02-19-2017  3:28 pm      •     

What brought you to undertake this book?

I think it was the universe's way of letting me heal. Because it wasn't like I sat down one day and determined I was going to write a book. It just happened. It began coming out of me. I was moved to go to my computer and I typed for days upon days. It just came out. Just a release.

What's it about?

The book is about my process of self discovery and of becoming aware. It's about how I agreed with wrong information and tried to use that information to gain some positive result in life – and of course it didn't work. I was born into a traditional religion, to traditional beliefs, at the way things had always been, but as a result of that I expected the things that I was taught – in terms of belief systems, in terms of dogma, in terms of religions to grant me answers to the questions of life, and it didn't work. So one day I sat down and I just asked the universe to give me truth – I need truth – and immediately my life just turned upside down. The bottom actually fell out of it. Immediately that next day I lost my job, I filed for bankruptcy, I was audited by the IRS for three years, I was sued for child support, I was evicted and I had my car repossessed. All in the same week. And I became homeless and I ended up seeking refuge in a church here in Northeast Portland. And all I could do was in the morning I'd go to the altar and I just lay there. I just cried and I asked 'why?'

Eventually I began to come to a different understanding, I began to see a new foundation had been laid in my life, and I just continued and continued in that path and little by little, my housing needs were provided for, my food was provided for. I began to go to a different place in terms of academia. I was at PCC at that time and I took the plunge and went to Marylhurst and I began to work on my undergraduate studies, and then my universe began to really open up.

With that new information it pushed my mind and pushed my critical thinking skills to the point where I could ask questions about what I believed and why I believed it. And with that this new foundation came to me in an awareness that – wait a minute, this experience of years of brokenness is actually a tool to be passed along to someone who may be experiencing those kinds of experiences that I had in my life, that brokenness, that despair, that addiction, that loneliness. Those people that are so completely ensconced in false images of who they are and that we're just imprisoned in our own minds by ourselves – by our own agreement. When I came to that realization it just was so obvious to me that this needs to be shared. It needs to be shared.

I had written a book five years ago, but no matter how I tried it wouldn't go anywhere – it was not the right time. I didn't fully understand what process I was involved in. And when all of that solidified underneath me, then the doors just opened – just opened. I was doing research for a paper in a writing class at Marylhurst, and I went to the reference librarian and instead of asking for information to support my thesis, I'm asking him for book publishers. And he printed out an article that was about Portland State University and this new press they had, Odin Ink. And I called, and I was there the next day, and immediately my book became a reality. And the results from the book that I've heard so far have been incredible. People are saying to me, "I was able to recall a hurt from my life and heal from it. I was able to call my mother and mend fences, I was able to call my father. And it caused so much brokenness in my life because he wasn't there, but I was able to reach out and I'm healed."


For more information on 'False Images,' go to www.amazon.com

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. 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