Author Archive: Louis Falcinelli


Title: Malennial

Written by: Louis Falcinelli

Tagline:  Males… in the Millennial Age!

Synopsis: Four buddies navigate through all the trails and tribulations of adulthood while trying to maintain what it means to be a man under the microscope of social media.  

Running Time: Half Hour

Genre: Dramedy

Type: Pilot

Enclosed in an attached PDF below is the pilot episode.

For press or representation inquiries regarding the show and its development, please email:




On my Millennial journey I was fortunate enough to recently speak to journalist and author Mary Daheim, whose Bed-And-Breakfast and Alpine Series have captured many mystery lover’s minds.

When I initially approach Mary to do an interview, she was with great humor and energy albeit a little hesitant, saying that she comes from The Silent Generation, therefore didn’t know what could contribute in terms of commentary on Millennials.

It waMary-Daheims then when I informed her, what really appeals to me is getting all takes and hearing from all people of various ages and generations to share in the conversation, which only fuels what Bottlerot is about, which is unity of the generation and beyond!
Sure enough (which I never doubted from her vibrant spirt) she contributed to the conversation and then some. We talked her generation, my generation, and her work in the process…

Did starting out as a journalist help inform your fiction and or writing?

Any kind of writing helps any other kind because a writer is always honing his/her craft. Working for a newspaper is a great discipline for a writer because there are deadlines and there are also space limitations, which means you have to give all the information but learn how to keep it brief and to the point.

 What would you say are some of the main differences between your generation and Generation Y or my generation of Millennials?

I can only answer that by observing my three children who are all Millennials or Gen Y. They were born between 1966 and 1980. The obvious difference is that they are very quick to adapt to new technology. I am not. I consider the computer/laptop as a fancy typewriter with pictures and some information I can use for research.

  In your opinion, does an Artists have any responsibility to society through their work?

The only responsibility that I have as a writer is to entertain my readers with my two mystery series. It was a bit different with my historical books. I did a ton of research and wanted to make the events, the settings and the real history as accurate as possible.

 What do you make out of our ever evolving technology? (iphones, laptops, etc.). 

 I don’t have an iPhone, I do have an older model cell, but I rarely use it. I’ve never been on good terms with technology. When I was working for the phone co years ago in PR they introduced computers. The first—and only—time I tried to use the computer I blew out the entire system at 1600 Bell Plaza. Nobody there ever asked me to use a computer again.

 What drew you to writing as a creative expression?

I started telling stores as soon as I learned to talk. Oddly enough, grown-ups seemed to be amused by then. I decided there might be a future in telling stories as soon as I learned to write. I wrote my first mystery when I was 11 or 12.

 From your debut Love’s Pirate to your Bed & Breakfast series, Romance and Mystery seem to be the mainstay in your work, what draws you to these genres? 

Romance novels never were my sort of thing. My first published book was originally written as a straight historical novel, but when I got an agent in New York, he told me the historical novels were out and romance was in. The solution, was to keep my original more or less intact and to add some sex scenes along the way. I wrote the first 85 pages of the B&B mystery on a whim. I was tired of writing historical romances (did 7 of them) and told my agent I wanted a change. He said NO, the money wasn’t in mystery, but in romance. On the sly, I managed to sneak those first 85 pages into an editor at Avon and was offered a 3-book contract two weeks later. Then I had to call my agent and tell him what I had done. After the first B&B book came out I heard from an editor I’d worked with earlier on who had now moved on to Ballantine/Random House. He wanted to know if I could write a second mystery series for him. I hadn’t thought about it, but suddenly I thought of the old abandoned logging town of Alpine where my parents and grandparents and other relatives had lived between 1916 and 1929 before the logging was finished and the town was shut down forever. The result of that series has been that Alpine is now on the state register of Historic Ghost Towns.

 For Millennials, if you could impart any piece of advice, perhaps something that has always served you well from when you were starting out, what would it be?

Never take on a job you don’t like. I never did. And for writers, I quote Hemingway: The art of writing is applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. In other words, you can’t wait for inspiration.

I want to personally thank Mary and encourage you to check out her website.





For your novel Luminous Airplanes, the immersive text or hyperlink was ingenious as a literary device. How did it initially occur? I think in the age of the Millennials, a more multimedia experience could definitely benefit us. In term of expanding the readership. How do you feel about this?

