Jessica Kirkland Joins as Marketing and Literary Agent with The Blythe Daniel Agency

Jessica is a very gifted communicator and has been researching and assisting with acquisitions for the last few months. She joins The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. as a Marketing and Literary Agent. She recently acquired the project we are working on now with abortion survivor Claire Culwell, whose story is one of three stories that the movie October Baby is based upon. Jessica is acquiring and representing adult fiction, young adult fiction,and some non-fiction.

I know you will really enjoy working with her. She brings a lot of creative energy and innovative thinking. I have been very impressed with her skills in acquisitions and marketing and she will continue to help us build and launch authors through our literary and marketing efforts.

Here is a bit about Jessica:

Jessica Kirkland is the CEO of Christian Apps For Kids, LLC. She graduated Cum Laude in 2004, with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications and a minor in Marketing, from Sam Houston State University. One of Jessica’s greatest passions is helping children find truth and freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jessica enjoys bringing quality book apps to the Christian marketplace that teach character and help children learn God’s word. You can find her apps at www.christianapps4kids.com.

Jessica is a mentor and writer to mother’s at The Mom Initiative and her own website, www.jessicakirkland.com, where she encourages readers to look beyond the veil of their circumstances and believe that God sees them and cares about every detail of their lives. Jessica lives in Livingston, Texas (near Houston) with her husband, Robb, and 5-year-old triplets.

Comments

  1. Kelly Martindale says:

    Dear Jessica:
    I want to apologize for wasting your time today as I missed our 2pm telephone appointment regarding the CCWC 2012. No excuses…please forgive me.
    Most sincerely,
    Kelly Martindale

  2. Stratford Caughman says:

    Please email me when you get a chance. I need to discuss something with you. thank you

  3. TJ Martini says:

    Dear Jessica~
    My name is Toni (TJ) Martini and I am a Christian author with five published books to my credit (one non-fiction, one fiction, and three based on true stories). I am currently looking for an agent who can help me to spread the Word of Jesus Christ to the lost people in this world. My books have reached a few, but I know God wants more from me than that. My heartfelt hope and prayer is that you would give me a chance to show you what I can offer as an author and child of God and, in return, you could find in your heart to help me go farther, for we know God is able and, if we trust Him, He will show us the Way. I would be so honored if you could get back to me at your earliest convenience and to send you any information that you need.
    Till then, be of Good cheer.
    Toni (TJ) Martini

  4. Great article! We’re nearing the end of dev for our app and are hoping to launch soon so we’ll be putting all of these tips into action soon!

  5. John A. McCabe says:

    Dear Mrs. Kirkland,
    My novel, The Sanctity of Remembering in penultimate form through a professional editor was created to remind us all and to perhaps commemorate the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Would you please pass this on to those interested in such a work or others you may know who would pursue the publication of such an endeavor.
    Thank you, Sir.

    Here is an except from the novel –
    A HEADS UP – THIS WILL NOT BE EASY TO IGNORE

