I'm writing the book. The territorial battle against, ISIS, or 'Daesh' as they're known in Arabic has been called to an end by Kurdish allies in Syria. But it was a long battle and I was in the heat of it in Mosul, Iraq. It dominated news. And the constant images of rubble and the smell of death, people running from explosions and bullets consumed airwaves. As a journalist, I often tried to snap photos and write about the state of hell as I dodged and moved through the urban warfare.
Perhaps it sounds like an insane undertaking but even a raging war can be the birth of a new spirit. The introspective journey I encountered – in Iraq, a place I came to call ‘sacred ground’ and even hash-tagged as the ‘origin of things,’ had a profound effect.
When I left the base I made home for over two years, a year following Mosul's finale and after a very messy election for the country. I began writing the book, a few chapters, the proposal, and piecing together an outline. I snagged an agent. We pitched to over 25 mainstream publishing houses. It was a competitive market.
But I focused on the care needed after leaving a war zone. Now I'm going back to my story in Mosul and pinpointing it's significant role in my pursuit of healing and restorative justice.
But, I have a confession. And yes, well maybe it's not the best line to include in a campaign, anyway, I must tell you: I've always been skeptical of crowd-funding but in the digital day and age, the social-sciences and arts community have found it part of their journey. So it is with mine now too.
I humbly am asking for your help.
I need to raise $7,500 in the next few weeks, in order to finish it, my goal to have the draft written by mid-end ofJuly and edits immediately after. I am exploring niche and independent publishing houses but also leaning to self-publishing options. All funds will be used for writing-days expenses, publication entries or fees, necessary travel, potential visa fees, and/or research. Not a dime will be wasted.
With this literary work, I aim to share what I discovered in the aftermath, which for me, was a soul surgery which began in an ancient place. War time living and reporting not only revealed who I am, but amplified a calling to embrace suffering, healing and restoration on a deeper level.
From a mega church upbringing in the Midwest, U.S. to a progressive, mystical inclusive belief in the Divine; I break down how covering the battle for Mosul, in the Middle East, and cradle of civilization, opened up some of the most incredible spiritual insights. It gave me language to define my inner turmoil, which lies in the human condition, an understanding of basic consciousness in how we process trauma and the search for healing and justice, all while I was surrounded by war’s skeletal remains.
It’s not just a correspondent’s ‘behind the scenes’ tale, it’s a look at what goes on below the surface of firing exchanges, battlefields or an edgy job and I plan to tell the story.
So whatever your contribution, my friends, from $5 to $100, it will rewarded and appreciated. I cannot thank you enough for going on this journey with me. Feel free to write me, ask questions, and hold me accountable to finishing this work.