The idea to make an immersive text for Luminous Airplanes was always part of the project, beginning in the early 2000s. It came out of the work I was doing back then, as a web designer and a teacher of web design, and out of the widespread enthusiasm for Whatever 2.0, which I shared, though with reservations. Was the Web really going to transform our lives? Probably. Was it going to make them better? Perhaps… You can see that doubt in Luminous Airplanes, if you poke around. I’m not sure the project ever found its ideal form, but I’m glad to have made the experiment, and it taught me some things about what works and what doesn’t in non-linear storytelling. I hope it will be useful for other makers of online/multimedia stories also, as an example of what to do, or of what not to do.
I think that expanding the readership for fiction would be a wonderful thing. But perhaps “readership” will turn out to be the wrong word? Reading is a (mostly) solitary, silent experience, in which the page makes a demand on the reader’s imagination, but not (again, mostly) on their decision-making faculties. There’s no reason that digital narrative should replicate that experience exactly. There are a huge number of things one CAN do with digital media, and in terms of narrative, I think these are still the early days. What if it were possible to play a novel, the way one plays a video game? The possibilities might be quite different: instead of being able to build things, collect weapons, and kill enemies, imagine being able to go deeper into the story, to interact with characters on varying levels, being able to explore parts of the story that interest you, and maybe not explore parts that don’t. But you’d have a similar sense of making decisions about your path through the story, and being able to influence its outcome. You’d be creating a playership for fiction.

Throughout your work, I keep coming across a theme of DISAPPEARANCE (e.g. Frank’s parents’ in The Artist of The Missing, Charlie in The Night Ocean) and OPEN CREATION (Like The strong presents Lovecraft plays in The Night Ocean or the painter and Frank Himself in The Artist of The Missing. Not to mention Haussmann in Haussmann or the Distinction, being a sole creator and destroyer and the story setting around the repercussions of such a duality). I mean the examples are numerous.  Does this derive from a conscious effort or the stories just unfold how they do?  I feel there’s more at play here, subconsciously maybe?

My therapist would probably be able to answer this one better than I can. But: I’m definitely interested in disappearance. When a person vanishes, you have a mystery: where did they go, and why? And you also have the potential for activity: Can I find them, or get them back? Those elements can all drive a story forward. So possibly I am a lazy writer? As for the question about open creation, I think again it’s attributable to laziness. I spend nearly all my time making things, and I’m fascinated by that experience and its pitfalls and its complexities. Writing about characters who are making things gives me a way to think about what I’m doing.
Although in The Night Ocean, the story is a little different: I wanted to write about Lovecraft and Barlow and their circle, because they’re terrifically weird people, who also happen to be writers. My interest in them isn’t (for the most part) in them as writers, or in their writing — it’s in their emotional lives and the stupid things they do at parties and so on. The same is true for Haussmann, I think: that book started with an experience of Paris, and the question of what kind of person would have demolished big tracts of this beautiful city, and why, emerged as a function of my being in love with the city. In that sense you could say I’m just curious about causes.

Where do you feel the form of communication in terms of relaying artistic expression will evolve into?

See above, I guess. I think there’s also a question of what will be expressed. Novels are great at representing subjectivity: they can put you in a person’s head, and make you party to that person’s private thoughts. Which makes sense, because the novel came into being right around the time that people started to have privacy, and to have the leisure time to have a developed inner life. The people who read novels weren’t busy working or starving or fighting all the time. So what happens if our ideas about privacy and private time and private thoughts change? What if solitude stops being a luxury (finally, I can afford to be alone!) and becomes a handicap? What if we stop caring about private thoughts, and care about collaborations, or followers, or some new thing which I as an old person have difficulty imagining? Possibly our experience of being people will change — indeed, I think it’s already changing — and so what artists express will change also. And at that point the form of communication will change to fit the new content.


As a GenXer yourself, was there any pieces of literature you felt inspired by growing up, and any that relates today in regards to my generation of millennials?

