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The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's

lives.

 

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Opinions

 Some lovely notes of support that have helped this blog keep rolling along. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write and share their thoughts.

...just wanted to thank you for being the person who got me into photography and film. Because of you I discovered what I truly love to do and just wanted you to know that without you, I don't think I would have ever discovered my love for visual arts. I will forever be grateful for all the help you gave me years ago. Thank you. B.

June 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

I only have a brief moment to write you for now, just came across your blog as I was searching for a way to share some of my love songs with the show Nashville, as I feel the Lord leading me to do so.
I sat here in tears as I read about your work with our soldiers. I am a mom of a wounded soldier, myself. Our son looks "normal" but suffers from PTSD & multiple injuries that affect his day to day life, too. My heart just breaks for our wounded, their families. Each of us must do ALL we can, whether it's financial, emotional, use our gifts, etc.
S.

May 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

It is only through those who are brave enough to speak out that we will ever have hope of regaining some semblance of dignity to our jobs.
Scott

May 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

I've been thinking and praying for you a lot this week. I can't imagine the backlash (I have been reading some the recent responses and comments to your letter. I certainly hope you're NOT doing the same!) and the overwhelming feelings that must take precedence when one is flooded.

You were courageous and truthful. I absolutely love truth. It's one of the biggest values I hold to, let my path of life be written by and absolutely love when I find others who do the same.

I hope you can come to the end of this week with hope. Hope, in that by stirring the pot, people have seen the resin at the bottom that has gone unnoticed for too long. Hope of future work on behalf of a hard working husband. Hope for a family that no matter the tumultuous times, love and unity are what keep us connected. K.

May 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

My husband recently forwarded me your letter. As a fellow industry wife, I appreciate your boldness and fearlessness. For standing up to the bully and letting truth be the fist.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Message: Good afternoon. I found your piece, "A Letter to the Entertainment Industry" last night passed on by an industry friend via Facebook. To be honest, I am not in, nor related to the industry, so I didn't immediately connect. It was your style of writing and artful world play that caught my attention. I read your entire piece, subconsciously looking for further confirmation of my draw to your work. And then I found it, in a brief summary of your credentials at the bottom of the page. VP of Rebuilding America's Heroes. Your heart for the military. :) I followed the contact for your blog and read on until at least one in the morning. I have a nasty habit of staying up late, after my three children are in bed and reading countless blogs, books, articles; you name it. Just reading and reading and absorbing and inspiring me to create. In my mind, you have to be pretty secure to put your sincerest thoughts out in the world on display. Or maybe thats just what I tell myself to excuse my fear of doing what I know I love and am meant to do; write and speak. And I, myself, produce my best work in the quiet evening hours. Unfortunately, it's not the best habit to accompany the schedule and routines of three, energetic children. But I woke up this morning still appreciating the words I read and reread from your blog last night. They have reached me in the most confirming manner. And for that, amidst all the rest of my jabber, I wish to thank you. Your testimony of the woman you were when you met your husband, to the woman you were meant to share with the world, hit so close to home. And my greatest fear was reaffirmed when you said, "the fear of not saying something important, is greater than the horror of remaining quiet." Does that fear of failing to say something important ever keep you quiet? I feel like its the padded, sound-proof box of fear and doubt that I'm trapped in. Thanks for your time and thank you again for sharing your words with the world. Most of all, thank you for your service to our military through RAW. I've sat at the other end of military stress and watched families struggle, loyal wives become overwhelmed trying to cope and adapt to the strange man who returns from war physically and mentally. And I've watched wives and children crumble when their entire life is brought home in a casket. I know this lifestyle and these experiences as a military spouse have transformed me into a witness. I know my voice and my words are meant to one day share these heroes testimonies. I just haven't quite figured it out yet. Thank you again for the reaffirming words that stand as another push in the right direction, to do what I was meant to do. Best wishes, A.

