Thankful, Grateful and Truly Blessed: Reflections on a November Sunday

 

For what am I thankful? I am grateful for many situations, and people. I am thankful for necessities of life, plenty of food, shelter, investment in the future, warmth, a secure job, healthcare benefits, good health, family members, selected friends who respect and treat me well, organizations I cherish, the ability to have vehicles of communication via writing, my podcast, and social media in which I can touch others in a fulfilling way nationally.

But, enrichment is the key! If you are lucky enough to do your passion work and get paid, good for you! There are so many who work very hard on behalf of others and get no monetary compensation in return. GIVE – DONATE to the causes you most believe in. It matters not how much or how little!

There are those in our circle who are struggling. There are those who would like to be part of an inner circle, and for whatever reason have not had entrance.  I say reach out and embrace those who are not only those in need, but those who would like to literally and figuratively be an extra place setting at your table!  It takes little effort and can bring so much in return!

Begin setting your goals for the New Year now; small, achievable goals, not impossible to achieve goals! And, if no one wants to walk the good path with you, be strong, go it alone until you find those new valuable gems – and you will eventually.

Scale your expectations so that you will not be hurt at every turn, for this can, at times, be a selfish world too! Know in your heart that what you are doing is right and the best course at least for the present moment, for we can never be 100% sure of anything!   

Continue growing! Never get stale!

Think out of the box often, not only when necessary but frequently, for that is often where we find the best ideas! Say “thank you” daily, apologize when needed and show people how much you care in whatever manner makes you feel most comfortable!  

And, don’t forget to heed your own advice!


Donna R. Gore, M.A.

Donna R. Gore, M.A.

 

To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

 

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Appetizer for the Crime Writer

 

If you are a true crime lover, a prolific blogger or budding author, everyone has to have a place to start. There are several considerations before you begin.  Taking a page from my presentation,“Marketing 101 for Your Crime,” I share a little of the recipe that works for me. If you are having writer’s block, or just need a way to find that new fascinating topic this could be your roadmap!

What topic is personally interesting to you?  If it fascinates you, chances are, your passion will come through and others will feel the same. You must be invested in your topic or don’t bother.

What is unique or unusual? Is everyone talking about one issue ad nauseam?  Well, that may not be your topic. It’s not mine, as such issues bring up my low tolerance for boredom. You can pave the way to being a trend setter if you find a crime that is intriguing but not well publicized.

Is it related to current events? Does it need to be related to the hot topic of the day?  At times, in the aftermath of a mass event, it is appropriate to write about your perspective on the devastating crime. To ignore can be seen as indifferent, and yet to get mired in the details can serve to take away your resiliency. It is a fine line to walk.  Your crime topic doesn’t always need to be the hot topic. You can select your topics and build signature pieces.

Is your topic historical or nostalgia based?  Some authors have created a genre all their own by focusing on the history of mystery or on a particular  geographic area where they are based. Nostalgia is always a favorite as a distraction to current events. Who doesn’t love to hear about a cold case crime? How things used to be in decades past, a long time missing persons case brought to resolution or a historic area where a famous crime took place?

 Does it have heart and human interest?  This is a very important element to me. It’s fine to report the cold hard facts. It’s not cool to report unsubstantiated rumor or fake news. In my opinion what gives a story texture, richness and longevity is to find the heart, the human element, including the back story.  To capture the feelings and emotions, good or bad, and place them in context is in keeping with the nature of storytelling and what capture’s readers attention. Without heart and human interest, often a story is one-sided, unbalanced and frequently sensational leaning heavily on the violence of the perpetrator and omitting the victim.

Is it “just another crime” or are there elements that make it more intriguing? Never take a crime at face value. Research, dig for more from reputable sources. There are unknown facts, elements of interests if you only think out of the box. What else are you wondering about that relates? If not much is known on the surface, find out about the individual characters, the geographic area, the history of the similar crimes, etc.  

The trick is, how can you make “just another crime” like looking at a prism?

Will the topic have staying power? Is the crime you want to write about unusual or are there commonalities over time?  Can it be re-introduced when a similar crime happens? Is it a case with many permutations over time? Are there many lessons to be learned if they were only exposed? There are selected pieces that stand the test of time, no matter what is happening in the real world. Longevity can be your friend.

