Posts tagged with "New book"

Interview with Dean Karnazes

Dean Carnazes is a marathon runner known for serious feats of endurance. He recently wrote a book, Runner’s High: A Life in Motion, about running and his experience as a marathon runner. I got the chance to speak with Dean about his marathon career and Runner’s High.

What was your favorite experience while running?

While I was running across the country—from LA to NYC—I got a call from the White House saying that Michelle Obama wanted me to stop in to say hi. Prank call was my first reaction. But it was real. I’ll never forget running down the hallway of the White House and out to the South Lawn to meet with the first lady. She welcomed me with a hug and said, “It’s such an honor to meet you.” I’m not making this up. 

What is your favorite part of the marathon experience?

The pain and the struggle. You remember the joyful moments, but the tough moments leave a more indelible imprint. 

Do you have a marathon that you particularly liked?

How long is the interview? (laughter) I’ve run hundreds of marathons and each is memorable in it’s own way. I once ran 50 marathons, in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. That experience in its totality was quite extraordinary.

Do you have a favorite place to run?

Greece. I’m 100% Greek and Greece is the birthplace of the marathon. It doesn’t get more real than that.

What athletes do you particularly admire?

The back of the packers struggling to reach the finish line before the cutoff. Sure, I admire the elite, but watching the last place finisher is more inspiring. 

I’ve been in a 2-week quarantine in a hotel in Sydney in preparation for this crazy 1,000-mile run across Australia, so I’ve been watching a lot of the Tokyo Olympics. In fact, I’ve probably watched more television in the past two weeks than I’ve watched in the past two years! 

Are there any Olympic athletes, in the most recent Tokyo Olympics, that you were particularly impressed by?

So many of the athletes impress me. But I think what impressed me the most this Olympics’ was Simone Biles withdrawal because of mental health concerns. She is such a dominant force but she became very human in showing her vulnerability.

How do you feel about energy drinks and other products that may change/enhance athletes’ performance?

Athletes will always seek anything that can provide an edge. So long as it is not a banned substance, I’m okay with it.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest accomplishment as a runner?

The fact that I am still just as passionate about running as I was when I first started. The stoke is still there after all these years.  

What was it like to write a book about something you’re so passionate about like running?

To capture my authentic running voice, I do a lot of writing while I run (by dictating into my phone). People say I truthfully capture the essence of running in my writing, and that’s because at a time when I’m experiencing the thoughts, feelings and emotions of a runner I’m taking note. To put that passion into words makes compelling reading. 

Are you happy with the way people have spoken about your book thus far?

I got an email from a gentleman this morning who said he had intended to read a couple chapters of my book last night before going to bed. Five hours later he finished the book, he told me. Then, he said, he got up. He just had to go on a run.

Yes, I’m happy with the way people have spoken about my book. That message says it all.

Photo via Lucas Jones of Polity Press for use by 360 Magazine

Q&A WITH AUTHOR DAVID THEO GOLDBERG

A pervasive sense has taken hold that any and all of us are under suspicion and surveillance, walking on a tightrope, a step away from erasure of rights or security. Nothing new for many long-targeted populations, it is now surfacing as a broad social sensibility, ramped up by environmental crisis and pandemic wreckage. We have come to live in proliferating dread, even of dread itself.

In this brilliant analysis of the nature, origins, and implications of this gnawing feeling, author David Theo Goldberg exposes tracking capitalism as the operating system at the root of dread. In contrast to surveillance, which requires labor-intensive analysis of people’s actions and communications, tracking strips back to the fundamental mapping of our movements, networks, and all traces of our digitally mediated lives. A simultaneous tearing of the social fabric – festering culture wars, the erosion of truth, even “civil war” itself – frays the seams of the sociality and solidarity needed to counter this transformation of people into harvestable, expendable data.

This searing commentary offers a critical apparatus for interrogating the politics of our time, arguing that we need not just a politics of refusal and resistance, but a creative politics to counter the social life of dread.

David Theo Goldberg is Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

Interview by: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

To begin, when did you realize that you first wanted to be a writer?

Quite young. I liked to write as a teenager, fifteen or sixteen, won a prize at high school for English writing. Looking back, I was not nearly as compelling as I fantasized. In training to be an academic I started attending closely to my technical writing. While at graduate school in New York I was involved in making independent films and music videos. I co-wrote the outline and voice-over text for an experimental film on apartheid South Africa which I also co-directed. The film won some international film festival awards. My early published academic writing was dense. I worked hard at getting myself to be clearer, cleaner, more concise. Like all art, writing requires endless attention to its detail, rhythm, flow.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have a couple. I lap swim quite seriously early every morning. When I am struggling with an idea, or even to articulate a sentence, the quiet solitude of pulling through water on one’s own unbothered by anything around often leads one, or even a whole sentence or two. The challenge, of course, is to recall accurately   enough what I thought so great to be able to write it down at swim’s end. Until injuries caught up with me a few years ago I surfed extensively, and for many decades. I would travel to some surf spots further afield as much to be able, between surfs, to write uninterrupted by day-work at home as to enjoy the great surf and culture at hand.

