“Raw is a good place to be as an artist … it’s where the truth comes out.” Keith Urban, American Idol. (last episode)
The truth? I love watching American Idol, I love the new cast, and in particular the honest encouragement the young artists get from these judges. Because these judges know what it is like to stand in front of a stranger and perform. And then accept their fate.
It is a ‘thang’ to put on someone else’s socks, and walk around in their world, I think it also can be humbling, and a huge responsibility. I was driving home today, and heard the song, “Say Something”. So, I want to share some of my truth, for what we intend to do, and the reason I am asking for your help.
1. I wrote Bobby’s Socks directly from my instinct. It is fiction, but there are elements that you can only feel from your own trauma. I did not need to do any research. I was not sure I wanted to publish the story, it is a tough book. And the ‘book cover’ is, well, too perfect. I mean, if you look at that book cover, are you going to pick it out of all the other reading options you have? (Unlikely) But that is okay with me, because that book gave me the power I needed to accept – me, and not be afraid.
I will tell you a secret, if you are willing to go to – that raw, emotional place – you will feel the truth, but that is also a scary place to go, and most people would rather not venture there. I hope my writing can give them the words they need to have a quiet moment to heal. This is the reason in part, I wrote:
“There are still moments that flash in my mind – terrible moments. Sometimes, I feel like all the blood in my body drained out, down through my feet – as if I stand naked to the harsh sting of an ice storm.” – from Bobby’s Socks.
I know there are people who have read that sentence, and cried. I cried, it was as raw as I could get. And from the last sentence, I do know what a silent scream feels like. And it is an odd feeling to have someone tell you they cried after reading Bobby’s Socks. As a writer, I know at that point I did my job, because good writing taps into raw emotions. I think the same goes with songs, “Say Something”, now to me, that song smacks my heart – in a ‘neutron bomb’ scorched earth sort of way.
2. We, not I, intend to build a sock company. The Bobby’s Socks Company. The mission will be to manufacture colorful woven socks, with a happy heart symbol on them. We will distribute them through all available channels, and we intend to make a profit. We intend to make a HUGE profit. From the profits, we will offer the socks to abuse shelters, crisis centers and the like, the idea being if a child or teenager in crisis has been brought into the facility, one of the items in their care bag will be colorful warm socks. Think about it for a moment, on a cold day, if you put on a pair of warm socks, how do you feel? It is a rather simple, yet, powerful idea. And if you are about to interview a victim, any and all available means to calm them down would be helpful.
Think about it this way, when did you first tell someone, you loved them? Or, in my case, the moment I told my wife about my childhood. To me, for someone who has spent his life being rather goofy, and funny, to distract my mind, being extremely serious is terrifying. But it is from those raw emotions, truth comes out, right?
The other idea for our company will be to offer the socks at a discounted rate to schools. I had a thought, what if at the beginning of every season, schools had the Bobby’s Socks exhibition game? The players would wear their schools – Happy Heart socks. And it would be a simple, yet effective method for teachers, counselors and professionals to open up a channel of dialogue with students to talk about, child abuse, bullying, and the effect on the body. And each year, the school could share a story about a child that was bullied, or abused in another form. And each year, unfortunately, a new name would be highlighted, not Bobby’s Socks, but Rebecca’s Socks, Steven’s Socks, and so forth.
Consider if a teenager asked you, “Dude, what’s up with the socks?” A window of opportunity just opened, and all you need to is tell them. I know this to be a fact, because I’ve worn my colorful woven socks, and people ask me, “Ah, dude what’s the deal with your tie-dye socks?” And I tell them, and after I tell them, I typically get – ‘crickets’ or better known as – silence. But then, they say, “How do I get a pair?” And that, is the problem I have, I need to figure that out, because the socks can save lives. If the children think the socks are cool, they’ll wear them, and encourage them to – say something.
3. Remember the statement from Keith Urban, “Raw is a good place to be for an artist … its where truth comes out.” Okay, as raw, and as hard as it is for me to write this, I need your help. I am asking for your help.
I don’t want any money, I know how to do that part. But, we need, your voice. It is as simple as asking a friend to read this blog post, and to perhaps investigate the story, Bobby’s Socks. Or, my new novel, Fishing for Light, which is a satire. In fact, the Eddie character was not created by some random, cliché, in hopes to just be funny. He represents a real generation, and real people that have lost that spark in their eyes. His life trauma, the loss of his father, is the common link between the two novels.
If you believe in our purpose, simply tell a friend. It’s that simple. And perhaps one of your friends is in the media, who might take notice, and we can provide them an amazing human interest story. It will create the momentum we need to advance our cause.
“I had a lifetime of pain before I was even a teenager, but I faced the reality. Then I let it go; it no longer has any power over me. And every night, I pray no children ever feel like I did. I guess Dr. Richie’s sock therapy worked. She saved my life.” from Bobby’s Socks.
Okay, I hoped off my soap box, thank you for reading this post.