    JAPAN

    CHAPTER ICHI
    UPROOTINGS, 1962
    Reiko Fumuoko sat primly on the edge of her bed in the girls’ dorm so as not to wrinkle her silk kimono. The robe she had hand-sewn as part of her school curriculum was only worn on special occasions such as this one, her departure day, when traditional Japanese garments were required, and she wanted it to look fresh when she met her uncle. She had chosen a true blue material with white embroidered willows and figures for her garment, which, along with some kohl liner, enhanced the beauty of her brown-black Asian eyes. Her glistening black hair swept back from her face in a traditional arrangement, the waves held in place by artistic combs sent to her by her uncle as a gift. An even five feet tall, she had grown into a remarkably attractive woman, with a lovely face and a shapely form whose every movement was alluring; her beauty captivated both men and women like the unfolding petals of a shy orchid.
    Reiko had lived at the Catholic Nuns’ School and Orphanage for fourteen years, since she had lost her parents in the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the age of three. Her Uncle Shiro, a Buddhist monk, had placed her there; unable to raise her himself, he had watched over her and directed her upbringing under the tutelage of the Western nuns since that time.
    An intellectually gifted girl, Reiko had excelled in her secretarial courses and displayed a remarkable ability to understand the English language. Most girls from the orphanage, when they came of age, were placed in menial jobs at entry-level, practically servant positions to industrialists and institutions. But for Reiko, because of her scholarly abilities and her pleasing demeanor, the nuns had secured one of their most prized positions: she was to be employed as a live-in secretary and Japanese/ English translator for the Bishop at the Catholic Prefecture, which was situated along the coast. She was waiting now for her uncle, who would be taking her ninety miles north to her new life.
    Reiko glanced around her small living space to make sure she had packed everything, more as a matter of tidiness and respect than of concern for her personal belongings, which were few and of little value. “If I perhaps do leave something behind,” she thought complacently, “it may be that one of the other girls can make use of it.”
    Her eyes fell on the brown envelope that lay on her neatly made bed. Her name was hand-written on the front in bold Hiragana strokes, and the syllabic calligraphy in thick black ink evoked the oppressive presence of the stern Mother Superior, Sister Marie Baptiste. Reiko knew every girl was given such an envelope when departing the orphanage and that It contained her records and Mother Superior’s personal comments, do’s and don’ts. She knew, too, that she would never open her folder—although she had not yet decided whether to take it with her or leave it on the bed. She sighed, then picked up her Redbook magazine and flipped through the pages, stopping to focus on an ad for lipstick, attracted by the colors. The noon bell tolled its dull, metal-to-metal knocking, and shortly afterward a student one year Reiko’s junior came to the doorway and announced Uncle Shiro’s arrival.
    “Thank you, Katsuko,” Reiko responded, standing and brushing imaginary wrinkles out of her kimono.
    Katsuko asked in English, “Fumuoko-san will marry if chosen?” During the last week of the school year, students were required to speak English at all times. Many of them struggled with the language structures, but they posed no problem for Reiko, whose English was always correct, if somewhat measured and formal at times.
    “No. I have never . . . imagined . . . being a wife,” Reiko replied, blushing slightly. “I cannot think of myself that way.”
    “Then you will become a nun like Qing and the others?” Katsuko persisted.
    “I might,” Reiko smiled. “Frankly, I find most flirtations unbearable, but I might like to be the female complement to a handsome man of virtue and learning. I do not know. You always said my love of solitude was part of a truly artistic nature. How does one know if one is destined to be a nun, or a wife, or what?”
    Katsuko smiled mischievously. “One asks those who have already become nuns or wives or what,” she said.
    “Oh, I will miss you, Katsuko,” Reiko sighed. Her lips trembled as tears filled her eyes, but she was determined not to cry. Contrary to what the Western nuns expected of “the Orientals,” as they called the children in their institution, there were often tears in the orphanage—but Reiko had sworn this would not be one of those times. She swallowed hard and breathed deeply to maintain control, and Katsuko did the same. The girls, touched by each other’s sadness, bowed, and Reiko left the room to go to her uncle.
    A roomy black car was parked beyond the entrance to the orphanage, and a man in a chauffeur’s uniform stood beside the rear door. Reiko walked slowly across the pebbled ground, careful not to stir up any dust with her sandals. The old monk, his lips curved into the faintest smile, seemed to read the sound of her footsteps, as if the barely audible disturbance of the little stones spoke to him about the present emotions of his niece. As she approached the car the driver opened the door for her, and she saw her uncle in the back seat, draped in orange robes that beckoned to her like a warm flame. The driver took her suitcase and held the door for her to enter. Uncle Shiro leaned forward and smiled broadly, and whatever fears she may have had vanished under that sunny look of welcome; she suddenly knew this was the right thing to do. Bowing to the driver and then to her uncle, she lifted herself gracefully onto the seat and drew in her legs, taking advantage of a moment when she faced the window to wipe the remaining wetness from her eyes. The silent driver deposited her case in the trunk, slid behind the wheel, and began to drive northward.
    Reiko’s first day as an adult had begun.