When I have things pouring out of me and I am writing fast I tend to plug into fast jazz. The likes of the great Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba or Japanese pianist Hiromi. Or the big band Snarky Puppy, with Hammond organist Cory Henry, who are fun. Writing has rhythms and I hope some of the music has rubbed off in my writing. There are times, nevertheless, when I like to write in silence, completely alone with my own thoughts.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It depends on the book: I usually read extensively regarding the subject matter until I feel saturated and an argument thread for the book is mostly in place. Jacques Derrida, the great French philosopher, was once asked by the documentary filmmaker, Amy Ziering, if he had read all the books in his enormous personal library. “I have read only four,” Derrida responded. He then added, the crease of a smile at the corners of his mouth, “But I have read them very well.” The challenge is to read whatever one is engaging to find insights and ideas with which one can think.

I also find it thought-provoking to observe cultural, technological, political and economic trends and changes at work around us. My writing itself is as much an unfolding of the argument line, often enough surprising me in the writing, through where the writing takes me.

Edward Said, the great intellectual of the late twentieth century, wrote a book, Beginnings, which is about how challenging it can be to open a book, to write the first sentences. But also how to end, to bring it to a close in ways that will linger with the reader. Whether creative or analytic writing, not that it is always easy to distinguish the two. Said’s book has stuck with me through much of my writing career.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Ten sole or co-authored monographs; another ten edited or co-edited books. Naming a favorite, especially publicly, is like saying who among your children are your best ones. Tough to do. There are two books that stick out because they have both expressed key developments in my thinking and have been impactful in scholarly debates around these questions.

The first is The Racial State (2002), about how the modern state since the 17th century was founded on racial structures, structuring into its very formation the elevation of Europeans/those of European descent at the expense of all others. Obviously these structures transformed over time, and from one place to another,  but the driving principle has largely remained in place. The key argument is that modern states become modern by taking on the technologies of race as structuring mechanisms.

The second is The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism (2009). This book traces the ways the neoliberalizing of polities globally—the financialization of everything; the divorcing of contemporary social, economic, and political conditions from the historical forces that produced them; the complete personalizing of responsibility for one’s standing and experience in society, no matter the social structures and challenges one has faced–has sought to empty the concept of racism and its affiliated racial conceptions of any critical charge or meaning.  The conservative attacks we are currently witnessing on critical race theory have their foundations in this neoliberalizing turn starting in the 1980s. Conservatives of this stripe find discussions, analysis, and engagement of racial issues threatening precisely because they challenge their view of the world.

What inspired you to write Dread: Facing Futureless Futures?

In 2016 family, friends, and colleagues were waking up each day with a sense of anxiety, some calling it a sense of doom. The rise in authoritarianism here in the U.S. but also across a widening range of societies was in part fueling this sense. I was feeling it too. I started by trying to put my finger on what this feeling was, what it amounted to, to name it. “Dread” was the concept I came up with to best express this sense. When I mentioned it aloud, others would exclaim, “That’s it!” What followed was the urge to write a book exploring the underlying conditions prompting this generalized sense, and the implications.

What is the significance of the title?

Dread is a socially produced pervasive anxiety the basic cause(s) of which it is difficult fully to identify. Like Kierkegaard in the 19th century, I contrast dread with fear. Fear is a feeling the object of which one can usually identify, name concretely. The object of dread is a feeling of anxiety and unsettlement the sources of which I cannot concretely or precisely articulate.

“Facing Futureless Futures,” the subtitle, speaks to the ways in which we have created or collectively allowed to be created social conditions that threaten our very wellbeing, if not existence. That some are talking about “the sixth extinction” exactly expresses this heightening anxiety about the survival not just of lifestyle but of life, of the world that supports life itself.

Can you tell us about the book?

I wanted to account for the conditions prompting this pervasive sense of dread, of uncontainable anxiety. The authoritarianisms that seemed to be taking hold, the unhinged statements and expressions struck me as symptomatic of something deeper, structurally more pervasive and difficult to address. So I was concerned to string together an analysis of those conditions, to offer a language of analysis for what is happening to us, what we are doing to ourselves and over which we think we have little if any control.

