Victims Make the Best Birdhouses

Several years ago I attended a week-long writing conference at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. It was there when I enrolled in a class of nonfiction writers led by Katherine Russell Rich. It was the luck of the draw that Katherine became my team leader. I was immediately impressed by her professionalism, excitement, kindness, and by the way, she was a hell of a writer. I loved her book, “The Red Devil: A Memoir about Beating the Odds.” Years later, when I began to write my memoir, I revisited her book and studied the passage I had admired years ago. It was written for me, I thought. Due to my struggles as a victim of childhood physical and sexual abuse, I became a student of memories. I spent years struggling to identify fact from fiction. It was then when I remembered a passage in her book that took my breath away. Katherine nailed the driving force to my writing that enabled me to face my trauma.

Trauma is a vampire, but light, as any student of Folklore or Freud knows, will kill it. The problem is, when the shell- shocked try to exhume their memories—to bring them into the light—the result can be a death struggle so fierce they may fear it’s them, not the suckling pain that’s about to die.

The Red Devil: A Memoir about Beating the Odds
-Katherine Russell Rich

Katherine RIP

Published by llfranklin12

Larry L Franklin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. He performed in the U.S. Navy Band located in Washington, D.C. from 1967 to 1971. From 1972 to 1975, he taught music at Southern Illinois University. In 1976, he completed requirements for a certified financial planner designation and maintained a successful investment business until 2007 when he retired to devote his energies to writing. In 2003, he received an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin is the author of “Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory,” published by Xlibris; “The Rita Nitz Story: A Life without Parole,” published by Southern Illinois University Press; “Cherry Blossoms & Barron Plains: A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell,” published by Chipmunka Publishing Company; and “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” published by History Publishing Company. He currently resides in southern Illinois with his wife, Paula.

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