T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in
Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky
University. Her poems, short stories,
articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her
published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When
not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in
I started this post over a year ago after I watched The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on campuses and the way universities handle sexual assault on campus. I've come back to it multiple times but have hesitated to publish it yet I couldn't bring myself to delete it. So... With today's announcement regarding the plan to eliminate Title IX protection for survivors, I must speak up. I can no longer be silent.
The Hunting Ground affected me deeply. I stopped it several times when I needed to think and feel and cry and rewind to listen again. (Currently available on Netflix and streaming or DVD purchase on Amazon.)
As I watched, many thoughts went through my mind. I am still dumbfounded by the way universities dismiss and/or minimize sexual assault complaints. I suppose admitting the number of campus sexual assaults on their individual campuses might deter some potential students, but...
Sexual assault happens. It happens in every community. It happens in s…
"...I felt that what I wanted that scene to say to the reader was more important than its surface reality or plausibility." - Richard Wright, transcript of How Bigger Thomas Was Born included in the book, Native Son.
When I read the above line in Richard Wright's essay/speech about how he created Bigger Thomas as the main character of Native son, I stopped. I stared. I read it again... Again... Again... Then I read it out loud, once, twice, thrice.
There's an element in fiction where what's happening must stand a test of whether or not the reader can suspend their disbelief in order to be included; however, I've come to realize this suspension of disbelief depends on many things including the reader's own life experience, or lack thereof. It's easier to get someone who has no experience in a field to believe something because they don't have the background to question it with authority.
But we often do this... We often suspend our disbelief so we c…
Friendship... Yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever... or not...
I recently read I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women's Lives by F. Diane Barth. It struck a few nerves, well, more than a few. As I read about other women's experiences with friendship I couldn't help but remember friendships throughout my life - friendships with similar circumstances to those discussed in the book and ones that didn't come close to matching those circumstances. I started thinking about friendships that last and those that are fleeting as I discussed in a previous blog post,Friendship: Forever or For Today?.
When I weighed the joy my friendships brought me against the heartbreak my friendships have brought me, there was more heartbreak than I expected. I've lost far more friends than I've kept over the years, which I suppose also means I've had more friendships than I initially realized. Some of those friends and I drifted apart as circumstances to…