    CHAPTER NI
    HIROSHIMA RESURRECTED
    Speaking in Japanese, Reiko and Uncle Shiro exchanged small pleasantries, but discussed nothing of importance because of the driver. They sat mostly in comfortable silence, enjoying the view and the smooth ride. While still a bit apprehensive about leaving the orphanage, Reiko felt excitement building as she embarked on a new adventure, and she eagerly drank in all the sights along the road.
    They had not been traveling for long when the car passed a road sign that declared “Hiroshima 広島市.” To Reiko’s surprise, the driver turned in the direction pointed out by the sign’s arrow. She turned to her uncle, a question forming on her lips, but he spoke before she could ask.
    “Since it is on the way,” he explained in a mild voice, “I thought we would revisit your birthplace and the place where your parents died.” Tears sprang unbidden to Reiko’s eyes at the mention of her mother and father, and she stared at Uncle Shiro with dismay. “Please understand,” the monk continued. “I do this not to sadden you, but to give you true peace and union with your parents.” Though she was disturbed by her uncle’s plan, Reiko bowed her head in obedience, and the car carried them into the city.
    After they arrived in downtown Hiroshima, Shiro issued directions to the driver until their route intersected with a narrow, empty street. The driver parked the car and opened the back door, helping first Reiko and then the old monk to exit, then returned to his seat and settled in, preparing to wait for them as long as necessary. Shiro turned the corner and walked into the deserted street, going halfway down along its middle. He stood still for a moment, looking around, then walked back and forth, back and forth. Reiko followed close behind, wondering what he was doing. Dressed in her beautiful blue kimono, she floated over the bare concrete like a butterfly that had lost its way.
    Shiro stopped suddenly, and Reiko, caught off guard and unable to check her forward motion, stumbled into him. Turning quickly, the old monk caught her shoulders to prevent her from falling, then pivoted back so they were both facing the same direction. “Here,” he said, his eyes riveted to the center of the pavement. “This is where they died. This is the place where in an instant the lives of your parents, my sister and brother-in-law, were taken by the blast. This entire area was destroyed, and it always takes me a moment to get my bearings and remember where their bedroom was.”
    “Bedroom?” Reiko repeated uncomprehendingly. Her gaze dropped to the section of concrete Shiro was looking at, as if she expected to see her parents there.
    “Yes. That is where they were on the morning the bomb exploded. During the war they both worked at night and slept during the day. That is why you were outside the city with your grandmother and grandfather on their small rice, barley, and potato farm. They cared for you during the night while your parents worked and the following day while they slept, and then your parents would come to get you.”
    Reiko lowered her head and spoke in a small voice. “So the reason I am alive—?”
    “Yes, my dear, you are alive because your parents were working nights for the war effort, and your grandparents babysat you.”
    Shiro staggered a bit as he paced back and forth over the area of concrete that was the only headstone Reiko’s parents would ever have. “Their home stood here,” he said softly, almost as if he were speaking to himself. “I first saw their feet under the debris. They were together, side by side. They would have been sleeping at the time, and everything happened so quickly, we can hope they did not know.”
    Reiko stared at the concrete, feeling a strong desire to step onto the spot. She looked at Shiro’s now creased and furrowed face and knew he was feeling the pain afresh. Her throat tightened. “And your parents, my grandmother and grandfather?” she prompted.
    “They were overwhelmed by sorrow at the loss of their only daughter and died of grief shortly afterward, one after the other,” Shiro completed her statement. He bowed low over the concrete, offering a sign of respect to their dead relatives. Reiko’s face crumpled as she began to feel overwhelmed. To lighten the mood, Shiro inhaled deeply and noisily, then exhaled explosively. “So!” he snorted, “The two of us became orphans at almost the same time!” He broke into a huge grin and reached for Reiko’s hand, clasping it warmly as he began to walk away. Reiko went willingly, relieved that he did not want to remain any longer at that hallowed, yet horrible, reminder of their loss.
    At the end of the barren street they came upon a smooth stone wall built above a river bank. The shallow water ran silently through the ravine, and colorful birds flitted above the overgrowth on the opposite bank, filling the air with their repetitive songs. Uncle Shiro dusted off the flat stones of the wall with his robe, and they sat down.
    “Do you come here often, Uncle Shiro?” Reiko asked.
    “My heart often returns to this place, even when I am in the monastery,” he replied.
    His answer was indirect, but Reiko accepted it. She smiled, and he smiled in response. It was a certain knowing smile they had shared as long as she could remember, a thing of family. Even though he could not be with her, during all those years in the orphanage he had kept her world from being as lonely as it might have been. Through visits and letters and gifts, Uncle Shiro had made certain she knew she always had family.
    She asked, “Was there any other reason for us to come to Hiroshima?” Like a teacher listening to his favorite student, Shiro’s face filled with satisfaction.
    “You are very astute,” he praised her, obviously pleased with her question. “We are also here because I wish to tell you more about what our family experienced here in this city.”
