America: Writing Love

Saying what’s in your heart and expressing yourself sometimes can be risky, but it’s such a freeing experience. Although I’ve experienced racial bigotry during my childhood in rural Virginia, and unfortunately during my military years in the U.S. Air Force, I try my best to hold on to the belief that there are still more good people in this world than bad people. And that’s one of the things I enjoy about writing. It allows me to display some of my inner-most thoughts.

The White family who places a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their front yard knows that some of their neighbors are saying derogatory and cruel things about them. But, in the long run, the White family who’d made the decision to place the ‘BLM’ sign in their yard had chosen to satisfy their own souls, instead of choosing to be silent.

In writing ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’, one of my greatest challenges was to showcase an interracial love story amidst America’s heated racial and political climate. Being yourself and exposing your deeper self is always the best way to go. Sure, you may offend and upset some of your neighbors and some of your (so-called) friends while doing so, but in the end, you realize that they weren’t your true friends anyway.

Shifting gears now, on another note, September is ‘Library Card Sign-Up Month’. As a young boy I have fond memories of waiting for the mobile library to make its stop in Spotsylvania County. Today, I’m grateful to that same library system, the Fredericksburg Central Rappahannock Regional Library (along with the Los Angeles Public Library, the Baltimore County Public Library, the Des Moines Public Library, the Erie County and Buffalo Public Library, the Urbandale Public Library, etc) for having my books in their collection. Please visit and take advantage of the many services provided by your local library. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

Posted in Books, creative writing, empowerment, Fredericksburg, Interracial love, interracial love story, library, life journey, public library, race relations in America, randolph camp, randolph randy camp, randy camp, rcstories, reading, social issues, Spotsylvania County, Uncategorized, writing, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Teacher in You

This on-going pandemic has definitely changed our lives. Some of you parents have become teachers, whether you’d wanted to be or not. And, to your own surprise, maybe you’re the greatest teacher ever. In a way, there’s a teacher inside all of us. This pandemic has brought that to the forefront.

If you’re doing a lot of teaching and schooling at home, please don’t forget to utilize one of your greatest assets, which is your local library.

For any parent or teacher, creating your syllabus and following your state’s strict curriculum guidelines can be a real challenge. But, finding a way, maybe a creative way, to set aside let’s say an hour or so per week, for your kids (students) to simply talk about anything they want to is arguably your greatest tool as a teacher.

In school settings, a student’s classroom participation is a vital part of his or her final grade, but sometimes the quiet kid in class gets misjudged. It’s common knowledge that these quiet students have a lot of hard stuff on their minds, especially nowadays with the pandemic going on, and at times, their ‘stuff’ is traumatic and not so easy to speak about. (Similar to military veterans, like myself, coping with hidden scars and a tendency to bottle things up.) But given the right avenue or outlet, even the quiet kid comes out of his or her shell and momentarily at least, they’ll have their moment and comfortably feel relaxed enough to share some of their more-deeper thoughts with the class.

Back in elementary school, ‘Show n’ Tell’ time was great because it laid the foundation for some of you who currently have no issues whatsoever with public speaking. As a student gets older, they may or may not have teachers who will set aside classroom time for them to talk openly about their ‘stuff’. But for those teachers who do create these special moments the payoff is great.

I feel so strongly about this issue that I created ‘Sit n’ Talk’ time in my latest short novel ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’, whereby Miss Pritchett’s students gets to speak about whatever they want to in front of the entire class.

Lastly, although it’s challenging, try to enjoy the teacher in you. (It can be rewarding sometimes….and please utilize and take advantage of your local library whenever possible.) – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

Posted in book talk, coming of age, elementary school, high school, library, positive attitude, positive life, public library, randolph camp, randolph randy camp, randy camp, rcstories, reading, social issues, staying positive, story time, students, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Randie’s Free Library: Finding New Readers

Randie had an enormous book collection. If you’d watched AMY POPILLION ‘s Facebook live streamed April 9th event you would’ve seen a portion of Randie’s books, and heard how every book has a sticker that says “This book once belonged to the personal library of Randie Camp. To honor her memory, it has been sent out into the world, by her loved ones, to find new readers. May it be as special to you as it was to her.” After the April 9th ceremony, guests were invited to take books from Randie’s huge collection. Randie’s Free Library (located in Des Moines) had many books from Randie’s personal collection (but most are already taken, which I know puts a big smile on Randie’s face). Also, there’s an additional Little Free Library, honoring Randie Danielle Camp, located in Ames, Iowa, near one of Randie’s favorite city parks.

