interview

New London Day Article
5 star review | art | gratitude | happiness | interview | kindness | marriage | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture | writing | WW1 Memorial

New London Day Article

Of the rainy morning, drinking my coffee: heavy cream and coconut sugar. I am thinking about the week passed.

Due to PR efforts for the National World War I Memorial that Sabin is sculpting, there’s an article about me in The New London Day. Perhaps now it’s the The Connecticut Day.

The writer, Lee Howard, no relation to my husband, wrote a wonderful article about my participation in the WWI Memorial as a model in the relief. Howard is a skilled writer and the piece is lovely–warmly written and respectful. He quoted me correctly. He portrayed me with both kindness and some playfulness.

I particularly liked that he quoted what I said about appearing in Sabin’s amazing relief:

“All told, it’s pretty cool,” she said. “Perhaps (someday) one of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren will stand in front of the relief and look at my face and feel our connection.”

Chris Strickland’s Story: My Article in Parent Survival Magazine
anarchy | errors | interview | love | parental alienation | vulnerability

Chris Strickland’s Story: My Article in Parent Survival Magazine

Chris Strickland’s Story

Chris Strickland is a lesbian mom in Mississippi who was a target parent for parental alienation. Her story was complicated by the fact that she wasn’t listed on the adoption papers for her older son nor on the birth certificate for her younger son. She and her partner married in Massachusetts, and their marriage wasn’t legal in Mississippi.

Chris got caught in the lag between marriage in one state and her marriage’s recognition in her home state, where she and her wife were raising their kids. Then her wife left her for a man.

In a few months, her wife moved with the kids and the new man, and Chris didn’t see her sons for almost fourteen months. The former wife told the kids to stop calling Chris “mom.”

Parental alienation is the severing of a child’s bonds with a parent by the other parent, and it is unutterably cruel. Dr. Amy Baker has done a lot of work in the subject and she says, “It’s when one parent gives the child permission to break the other parent’s heart.”

What results is a child who refuses, without good reason, to see a parent, called the target parent. If the child grudgingly sees the target parent, the target parent is, in the child’s mind, the lesser parent. The target parent’s feelings do not matter: the child has been trained to believe that. The child often is coldly cruel to the target parent.

Often the alienating parent is personality disordered: a narcissist, a borderline. Anyone who has worked with or studied these disorders knows how difficult they are to deal with.

Parental alienation isn’t an accident. The alienating parent uses a number of strategies to accomplish the divide between a parent and her beloved child. Amy Baker identifies 17 of them. It’s not just about badmouthing the target parent, and often an alienating parent can claim that they don’t do so. There are other, subtler forces at work, such as when the target parent is from a different ethnic, educational, or socio-economic group. To whit: “You dad isn’t Catholic like us,” or “Your mother didn’t go to college and isn’t French like us.” Alienating parents use identity against the target parents.

Alienating parents do whatever they can to destroy the target parent’s moral authority with their children. “Your mother’s rules don’t apply at my house,” is a classic line that an alienating father uses.

Parental alienation devastates the target parent. It does the same to the child, though the child probably won’t recognize it until he or she is much older–maybe not until his or her 30’s. Children who have been alienated this way often suffer from self esteem issues and terrible anxiety. The parentectomy she pursues to please the alienating parent leaves her scourged with anxiety, and the child doesn’t know that coming back into rightful relationship with the target parent is a crucial step in healing the anxiety.

I also wonder about a child’s relationships when they have been taught by the alienating parent that the target parent’s feelings don’t matter. This is a setup to create broader heartlessness and even narcissism in the child: other people exist only to serve the child, and other people’s needs don’t matter; when someone asks for their needs to be honored, the child sees them as a bad person.

I wrote about Chris Strickland because she was a target parent, and her complicated case took her all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Chris Strickland's story

Modern Masters: Sabin Howard, Sculptor, on Fox TV
5 star review | art | excellence | happiness | interview | Sabin Howard | Sabin Howard sculpture | Uncategorized

Modern Masters: Sabin Howard, Sculptor, on Fox TV

I am so delighted to announce that my husband, classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard, was profiled on Fox Television in their beautiful Modern Masters series. Modern Masters: Sabin Howard, Sculptor aired on Friday, March 11.

Modern Masters: Sabin Howard

In this wonderful segment, Sabin relates the story of his origins and being influenced by the powerful and gorgeous architecture of Torino and Italy. He talks about how he dropped out of college and then decided, at age 19, that he wanted to go to art school. He laughs at how his parents, who are both PhDs, wanted him to go somewhere like Harvard. “That wasn’t going to go down,” he says.

He was filmed sculpting, showing his process of breaking the body into cubes. The camera pans over him drawing. He speaks of the importance of the figure, and how it shows us as we can be. “Art has the ability to transform and elevate your spirit,” he states.