May 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

Bravo for your courage. Thank you for standing up for what is right. Bill

May 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

Heard about your article on 'Nashville', just found it posted on Facebook and then found my way to your blog.

You are beautiful inside and out. Courageous to the core and I am in awe of you and what you have to say!

Don must be even more than I imagined him to be when I had an interaction with him recently through my website, Production Yak. I know this now by reading what you have written about him.

God bless both of you and your family and for all you do!

With great admiration...

Susan

May 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

MIc...I am totally proud of what you did and would encourage you to do it again (not to do it once more, no no no no..... but to do the original piece again) if we were back before all of this happened. I totally understand Don's position....but I think he will end up being more respected (by people with integrity...and the people who DON"T have integrity will be covetous in their hearts because Don has such a SMART and BRAVE wife) because of all of this than if it didn't happen. I know...it may not look like that now...but Mic, this had to be said!! You are CORRECT!!!! And it could cost people their lives if it continues, as with the grip. And i\t's not just show business...it's all business...the human factor is rapidly being removed, and it's going to be our downfall. This is much larger than an industry problem. It ain't right. And I don't care if it's the industry norm...then the industry norm should change, and it takes a person with your courage to start it.

You have planted a seed. Shame on those people when you gave 'no comment' to spin it as they did at the first part of the article...at least they ended on the note of what your article was all about...your ability to weave a sense of fairness into the truth. You are always tactful...it pisses me off that the press would make it seem otherwise unless you read the entire article. They cannot capture YOUR writing essence...only YOU can. I think what Don is concerned about is the spin-factor. Because what you wrote is clean and true and weighty with importance. But those spin-folks....they sometimes fall to the temptation of working from a low-vibrational standpoint to lure readers.

I am PROUD of you.

XOXO

L

May 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

Message: I worked in the costume department on -------- from 7/12-4/13, the entire first season. I'm 43 and have worked in several departments since 1991 and have never experienced anything like the complete disregard for the crew's safety, personal lives or the chaos that bad planning and careless choices by production created for our families. We averaged 19 hour days, always being sent home before any turnaround invasions but with no prep for the next day. We also had a young man fall about 20 feet when he was on a crane. He survived but will never be the same. Our crew was exposed, on a daily basis, to toxic working environments. I saw exposed asbestos, worked in metal collection and processing plants that made your skin feel like it was being rubbed by sandpaper and one of our main locations was a "High Burn" facility that reduced 100 trucks of industrial and construction waste to 13 trucks of ash. After a while the spontaneous nosebleeds forced me to stay in the wardrobe trailer and the green pus coming from my eyes and throat forced me to wear sunglasses all the time and to eat by myself. I was having trouble swallowing. I'm a little teary as I write this because yesterday I had to have biopsies taken from my esophagus and will be having further tests this week to determine if I have esophageal cancer. I'm a single mother to a 14 year old girl whom I rarely saw when I was working.------ picked up and left, with no notice, from NC to Texas shortly after wrap. Until I read your post I thought our "right to work" State was the only place this stuff went on. Thanks for sharing your story.
C.

Message: Dear Micaela ~ Your Article ROCKED! It was Awesome. I'm not on a Production Crew anywhere except in Church, but Your sentiments were so beautifully Articulated, I had to reach out and say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
With the Warmest of Regard,
M.


"The sense of relationship (on the crew) was awesome. Now it's turning into a culture of fear.
So glad Callie called. She is human. I love working with Don and hope this is not the last time. Your blog is awesome. I can't believe how this went down."

Crew Member


"Micaela, aka Wonder Woman. I just want to say, I love your spirit, always have, thanks for sharing your strength and your pain with your dignity and your sharp sense of humor. I read your "spammed" 😊 blog and once again, you Awe me, as in, you are awesome. Good Luck in the upcoming surgeries you multi-talented gem."

V.

"Just read your editorial. You are indeed courageous and inspirational. I am grateful to be among your friends and admirers." D.