There were so many works of literature that influenced me, growing up, that I’d have trouble identifying a single one as being the most important. And a lot of what I was reading in my teens and twenties wasn’t contemporary literature, either. I tore through Anna Karenina in high school, and it changed my life. I’m actually listening to it as an audiobook now — and it’s changing my life again. I got a lot out of Eugene Ionesco at a certain point. I got a lot out of Keats. I think the trick is to read widely. So many things that feel radically new are in fact radically old: some clever person has gone back and revived them.

Where would you say we have gone as a society, from a literary standpoint and in general in the form of what we digest, and where are we going, and how will that effect, either positively or otherwise for Millennials?

Again, see above. “Literature” is a historical entity; we haven’t always had it and we won’t necessarily have it forever. What we always do seem to have are stories, and engagements between the people who tell them and the people who receive them. The challenge for Millennials — of the 2000s or the 3000s — is to find stories that capture what’s true about their world, about your world. Don’t make books or paintings or companies by force of habit, i.e., by copying the last thing that worked. Kill your parents. Copy your grandparents, or your great-great-grandparents, up to a point. Observe everything closely and be honest about what you see. It’s a strategy that seems to work. At least it’s worked so far.


Anything you wanna promote?

Kindness. Generosity. Patience.
We want to thank Paul for his insight.
Check him out at his website!



REX PICKETT author, filmmaker, fellow artist, revealed underlying message in his work, openness of the generations, and bearing one’s own being

I feel in your novel Sideways, Miles is indicative of a passive figure who’s also self-serving in his own right while Jack is more of a dominant, impulsive force. Do you see a parallel from your generation?

There is no question that he is the classic Jungian introverted/thinking type and Jack is his polar opposite:  the extraverted/feeling type.  I don’t think about this when I’m writing, but I see it after the fact. There is no question that Jack is more of a force of nature. 

For me, as a writer, it’s:  opposites clash.  Opposites = conflict = drama = comedy = >> to resolution.  = a novel.SIDEWAYS WASTED

I guess I want to believe the characters are more timeless and not linked generationally, but there’s no question that a book/movie fixes them in a generation.  To me, Miles (me) doesn’t feel a part of any generation.  Yes, he’s bookish, yes he’s a writer and not a software coder or someone who is wedded to his cellphone, and yes he still believes in the transformative powers of art, but I feel those attributes are cross-generational.  Jack is clearly a type whom we all know.  He’s not superficial, but he seems that way.  He sees a positive in everything.  Or tries to.  Miles is a dyed-in-the-wool fatalist, but in his fatalism he sees a deeper, more profound, truth than Jack.  However, Miles desperately needs Jack to take him to the world and uplift his spirits, or else he will end up being a self-sabotaging troglodyte, forever unloved.  Jack needs Miles for the self-reflection that Miles’s superior intellect brings, that he, Jack, so sorely lacks.  They are two sides of the same coin, and though they are a product of their generation, I think the enduring, and endearing, quality of the movie is that we recognize these archetypes in any generation.

I see the wineries representing a bliss or a haven if you will. Almost metaphor for relaxation, where you going for this? Also, ironic how that same sampling of wine has a consumption aspect that plays into their bliss, again, done deliberate? By the end of the book, I’m feeling no matter what they’ve consumed, vis-à-vis; wine, women, adventure, it never amounts to much, as the characters themselves still aren’t satiated. Almost like you’re saying we’re never fulfilled no matter how much we take in which is why we just need to be content within ourselves?

WINERIESThere is no question that Miles — like me at the time — needs to get away.  He’s leaving with little or no money, but on a minor high:  his book has a chance at publication.  Everyone’s dream.  Jack is leaving on a high, too, because he’s got one last week of unadulterated freedom to be whomever he wants to be, drink, get down with his friend Miles, maybe get a dose of life lessons from his intellectual — and recently divorced! — friend.  Miles is too smart to think that wine, or a one-week trip, is going to be an anodyne to any of his life’s worries.  He may want to indulge, he may want to get away from the pressure cooker of his life — different in the book than in the movie, by the way — but his life is always there.  No amount of wine will make it go away, even if it appears at time that neither know the meaning of insatiate.  Nothing anyone does will ever prevent anyone from expunging the obvious:  we’re all going to die.  It doesn’t matter how much success you have, or whatever, that fate is inevitable.  And Miles is keenly aware of it.  Jack doesn’t think like that.  Miles wants to get away from his life.  And Jack needs an escape before he begins his life.”