The World War 1 Memorial also came up. “World War 1 is a war that needs to be remembered because it changed the course of history,” Sabin says. He talks about how the figures in his design concept are relational and taking care of each other–the glorification of the human spirit.

Watch the piece, it’s amazing!

Modern Masters: Sabin Howard

Recent Independent Artists & Thinkers BTR shows I enjoyed
blogtalkradio | friends | interview | life model | music | radio

Recent Independent Artists & Thinkers BTR shows I enjoyed

I enjoy hosting unconventional, out-of-the-box thinkers on my weekly BlogTalkRadio Show, Independent Artists & Thinkers. BTR offers great flexibility for me to invite these fascinating folks on for a thought-provoking discussion. The show usually airs on Thursdays at 1 NY time, but sometimes the day or the hour changes to accommodate the guest.

All of the shows have been great. Here are some from the last few weeks:

Today I hosted musician David Sklar, which was great fun as he is a friend. He had thoughtful things to say about the journey of the musician and the state of music today.

David Sklar

[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://www.independentartiststhinkers.com/show_davidsklar.mp3″]

If the audio player doesn’t show or work for you, access the show here.

Last week racy novelist L.V. Lewis talked about writing steamy multi-cultural romances. She started off as a fan fiction writer. I read her book Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever and found it to be smart and frisky with crisp, well-developed characters and a strong voice.

LV Lewis
[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://www.independentartiststhinkers.com/show_lvlewis.mp3″]
Or access the show here.

The week before, Bosnian Serb and Muay Thai Champion Ognjen Topic spoke of his journey of becoming a world champion. He was engaging and unexpectedly wise as he talked about mastering and using fear and devoting oneself completely to one’s goals.

Ognjen Topic
[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://www.independentartiststhinkers.com/show_ognjen.mp3″] Or access the show here.

Listen in, these shows were kinda cool!

BTR show

My Personal Statement on Frank Gehry & the Eisenhower Memorial
anarchy | art | blogtalkradio | criminal behavior | Huffington Post | interview

My Personal Statement on Frank Gehry & the Eisenhower Memorial

What follows is my personal opinion about Frank Gehry and the Eisenhower Memorial based on my family’s experience with him.

Statement about Frank Gehry

I am the wife of classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard, who was courted by Frank Gehry to be the sculptor for the Eisenhower memorial, asked to write a proposal and give ideas, flown to LA for a lengthy meeting with Gehry and his team, promised the gig to the tune of a verbal statement: “You are the sculptor for the Eisenhower Memorial and you will start next week,” and then suddenly dropped.

Sabin says outright, “He stole my ideas for creating a relief that places general Eisenhower as part of his troops and at the same time at the head of his troops. He hired a less competent sculptor who does not have the ability to pull it off.”

This kind of dishonorable behavior and intellectual theft on Gehry’s part convinced me that Frank Gehry is not to be trusted. I began to pay attention to the Gehry camp’s arrogant shenanigans around the Eisenhower Memorial, starting with his blatantly rude and condescending disregard for the Eisenhower family’s staunch opposition to his plans.

Gehry’s ill conceived plans call for gargantuan woven metal curtains and a tiny sculpture of the boy Ike. The curtains are ugly and reference only an elderly architect’s egotistical notion of himself as a groovy post modernist—they have nothing whatsoever to do with our beloved and plainspoken president, statesman, and military general.

It’s not just the way Gehry treats the Eisenhower family that’s scandalous. The cost of these hideous metal curtains is astronomical, more than a hundred million dollars. Those curtains aren’t in production and yet, to date, more than forty million dollars have disappeared into Gehry’s pockets, with only spin doctoring to show for it. Gehry has hired a team of full-time publicists to keep the machinery of his self-aggrandizing monument going.

I have written in the Huffington Post about the disappearance of this taxpayer money. Forty million dollars is a lot of cash! I have queried high profile media venues, trying to garner interest in some real journalism, some real investigative reporting.

In this I was aided and directed by my neighbor, the venerated and sadly recently deceased international bestselling author Frederic Morton. He personally spoke to people at the New York Times and the NBC investigative unit. Fred was an Austrian Jew who wrote poignantly of his father’s internment at Dachau. He had met and dined with Eisenhower and Mamie; he held a deep respect for President Eisenhower and felt distressed that the Eisenhower family was being disregarded and condescended to, he agreed with me that Gehry’s plans were inappropriate, and he felt that the vanished tens of millions of taxpayer dollars was an outrageous scandal that warranted serious investigation.

Despite Fred’s stature, these news outlets failed to respond.

I can only surmise that these news outlets are as smitten with Gehry’s celebrity as were the cronies who handed him the Eisenhower memorial in the first place despite the fact that Gehry is patently the wrong man for the job.

