of Tennessee in 2009.
Dr. Reda is currently an assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University, the founder and director of Libya Al-Shefa project for psycho-social healing, recovery, rehabilitation and reconciliation. Dr. Reda had served as the psychosocial advisor for a number of international NGOs and as the country deputy mental health lead during the war.
He is an expert and a sought-after public speaker on issues of psychological trauma, Muslim mental health, immigrants’ mental health, the Libyan revolution and the Arab spring."
I'm editing his new book titled "A Journey of Hope: Searching for Hope in the Middle of a War Zone." He's an impressive man in that his word poetry is focused on bring healing into the world. What he has seen and heard are difficult to comprehend. In this book, in tender but strong language he tells the story, for example, of a woman who was forced to act as a slave to Gaddafi's wife. During a fit of temper, Gaddafi's wife ordered soldiers to dump the woman into her bathtub and pour boiling water on her.
He heard this story directly from the woman's own lips. The Gaddafi's did not take the woman to the hospital. She nearly died from the infections. Before she was properly treated, she was taken back to the house and locked away.
Dr. Reda saw so much of this type of tragedies that he should have been numb to the horror. But in working with what he has written, it became clear that he always was able to feel the pain of these victims. He trained teams of medical personal to focus not only on their patient's physical injuries but their emotional as well.
The stories he tells would be enough to make me sick with sorrow were it not for the fact that Dr. Reda was able to find hope for healing the cultural divides that not only keep people apart, but in refusing to bow to megalomaniacs. He reveals the devastating effects of the Libyan uprising, its people and his very own family for us to see and learn from.
The manuscript re-writes should be done by April, and I promise you it will be a fine book- a work of real world poetry from a humble man with a healing heart.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Before working with the staff at Sam's Dot Publishing, it had never occurred to me that there was such a thing as young adult science fiction. Or science fiction poetry, for that matter. But after reading through the various science fiction magazines we now publish, I was amazed at the scope and range of possibilities that sci-fi embraces.
That's why I'm thrilled to be publishing Beyond Centauri. It's specifically geared toward young readers. It's my hope that it increase the number of young people motivated to study science.
Most of my reading prior to last year was confined to mystery and suspense. Working with the fantastic crew at Sam's Dot Publishing has opened my eyes to what I've been missing by ignoring science fiction.
But I'm going to blame Alex Cavanaugh for starting me down the sci-fi trail again. When I read his CassaStar, I was hooked.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Having lots of fun on the publishing side of things these days. We have a total of 17 new magazines we're publishing of at White Cat,
I get to work with some really cool publications, including our digest called Cosmic Crime Stories, which covers intergalactic crime. As a guy new to science fiction, I'm finding it pretty darned interesting!