These include the pervasive emergence of algorithmic culture, the ways algorithms are structured increasingly into and order our everyday activities, the overwhelmingly instrumentalist mode of thinking it insists upon, often in increasingly intrusive ways (the “internet of everything”). This pervades not just how we order consumer goods, how we invest, how we learn at school and college but how we run our homes and businesses, increasingly how cars drive, how and with whom we interact, how we relate to each other, indeed, the quickening pace of worker and work function replacement by robots. Everything we do when electronically connected is now being tracked—where we go, who we interact with, what we consume, how we vote, our medical conditions, our work habits, everything! And that in turn becomes the basis for shaping and reshaping our desires but also the (narrowing of) possibilities presented to each of us.

Increasingly, chips are being inserted into human beings, for a variety of purposes, from medical reasons to consumption accessibility (we are in the early process of being turned into walking credit cards), to tracking productivity, and government control. The digital is transforming the very nature of the human into the techno-human.

The anxiety all this is producing, consciously or not, includes the sense of lost privacy and transparency, depersonalized desire, and undermined self-control. This is readily exacerbated by events and even structures over which we take ourselves to have little or any control, like the pandemic and the impacts of climate change, the conditions for the production of both of which have been dramatically over-politicized. And all of this has laced through it structurally produced differentiations of class, race, and gender, further intensifying the concerns. The outcome of all of this, I suggest, is the ramping up of “civil war,” less conventionally understood than as more or less violent contestations over how we should all be living in the world.

Did you learn anything while writing the book?

One cannot address a dominant set of social concerns without first understanding it. The given is not indelibly cemented into place. What looks like natural conditions is often, at the very least, socially arranged. That means what we have made with debilitating effect we can unmake.

Above all, this invites a relational mode of analysis. It involves seeing—in the sense of looking at the world—in its deeply relational constitution. What we do in one place both affects and is affected by what others are doing elsewhere. Like the weather, environmental impacts and pandemics know no national boundaries or borders. Tracking is at once individually isolating and, less visibly, deeply relational. Racial ideas circulate globally, even if taken up and expressed differently in one place from another, just as racisms in one place are shored up and sustained by racisms elsewhere. For example, critical race theory was originally formulated and fashioned in American law schools but both its application and of late its facile condemnation have been taken up as far afield as Britain, France, and Australia.

And second, I found myself reaching a more hopeful conclusion, if not ending. I suggest that those societies that have taken seriously infrastructures of care for members of the society at large are far better able to address collective challenges such as pandemics and the impacts of climate change, or indeed racisms, at least in principle. Societies that fared better in quickly addressing the pandemic and saving their populations from rampant infection and death have been those that have invested more readily and enduringly in social infrastructures of care.

What is the purpose of the book?

To elaborate an analysis and vocabulary for understanding the debilitating social and ecological conditions we have created and face, and how we might address the challenges in creatively relational ways.

What are you wanting your readers to take away from the material?

Three insights: that we have created a world that in all it gives us is undermining the very conditions of possibility for sustaining those affordances; that the technological apparatuses so completely transforming our worlds and who we are in them,    especially tracking technologies, enable possibilities not previously available. But at the very same time they have proved debilitating, socially, ecologically, and increasingly politically; that a completely self-regarding disposition to the world, individually and nationally, is in stark contrast with one that recognizes our deeply relational condition socio-ecologically; the deeply relational ways in which socio-ecological worlds are constituted become key to addressing the challenges we are facing interactively.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

The conditions unfolding across the world were transforming remarkably quickly. The pandemic took hold in the middle of writing the book, shutting down much of what we had taken for granted. It revealed deep socio-economic  disparities, racially indexed, exacerbating the impacts.  These were further ramified by the George Floyd murder, among others, and the protests that followed. While I was already lacing racial analysis into the analytic contours of the book, the series of police killings and protests as well as the attacks on Asians, especially women, needed to be referenced. Nor could one write a book about dread without addressing the pandemic. So I added a chapter devoted to Covid and its social impacts and implications pretty much in situ.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Being in sustained conversation with close intellectual friends and colleagues about the range of conditions I address in the book. This was especially productive and meaningful given our extended collective remoteness as a pandemic consequence. But also, because I was thinking and writing in the midst of an unfolding of the very conditions which I was addressing.

Is there anything that you would like to add for the readers?

The world we have inherited and from which we make ourselves today has furnished us with extraordinary possibility. But in being less mindful of the cumulative impacts of the many generations of this making we have just begun to understand that our world also is in advanced process of radically undermining the conditions making its enduring sustainability possible. The book is about our present circumstances with a view to understanding some of what it will take to have futures to which to look forward. I very much hope it is read in this spirit.

by Smith Publicity for use by 360 Magazine

BRETT NEWSKI – IT’S HARD TO BE A PERSON

Songwriter and touring musician Brett Newski (who has played alongside the Pixies, Violent Femmes, Courtney Barnett, Manchester Orchestra, Better Than Ezra and more) is releasing his first illustrated book, It’s Hard to be a Person: Defeating Anxiety, Surviving the World, and Having More Fun, accompanied by a soundtrack to the book featuring 8 original songs. The book has been endorsed by Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers, “I love how easy Newski makes it to plow through the dark stuff with some well-placed humor and grit.