    Shiro stood and brushed off his deep orange robe. As he stood in the sunlight, he reminded Reiko of the saintly statues pictured in stained glass motifs in the chapel at the orphanage. Facing toward the center of the city and blinking at the glitz displayed in the modern Hiroshima skyline, he said, “I brought you here to hear my personal account, so that I may give you what I carry in my memory. It is a sacred matter. We monks are taught to seek upwardly. We seek, begging to become selfless. I pray that what I say will be worthy of this sanctified tragic history.”
    He was now staring at her face, a most unusual gesture for the Japanese, and his eyes grew wide, as if they knew that this was irregular behavior. He wet his lips with the tip of his tongue, then lifted his arm and pointed toward the center of the city. “A great shining darkness occurred here,” he began. “We Japanese were burnt to death here, like your parents, because we had chosen to go to war, even though we had been taught it was our responsibility never to waste any living thing. But instead of following this teaching, our leaders sought conquest by following the old ways—and we followed them like pawns. Because of their zeal to taste victory, and our failure to restrain them, we brought this horror upon ourselves.”
    Shiro studied his clenched hands, which were perspiring freely. The matter of the atomic bomb was disturbing and not commonly discussed. Death, he believed, was a disruption of one life and a link to another: it was always an impure thing, and nuclear death was the most impure of all. “We in modern Japan must always begin here, in Hiroshima,” he continued, regaining his seat on the wall, “yet we must never stay caught in what happened here. We cannot be simply informed or reformed by that postwar occupation the American government decreed; we can live no more in the past. We must form our own truth.”
    “What is the truth, Uncle?” Reiko asked. “Was any one nation worse than another at the time of this war?”
    “There were atrocities all over the world,” Shiro said, “as if all of humanity was caught up in an uncontrollable madness triggered by madmen. The Japanese were thought of as fiends because many of the Japanese who went off to war were fiends about their assumed missions. The Kamikaze was also fiendish. Our very young men sacrificed their lives for our country in desperate ways, but ‘give me liberty or give me death’ was not acceptable to the Americans, who sent skulls of dead soldiers home as souvenirs. The Japanese armies bayoneted and tortured and even buried alive men, women, and children. The Germans’ genocide butchery would have exterminated us in time, for they were developing their own atomic bomb. The Americans deliberately killed civilians with massive fire bombings in the last years of the war….” Shiro’s voice trailed off. He stared at the river landscape, seeing nothing; his terror-stricken eyes gleamed like polished dark gemstones as his face took on a pale, glazed, almost inhuman rigidity.
    Reiko knew he was remembering Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945, and that he was being emotionally turned to stone by what he envisioned. He spoke quietly through clenched teeth, his voice strained, and Reiko closed her eyes to concentrate on his words. “Hiroshima, every inch of it and everything in it—buildings, schools, trams, trucks, homes—the very structure of the city and its inhabitants—in an instant became like compressed, air-blasted sand from a sandblaster.”
    Shiro stopped speaking. The sudden silence, broken only by the wind’s soft sighs, caused Reiko to open her eyes. She looked out over the quiet water and waited for Shiro to continue. When he did, she did not hear the first part, immersed as she was in vivid imaginings triggered by his descriptions and the realization that she was at the exact 1945 ground zero. She felt trapped in a nightmare, expecting some vapor to be exhaled from the ground. For her, the atomic bomb was forever present, perhaps buried in the earth it had scorched to a place of death and ash.
    When Reiko emerged from her trance, Shiro was still talking. “I had a view of the destruction as it happened. It came from between those rivers,” he said, lifting his arm and pointing downstream. “A ball of fire so huge and so hot it melted the sun. I heard it—an astonishing, unbelievably loud noise that threatened to shatter my ear drums—a split second before I saw it. A shock wave of incredible speed, taking everything with it in a force so great it ripped and pulverized all things. That horrible wave of destruction advanced on the city at lightning velocity, carrying thousands of degrees of heat, searing the ground and the atmosphere, obliterating all forms of matter in its path, including our people—mothers, fathers, children. . . .” His voice trailed off again.
    It seemed to Reiko that this retelling was costing her uncle a great deal, draining him of energy, and she became concerned. “Uncle Shiro,” she said gently, “You are living it all over again. It is on your face, and it is filling your mind. When I was little, you came to visit me during a storm, and a bolt of lightning burned the willow tree we were sitting under. Do you remember? Like then, I am upset by the loss of your calm and gentle face. This cannot be healthy for you. Perhaps you should not be thinking of this?”
    “I appreciate your concern for my welfare, Little One,” Shiro said, “and you are correct, It is not healthy for one to obsess about that terrible day. It is not often that I allow myself to focus on the details, for that would serve no purpose. But you are beginning your life out in society today, and it is my responsibility to enlighten you.”
    Reiko was pleased to hear her uncle use the nickname he had given her many years earlier. It brought back good memories of the time they had spent together when he had visited. “Yes, Uncle,” she replied dutifully. “I thank you for your instruction, and I hope it will not bring too much sadness to your heart. Please be careful.”
    “I will, Reiko,” he answered mildly, reaching into a pocket in his voluminous robe and withdrawing a folded, dried-up Japanese newspaper. “I shall now read to you an account of the destruction,” he announced. He removed a pair of reading glasses from another pocket and put them on, then raised the old paper carefully and began to read aloud.