I do intensive historical research for my historical novels. I published one novel set during WW2 and I am still researching that period for another novel. The more research I do, the more certain I am that Eisenhower the statesman and president of simple dignity would have been horrified by the gargantuan metal drapery. Absolutely horrified. His family has spoken up in his memory and in his honor and they deserve to be heard.

In continuing to press his plans, Frank Gehry is thrusting up his middle finger not just at the American people, but at President Eisenhower as well. I would say, “the very man whom the Eisenhower Memorial is supposed to honor,” but it is clear that Gehry’s plans honor only Gehry and no one else. They certainly do not honor President Dwight Eisenhower.

I have been told that Tom Brokaw and Bob Dole have been sucked into the slick chicanery of Gehry’s PR efforts. If so, then I say to Brokaw and Dole, Shame on you!

Pushing to get money for Gehry’s hideous plans would only be throwing good money after bad money, and that’s the sign of rank foolishness. Gehry’s advanced age is the only reason to rush ahead with widely-loathed plans despite obvious chicanery, massive quantities of vanished tax-payer money, and the Eisenhower family’s objections.

Some politicians and TV personalities who are also elderly like to pontificate that it’s time to get the monument done after the 15 years of wrangling over it. To them I say: after an open competition, it only took a few years to get Maya Lin’s breathtakingly gorgeous Memorial Wall done.

And Lin’s Memorial demonstrates the better way to move ahead: a fair and open competition, as is currently being done with the World War 1 memorial.

So to those aging cronies and TV personalities who are smitten by Gehry’s celebrity, I say, Don’t throw good money after bad. It’s time to cut bait and move on. Hold a fair, open, and blind competition. That’s what would truly honor Eisenhower, a man of famed and celebrated humility.

To anyone who is listening, I say: don’t buy into Gehry’s shenanigans. President Eisenhower, his remaining family, and We the American People deserve better. We deserve to know about how our money is lining Gehry’s pockets. And we deserve a truly beautiful and magnificent Eisenhower Memorial, something on the order of the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial wall.

HEAR THE BLOGTALKRADIO SHOW ABOUT THE GEHRY MEMORIAL.

DR. BRUCE COLE’S ARTICLE “GEHRY’S MIDDLE FINGER

DR. BRUCE COLE’S ARTICLE “A MONUMENTAL SHAME

NATIONAL REVIEW “CONGRESS NEEDS TO KILL FRANK GEHRY’S AWFUL EISENHOWER MEMORIAL ONCE AND FOR ALL

Traci L. Slatton about the Gehry Memorial on the Huffington Post

Ongoing Chicanery With the Gehry Memorial

The Problem With the Gehry Memorial

Check Out Art Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Independent Artists and Thinkers on BlogTalkRadio

 

Eisenhower Memorial

Traci Slatton interviewed by Desiree Watson on Wellness Lounge
authors | autobiography | book promotion | friends | gratitude | happiness | hard work | independent publishing | interview | podcasts | radio | spiritual teachings | VoiceAmerica | wholeness | writing

Traci Slatton interviewed by Desiree Watson on Wellness Lounge

Desiree Watson interviewed me on her VoiceAmerica radio show Wellness Lounge, A Step Further.

Life in its multifarious impishness is both funny and fun. Recently I started a BlogTalkRadio show, Independent Artists & Thinkers. I’ve been booking guests and thinking about people I’d enjoy having on the show.

A friend of many years came to mind, a woman of vision and great energy: Desiree Watson. Back in the day when I was a healer, Desiree was interested in holistic health and wellness, and we had done some things together. So I googled around and found her Wellness Interactive site. Desiree has been a busy lady, I thought, and promptly emailed her.

A few hours later, my cell phone rang. It was Desiree herself. What a delight to hear her warm voice!

I had meant to invite her to be a guest on my show, but she beat me to it and invited me to be a guest on her VoiceAmerica Radio Show: Wellness Lounge, A Step Further. Her show is focused on empowering listeners, body mind and soul.

Here’s what the show has to say about itself:

THE WELLNESS LOUNGE-A STEP FURTHER empowers you with the benefits of a wellness lifestyle. Desiree Watson, a pioneer in the wellness lifestyle movement, guides you toward incorporating wellness into your life through commentary and interviews with exemplary personalities from such diverse fields as professional sports, corporate management, government, and health care. Our topics embrace the interconnections of mind, body and spirit, while offering in-depth analyses of the wellness lifestyle movement and its impact on the health care system, politics and international aid. Related topics will spark awareness of the positive impact of the wellness lifestyle movement and how a wellness lifestyle commitment can successfully empower the individual and influence educational and political processes on a local, national and international scale. The Wellness Lounge – A Step Further airs Mondays at 6 AM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Empowerment and Saturdays at 7 AM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Variety.

This morning we aired. It was a delight to be a guest; Desiree has a talent for supporting and encouraging her guests to open up and be eloquent. What fun!

Here’s the show link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/85279/empowerment-of-self

You can listen here, too.

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Wellness Lounge