This week we featured Karen Moulder. Karen has led a very interesting and less-than-traditional life. Her determination has helped her break numerous barriers personally and professionally. She was the first woman to be hired in the Brownsville, Texas Fire Department in 1983. Her tomboyish nature and single mother circumstance led her to this fascinating and dangerous career which lasted more than ten years. Karen's career involved protecting lives, property, and educating the public on fire safety. She entered a man’s world in a time when few women did. As a result, she faced a series of peculiar and challenging obstacles, but also became a role model for other women.
In 2012, Karen Moulder became a published author when her auto-biography was independently published. The book, titled 'Burning Barriers' can be purchased at major online retailers as well as in several bookstores near her hometown of Ware, MA.
SlushHeap is scheduled for the next 12 Tuesdays. Each week a different subject matter will become our topic. Surprising to use after Tuesday evening's episode, time slots on our schedule began filling a quite a pace. On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7 PM our discussion will be about Children's Books, illustrated versions and text versions. As soon as our guests are signed you may find their bio on http://www.slushheap.com/index.html If this topic interests you please join us either on Google+ or on our homepage to watch the show. If you have a question, you may do so on Twitter
or on Google+.
We hope to grow from this humble beginning last night. I feel good about our future. The question I have been asked the most: "Why are you doing this?" My answer is simple. I too want to learn more about writing, editing, publishing and marketing. After all what brought me here was a book I had visually in my head and through the skill of my co-host Darcie Duranceau it became reality. There is the next book waiting around the corner. I want to make it better than the first one. Plus I must admit that Google+ Hangout on Air shows have given me exposure that I could not have bought. And let's face it, those of you out there who know me, realize that I love to be in public and rub elbows with all my friends. When I became a loner, my troubles grew. Just as music is not my life, but my life is music, so it is with talking to people.
Some years ago, as my children were growing up, we joined the local YMCA and became part of a program called 'Indian Guides'. We, my children and I, learned the ways of the native people of this continent. We learned to respect nature, take care of our environment and love our brothers as ourselves. I came away with another lesson. Native Americans had no written language but passed on their history orally. Grandfathers would sit with their grandchildren and tell them about their forefathers, about Mother Nature, about the Big Hunt. I took this to heart and began to visit local school to speak to the children about my life as a little boy growing up in war torn Germany. When I had exhausted my childhood stories, I turned to short stories about Native Americans. I prided myself in the fact that I could remember stories and jokes so well. I even took jokes and inserted myself into them. At the end of my little speech, folks would not only get a punch line but also would find out that I was in no way part of the story and their love, hate or pity for me were for-not.
While still being part of the YMCA Indian Guides, I had the opportunity to write a letter to someone in a Southwestern State ordering some genuine arrowheads. Months went by and nothing was received. I felt cheated, but life has to on. One day a package arrived. This package originated in Oklahoma. For the life of me I could not recall ordering anything from Oklahoma. I opened the package and found it contained the arrowheads I had ordered. The package also contained a letter from Grey Wolf, Chief of the Lene Lenape Indian Tribe of Oklahoma. As it turned out when I ordered the merchandise I signed my name with my adopted Indian name: Greywolf. No address was given. So the sender researched the name and found that Grey Wolf was the buyer. Once Grey Wolf received the merchandise he began to investigate who Greywolf was. As luck would have it he discovered me. After many mail exchanges for the next year, Grey Wolf made me an offer that brought joy to my heart. He made me Greywolf an honorary member of Lene Lenape Tribe. This was perhaps my proudest moment. That young boy who used to go watch the cowboy movies in Germany and was never allowed to play an Indian that afternoon had come full circle and now was a real member of the great Lene Lenape Nation.
My children grew up and were to old to stay in the Indian Guides. They pursued their own destiny. I went from telling stories to sinking into the bottle. I gave up friend after friend until the darkness consumed me. Years passed and life was so bad that I had a difficult time holding a job. It was not my lack of skills that cost me the employment but my anger got the best of me. One day a brother Vietnam Veteran gave me a lecture and made me promise that I would face my demons. I signed up with the VA and as they say ' the rest is history'.
The life is back in me. Physically I am not the man I was and my memory is getting the best of me. That will not stop me from educating the next generations to our accomplishments. This all came to a head when I med a young man, a self-made author who wrote the stories of those who fought World War II. We would talk but he was always in a hurry because he had to go interview a veteran about the war because as he expressed it: " when they are gone so is the opportunity to write their stories.