Celebrate National Tell a Fairy Tale Day by reading “Midnight on Ice”

Midnight the abandoned cat searches desperately for food and shelter. (Illustration designed by Sherrie Smith).

Editor’s Note: Today is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day, a time to reflect back to the days when myths and legends were retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, and have since been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.
As part of National Tell a Fairy Day Day, Freeline Productions author Michael Freeman has written his own fairy tale, simply titled ….

MIDNIGHT ON ICE

It felt like the coldest day in a long time, bitterly and cruelly so …. longer than Midnight the black cat could ever remember. Every time she would peer out from that dark, dank alleyway, the wind was so strong it felt like a vicious slap in the face. Midnight glanced up at the street light, and could see snowflakes starting to fall. All she had found as shelter in that back alley was an old wooden box. She had been hiding inside it for hours, but now she desperately needed to find food.
Midnight was starving. She couldn’t ever remember being this hungry. There were tears in her eyes as she glanced around, desperately hoping to find something, any small thing, to eat. She had spent a long time picking through the trash cans and the large dumpster in that alley, but nothing – just paper, plastic cups, and so on. Between the cold and her fiercely empty belly, it had been a heartbreaking day for Midnight. Continue reading

“Koby’s New Home” is a novel for the Trump Era

Freeline Productions has released the novel "Koby's New Home" by author Michael W. Freeman.

“Koby’s New Home.” Cover graphic by Sherrie Smith; cover designed by Michael Freeman.

“Koby’s New Home” is the story of a man, a stray kitten … and an apartment complex filled with alienated tenants, many of them now lost souls. The book, which takes a sometimes humorous, often unsettling and scary look at working class and middle class economic dislocation, was written in October 2016, just a few short weeks before the presidential election that brought Donald Trump to the presidency. It’s a book about the blue-collar white pain and seething anger that found a champion in Trump, and “Koby’s New Home” is very much about the new Trump Era this country has shifted into.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT:
Having lost his job and now struggling to find a new one, William Grabinski has no choice but to rent a small, dirt cheap unit in an old, decrepit building. Feeling lonely and isolated there, he can’t resist adopting a kitten that cries at him from the building’s courtyard on a cold December day.
The kitten, which Grabinski names Koby, is shivering and starving. He stares up at the man who stops and speaks to him, wondering if he’s a threat or not. The kitten allows Grabinski to pick him up ….
The purring machine quickly goes off. Now tiny Koby has a home.
It starts out very much like a heartwarming and sentimental story of a depressed man who finds comfort and happiness in caring for this sweet, adorable kitten. But it isn’t long before the book heads off in a much darker direction. Continue reading

The power of digital to fight human trafficking

Advances in digital technology can be used to fight human trafficking.


ORLANDO — January was the month when activists work to raise awareness of a devastating ongoing problem: human trafficking.
Starting on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 11, the month is dedicated to sounding the alarm and issuing a sobering reminder that we all possess a powerful weapon to fight human trafficking: digital communications.
The same tools that allow companies to connect directly with new and existing customers, and to encourage customers to embrace their products, also can be utilized in the global war against sexual slavery.

A WORLDWIDE TRAGEDY
There are an estimated 21-30 million people who are enslaved in the world, more than at any time in human history. The tragic faces of modern slavery include children forced to become soldiers in bloody civil wars, girls as young as 13 who get sold into prostitution, and migrant workers exploited in the workforce. Continue reading

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