Newski been featured on Rolling Stone, NPR, American Songwriter, SiriusXM, Boston Globe, and Billboard. He continues to tour over 100 dates per year. He’s also the host of the popular podcast, Dirt from the Road, where he chats with musicians about their strangest travel stories, mental health boosts, and how to navigate the hurdles of being a person in modern times. Guests include All American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional, Nada Surf, Stelth Ulvang (The Lumineers), Guster, Heartless Bastards, The Verve Pipe, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Barenaked Ladies co-founder, Steven Page.

Starting with couple of doodles Newski posted to social media making light of his struggle with anxiety and depression, they garnered a surprising and overwhelming response and he decided to make his relatable coping mechanism of drawings into a series. Now, Newski presents three years’ worth of drawings in his new book, It’s Hard to be a Person, offering mental health boosts through humor and relatable quips about the perils of living in our world with a mental illness. Newski’s drawings offer a warmth and innocence that comforts readers and reflects their own experiences to assert that, despite the taboo of mental illness, most of us relate to each other on a deeper level when it comes to mental health.

Newski’s book shares the message of:

  • How anxiety is useful and can cultivate creativity
  • Using humor to overcome mental health struggles/phobias
  • How creating music, art, and writing can help ease anxiety and depression
  • Helping introverts shine
  • Shared experiences – how art can connect us by allowing us to express difficult emotions
  • The importance of speaking up about mental health issues
  • Dispelling the stigma around mental health, therapy, and discussing difficult things

Book and album preorder available here.

Road Trip via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

New Book on the Volkswagen Type 4: 411 and 412

There’s a new book out now via Veloce Books about the Volkswagen Type 4 by Marc Cranswick, going over everything from the history to the specifications on the vehicles. Sections from the book have been provided below. You can purchase the book HERE.

“If ever there was a car in search of a context and market, it was the VW Type 4. Volkswagen’s first foray into the upscale sector brought engineering innovation to Wolfsburg. It also tried to convince worldwide buyers that VW still had the right stuff. With design origins in the Porsche consultancy, the signs were hopeful. However, globally, the automarket was rapidly changing.”

“The VW Type 4’s portfolio ran to unitary construction and fuel injection, but had to face fancy competition from Detroit’s European subsidiaries. All the while, VW was searching for its future road, and faced challenging developments. The fuel crisis and Japanese competition in North America kept the pressure on at Wolfsburg.”

“The Type 4 411 and 412 held to VW tradition, while introducing new engineering directions and refinements. VW’s biggest ever car faced off against mainstream competition.”

“It was also Volkswagen’s first mid-size car and it’s final design in a thirty year air-cooled odyssey.”

“Could the VW 411 and 412’s solid traditional virtues carry the day? Then and now the Type 4’s unbreakable VW quality, and flat out sustainability, appealed to air cooled devotees. The 411 and 412 brought a new dimension in comfort to VW, and its hardware design was utilized by the air cooled clan both on and off road. The Type 4 even had a sportscar connection, and never lost the power to surprise.”

Lil Nas X illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

LIL NAS X CELEBRATES INDIVIDUALITY

By Hannah DiPilato

Notable musician Lil Nas X has brought his signature style and voice straight to the page in his new entertaining alphabet picture book. C Is for Country follows a young cowboy and his sidekick, Panini the pony, as they use the ABCs to seek out adventure in wide-open pastures, embrace family, and celebrate individuality, all during a single day. The book features bold, bright illustrations from award-winning artist Theodore Taylor III which are sure to keep kids engaged. 

C Is for Country goes out to every amazing kid out there who sang along to ‘Old Town Road’ on repeat and helped change my life forever,” said Lil Nas X. “I hope this book inspires them and makes learning the alphabet a thousand times more fun. I’m so happy with how it turned out, and I can’t wait for the world to see it,” he continued. 

Lil Nas X had a goal to promote individuality in his book so children everywhere are able to embrace who they are. The artist has never been one to shy away from his true self, releasing music that speaks to who he is and instantly creating hits. Soon after releasing the children’s book, it hit number eight across all kid’s books in the world Lil Nas X announced in a tweet

“A is for adventure. Every day is a brand-new start!,” an excerpt from the book on the website says. “B is for boots—whether they’re big or small, short or tall. And C is for country.”

Earlier in the year, Lil Nas X appeared on Sesame Street’s, The Not-Too-Late Show to sing Elmo’s Song with Elmo himself. The artist also made an appearance at Lander Elementry School in 2019 to perform for the children there. These appearances have certainly helped him create a younger fan base and an audience for his new picture book. His hit song, “Old Town Road” ended up being a smashing success with the younger crowds as well. Recently, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus has officially become 14x platinum and is now the most certified song in music history.