    “In Hiroshima, at 8:17 A.M. on a typically warm August morning, human agony that cannot be communicated in words shrieked at the universe. The Americans dropped an atomic bomb, and people of all ages were instantly turned to carbon ash or burned beyond recognition, their scorched skin hanging from their bodies in shreds. Some lost their sight immediately; horribly for others, their eyes melted.
    “Nothing and no one could determine which of the evils was the worst—the shock, the shattering impact on all matter, the thermal horror of thousands of degrees of heat, the flash of unnatural light, the blackened sky and its black rain, the screams of the living, or the silence of the incinerated and the evaporated.”

    Shiro gingerly unfolded the brittle newspaper, opening it to its full size, and continued to read aloud.

    “Ten of the twelve schools within a 1.3 km radius of the hypocenter experienced a 100% mortality rate. Most of the children suffered instant death, largely because they were still outdoors. Another 12,000 children, mostly 12- and 13-year-olds, were at work clearing demolition sites to serve as fire-breaks in the event of allied incendiary bombing. They were also within the 1.3 km radius. If any of them survived, they lived to witness flesh falling off their own bodies and their workmates walking with arms instinctively extended to reduce the pain from anything contacting their skin.”

    Shiro glanced at Reiko and saw that she had closed her eyes. Tears on her lashes glittered in the sunshine, and her lips quivered as she sat silently on the flat rock. The old monk nodded his head in silent approval. He held the paper up to the sunlight.

    “Among the general population, ground temperatures of 4,000 degrees Celsius were calculated (iron melts at 1,535 degrees Celsius), the blast pressure was estimated to be 32 tons per square meter, and wind speeds were approximated at 440 km per second. Caught up in these unimaginable forces, tens of thousands of Japanese were disemboweled, decapitated, their eyes blown from their sockets, their bodies crushed.”

    Shiro felt his emotions rising and paused, taking deep breaths and exhaling audibly, to calm himself. “Perhaps we should walk for a few moments,” he suggested.
    “That would be good, Uncle,” Reiko answered in a subdued voice.
    They rose and strolled along the stone wall for a short while, not speaking, both lost in their own thoughts. Reiko sighed deeply, and Shiro, looking at her mournful face, reminded himself grimly that he was telling her this not to hurt her, but because there were things she must know. After several silent minutes had passed, they settled themselves on the flat stones once again, and Shiro, despite being reluctant, resumed reading.