In the end, the realization for both, as I see it, is that very few are fated for greatness, or to be remembered.  And, yet, I believe, this is an intrinsic desire in all human beings:  to be remembered.  To be immortalized.  And no amount of anything will ever get the vast majority there.  In the end, Sideways is the blur of a memory for both Miles and Jack, one they will reminisce about — and probably embellish — in years to come.  And there’s a sadness, too:  they’re parting, they’re going in different directions.  This sense of parting is more poignantly expressed in the book, as well as the play adaptation of my book, than in the movie.  Alexander Payne (the writer/director of Sideways) is not a sentimentalist, so he quieted that emotion in the movie, I felt.

Do you feel Jack and Miles’s journey is really a vacation, never an exploration?

What starts out as a vacation, and turns into a disaster of sorts, is really, as I wrote above, in retrospect, a great crimson blot on the trajectory of their lives.  And Jack gets this!  He says it in the book and the play.  Miles will one day write about it and make him and Jack famous, as I did.  But at the time, in the moment, it’s Jack who has this revelation.  In the movie, it’s in Jack’s wink to Miles at the wedding.  But, in the book/play it’s in dialogue, and eloquently expressed by Jack, even with his limited vocabulary.  To me, it is an unbelievable exploration of their whole beings, their entire souls.  They descend into the proverbial realm of Persephone and make it back, transformed.  The comedy maybe undercuts this quasi-hero’s journey and, if viewed only as a comedy, can seem trivial.  But, if it were just a comedy, and not a journey of the soul, the film would not have stood the test of time.  Okay, maybe they need the wine to disinter those deeper feelings — uninhibiting them, as it were, to get there — but it’s only in going to the dark side that they realize something greater.  In that sense it is way more than a vacation, but I never wanted to hammer anyone over the head with some ham-fisted, sausage-fingered message-mongering story.  In the end, to sell despair, and psychological growth through despair and desperation and deprivation, I needed the via regia of comedy.

I feel like at the heart of Sideways you’re conveying human connection, in various forms, was that the underlying statement? 

Of course, it’s always about human connection.  It’s always about the human to me.  I don’t write genre.  I’m only interested in the soul’s voice expressed in film or literature.  Or theater now.  It’s hard to do because you have to risk being personal.  And that offends some people.  Or makes them uncomfortable.  It’s risky to go there.  But, I’m unafraid.  And when I wrote Sideways I had absolutely nothing to lose. 
miles and jack
The real hard part is to find your voice and then those words to express.  Many people are great writers when they’re writing in their head.  But, when they sit down at a desk to put it down they realize the story that was only moments ago was streaming out of them is now landlocked in their lack of a craft to express it.  That’s the hard work part.  The dream is easy.

Was the Sideways trilogy a conscious work against the backdrop of the society you know and the culture you live in?

I take from real life, from the era I’m writing in, and then I fictionalize for my narrative needs.  If that answers your question.  It’s not so much about where society is at.  It’s where Miles is at. Writing is not an avocation; it’s a life.  If you aren’t prepared to give it your life, then you’ll probably never make it.

Life is not a meritocracy.  Sadly, with wealth inequality, nepotism — which is rampant in Hollywood — not everyone has the same shot.  I hate it when people say that if you work harder than others, or you’re more talented, that you’ll find a way to make it.  Bullshit.  I’ve seen so many people who were mediocre talents who went on to have great careers because they got more than one chance.  I’m not going to name the names, but everyone knows them.  There’s no question that desire and the need to want to say something, as opposed to people who have the need to say something so they can live the lifestyle, will get you further than not having any talent, but there’s no question that having people believe in you is important.

People often will say to me that I must live a charmed life.  To which I always reply:  You wouldn’t want to live the life I’ve lived in order to live the ostensibly charmed life I’m currently living.

If you want to write you have to read, read, and read.  And write.  I’m of the school that you should just vomit it out and fix it in revisions.  I’m also of the belief that you should have the story adumbrated in your head all the way to the end — yes, all the way to the end — before you begin.  2017 Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro wrote his legacy work The Remains of the Day in 4 weeks!!  Sure, he spent half a year researching and ideating it, but he wrote the book in 4 weeks.  He’s my hero.  But, everyone’s process is different.