Lil Nas X has been embracing his younger fan base he isn’t necessarily self-conscious about it. “I’m well aware that life and careers and everything goes in chapters,” the rapper said in NPR. “That’s the chapter I’m in right now and I’m OK with that.” C Is for Country was made for kids ages three to seven and is sure to help little ones learn the alphabet. 

Lil Nas X is not the first celebrity to check “write a children’s book” off of their bucket list. Madonna, a well-known star to all ages has written a number of books for kids. Her first book, The English Roses, became the biggest and fastest-selling children’s book by a first-time author. The book, which references Madonna’s personal experiences, features many moral life lessons and has been published in 42 languages. Madonna then went on to write eleven more books in this series which has now flourished into a book series that features 12 chapter books. Madonna lovers can even buy an audiobook version where Madonna reads all of the stories aloud. 

Madonna has also written a number of other children’s books aside from The English Roses series including, Yakov and the Seven Thieves and The Adventures of Abdi. In her stories, Madonna not only references her childhood experiences while teaching life lessons, but she also promotes gender equality and uses her Jewish background to do so. 

Another notable celebrity, Jamie Lee Curtis, has made her mark in the world of children’s books. She has written twelve bestselling children’s books including When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth, Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day and Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. These books have been a great success in teaching kids important life lessons in a silly and entertaining way. 

Curtis said that her daughter was her first inspiration for writing children’s books. “My four-year-old said something funny to me one day,” explains Jamie Lee Curtis. “She walked into my office, all petulant and sweet, and announced that ‘when I was little I used to wear diapers, but now I use the potty.'” 

“The idea that she had thought about her life in the past,” Curtis continues, “when she was really just four, made me smile. I wrote on a piece of paper: ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I then wrote a list of things that she used to not be able to do and now could. By the end, I realized I had written a book.”

Although Lil Nas X didn’t grasp his inspiration from any one person in particular, his youthful spirit and young fanbase have certainly set him up to be a successful writer for children. It’s clear the young cowboy in the book is inspired by Lil Nas X complete with a bedazzled, pink cowboy outfit. 

It’s not just actors and singers becoming authors, famous athletes such as LeBron James, Alex Morgan and Mia Hamm have also become authors. LeBron James’ book, I Promise, was recently published in August of 2020 and encourages children to strive for greatness. This book coincides with the I Promise School, a school powered by the LeBron James Family Foundation. This school helps students that are in danger of falling through the cracks to succeed. I Promise shares a common goal with this school in helping children strive to be the best they can be. 

No matter which celebrity is behind writing the pages of these books, they all have one thing in common, they hope to promote positivity and important life lessons to all children that read them. Lil Nas X is no different when it comes to C Is for Country. When celebrities use their platform to write children’s books, they are using their fame to promote life lessons to kids. This is especially useful for an artist like Lil Nas X who already has a relatively young fan base.

C is for Country is available now for purchase and can be bought in hardcover, Kindle or audiobook version. If you know a child that has been blasting “Old Town Road” on repeat, then this book is sure to be a success.

Lil Nas X Rips His Pants During SNL Performance

Lil Nas X ripped his pants during a steamy performance of “Montero” on Saturday Night Live last night. Dressed in tight, leather flame pants, Lil Nas flamboyantly trapezed across the stage with his fiery dance moves. During part of his performance, he approached the stage’s stripper pole and began gyrating his hips. After he slides down the pole, Lil Nas X can be seen grabbing his crotch and staring with bewilderment into the camera.

However, the performer quickly regained his confidence and boldly belted the rest of “Montero” with his hand positioned over his crotch. Nas was quick make light of the situation on social media, posting a meme on Tiktok of his outfit blunder. Lil Nas X also reposted his performance on his Instagram with the caption, “a sign of the times every time that I speak.” One thing is for sure– this red-hot performer sure knows how to put on an entertaining performance.

Lil Nas X illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Kaelen Felix illustrates Veterans Day for 360 Magazine

“Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” By Eric Power

Veterans face incredible challenges after leaving the military. From coping with mental health issues like depression and PTSD to finding employment, re-establishing relationships, and more – readjusting to civilian life is not easy. After putting their lives on the line in service of our country, veterans deserve more support than what they are getting.

