Karly’s Law Posts

Never Too Old to Take the Plunge

Jon High Dive

In my travels as a writer, one question I am often asked is if I grew up wanting to a be a writer. It’s a reasonable question. Many, if not most, of my writer friends were writing stories as young as six or seven. From the time they could pick up a fat pencil, they were making up stories, dreaming of the day they would become the creator of their own storybooks. From time to time, people ask me for help in getting a children’s book they authored published. For the record, I’ve never published a children’s book and know absolutely nothing about it. Books, like medicine, have their specialties. Seeing an OB/GYN about a brain tumor would be akin to asking a true crime writer how to get a romance novel published. While we all practice the same profession, the application of that profession is completely different. read more

A Fortunate Girl

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The roads are slick with snow and ice.

The sky is grey and foreboding.

Holed up here in my office, thinking of Karly Sheehan.

Today is her birthday.

Or the day that marks what is her 15th birthday, although Karly died at age 3.

Tortured, the jury declared, by a monster so much bigger than her that it’s inconceivable the wrongs he inflicted upon Karly.

I hear from people almost weekly, people around the world who have read or are reading Karly’s story. They always tell me that meeting Karly that way – through a story that chronicles her life and her death – makes them weep. They tell me stories of the abuses they, too, suffered, and how thankful they are to have survived child abuse. read more

Somewhere in a Courtroom Today

Courtroom

Somewhere in a courtroom today decisions are being made about the welfare of children, abused and neglected.

Hardly a week passes by that I don’t receive a note from an adult who was abused, neglected. They always ask the same question: Why didn’t anyone intervene on my behalf? I was just a kid.

Somewhere in a courtroom today a CASA worker speaks up on behalf of  a child, caged and chained, starved until almost dead. read more

Dishonorable Soldiers

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Soldier Jeanie Ditty and her boyfriend.

Most often I am compelled to write about the ways in which we need to honor our veterans and military families. This compulsion is the result of growing up a Gold Star daughter during the height of the Vietnam War. I wrote After the Flag has been Folded (William Morrow) for the very purpose of setting the record straight about those who served, and how they and their families were mistreated as a result of simply doing what their country required of them. I knew my father to be a more honorable man than the crazed soldiers depicted in all those Vietnam war flicks that Hollywood was cranking out. Most soldiers I’ve come into contact with over the years have been honorable people. They don’t seek the limelight. They don’t consider themselves heroes. They go out of their way to serve others. And most importantly, they are there for each other. read more

Lady Cop in Stayton

Kindness

I saw the gal sitting in a booth at the Ixtapa Restaurant in Stayton, Oregon. Her thick Norwegian blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail. A little girl, maybe two-years of age, sat on the inside next to the big picture window. Across the table, munching on chips and salsa, was a boy, maybe nine or ten.

She was dressed in her work uniform.

That of a police officer.

I was listening to Phillip Margolin (yes, the thriller writer Margolin) talk about when he taught Language Arts to kids in the Bronx, back in the day. Margolin was urging me to toss out the high brow literature of Silas Marner and replace it with Mickey Spillane noir fiction. read more