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America: No Purchase Necessary

Winning is great, but being accepted is greater. ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is a feel-good story about acceptance. One of the many perks of winning the national ‘America’s Family’ Sweepstakes is the chance to meet and to make appearances with the President on his reelection campaign. Unbeknownst to the public, the President and his shady campaign manager are profiting off of these appearances, which are beginning to make the headlines as campaign contribution corruption. When an eclectic African-American family becomes the unexpected winner of the prestigious ‘America’s Family’ contest, the President and his shiesty reelection campaign manager tries to get the family disqualified, thinking that this particular family isn’t ‘American-looking’ enough, and to appear with them on the campaign trail will hurt the President’s chance of getting reelected. Oblivious to a shrewd reporter being on their tail, the President and his cocky campaign manager tries to spin their dirty politics through their unsuspecting press secretary. Without being preachy, ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ gives a lighthearted glimpse into American politics while simultaneously showing a realistic snapshot of life in contemporary America today. Unable to get the Lantern family disqualified as ‘America’s Family’, reluctantly the President meets the family on his reelection campaign trail and, ironically, America begins to fall in love with young Ronnie, who narrates and provides us with his unique autistic insights of his colorful family, while the President’s approval rating dwindles as America begins to see his true colors. Just like any other family in America, the Lanterns have autism, transgender issues, and even a grandmother who’ve come up with her own interesting alternative to plant-base burgers. Ultimately, the Lanterns become more popular than the President, creating a huge problem and causes a gigantic PR headache for his reelection staff. ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is an entertaining political satire that looks at race relations in America, and it shows the sometimes-ugly side of America while, at the same time, reflect the goodness in certain people that highlights America’s beauty as well. The Lantern family won the national sweepstakes fair and square, and they only want to be treated as such. If you or your family ever felt left out, pushed out or shut out then Randolph Randy Camp’s ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is a story for you. 

Available in Paperback or eBook online at Amazon or B&N

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, coming of age, dreams, goals, Interracial love, interracial love story, race relations in America, randolph camp, randolph randy camp, randy camp, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Randie’s Free Library: Always Giving, Always Growing

Randie’s Free Library is growing n’ growing, and Randie is still giving, as she always has. A kind neighbor humbly dropped off the new addition, and it was filled with free books immediately.

Honoring Randie Danielle Camp, who devoted most of her adult life to teaching others the importance of literacy and the healing benefits of bibliotherapy, Randie’s Free Library is located on Kirkwood Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Randie’s Free Library: The Kindness of Neighbors

After several weeks of severe freezing temps, I was surprised to wake up to a bright, sunny March morning…and, on top of that, someone had left a bag of books for Randie’s Free Library. The kindness of strangers and neighbors is amazing.

Randie’s Free Library is growing n’ growing, and Randie is still giving, as she always has. A kind neighbor humbly dropped off the new addition, and it was filled with free books immediately. 

Honoring Randie Danielle Camp, who devoted most of her adult life to teaching others the importance of literacy and the healing benefits of bibliotherapy, Randie’s Free Library is located on Kirkwood Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. 

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Dr. Randie Camp…Finding Home

It’s amazing how some people can attract and draw in so many people towards them. And it’s so special when you go out into the world and you actually find true, sincere genuine love. Some of us get lucky with that, and some of us don’t. My daughter Randie was certainly one of the lucky ones. Randie poured her heart and soul into her goals and dreams. She was always climbing higher. Randie was very fortunate when she landed in Ames, Iowa and found ‘home’ there. In the Iowa State University directory (in Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies) this is what Randie said in response to ‘Hometown’, ” I always felt that ‘home’ is a feeling…not a place.” Randie was working on her Ph.D. when she fell ill and couldn’t cross the finish line…but you know what…Yes indeed! Randie’s home team picked her up and carried her across the finish line themselves! From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of the good folks at Iowa State University for posthumously awarding ‘Dr. Randie Danielle Camp’ her Ph.D……To me, what the ISU faculty did for Randie was very similar to the Simon Cheprot story. (If you’re unaware of what this Kenyan marathon runner did last year at the 2019 Okpekpe Race, then please do go and check it out…so inspiring!) Again, I would like to thank Tera Jordan, Amy Popillion, Cassandra Dorius, Megan Gilligan, Carl Weems, Kere Hughes-Belding, Laura Jolly, William Graves, and Jonathan Wickert. – Randolph Randy Camp

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Humbled Angels

Thank God for the Angels among us. This 2020 year thusfar has been a challenge, to say the least, but it’s an unusually warm, sunny November day in Des Moines today. I’d pulled into my driveway a little while ago and noticed a box sitting on my front doorstep. The box was addressed to ‘RANDIE’S FREE LIBRARY’. It had traveled over a 1000 miles from Fredericksburg, Virginia! Thank you Sherry Grant for fulfilling my daughter’s dream and for being one of God’s Angels. Sherry, your box of nearly 100 children’s books will certainly put a smile on a kid’s face and brighten a kid’s life here in Des Moines. So many of you are Angels, and the coolest and the most beautiful thing about it is that you don’t need or bother to seek out any fanfare for your good deeds. Yes indeed, thank God for all of you Humbled Angels among us. – Randolph Randy Camp

 

Randie’s Free Library is growing n’ growing, and Randie is still giving, as she always has. A kind neighbor humbly dropped off the new addition, and it was filled with free books immediately. 