Furthermore, do you feel an Artist has a duty to the world in which they occupy or only to themselves?

This is a very deep question.  Well, if you’re a published writer you’re going to be judged — presumably — for all time — because your work’s in print.  Artists — the good ones — don’t ask for a lot from the world.  They’re not in high demand.  True artists.  Most people I meet who want to be “artists,” really just want to live the lifestyle — agent, high-level meetings … they want all the superficial, materialistic trappings of the life, and don’t want to do the hard work, suffer — like Miles — the rejections, the hardships, the abandonment of family and friends when you persevere and they’ve given up on you, as they inevitably do.  So, first, you have a responsibility for your own welfare, I guess, but you would be inhuman if you didn’t believe that your art could move somebody in the world that maybe helped them see their own predicament in it in a brighter, more brilliant light.  My greatest moments aren’t when I get a royalty check.  They’re when somebody writes me and says how much my work has moved them.  So, I don’t think the artist has a duty, per se, to the world, but they do have a duty, I believe, to be honest to their characters, to their story.  But, it’s harder and harder in this sell-out world of sensationalist garbage.

Finally, my generation of Millennials are up against a lot, no doubt, what would you offer in terms of us gaining footing in the world, in general?

Well, gosh, I’m a pessimist.  I see the world going to hell.  That’s why I never had children.  I didn’t want to bring them into this world.  And, now, it’s even worse.  Obviously, everyone comes from a different standing in life.  If you’re born in the upper economic quintile you have boundless opportunities, and you’ll get numerous chances to fail and get it right — and that’s not fair! — but that doesn’t mean you won’t end up a drug addict or, more likely, a feckless loser.  And if you’re born in the middle or lower quintiles it’s going to be a more difficult journey, alas.   Especially with this current reactionary administration that is polarizing the wealth to the appalling point where America is fast approaching becoming a banana republic.
On a sunnier note, I would advise:  for me, I truly believe that 4-5 years in college — even if college isn’t providing you what you need in the future and might saddle you with loans (something I didn’t have to worry about) — really exposes you to so much in the world.  And if you’re fortunate enough to get scholarships or your parents have saved to pay for you, then it’s a great time to play in the sandbox and discover who you want to maybe be/become.  My years at UCSD were some of the greatest in my life.  I know that sounds like conservative advice, but that time in college might revolutionize you in a way that real life won’t.
Be careful who you listen to.  If you have talent, be on the qui vive for those who are hanging around in the shadows waiting to take advantage of you.
Try not to saddle yourself with too much burden:  children, debt, etc.  That way you can hopefully avoid soul-destroying jobs that founder your ambitions on the shoals of despair and depression.
Call me old-fashioned, but really I’m not a Luddite.  I was one of the first to adopt technology and went right to a computer when they came out.  However … however … nothing replaces what reading — reading great books — does for the mind.  If reading were a superannuated endeavor, or great writing had been replaced by another means to grow cerebrally, I would be the first to embrace it.   But, I haven’t found that to be the case.  To me — a guy who spends too much time on the Internet — reading saved me.  I took two gap quarters at UCSD and read the entire Collected Works of C.G. Jung.  20 volumes!  Took me six months.  I was 19.  No TV, no Internet, no Roku.  Just me and those books.  And it wasn’t always easy.  But, in the end, it was a transformative experience.  
Think about, in your youth, all the thousands of hours you wasted on the Internet, and how those wasted hours bought you so little in the development of your mind, your aesthetic sensibility, your social skills, and worse, and how you’re never going to get them back.  Think of all the hours wasted on Snapchat and playing stupid video games.  What did it buy you … as it enriched others who addicted you so they could live on an island and retire at 30? Don’t have children.  When they’re adults, owing to inexorable ecological and socio-political catastrophes, they’ll be the prey of rats the size of Golden Retrievers ravening the scorched planet for the last vestiges of humankind.
“The Internet is a dark road to infinity potholed with links.  Just as the tobacco industry did everything they could to keep your addicted to their horrible product — ditto for the sugar industry; Big Pharma — remember, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, only want one thing from you:  your endless, mindless engagement.  They see your brain as an ATM machine, the same way Big Pharma does, Big Sugar, the medical professions.  Your mind, your body, is the last frontier of exploitative, colonialist capitalism.  I hope to God your generation understands that you are being conned by this technology.  And that comes from someone writing this on a MBP in an email browser.  I hope to God your generation realizes that they control their minds and their bodies and not these venal capitalistic interests, driven by insanely powerful computers, competing for you very soul.  Resist.”

 Rex Pickett is currently writing The Archivist, a novel for Blackstone Publishing.  And he will soon be working on the libretto for Sideways the musical comedy with composer Anthony Adams
Wise words to reflect on.
Thank you, Rex 


Amongst THE BOTTLE ROTTERS WE FIND ONE OF THE MOST HARD WORKING GENERATIONS where elitism is foreign and hard work is ever present. Apparent as the results are inreserved!

81% have donated money, goods or services, (ACCORDING TO Walden University and Harris Interactive). Considering the sparse job market and fact that they are the most in debt generation in modern age it is inspiring how they give very generously. 

Outdoing Generation X in the largest amount of contributors in the American workforce. (Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.)


Unfortunately the days of living free is a hurdle, as 18- to 34-year olds are considerate to be homeward found (pew reports). No doubt in large part to the student debt crisis in what Bloomberg reports $1 trillion in student debt.

The journey ahead is fierce but the movement never stops for a millennials/bottle rotter!

2017 Game Changer


Name: Christopher Coop
Age: 28
Location: Lived all over island, but graduated in Centereach
Favorite Quote: “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership” – Harvey Firestone
Overview: Graduated with an MBA in 2010, gave my life to The Lord a year later. Attempting to figure out God’s plan
Current Job: Ops Manager
Dream Job: Serving The Lord in all ways
Hope for the generation: That people would turn away from idolatry and lean toward The Lord
Promoting: The World race. God can use you to build his Kingdom for 11 months

New Path

Name: ChriscHRIS
Age: 29
Dream Job: Nurse
Current Job: Mail Clerk
Favorite Quote: “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” (Bruce Lee)
Overview: After dropping out of college and working odds jobs, Chris is currently underway to reenroll and pursue a certification in Nursing.
Future Ambitions: Aspiring EMT and Nurse.
Hope for the Generation: That we use our time wisely.
Promoting: Individuality!

the original happy girl

Name: Denisedds

Age: 28

Dream Job: Drummer in a Rock Band

Current Job: Social Worker

Favorite Quote: “You light the world with lots of chatter, you laugh and make your feelings matter, you sometimes stay hidden in your bed, you sometimes need to be spoon fed, whatever life you choose to lead, a wife, a doctor, a lover, or chief, you needn’t try to be so good, your life gets crowded with all the shoulds, so let loose and let your wild side heal, all your parts can be revealed, happy girls come in all shapes and sizes, you don’t need any compromises, for if you think you are fat or thin, smart or sexy, or content with in whatever girl you choose to be, in my book you’re right by me, nothing can be wrong in this life song all happy girls do be long.” – the original happy girl by Rokoko

Overview: After graduating in 2011 she obtained a Mater’s degree in social work while still continuing to work at DSW (retail store specializing in shoes) as she had previously through her college years. Denise got her License in March of 2012. From there she continued to work at the store and landed her first professional gig for a not-for-profit agency (outpatient mental health). However it was only 2 nights and 10 hours a week.  “I really wanted to work with kids so I took it,” she sites as her reason, though she quickly progressed to where she currently is today, a  full time position she started September, 2013, focusing intently on her clients and always striving to do better.

Future Ambitions: One day opening her own practice (while possibly doing  a part-time position from an agency). Family, and a nice house, with a porch of course.

Hope for the Generation: We become successful and progressed and break stereotypes that other Generations have created about us… and I hope that our generation continues to become open minded, positive, more tolerant, less violent.

Promoting: The Universe!


Majorie, a bottle rotter who is doing her part in the all out defense and offense against Women’s liberation, talked to us about Feminism in the age of the bottle rotter…
Do you consider yourself a feminist or a female empowered promoter?
There is no doubt that I am defiantly a feminist to my core. I always say that Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Grrrl’ song (which was released a few days before my birthday) was on the radio in the delivery room when I was born. Also, being an Aries I have this strong desire to lead, advocate for change and fight for the underdog – which in society would be women’s rights. Growing up I was raised in a family full of strong and successful women which shaped my views on feminism early on. The women in my family embraced feminism and so did the men. There was never a divide,  and this is what I want to advocate through my blog Womanhood. In general, I feel that you cannot be an empowered promoter for women and women’s issues unless you believe in some aspects of feminism. They go hand in hand. Even if you do not consider yourself a feminist, every woman in modern society today has benefited from feminism in some way. 
It seems like woman’s rights within the past few years have really taken a  surge,  recent political debates, policies,  the media with controversial statements about  woman. What do you attribute the recent rise of it coming more to the forefront?

The internet and social media. Theres no question that without these two attributes, women’s rights and the re-emergence of feminism in this century would even be relevant. I wish the past generations of feminism had the technology that we do today. If so we probably would have solved so many of these revolving issues decades ago. With social media more people are becoming aware of political debates and female empowerment. Before the internet you had to find ways to advocate for change, study courses, or use snail mail to connect with communities that shared your same views. Today, with the internet it just takes a second to be informed and to be connected to similar minded individuals through our phones and through social media networks. This makes for a more aware and informed society that can move change forward. The generations before us – who dominate politics today, are more rigid in their thinking  and I believe they are hurting women’s advancement. I look forward in the future when my generation is old enough to occupy the government, because I feel that a fresh perspective will keep women’s rights in focus, however, that day has yet to come. 
that was womanI also feel that the younger generation is more liberal minded which helps the feminist movement of today. High profile young feminist like Emma Watson are bringing a positive light to the movement and inspiring a new generation of men and women to fight for equality. Feminism supports the modern lives that women lead, and this adds relevance to a women’s reproductive health and power in the media. Another factor would be that the majority of families today in America are multi-cultural and with this merge of diversity and beliefs systems, make for a more open minded and accepted society. 
Do you feel the upcoming presidential race is critical for the importance of where we go as a nation, in terms of woman’s advancement?


Defiantly, I feel that either the next president will move women’s rights forward or things will stay the same. Having a female president will of course change the lives of women and bring our rights to the forefront of political importance for the first time in history. Women’s rights are always on the back burner, because men have the patriarchy to support them, women do not. Men in politics have other agendas on their mind and if its women’s rights its far down the page as level of importance. This is why nothing has really changed or been done on a major level in women’s rights since the second wave of feminism in the sixties. It’s going to take a woman president or more women in positions of power who fully understand the complexities of womanhood to move feminism forward in this country. You cannot make the right decision without a women at the table. 
womanhood strong
There are major holes in our political systems regarding women’s rights, but there is no huge sense of urgency to fix them. The lives of women have not gotten better over time – things have been coasting along and we have been complacent. I think its time to shake things up. I also feel that a woman as president would inspire young women and girls to fight for positions of power. Its hard to image being something you can not see. When you have more examples of women in high leadership positions it will inspire more women and girls to set higher goals for their future.
How was Womanhood, your beautifully constructed, woman empowerment website, initially conceived and what do you have in store in terms of developing it for the future?
My initial inspiration to start Womanhood was from my love of magazines and learning about the world around me. I am a hardcore magazine hoarder and from a young age I have subscribed to magazines, read them cover to cover, highlighted, wrote in the margins and even worshiped some publications like you would the bible. However, getting older I noticed the magazines have more of a man’s ideal of sexy or interest to them – which happens because men control the majority of the media industry. When reading magazines I’ve notched how they can at times be very destructive towards women’s image and self esteem, including my own growing up. I wanted to create a platform that showcased women who were following the beat of their own drum and doing really rad things in the world, not just for men’s attention. Womanhood showcases woman and girls who are beyond superficiality and are real. Another reason I started Womanhood was because my personal heroes have never been mainstream musicians or actresses. Most of women I see on magazines today are not empowering women to embrace themselves, the women are their to sell a product not to be authentic to the viewer. Also, reading so many magazines I was tired of seeing the same faces year after year being featured and their story never really changed. I wanted to read about high art, influential stories about the world, and my personal heroes like Kathleen Hanna and Tracy Emin. I wanted to read more about women who were like me, not just an actress or singer. I never really could see or read about my idols and I feel like young girls should be admiring more independent artist, because they portray uniqueness and are more so creating for the sake of art not an image or profit. Womanhood was a way for me to showcase the women who I believed were really showcasing true girl power in a positive way. Of course there are many women I admire that are showcasing great examples of feminism that have mainstream careers, but I am more interested in highlighting independent artist and musicians, because they are telling a different story, one we haven’t really heard yet and need to hear more of.Also, my feminist upbringing was a major factor as well. I wanted a platform about women for women. A place where women and girls could go to and find a similar connection and a safe place, or a new woman or friend they could be inspired by. I of course welcome men to Womanhood with open arms so they can embrace feminism too. The idea of having a sort of like riot grrrl themed site for women made sense to me. I feel like if the riot grrrl movement had the internet then they would have blogged instead of pen paled.  So there are defiantly some influences of the 90s riot grrrl movement in Womanhood, because I am totally a 90s girl. My future dream for Womanhood is to literally live the Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City life and write for a living. My goals next year is to grow my audience, have more writers, create and self- publish a zine, interview more bands and rad feminist, and launch the e-commace site. Short term goals are to get major funding so Womanhood can become an online magazine and I can have office space in the city with a few full time writers, then finally the end goal is to have a print magazine. 
How old are you and what are you currently doing, school, work,  etc.?
I am in my early twenties, a women never revels her true age. I am a fashion designer in New York City and freelance writer on the side.
How did you start to get personally invested in woman issues and rights in really wanting to be a pillar for advancement?  
 Growing up in a family of strong women defiantly helped. However, my grandma who is my best friend inspired me to embrace feminism head on. My grandma for as long as I can remember has a businesses where she portrays women in history. By traveling with her and helping her during her portrayals I learned about the history of feminism and it started growing into a passion for me to help other women. Also I am biracial my father is African American and my mother is of European decent so I also have been faced with racial issues growing up – which also are withstanding in feminism. Being a young woman of color I am subjected to a lot of racial discrepancies as well as issues facing female rights and so I want to advocate for a better world for women of all ethnicities and backgrounds. 
Any advice for people who want to get proactive in woman issues?

