Wow. Totally think this photo of Sara Kujundzic's speaks volumes. And I get it. Sometimes we get angry over such stupid things and forget to look beyond ourselves and see that there is so much more out there that deserves our attention. Thanks for posting this Sara. If you want to see more of this lady's work go to her Behance gallery here.
Thought it was fitting to share Emmanuel Jal’s story at this time. We need to listen to the people who have suffered in war. Otherwise more “elephants” fight and more “grass” gets trampled.
After I wrote Bullets, Blood and Stones: the journey of a child soldier, one of my editors kindly hinted that I shouldn’t do the typical turn-it-into-a-series kind of thing. “Stop right where you are, Donna,” he said, “It’s good where it ends.”
And I kind of believed him. As a first time writer I found the whole process of writing, editing and re-writing again and again, well, a little bit exhausting. It would be nice to take a break from the keyboard, stop and smell the flowers so to speak. But I couldn’t. I knew Charlie’s story didn’t end there. As much as I would like to leave the reader with that wonderful image of Charlie dancing in the rain, I couldn’t let them think that that was all there was to it: a child soldier escapes and all is well. Because it isn’t.
When I returned to Uganda I learned about the ajiji. Flashbacks that haunted these former child soldiers both day and night. And I realized, although Charlie’s body may be free when he escapes, his mind isn’t.
That’s why the story couldn’t end there.
So, my readers, the second book in the Stones Trilogy: Arrows, Bones and Stones: the shadow of a child soldier, exposes you to a different kind of battle. An internal struggle that, although someone on the outside looking in cannot see, it is still very real. It’s an intense struggle that I hope I have shed some light on so we can be more empathetic to those boys and girls, men and women, who struggle to regain their stolen childhoods everyday.
I met with Oroma Christine, the head counselor at the Gulu Recovery Centre for Former Child Soldiers in Uganda, and asked her to read my novel, Bullets, Blood and Stones: the journey of a child soldier to ensure that my information and facts were correct. She had this to say:
“Donna White has written a book on child soldier as if she was in Uganda for all the years the war had been there. Her book is so inspiring and touching psychologically, spiritually, socially and physically. This is the book about what innocent children in Northern Uganda and Eastern went through.” - Oroma Christine, Head Counselor at Gulu Recovery Center for Former Child Soldiers
During the past month I’ve been helping a grade 5/6 teacher with a writing unit, exploring the world of children’s picture books: What favourite books were etched in the students’ memories. Why did they love them so much? What made a children’s picture book so engaging? And discussions about repetition, rhyme, unusual adjectives and other “ingredients” found in everything from Robert Munsch to Jan Brett.
It was an exciting session. And the kids loved it. We took a good long look at various picture books, talked about what made the books special, came up with very imaginative ideas for stories, and wrote our own. I have never seen a class so keen.
In the ultimate test, they shared their book with their Kindergarten reading buddy to see if it was “kid approved”. They all passed with flying colours.
So, a big tip of the hat, a salute to a job well done, a toast to a fine accomplishment. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, one or two or three of these students will make their name as a writer. And to think, it all started here.
My journey as an author, giving voice to child soldiers.