Honoring Randie Danielle Camp, who devoted most of her adult life to teaching others the importance of literacy and the healing benefits of bibliotherapy, Randie’s Free Library is located on Kirkwood Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Posted in book lovers, book readers, Books, education, Free Book Saturday, goals, life goals, positive life, public library, rcstories, reading, teachers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dignity

Throughout history we always have people who think that they are somehow superior to others. Sadly, still today in 2020, some of us encounter bigotry on so many levels and in so many different aspects of our daily lives. There will always be those who will try to make us feel ‘less than’ them, and slyly try to take job opportunities, housing opportunities and other materialistic things from us, but there are certain things that no one can take from us. Having pride in yourself and in your own culture and history gives you just enough strength to keep moving on, even when they are steadily trying to knock you down and stop you. Every time I look at this 50-foot sculpture entitled ‘Dignity’ it gives me just enough strength and inspiration I need to keep moving on. – Randolph Randy Camp (Photo: 50-foot sculpture ‘Dignity’ in South Dakota to honor women of the Sioux Nation)

 

 ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is a feel-good story about acceptance. One of the many perks of winning the national ‘America’s Family’ Sweepstakes is the chance to meet and make appearances with the President on his reelection campaign. When an eclectic African-American family becomes the unexpected winner of the prestigious ‘America’s Family’ contest, the President and his shiesty reelection campaign manager tries to get the family disqualified, thinking that this particular family isn’t ‘American-looking’ enough, and to appear with them on the campaign trail will hurt the President’s chance of getting reelected. Without being preachy, ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ gives a lighthearted glimpse into American politics while simultaneously showing a realistic snapshot of life in contemporary America. Just like any other family in America, the Lanterns have autism, transgender issues, and even a grandmother who’ve come up with her own interesting alternative to plant-based burgers. ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is an entertaining political satire that looks at race relations in America, and it shows the sometimes-ugly side of America while simultaneously reflecting the goodness in certain people that highlights America’s beauty as well. If you or your family ever felt left out, pushed out or shut out then Randolph Randy Camp’s ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is a story for you. 

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, empowerment, life lessons, positive attitude, positive life, race relations in America, randolph camp, randolph randy camp, randy camp, rcstories, respect, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep The Arts

RandolphRandyCamp HarleyQuinn

Promoting and nurturing creativity is always a good thing.

Ever since I was a little boy I used to listen to the songs on the radio so intensely. I was fascinated by the stories and characters within these songs, especially the early songs of artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Bob Dylan.

When I was able to read I would read anything I could get my hands on, books, magazines, Readers Digest, etc. I was amazed at how someone could dream up something in their head, put it on paper and then see it come to life within the comics or in a novel.

One of my favorite classes at Spotsylvania Jr. High was 8th grade Language Arts. We kept a journal that we would turn in weekly and the teacher would give her feedback on it. In the journal we had the creative freedom to jot down our personal thoughts, write poems or short stories, etc. And, looking back now, I think that it was this particular class that really got my mind to open up and let some of the characters I’d been dreaming up out unto the page.

Sadly, across America in recent years, a lot of school districts have eliminated arts education from our classrooms (mostly due to budget issues). This is very unfortunate because I’ve personally experienced and come to know the extraordinary value of these arts educational programs and classes in our public schools. Without a doubt, my 8th grade Language Arts class and other arts-based classes definitely played a big role in cultivating my childhood passion for storytelling and creating my own original characters.

Although science, math and other STEM-related programs are crucial for students nowadays, I hope that school districts that are dealing with low funds and budget issues will find the balance and a way to compromise to keep arts education in their curriculum because I strongly believe that helping students to express themselves in creative ways builds a strong foundation for a productive child and a positive student.

I’m so grateful for all of my teachers during my early years in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and God bless all of the moms, dads, dedicated volunteers, teachers and educators across the world who are helping kids and students every single day to open their minds and express themselves. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

(By the way, no, I didn’t create the comic character Harley Quinn. That credit goes to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.)

 ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is a feel-good story about acceptance. One of the many perks of winning the national ‘America’s Family’ Sweepstakes is the chance to meet and make appearances with the President on his reelection campaign. When an eclectic African-American family becomes the unexpected winner of the prestigious ‘America’s Family’ contest, the President and his shiesty reelection campaign manager tries to get the family disqualified, thinking that this particular family isn’t ‘American-looking’ enough, and to appear with them on the campaign trail will hurt the President’s chance of getting reelected. Without being preachy, ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ gives a lighthearted glimpse into American politics while simultaneously showing a realistic snapshot of life in contemporary America. Just like any other family in America, the Lanterns have autism, transgender issues, and even a grandmother who’ve come up with her own interesting alternative to plant-based burgers. ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is an entertaining political satire that looks at race relations in America, and it shows the sometimes-ugly side of America while simultaneously reflecting the goodness in certain people that highlights America’s beauty as well. If you or your family ever felt left out, pushed out or shut out then Randolph Randy Camp’s ‘America: No Purchase Necessary’ is a story for you. 

Posted in arts, Author Randolph Randy Camp, book lovers, characters, creative writing, education, elementary school, high school students, randolph camp, randolph randy camp, randy camp, rcstories, reading, Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania County, Spotsylvania High School, students, teachers, Uncategorized, writing, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment