Now, more than ever, we are increasingly confined into small spaces both physically and mentally, in order to be safe. When the pandemic struck, I was living in Luxor, Egypt, where I started the first boxing club for girls. I watched in dismay as people back in the United States so easily gave in to the lies of the media. Living in villages where nobody had the luxury of masks and social distancing, nor were they glued to social media twenty-four seven, gave me a unique perspective that has influenced my writing. As a writer, fighter and world traveler, I refuse to be imprisoned by fear and lies. As a result, I’ve been ghosted, threatened and de-platformed, from the USA to Egypt and a lot of places in between. And I still won’t shut up. Hopefully, my writing will inspire others to stand up and speak out—and Break Free.
Why I came here and what you’ll get:
WHY I CAME HERE:
In 1996 I started a creative writing program for incarcerated youth in Los Angeles called InsideOUT Writers. One of my original students, Silvia, received a twenty-five years to life sentence for a murder committed by her older, abusive boyfriends. We remained friends for over twenty years while she was in prison and on the night Trump was voted president in 2016, she was released from prison.
That night, I attended a party with her entire family. It was incredible seeing her free. It was such a remarkable story of courage and determination, I wanted to write about it. When I went to a huge writers’ community on Facebook and asked advice about it, I was mobbed and bullied by other "woke" writers and editors. I had no right to tell her (but it was our) story because I was white. I had no right to even be her friend at all. In fact, I had no right to have ever started a writing program for incarcerated youth in the first place. I had probably prevented a person of color from having the chance to start one. I had caused more harm than good. I was a danger and needed to check my white privilege, shut up. I was such a pasty-faced Karen. The bullying got worse and worse. Mind you, all of this from people who had never met me personally, nor did they seem at all interested in Silvia’s point of view on the matter.
The editor I’d approached at the Washington Post told me I should give over all my contacts and information about Silvia to her so she could find an appropriate writer to tell Silvia’s story. I was absolutely the wrong person to do it and the fact I didn’t realize that was troubling.
I didn't give over all my info and contacts. But it really hit me hard and left me discouraged. Over the course of the next few years, I lost what remaining contacts I’d had in the writing world. I’d always thought I identified much more with the left than the right. I began to realize that I really didn’t. This was somewhat liberating. But it also meant I was completely adrift. Once I found Substack, I took a deep breath and plunged in. Basically starting from scratch. It’s been amazing! I am just so thankful to have a voice that isn’t being censored. For every person who comes and reads my writing, I’m that much happier. When I get comments like “Wow, you’re writing about all the things I’ve been feeling but I’ve never been able to express it like that. Thank you,” or “I thought I was crazy, that I was all alone, now I know I’m not,” I mean, what could possibly be better than that?
WHAT YOU’LL GET:
I publish an essay every Friday or Saturday. My essays are on the long side so be forewarned. I write on current events, culture, politics or anything else that grabs my fancy, relating it to personal experiences. I’ve published seven installments of A Dangerous Woman: Exposing the Dark Underbelly of the Nonprofit World and How Cancel Culture Came for Me, which tells the story of Silvia and the nonprofit I I co-founded. I will not be publishing more of that until I decide to monetize my writing, at which point the rest of it will be for paid subscribers only.
I am hoping to start a podcast soon and am super excited about that.
In August, my science fiction book, LUMINARIA: Tales of Earth & Oran, Love & Revenge will be published. I’m looking forward to sharing more about that in the near future.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND:
I grew up in an unusual family. In 1966, at the age of ten, my dad heard the voice of God telling him to leave his successful business career and become a writer. He sat our family of six down in our house in the Los Angeles suburbs and said, we are going to travel the world so I can gain inspiration for my books. Thus began an incredible journey taking us to fifty countries, consisting of wild adventures such as escaping out of Egypt right before the 6 Day War, living in a 17th century Swiss castle and smuggling Bibles into communist countries. My dad, Dave Hunt, went on to become one of the most influential evangelical Christian writers of the 1980s.
In my essays Why I Stand with Israel and The Problem of Faith, I write about some of those adventures and the questions I began to have about faith. I met so many amazing people of different religions, how could they all be going to hell while we were going to heaven? I came to form my own opinions, never rejecting my own deep faith, but refusing to denounce the faith of others. Who are we to judge? We can only do our best to live our own lives well.
I am forever grateful to my childhood experiences. They taught me to fearlessly speak up for what I believe, even if it means losing friends, family and jobs. For many, it has even meant losing their lives. With my writing, I hope to remind folks what freedom means and why we should never give it up. We have been lulled to sleep by medications and entertainment. We need to jump in an icy lake of reality and wake up.
I can’t think of a country I’ve visited that I didn’t love, because every place on Earth is beautiful and unique. But this last time, living in Egypt for two years, taught me to truly be proud of my heritage as an American. You can’t even say that anymore. You can’t be a “patriot.” You will be accused of being a “Trumper” a racist, white supremacist. Prisons of our minds and bodies have been built and we are being forced into them. This is tragic and does not bode well for our country.
The United States is the freest country in the world. Not perfect, but wow, this is the best that there is and we have to keep it that way.
Thank you for coming here. I hope you will stay. Don’t worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.