Alison wrote: "An exceptional editorial written by my friend Micaela on some things that need to change in the entertainment industry."


"Wife Of 'Nashville' Crew Member Speaks Out On Industry...well said sister!!"

T.


"I just read your article regarding "Nashville". It makes me proud that I've met you , less so for the industry. As a friend to quite a few in the music industry,unfortunately I've heard similar stories, even one that had their replacement show up , boxes in hand, to move into their office. No heart, no respect, Should be so simply.
I hope your back has healed and the kids are doing well. I wish you and your family the very best. If you're in Nashville sometime, I'd love to grab a bite!"
Take care,
B.

"Hey Brother, I can't tell you how bummed I am and how much I know they will be losing without having you on board. I really and truly loved working with you and admire your abilities and work ethic to no end. I hope you are well and hope to see you soon. Also I hope to one day meet a woman that champions me half as much as your wife does. You are very fortunate."
Crew Member, 'Nashville'


"I did not know where to respond to your letter other than here. Kudos for writing such an eloquent and humanizing letter regarding the film industry. I worked with your husband on Big Love as well as the pilot to The Newsroom. I did not deal with Don as much on Big Love since I was not in a key position but I did remember him. When I landed the Newsroom pilot and heard his name I did recall it fondly. Being in a key position on that show I dealt with Don and what an amazing individual. You don't find many people in his position that are honest and fair with the crew about rates and rentals. I knew what he had to tell me was the honest truth and if he had it, he would have tried to get it. We had a camera PA that really just wanted to be on set and get film experience and he offered to work for free on the days we were on stage, Don said he would pay him 8 hours a day - That is unheard of in the film business.
I am sorry in the manner that Don heard about the second season on "Nashville". Someone as caring and genuine as Don doesn't deserve to be "shit on" for lack of better terminology.
I firmly believe as individuals we can be the change that we want to see in everyone else.
Thank you again for writing that letter. I hope one day soon I will have the pleasure of working on a show with Don again."
Sincerely
B.

"I never got to work with your husband on NASHVILLE, and not because of trying. I too, have the same questions you have about this industry. No one should fall from the sky.
I hear people cry out, "Why is it like this?" and "When will this ever change?"
I cannot stand the lack of integrity, the sludge. I own a production company. I would never treat any one of my crew in such a manner, NOR would I ask them to do anything I was unwilling to do myself.
I am so sorry that both of you were treated so horribly. The sad part is that the suits never lost sleep over it. Kudos to Callie for calling you. But still. I love Franklin, where I live. I love Nashville, and our skyline. My youngest is convinced the Batman building belongs to Bruce Wayne; AT&T is an obvious front. My regret, at this moment, is that I don't have a project to offer Don, and you. You both sound like people I want on my team. When my production company gets bigger, and people start to recognize my name, I will contact you both. And by God, should you ever work for me, you will never get shafted.
Maybe that's my southern heritage talking.
Or maybe it's just me being human.
Blessings to both of you. If you are still in town, I'd love to treat you to coffee one day."
M.

"My name is Adam Gold and I'm reporter with the Nashville Scene. I saw your post regarding you and your husband's experience with the show and was wondering if you'd be interested in talking to me for a story about the show. I'm on deadline for Monday, so I apologize for the short notice, but figured I'd still reach out and see."
Best! -A.

"A friend posted your Letter to the Entertainment Industry on facebook, and that is how I found your blog. I am so disheartened to read the news about the decisions made and HOW they're being made.
Thank you for writing and publishing the letter and for your wonderful blog. Your writing and your photography are simply beautiful. I would like to receive notifications when there is a new blog entry, but I'm not sure how to do this.
FYI, I am in a bookclub here in Nashville with six other women. Been together for over 19 years now. We always begin our meetings with a poem. At our next meeting this month, I'll be reading yours. :)"
Best,
R.