    “The American weapon exploded directly above the Shimo Hospital in the center of Hiroshima, instantly killing all the patients and hospital personnel. Of those who were within the 500-meter area of the blast and saw the flash, none lived to learn that they were blind. For a millionth of a second, temperatures reached one million degrees Celsius inside that bell-shaped fireball, while the most penetrating of gamma and neutron rays saturated the city.”

    Shiro lowered the newspaper to his knee. “I can read no more of this; it is too upsetting,” he said, refolding the printed pages along their original creases. “You see, when I think this way, just about now there comes upon me a peculiar impulsiveness, a reckless thinking, and then comes a stream of imbecilic thoughts about the guilt of surviving, so odious to the soul.” His dark eyes widened, and his face expressed sheer blank fright. “I have a strange disorder that my mind can barely escape, as if it were all a waking nightmare of my choice. I feel the guilt of one who did not die with the others, of one who escaped when no one should have.” He gazed at Reiko with tortured eyes. “I leap from it just before going mad,” he confessed, “and force myself into the narcotic effect of the present.”
    “Oh, Creator God!” Reiko whispered.
    “I saw the American bomb when it exploded,” her uncle said, “and that will stay within me for the rest of my existence. There is no force in nature like the atomic bomb, Reiko. It destroys and alters forever every molecule of matter gripped in its power.” He stared out over the river.
    “Yet . . . you survived, Uncle,” Reiko said quietly, laying a comforting hand on his arm. She was gratified to see a composed look return to his face, taking it as a sign that he had been released from his terrors.
    “That’s true,” he agreed. He turned and gazed toward the heart of Hiroshima. “Look what they have done to the city, as if to forget,” he declared. “It is now in high-tech glitter, modernized beyond all recognition.”
    Reiko turned her body toward the city and looked at it searchingly. “Yes,” she said at last, “but it is still beautiful in a way—although not as it was, I am sure,”
    “No, not as it was,” Shiro responded.
    They sat in silence, contemplating the city. Finally Reiko spoke.
    “Did everyone wish for death, as we have been told?” she asked.
    “Many,” Shiro answered.
    “Did you know what the bomb was, and that it came from other human beings?”
    “I did,” Shiro replied, “but many had no idea what was happening. They seemed to identify only what they knew: fire was fire, force was force. But I knew. I had learned from other monks that there was a secret weapon coming to defeat Japan, and I heard the plane. I recognized that weapon as man’s inhumanity to man. I knew immediately it had that evilness about it, and that was what terrorized me. I was stripped of all sense of security, and suddenly did not know what it meant to be Japanese. In an instant, we were the victims of our own race, a nest of ants crushed under the fiendish stomping of other human beings.”
    “You, Uncle Shiro, are not an ant, but a giant,” Reiko gently chided.
    “I saw my people annihilated and my place of birth made into a molten, mysterious death camp,” Shiro said. “We were being exterminated. The street names, which called to mind the families who lived there, became, if still legible, semi-obliterated grave markers, now calling to mind those who died there.”
    Reiko was filled with a sense of helplessness. “At least the war ended,” she said, not realizing she had slipped into English.
    Startled by the sound of what was to him a barbaric foreign language, her uncle glared at her and hissed, “Nihongo de itte kudasai.” [Please speak in Japanese.]
    Reiko had not meant to insult her uncle, but was certain she had done so by using another tongue to discuss matters so sacred to the Japanese. It was a good lesson to learn, that in certain situations only the language of her homeland would do, and she determined to be more careful with her speech in the future. She apologized to her uncle and repeated the words in Japanese.
