By Paulette Mahurin
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
I’m often asked, “What is your inspiration for writing?” and one simple answer commonly arises, acts of kindness. Not just kindness in a vacuum but in the face of the world we live in, tragedy upon tragedy, a simple smile, a touch, giving someone some time, can mean so much. Here I am at a complete stranger’s blog site, Booksy Violet, her moniker on her e-mail, signing off communications Tracy/Violet, and I have to wonder who is this person?
My thoughts immediately go to all sorts of things, naturally, she’s a writer, like me, and then I draw a blank, at least in my thoughts, but in my heart, that’s another matter, for this stranger has filled it up. I’m bowled over with her kindness to want to help me promote my book, a simple act of kindness and what does it all mean? Since all my profits are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA. then it means she, Booksy Violet, is helping to save lives, furthering my motto of read a book, save a life.
But it doesn’t end there, for she is also helping to further a message of tolerance.
My book has been written up in large scale press and national magazines in the U.S. for its pro-tolerance/pro-human rights message and so my new friend, Tracy/Violet, you’re helping to forward something greater than just you and me, tolerance, a peaceful way of living in a world of differences. You’ve embraced all this by inviting me in, with your simple and wonderfully sweet act of kindness and I thank you.
Just a few words about my book for anyone who is now just coming across it for the first time. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for “indecency” in Britain. He was sentenced to two years in a prison of hard labor, to sleep on a wood board, walk a tread mill six hours/day, eat watery porridge, and not allowed as much as pen and paper, all because he loved another man and wanted to be with him. When the news of his imprisonment rang out over telegraphs around the world it changed the views on homosexuality from a civil tolerance to outright hatred and abuse. The impact of his imprisonment on a small Nevada town, a lesbian couple in particular, is the focus of the story, but this is not just a story about homophobia; it also encompasses anti-Semitism and racism. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences and how love and friendship heal.
I’m grateful to be here, with my new friend, no longer a stranger, Booksy Violet. I’m grateful for anyone who reads this and wants to pick up the book and read it, spread the word, or help in any way, in the name of tolerance and also perchance to save a few dogs and cats from being on death row, to help them arrive into their forever homes with wagging tales.
Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--Max and Bella. She practices women’s health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time.