"My husband Bob Hill was the BB rigging grip on "Nashville." I just wanted to let you know that the article that you wrote was absolutely wonderful and to the point. Many, many days Bob would come home exhausted from a day of shooting. Somedays, it was like two passing ships in the night, never getting much time to even say hello or get a visit in.
Bob and I have both worked in this "illustrious" business for some 30 odd years and have seen it change so much and so your letter just hit a chord with both of us. Thank you so much for writing it.
Lastly, I wanted to let you know that Bob loves your husband Don and LOVED working for and with him. We were both saddened to hear that he wouldn't be returning to the show or our fair city, Nashville. Please give him our best."
Thank you again!
S.


"The voice is a POWERFUL thing sis. Not everyone will understand what u say, & sometimes your gonna say somethings that "politically" incorrect, but that's ok. (You taught me that) As long as you speak YOUR truth, from YOUR heart then I can GUARANTEE all of what you say will be amazing. (You taught me that to) And I love u right back sis. Now KEEP RIGHT ON blogging apparently someone is listening, & I have faith tht you'll dang sure give them something very interesting to read."
L.


"Super proud of you Mic. While I never would have wished you to know our struggle, I certainly have more respect for you. It's unfortunate such a passionate person so eager to help others would have to endure so much. Most of us knew what we were getting into. I hope what you deserve in life is repaid to you tenfold."Love ya ton, R. (Purple Heart Recipient OIF)


"It was so eloquent, articulate and tragically true. It is the same in the animation industry as you well know..The crew who pulls it all together and makes the magic work, are not respected, recognized and treated with dignity. Thank you for taking the time to bring the awareness. "
Janet


"Sometimes I really don't understand some business decisions - u got a "team" that produces magic, then you have to tweak it - makes no sense to me. Good luck Don on your next creative venture.You are right to continue to support Nashville and to be proud of Don's work. It's just sometimes the grass roots people get forgotten. Been there, done that. And that is what puzzles me." Ronald

"Finance called from Lionsgate and they would really like Mic to stop blogging."
Loucas

May 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

Mic, Wheeeeew! Not sure what to say except we love you and appreciate you.

I learned from Cancer (twice) a couple of things:

Most importantly--My mind and spirit were passengers this "thing" (vehicle) called my body.....previously all three were connected as one entity....now, I think of them separately. And like a car or an aircraft-- the pilot/driver may be fine but the machine often requires work.

Second-- it is odd how many different things (tortures) the medical community can think up to do in their quest for information about your body....and how I could endure each.

Third, comfort for me came from my faith and in knowing my ultimate destination (i.e. Heaven whenever that will be... I am ready and excited about it).

Comfort also came not from information received from the medical professionals...but rather when I could talk to someone who was walking the same road as me....with the same form of cancer.

That is why I am so impressed that you are using your experience and gifts to reach out to others. There is someone out there, maybe several 'someone's, who can only hear you!

Proud of you as always

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

:)

February 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBourbon Sipper

a blog of inspiration and grace

February 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercallan

"Message: This is something that I can definitely relate to. Mic writes with such honesty and wit that it's always entertaining. But my favorite essays of hers give me the feeling that I'm peeking behind life's curtain for a candid look at the nitty-gritty escapades going on backstage - the emotional and mental muck and frenzy that we all experience but usually try to keep draped in velvet so that life looks prettier than it really is. Or at least we hope it does.
Mic yanks these juicy personal tidbits out onto center stage, shines a spotlight on them and then proceeds to find the treasure enclosed in each one.
I can't wait for more!" Louan Gideon Actor/Author

January 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

"I am welcoming your new feature and www.moanavida.com will be a must check
each time I sit at my computer. And I liked your Mom's answer about the
beloved brush. Mom is a good writer ,too! What an innovative new interest
you have allowed all of us to share. THANK YOU ...It is an appreciated gift
of pleasures and thought provoking stimulus." Frances

January 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterFried Nerves and Jam

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