Is the topic controversial or provocative?  Although as authors we all have a particular style, at times it’s good to shake things up a bit. If the story is not “mainstream” it does not mean that you have to agree with the content. Our job is to inform, build awareness, entertain and hopefully be a pathway for change as needed. Life is not plain vanilla and therefore we should not shy away from the controversial. Be daring!

Will your writing offend others, and if so, do you care? A writer should be diverse and sensitive to others. However, in this climate of all things hypersensitivity to political correctness, it is a personal decision as to how far you want to push the envelope. If you push too far will it damage your reputation? On the other hand, you might think that writing is a fluid experience able to withstand the ebb and flow of opinions. It’s your choice.  Choose wisely.

As the writer, do you have a personal stake in the topic and does that make it better or worse? A personal stake usually means you are engaged; you’re invested. This topic resonates with you and you are going to write something great. I love when I find a topic with which I can immediately identify. It seems to write itself in no time at all.

But, a personal stake topic can also become a forum to vent a negative experience that stays with you.  If you can format it in such a way to turn it around in the end to say “lesson learned, learn from my experience”, all the better. If it is a topic that pushes all of your buttons and you can’t step outside of it to present another side of the issue as well, perhaps it should be tabled.

Can other elements and information be pulled in to increase audience appeal?  I use this approach all the time with all of my posts with an eye toward how can I use this in a different way? What element can I highlight that is topical as a means of recycling. Part of the approach should utilize interesting colorful graphics, not just your same ol’ signature graphic. Always make it interesting.  

A post that seemingly has minimal appeal used in one way, may hit the mark at another time. It’s all about timing, and using creativity to make memorable pieces.

What groups can benefit from your writing or broadcasting (regarding podcasts?) If you are a member of Facebook Groups, non profits, civic and business groups and special interest hobby groups, the sky’s the limit in terms of benefit.  Do you want to meet other writers and share ideas? Do you want to demonstrate a skill? Do you want to promote a good cause? Do you want to increase outreach or help in a fundraising effort? Well, then, all of these can be accomplished by your love and skill with the written word.


 

Donna R. Gore, M.A.

Donna R. Gore, M.A.

 

To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

  

 

Child Stars Touched Our Hearts, In Death, They Tell the True Story

TV kids
For those of us who are “old enough to know better” classified as Baby Boomers, early life was a Candyland existence with the arrival of the television sitcom. We were served up the life of innocence and perpetual family harmony beginning in the 1950’s.

Never would Ozzie and Harriet Nelson have to discuss opioid addiction with their boys. Never would June Cleaver have to deal with both of her children “coming home to the nest” when they couldn’t find a job. Never would Lucy and Ricky Ricardo have to worry about if their relatives were legal US citizens and therefore find a sanctuary city!  Never would  the character of Richie Petrie have to worry about how to come out as a gay young man to his parents, Laura and Rob. Such problems did not exist  in the public eye… and were most certainly taboo!   Just imagine any of these scenarios in the 50s and 60s. Just mind boggling!

However, in truth, there were many behind the scenes struggles with child stars – abuse of labor, time, schooling, sexual abuse, etc. In 1900, 18 percent of all American workers were under the age of 16.  The National Industrial Recovery Act served to reduce child labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which for the first time set national minimum wage and maximum hour standards for workers in interstate commerce, also placed limitations on child labor. In effect, the employment of children under sixteen years of age was prohibited in manufacturing and mining.

In 2010, Eighteen states still had no laws to protect child performers and only half of states require child work permits.

In 2010, Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Murt watched a TV panel discussion with former child actors led by Paul Petersen, an original Mouseketeer who later appeared on The Donna Reed Show Pennsylvania became the latest state to update its labor laws for child performers with new requirements for work permits, on-set teachers, special trust accounts and limits on work hours.

The problems – The  provisions of the 1938 Reform Act  didn’t apply to child performers and child farm workers because of the FLSA’s so-called “Shirley Temple Act” exemptions. Several entertainment based states, now require 15 percent of their child actors funds to be set aside in a trust account. This measure was enacted after a 1930’s child star, Jackie Coogan’s parents  mismanaged and spent his fortune prior to him reaching childhood.  However, (Caution, Will Robinson!) according to many former child actors, parents  do not always safeguard properly – exploitation, misuse of funds…and the ever-present pedophelia reported in the entertainment industry!