The pandemic has only made this issue worse over the last year with the surge of loneliness, unemployment, and an increase in mental health cases among all Americans. A survey done by the Wounded Warriors Project found that more than half of veterans said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

Fortunately, a new book from recent military veteran, Eric Power can help. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story of self-discovery that shares the keys to overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges and the wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

“This pandemic has set a shocking and much greater feat for veterans (and all Americans for that matter) to rise above thier mental health challenges. Yet, I am very optimistic about the future and hope to provide support, advice, and my personal experience to help save someone’s life…” said Power, whose mission is to provide a valuable resource and life-changing advice to veterans, their families, and all struggling Americans.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blurring the lines between fiction and nonfiction, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story that shines light on the unique challenges veterans face after leaving the military. As an active combat veteran, Eric Power knows the sacrifices and struggles of civilian veterans. As a mentor and a self-development student, he also knows the keys to overcoming some of the greatest challenges in business and in life.

Power shares his success principles as he takes you through the challenges of David Little, a veteran facing personal and career challenges. Follow along as David meets his mentor, Ralph Power, who helps him discover his self-worth and shows him how to build life-changing relationships.

The statistics on veteran mental health are horrific. According to a 2020 report, roughly 17 veterans die by suicide each day in the US. This means meaning more veterans die by suicide every two days than were killed in action last year! This staggering statistic is why “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” rings true to 24 million veterans around the world who have some type of personal struggle after returning home. As the Coronavirus surges forward, we have seen an increase in mental health conditions among all Americans. The wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

Of course, this personal development is a must-read for military veterans, but it also appeals to non-veterans because it offers timeless and universal business and success principles applicable to all people. This book is a valuable resource for military families or anyone with loved ones in the service. It offers a glimpse into the reality of the veteran experience and readers can learn more about what their loved one is going through and how they can help.

Whether you are a veteran or not, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is an unforgettable story about life, relationships, and the power we all have to create a lasting imprint on the people we meet and know.

The book was released December 28th, 2020 by Waterside productions and starts at $16.95 for the paperback edition. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is available for purchase on Amazon HERE. 

ABOUT ERIC POWER:

Eric Louis Power is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and social activist dedicated to helping military veterans and their families achieve a better quality of life. Power served honorably in the US Navy reaching the rank of Petty Officer First Class and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Southern Watch. Power has a total of seven deployments, with 3.5 years in Active Combat zones. He is the founder of For Veterans By Veterans, a nonprofit that provides assistance to homeless vets, and he is the founder and CEO of Veterans Disability Help, LLC, a firm that manages VA disability claims and helps disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve. Since 2012, Power has been responsible for redirecting over 2.1 Million dollars a month recurring from the VA, back to the veterans in regard to their VA disability claims.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT https://veterandisabilityhelp.com

Dance Your Dance – Laurieann Gibson

Thomas Nelson/W Publishing (a division of HarperCollins) today announced the pre-order for Emmy-nominated choreographer, creative director and entrepreneur Laurieann Gibson’s debut book Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion and Live Your Dream, set for release on February 16, 2021. The pre-order bundle includes access to exclusive video content from Laurieann and a first look at chapter one of the book. Additionally, the first 500 to pre-order will receive a limited-edition promotional item. Pre-order Dance Your Dance here.

Dance Your Dance highlights Gibson’s evolution from a young dancer training in New York City to a well-respected and in-demand creative visionary with an eye for cultivating music artists from the ground up. The book unveils the ultimate blueprint to achieving your dreams—a blueprint she’s implemented countless times to develop some of the world’s greatest superstars including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Diddy and The Jonas Brothers, among others. Packed with personal anecdotes from her 20+ year career in entertainment and messages of empowerment, Dance Your Dance speaks to the dreamer in you: the artist, the singer, the writer, the entrepreneur, the mogul, the mover, the shaker, the thinker.

Reflecting on the power of the book’s message, Laurieann shares, “Dance Your Dance is an explosion of inspiration, passion and empowerment—an entertaining and transformative unstoppable ride to your greatness. I can’t wait for people to start reading it. I believe it can be life-changing.”

ABOUT LAURIEANN GIBSON

Laurieann Gibson is one of the most important pop culture influencers in entertainment today. Having served as creative director and choreographer for numerous international superstars, Gibson’s expertise in developing artists’ performance skills earned her an Emmy nomination for directing Lady Gaga’s HBO concert special Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Laurieann also directed and choreographed Nicki Minaj’s sold out “Pink Print World Tour” and Diddy’s “Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour.” More than a choreographer, Gibson is a business force whose presence is felt across TV/commercials, film, gaming, and now publishing. She can currently be seen as a judge on FOX’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance and will serve as creative director/choreographer on MTV’s highly anticipated return of Making the Band. On top of film appearances and commercial work (previously choreographing for the likes of Pepsi and Google), she is producing a number of television projects that are currently in development. Laurieann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her doggie “son,” Samson. Connect with her here.

 ABOUT THOMAS NELSON

Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information, visit here.

Children Diagnosing Their Own Disorders

A Cultural Revolution That Has Gone Too Far

By Laura Wellington

My son came home from school yesterday. A normal afternoon, I heated up a hamburger and fries and placed it in front of him. It launched us into our regular discussion regarding his day. You know the one, “How was it? What’d you do? What’d you learn?” and so on.

