Suppose you’re at a coffee shop and you’re telling your best friend about your workday.  You’re saying so-and-so is building a case to take to human resources and will file a lawsuit soon.  So-and-so has evidence of coercion and retaliation.  Maybe it’s based on gender.  Maybe it’s based on race.  So-and-so will also file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a federal employee complaint due to implicit biases at work.  Then you notice someone at the next table staring and listening with interest at all the juicy details.

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No one believes themselves to be like Azrael.  If we had to choose between the cat and Gargamel, we’d all choose Gargamel–if push came to shove.  We’d rather be neither, or think of ourselves as neither.  But we’re one or the other in someone’s eyes.  This article is an examination of how the “underling” can allow himself to be abused.  And maybe we can resolve:  Why we allow people in power to control us.

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Metaphorically #DVpit becomes water.  Likewise, I could say Twitter is some type of container–a canteen maybe–something tethered to your belt.  Whether you’ve been slinging a sledge hammer to break rocks or ripping callouses off your hands for grip on a climb, you’re exhausted and you could use a drink.  What you need is opportunity and energy to keep climbing, to keep breaking those rocks.

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Often we spend so much time looking down at our phones we forget to look up.  I catch myself looking at the stars at night and the moving clouds in the day, realizing I’m watching them like I had when I was kid.  Those were days before Reasor’s Grocery Store in Tahlequah moved from Choctaw Street to Muskogee Avenue, and back when there was a drive-in theater outside my aunt’s house on the southside of Lawton.  Back then, we never looked down.

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You’ve done the work.  Wrote the story, painted the painting, soldered the jewelry, sculpted the clay, or weaved the basket.  You’ve put in the hours at the workstation, lost yourself in the art, creating work unique and powerful and meant to contribute to a collective of voices echoing from generations past.  Then you take the work into the world.  Now it’s time to dance with the “crabs in the barrel” and the “fake In’dins.”

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One of the beautiful behaviors of people is our need to protect. We don’t like bullies.  This becomes more the case the older we get.  There is something about seeing someone being treated terrible that we can’t stand.  Maybe it’s a new comer who is unjustly getting targeted, or it could be someone vulnerable who doesn’t have the means to stand up for themselves.  Either way, when you see opportunists attacking someone, you can be assured the protectors will come out if full force.

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The sought after and mysterious “voice” of writing.  You watch editors salivate like Derridean defeatists about how magical voice can be when it “makes your foot tap to the rhythm.”  Aww, how romantic.  We are lovely romantic beings who need magic in our lives.  Well, I’m about to take the magic out of the what, where, and how to find a literary voice.

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I’ve been promoting my writing on my Twitter account for a few months now.  Slowly but surely I’m getting more and more engagement and I’m nearing the cusp of 9K followers, and hoping to hit the 10K plus realm within a week or so.  One of my followers, and now a tried a true fan, read through each of my short stories and came up with an interesting descriptor of my writing:  hyperlocal.

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There are two things most dangerous:  apathy and stagnation.  For me?  The former leads to the latter.  It’s a cycle of violence I’ve always struggled to overcome.  It’s like when I’m gourd dancing with my family, and I’m trying to predict by cadence and rhythm the switching of the beat so I can anticipate the appropriate next move–a move which keeps me in sync with my community but ultimately with my choices.

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