In 2017, Child and Entertainment laws – California  (Example)
Extensive requirements for theatrical employment: The Labor Commissioner issues permits to minors to work in the entertainment industry with required documentation from appropriate school districts as applicable and/or permits permitting employment of minors in the entertainment industry.
Sec. 6-1308.7-Work permit to work not more than 5 consecutive days in the entertainment or allied industries; excused from school for up to 5 absences per school year; school districts are to allow pupils to complete all assignments and tests missed during absence.
Sec. 6750 Family Code – Courts may require a portion of earnings be set aside for the minor in a trust.

Non-Profit - A Minor Consideration -

Past President, former child actor, Paul Peterson, began the non-profit, “A Minor Consideration” in 1991  to raise awareness, advocate for child actor in the Industry today and change legislation.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter- Where they are Now

Larry Matthews– Ritchie Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show, was always fascinated with the behind the camera action. Has had a successful career in post production sales and married for 30 years!

Lauren Chapmen Father Know BestLauren Chapin – The youngest child on Father Knows Best- She actually rose to the top of 78 other applicants in the search for 9 year old,  Kathy or :Kitten” as she was called. However her later life was fraught with trouble – drug abuse-addiction and three times divorced. She is now 70 years old. Sad to have had to play the perfect precious child. Did she receive the needed emotional support? Was she able to “be her own person outside of the role? Probably not.

Elinor Donahue - Father _ Andy GriffithElinor Donahue – Multi-talented singer, dancer, actor beginning her career in vaudeville, Elinor played many parts, including in  Father Knows Best and as a romantic interest for Sheriff Andy Griffith! She also acted in daytime soaps and In 1998, she published a memoir entitled “In the Kitchen with Elinor Donahue”, in which she relived some of her memories of Hollywood along with providing more than 150 of her top-grade recipes.!  It appears she escaped “the Hollywood life” relatively unscathed! Good for her!  Here she is reporting for a date at the Mayberry jail! LOL

Rusty Hamer- Make Room for DaddyRusty Hammer, aka Rusty Williams of “Make Room for Daddy” played  the cute little red headed son of Danny Thomas. Danny stated he was the most talented child actor with whom  he had ever worked. But, it appears he may have been one of those 1950 typecast actors who could not steer their career in a different direction. In addition family members reported he suffered from severe back pain, but refused to seek medical attention.  Tragically, Rusty committed suicide in 1990, in his trailer home in  DeRidder, Louisiana. I can’t imagine anything more sad, and preventable!

Angelia Cartwright – Was another of the most versatile actresses for decades – Make Room for Daddy, Lost in Space, the movie ,the Sound of Music”, etc, etc. No scandals reported. That’s not to say she didn’t have problems sacrificing her entire childhood to acting. But an image is worth a million words – In her early 60’s – an attractive and successful photographer.

Keith Thibodeaux- aka “Little Ricky Ricardo”  He appears to have made it…despite the on and off camera goings-on of the “I Love Lucy “ Show of the 1950’s and 60’s. Reportedly, he manages his wife’s Christian Ballet Company called, Ballet Magnificat.  (Don’t Know if he gets to do his drumming” with them! Congrats “Big Ricky!  Your TV parents would be so proud!

Jay North - Dennis the MenaceJay North- The Menacing kid , particularly to neighbor, Mr. Wilson in “Dennis the Menace” was an icon and worked in other industries including health foods, and according to a 2017 article, working as a corrections officer for the Florida Department of Corrections  for the past 20 years! Wow! He reports being typecast, and pushed out of the industry, as well as helping to found the non-profit, A Minor Consideration with Paul Peterson.

Anissa Jones, _ Mrs. BeaselyAnissa Jones– “Buffy” on A Family Affair” OMG!  What a life lesson – This little girl whose Mom drove her to stardom, working seven days a week, not having a real life, with brother, Paul (whom she cherished and insisted on others sharing generosity with him, ) headed in a downward spiral BECAUSE OF the monetary royalties finally awarded to her as a teenager. Hanging out with the wrong crowd, and mixing unlimited access to money and drugs, she became the ultimate party girl and died tragically of a drug overdose at age 18.  Apparently, someone claiming to be a friend, wrote this blog regarding her life and demise with some suspect corrections at the end. Regardless this is a very sad tale!