This afternoon, however my son took our pleasant exchange one step further. He coupled it with expressing a worry of his, denoting that “something may be seriously wrong with him because he has a hard time sitting still in school at times and occasionally feels the need to fidget.” He then went on to grasp the name of the disorder he must have and shared it with me. I stopped him in his tracks.

My son is ten. He is an intelligent kid as well as a talented athlete. He’s met all of his pediatric markers since birth easily. He has friends of whom he socializes daily. There is nothing wrong with him. I reassured him of this, emphasizing my point by telling him that, “He is a kid, and by definition, he should be feeling these things at his age.”

This incident made me question where we’ve arrived in society, wondering how many other children worry about the same thing? What percentage today suffer with the notion that something might be truly wrong with them simply because they don’t understand what normal behavior is for kids their ages and are growing up in a culture laden with labels and diagnoses eagerly offered to explain the imperfect beings that they are? I bet you that percentage is relatively high.

Don’t get me wrong. I am far from being flippant about mental health. As we all know, there are very real disorders that plague children. Diagnosing and treating them are imperative. But when children become clinicians, themselves, because they are so tapped into the undertone of an era that gives off the vibe that “something is wrong” before it is even right or normal, that’s a little scary. What it tells me is that WE need to back off in this regard so that our kids can too.

I’m not alone in my thinking. Allan Schwartz, LCSW, PH.D. concurs in his article “Children: Are We Too Quick To Suspect Mental Illness?” In it he states “Given the new diagnostic criteria and additional behaviors listed as indicative of mental illness in the DSM V, there is the danger that too many children could be viewed as having mental disorders when it is not necessary.”

Children need to be children. It is tough enough to be a child when you are naive to what you are supposed to do simply because you are one. Helping them to understand this is key. If you can follow up with a brief conversation about the current tone of society specific to mental health, including where you agree and disagree, this can’t hurt either.

The fact that today’s kids have placed the action of “self-diagnosing” their own disorders in their repertoires is a serious warning call for the rest of us. We need to change this and let them go back to being imperfectly-perfect children — the ones who don’t want to sit still, argue with their siblings incessantly, and whine each night to stay up past their bedtimes.

There is time enough to grow up and worry about everything else.

And speaking about worrying, in my new book “Be Careful What You Wish For”, what did Joan help Evie stop worrying about when together at the table? (Question #5, BCWYWF book contest)

Follow Laura J. Wellington

Website | TEDx Talk | Book

Trent Shelton illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Trent Shelton – Straight Up

In his new book, Straight Up: Honest, Unfiltered, As-Real-As-I-Can-Put-It Advice for Life’s Biggest Challenges, motivational speaker, former NFL player and the founder of non-profit RehabTime, Trent Shelton, offers advice and insights to guide today’s young adults to establish healthy relationships, chase after their dreams, and live their best lives. Published by Zondervan, Straight Up releases today, August 4, 2020.  

Who do you have in your life who’s not afraid to tell you the honest-to-God truth? Who do you have who’s a real source of wisdom when life gets real? With his trademark combination of raw honesty and practical next-steps, Trent Shelton will help you navigate through some of the most confusing topics of life, including relationships, friendships, fear, depression and your own past trauma. And while you might not make it out of the storms of life unscathed, the wisdom and lessons in this book can help you make it out stronger. Straight Up is imminently honest and practical, helping you take real next steps toward being the best you. Trent vulnerably shares his own story, including his own missteps that have resulted in the hard-won lessons he shares today.

Trent Shelton is a former NFL wide receiver, who is now considered one of the most significant speakers of his generation. He is known for being “The Most Impactful Speaker” and is ranked one of the “Top Influencers in the Personal Development Space.” He aspires to promote positive change in others and reaches 50-60 million people weekly through his various social media platforms, as well as traveling the world speaking to people about how to create lasting change in their lives and reminding them that there is hope for a brighter future. Trent is a best-selling author and has penned five previous books: Inner Circle, You’re Perfect: for the Heart that’s Meant to Love You, See My Heart Not My Past, Breaking Your Own Heart, and The Greatest You. 

Growing up, Trent dreamt of one day becoming a professional football player. After playing for Baylor University and graduating college, Trent was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, the Seattle Seahawks in 2008 and the Washington Redskins in 2009. After achieving his dream, Trent still felt incomplete and found himself seeking out worldly possessions in an attempt to fill that hole. Following the birth of his son and his experience with the trials of life, Trent decided he needed to change his ways. 