    Shiro grunted, then responded to her statement. “Yes,” he agreed, “the war did end—and those who were left were destroyed by a disease that spread with the wrath of a rapacious biologic disorder, faster than any plague or venomous snakebite. We inhabited the chambers of the dead. The stench was ghastly, worse than all the human vomit and waste. People grew sick and died every day, until the toll rose into the thousands. Severe burns became coated in disgusting puss, and maggots appeared on the suffering. Flesh had melted to flesh, and one saw children and others with their chins fastened to their necks, or their fingers fused together. Those hands became like crab claws, welded together and deformed, sometimes so much so that they were useless tools. Monstrous deformities that never healed normally, such as elevated, elongated bubbled areas, formed on faces and any other unshielded flesh. There were some who appeared unhurt, but they were sickened genetically, a disease that did not show until the next generation. All living things faced the demise of natural science.
    “The vegetation grew back almost immediately, and even though they suspected it was not good for their health, the people ate it—even the grass—for they were hungry. Initially people were so dried out by the heat of the blast that the dehydration alone was killing them. They tried to re-hydrate by drinking water, but they died anyway. Drinking was not enough; they needed special hydration treatment. But, of course, they did not know that; they thought the water had gone bad and was killing them.”
    For a moment the two were silent while Shiro gave Reiko time to absorb what he had said. He was glad that the spot he had chosen for their conversation remained isolated and that privacy was not a problem.
    “That was what our enemy held for us,” he continued. “I thought for the first time of how deeply we must be hated by the Americans, and I was afraid of what we meant to them. I wanted to know how such hatred was born. We are a good people, a polite people, almost to a fault. If you walked among the dying as I did and heard their requests for water and aid, you would hear nothing but politeness. How, then, could such hatred come to be? Nothing made any sense anymore, and that is one reason I remained a monk: I would be lost out in the world. ”
    Reiko, caught within the mental torrent of her uncle’s mind, felt the blackness and horror of his memories. A complete loss of light darkened her interior being.
    Shiro allowed his niece a few moments of silence, then said, “I have finished with the telling. Do you have any questions, Little One?”
    “Just one, Uncle, if I may,” Reiko answered. “Being so close to the explosion, how is it that you survived?”
    “I was very fortunate,” Shiro replied. “The Monastery was a natural atomic bomb shelter. We were nested in the rock formations just far enough away and at low ground levels. It protected us. Our community’s mortalities came later from the radiation, not the blast. So far as I know, I escaped from that as well. No one knows why radiation goes into one person and not another. ”
    “I consider it my good fortune, also, that you were spared,” Reiko said.
    “Thank you, child,” Shiro said.
    They bowed deeply to one another, then linked hands and began to walk back the way they had come.
    “I have to go away from my home and from my birthplace, two separations in one day, and start a whole new life,” said Reiko.
    “It is so, Little One,” Shiro answered sympathetically. “But you are strong, and the ride will help you prepare.”
    “It is not easy to be alone, is it?” she sighed, and felt Shiro give her hand a comforting squeeze.
    When they approached the car, the driver was sitting inside enjoying the air conditioning and listening to American popular music on the radio. He turned the radio off abruptly and jumped out to open the doors for his passengers. Once again, silence prevailed in the car’s interior, broken only by the whir of the air conditioner and the hum of the tires. Lost in their own thoughts, Shiro and Reiko looked out at the passing landscape.
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Stone Bridge Press
    To: undertrees2
    Sent: Fri, Aug 2, 2013 10:01 am
    Subject: From Stone Bridge: 3rd edition release of China Survival Guide, and new special offer for taiko groups

    THE ABOVE IS FOUND AFTER 12 PRECEDING CHAPTERS – IT IS THE 1ST AND 2ND CHAPTERS THAT TAKE PLACE IN JAPAN.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND REPLY Dave.

    The Sanctity
    of
    Remembering

    Nagasaki August 9, 1945
    PHOTO; SHOGO YAMAMATA (On public record).

    by
    John A. McCabe

  6. This really spoke to me, Jessica. Thank You.

  7. Oh wait, I forgot I wasn’t on your blog anymore! My comment was in regards to a blog post you wrote back in 2011 entitles, “Whose Side Are You On?”. It was very powerful, and so true.

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    I’m taking the opportunity to query you, Jessica Kirkland. Let me know if this is inappropriate.

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