Danny BonadoucheDanny Bonaduce–  The wise guy kid of the Partridge family clan, Danny got in trouble on camera and off. Third time in married life is apparently the charm with marriage to a considerably younger women whom  he met at Starbucks and wed in 2009.  He has struggled with drug addiction, with re-invented careers as a “bad boy radio host”, wrestler and is dabbling in the reality show circuit. Life is not perfect with the big family clan portrayed on TV.

 

Melissa_Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert – Ahhh “Little House on the Prairie “- taught us good family values of a bygone era! But what was life really like for  Melissa, beyond the character of Laura Ingalls?
She had a tough family life and was adopted by a childless couple. In later years, she married, including actor Bruce Boxleitner and gave birth to a premature child, has suffered  chronic head and neck injuries. She was present of the Screen Actors Guild X2 and tried to run for Congress, but stepped down due to her orthopedic problems. She is now happily married to actor Timothy Busfield since 2013 and lives in Michigan.
Through trials and tribulations, Melissa and Laura Ingalls ultimately survived the prairie and has evolved!

Conclusion-
When I was a child, it was about innocence and trying to figure out the world in the simplest of terms. It should have been the same for these child actors. But, the brass ring was for the benefit of others, vicariously and financially. Some children were more resilient than others.  Is it better today with the advent of social media and a “tell all society?” Only time will tell.


DonnaGore-2

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity.Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

You can find me here, please follow or friend! Facebook,  Shattered Lives,  Twitter, LinkedIn

My Lily Pad

bull-frog-2525989_960_720
When you are at my juncture and status in life, it can sometimes be a rollercoaster. Too often, as a single person with no feedback to rely on, I have trouble mentally balancing it all. I tend to lament about my multiple responsibilities and simultaneously think that things aren’t happening quickly enough.

Sometimes, when you have climbed the first, second, and third rung up the ladder of success, you think to yourself, “I’ve definitely paid my dues. It’s been so long at this 24/7 journey. I have sacrificed much, spent oodles of time, effort, energy and money. Why hasn’t “X” happened yet?”

It’s during those times that I can’t see the forest for the trees because I’m too close to it. In addition, my goals have changed over time. I’ve never wanted to be the Oprah of Crime or the person on the talk show circuit. That’s when a trusted person, who has also been along for the ride, steps in to provide objectivity and remind me that there has been tremendous progress and that there were never any promises made of instant or guaranteed success no matter how hard you work! This last part is a bitter pill to swallow, for I have succeeded all my life with dogged perseverance, drive and resilience.

Having an online presence of any importance is indeed an adventure that is constantly changing, most often without an end destination. I now realize through trial and error and a lot of guidance, that if you can’t ride the wave, maybe you shouldn’t surf!

When I embarked on my public relations- social media partnership in 2010, I knew something about marketing in terms of event planning but the rest was all new to me, especially social media. What should I expect from a publicist?

I was flattered that I was taken on as a client with ImaginePublicity, and that my talents were recognized. It was cool to have a publicist and the fact that I didn’t have to be famous to deserve one! In fact, I wrote a little satirical blog imagining what the role of a publicist must be, called, Life in the Cockpit at Imagine Publicity.

I was now in the company of high profile activists, advocates, authors and more.

Fast forward to 2017. When I scan the landscape at ImaginePublicity, I see many permutations of Donna R. Gore on a weekly, monthly,  and daily basis. I’ve grown in many areas of social media, written hundreds of blogs, published my first book about homicide in an anthology series, created my national radio show with a quality 5 year track record, actively participate as a Connecticut State Outreach Coordinator for the Cue Center for Missing Persons.  I’ve done book signings, newspaper interviews, presentations and speaking engagements, all which I have proudly pursued in the name of creating a better path for others!

Recently, I looked at my journey from this perspective and I think I have a great lily pad in comparison to where I started in 2010! I would never try to say I’m top frog in the neighborhood, for that’s not my goal. However, I know that I’m someone who has achieved great heights from my present view on the lily pad.

Should I be content? No, for I am a voracious learner with an intellectual curiosity for diverse life experience! In the meantime, I will try to enjoy my lily pad as it is for now!

Thanks to all who have helped me along the way!


DonnaGore-2

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity. Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

You can find me here, please follow or friend! Facebook,  Shattered Lives,  Twitter, LinkedIn