In 2009, Trent began creating videos to share his newfound perspective and journey with the world, ending each video with the words, “It’s Rehab Time.” The public’s reception to Trent’s videos was powerful and he soon found his audience, now dubbed “Rehabbers,” growing by the thousands. Rehab Time is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that encourages personal change and self-help strategies and reaches 50-60 million people weekly with his positive message of hope and inspiration in the face of hardship.

Follow Trent Shelton: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Delphi Federation, Delphi Series, Space books, Bob Blanton

DELPHI IN SPACE

The sixth book in Bob Blanton’s Delphi in Space series explores how all lifeforms can coexist

On the continued quest for a harmonized society on Earth and beyond, author Bob Blanton brings attention to the civilians most in need of peace, societal advancements, and equality with the sixth installment of his popular Delphi in Space series, Delphi Federation.

The best-selling science fiction series follows two brothers, Marc and Blake McCormack, who unleash new technology that will forever improve our dying environment while making a nice profit to boot. With the arrival of Marc’s daughter Catie, they begin introducing the new technology while fighting off enemies and foreign countries who fear the technology will disrupt their economies. It’s not long before the alien rebels from Paraxea come to claim the technology for themselves, starting a galactic war of the ages that spans the next five books Blanton has planned.

In Delphi Federation, the McCormacks have successfully defeated the Paraxean rebels, but now face an even tougher question: where do they go from here? As they are now responsible for 1.5 million alien lives, they must search for other inventions and advancements in technology that will help them find a good home for the Paraxeans. All while they continue to disperse technology across the globe. Their plans hit a snag when their clinic in Guatemala gets taken over by a cartel boss.

As moving to space, along with other technological and economical advancements, may not be decades away like we once assumed, Blanton explores the benefits of space habitation through the McCormack family’s epic adventures, leaving any space lover itching to pack their bags. With his forceful yet focused writing style, Delphi Federation also puts a spotlight on various underdeveloped countries and habitats outside our atmosphere, encouraging readers to appreciate what we have in the present and pay attention to a future that’s more reality than space fantasy. When the sky is no longer the limit, the possibilities to create a better world are endless.

 

When asked about his new book and series, here’s what Bob Blanton had to say about pioneering technology, peace, and bringing life to other plants. 

Q: What makes Delphi Federation and the Delphi in Space Series different than other science fiction books that take place in space?

 

Bob Blanton: I focus on fun and adventure while keeping the science as realistic as possible. Generally, I find some scientific basis for my alternate science. These characters have grown throughout the series, but from the beginning I painted them as capable, making the situations as realistic as possible, saying what would be the likely response to a given situation.

 

Q: The characters in the series live in space, and some scientists and entrepreneurs believe we’re closer than ever to making that a reality. What are your thoughts on having a society in space?

 

BB: Outer Space is just another piece of real estate. We’re already learning about manufacturing processes that are best suited to space and microgravity through the ISS2. The asteroid belt will undoubtedly be an important source for raw materials that are becoming even more scarce on Earth. Investors are viewing the first forays into space as more adventure, novelty oriented. Eventually we’ll have a manufacturing presence which will require a larger, more permanent presence.

 

Q: Many science fiction books warn about technological advancements over time, but the series does the opposite. What do you think are some advantages of technology?

 

BB: Technology is a means to an end. It doesn’t have a political or emotional component, that comes from people who are trying to avoid the disruption it causes in one’s life. It’s difficult to predict what will happen as it becomes integrated into our lives. Just imagine the first portable phones, they were huge, but who would leave the house today without their smartphone. Technology unleashes the human mind to accomplish great and amazing things, unfortunately criminals also have imaginations.

 

Q: You also highlight different regions in your book that are more vulnerable and may not be able to handle such advancements, such as Ukraine and Guatemala. What is your hope in bringing awareness to these countries and their issues?

 

BB: It’s easy to look at underdeveloped countries and write their situations off as their own fault. That ignores the enormous damage that a colonial economy did and does to countries that are relegated to sources of raw material and cheap labor. The average people in those countries are doing the best they can with the hand they’ve been dealt. When presented with unbiased opportunities, they can step up and make a much better life for themselves. Unfortunately, the wealthy and powerful in those countries prefer the status quo. Corruption favors them; who would clean their houses if everyone had a high school education.

 

The paperback and e-book edition of Delphi Federation: Book 6 of Delphi in Space Series are available now.

 

About Bob Blanton

Bob Blanton began the Delphi in Space Series after retiring to the beach in Mexico with his wife. An avid reader, he began thinking of novel ideas and becoming a writer after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to his writing career, Blanton worked as an engineer and manager in San Diego for over 30 years. He is also the author of The Stone Series trilogy and plans to continue his Delphi in Space Series well beyond his 2020 release, Delphi Federation. Learn more about Blanton on his website and connect with him on Facebook and GoodReads.

 

360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Delphi Federation, Delphi Series, Space books, Bob Blanton