Free postcard template — stop gun violence!

If you’ve not yet heard, there was another school shooting yesterday. It happened in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott and other lawmakers have repeatedly relaxed gun-ownership laws. I don’t have words to talk about this now — I can’t even begin to think about the pain those families are going through, the staff at the school, the other children… But all the more reason to ACT NOW!

If you live in the U.S.A., or even if you don’t, you can do one simple thing by letting law makers (mainly Republicans) know they are complicit in gun violence. I have created a very basic postcard template for those of you who have access to double-sided printers.

All you need is cardstock to print the postcards on. They are already sized and set up for the U.S. Postal Service. They are black and white because not everyone has access to color printers. When you are ready to print the pdf, make sure you select double-sided and “flip on short edge.” (This is what worked for me, anyway.) Then, cut them to size, sign your name somewhere on the card, and fill in the address.

Who to send to?

If you know who your Republican senators are for your state, they are a good place to start. You can look up their office locations here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

If you don’t live in the United States, you can contact these key senators who are either standing in the way of passing gun-safety laws, or who may be persuaded to vote FOR them:

Joe Manchin of West Virginia (Democrat)
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (Republican)

455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

John Cornyn of Texas (Republican)

Washington, DC Office
517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Susan Collins of Maine (Republican)

413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

James Lankford of Oklahoma (Republican)

316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Marco Rubio of Florida (Republican)

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Angus King of Maine (Independent)

133 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Let’s help women and girls!

Yesterday, I heard on the BBC that the UK government is planning to cut aid to a United Nations family planning program by 85%. The program provides contraceptives and maternal health care to women in poverty-stricken areas of the world, including Africa. It also works with local governments so that they can provide for their communities in the future.

Photo by UNICEF/Catherine Ntabadde. Babies at a neonatal intensive unit at a hospital in Kampala, Uganda, which was refurbished with support from UNFPA.

“When funding stops, women and girls suffer,” UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, said in a statement, “especially the poor, those living in remote, underserved communities and through humanitarian crises.”

The withdrawal of approximately $180 million to the UNFPA Supplies Partnership, would have helped prevent around 250,000 maternal and child deaths, 14.6 million unintended pregnancies and 4.3 million unsafe abortions, she added.  (UK’s 85% family planning aid cut will be devastating for women and girls says UNFPA, while UNAIDS also ‘deeply regrets’ cuts | | UN News)

This news made me so angry because it seems that always women and girls, especially those of color and in poverty, are the ones left out in the cold whenever government cuts are announced. And women and girls are vitally important to our global health! No birth control means unplanned pregnancies, leading to unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.

Girls having babies means less chance of them getting an education. Those girls will not have the opportunities to study, have careers, and give back to their communities and the global community. It’s a cliché, but it’s true — we are all connected. When poorer countries suffer, we all suffer.

So, last night, I started a petition. My goal is to raise awareness of the potentially devastating effect these cuts would have on women and girls (and their communities). If enough people sign, we can sent a strong message to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office that the world sees what they are doing. And we don’t approve!

Let’s stop these cuts!! Please sign my petition today and forward it to as many people as you can!

Writing and the Arts as Therapy — Women Writers, Women’s Books

A repost from the excellent blog “Women Writers, Women’s Books.” Marilyn Kay Hagar talks about how embracing creativity in your life — in any form — helps unearth the inner “wild” part of us that needs expression!

I remember the day in eighth grade when our teacher, Mr. Johnson, stood in front of the class and called us to attention. “This is the best piece of student writing I have come across in my twenty-two years of teaching,” he told us. Our homework that night was to write an essay. What he…

via Writing and the Arts as Therapy — Women Writers, Women’s Books

When Your Brain is the Enemy: Life as a Writer with ADHD — Women Writers, Women’s Books

This is a re-post from the excellent site booksbywomen.org. Are you a writer who struggles with health issues that make writing harder? What strategies do you find helpful to keep on task?

Writing and publishing a novel is an accomplishment few achieve, and those who do know how much work it is to make it to ‘the end.’ Countless hours of inspiration, plotting, writing, editing, re-editing, pulling one’s hair out, self-doubt, critique, and finally—finally—something ready to send out into the world. Now imagine doing all that when…

via When Your Brain is the Enemy: Life as a Writer with ADHD — Women Writers, Women’s Books

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