I feel that if you want to get proactive in women’s issues you can start by volunteering  or joining an organization like NOW (National Organization for Woman). I would research what opportunities are in your area. Or in general just reading or advocating for change in your passions and social institutions. It starts with what you know and what you like. A great way for me to learn more about feminism was from the music I listened to which opened me up to different art and perspectives.

Where do you see woman’s rights going, as it appears to have this almost ironic trajectory, a one big step forward then two small steps back approach, being we seem to revisit issues from years back that we appeared to have already settled and or accepted? I feel that with social media and the internet women’s rights will continue to be relevant and stay in the publics eye. I feel like the waves of feminism before always phased out and then re-emerged every 20 years because there was no instant gratification or consistancy of being witness to women’s issues. Social media is making it easier for feminism to have exposure and you cannot go on Facebook or Twitter now without witnessing some article about feminism, tweet, or debate, which is great for the movement. More women will and need to be in positions of power so real change can happen in this country, its time for a new perspective and I feel like women will be the new leaders.  Women haven’t really used their full voices yet in politics, they are just getting started.  The internet is feminism’s voice and this voice is being heard all over the world and changing the conversation of power. So my hope is that with a constant awareness and appreciation for feminism it will inspire young women and girls to continue to fight for empowerment, because no one else will do it for us if we do not maintain the movement.  Lastly, I just want to declare that Feminism is cool and shows that you are intelligent. When you are a feminist it shows that you have a high sense of worth and value others. More women will embrace feminism as a means to create more power and independence in this world. Women are not a silent sex, we may have been pushed down and silenced before, but we have found our voices and we are using them
Feminism can no longer be silenced, its here to stay for good, and WomanhoodNow will be sure of it. 

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asan interview by Louis Falcinelli

Adam Shepard, Author (Scratch Beginnings, One Year Lived) Public Speaker, and all around Cooool Dude, shares his thoughts on AMERICA, MILLEINAILS, and HIS OWN MESSAGE on improving where we are and where we’re currently going, as a GENERATION as well as a NATION in general.


When you set out to embark on this social experiment that became Scratch Beginnings you had stated initially that you didn’t know if it was a book, you just wanted to shed new light on what you felt was already confirmed, that of, The American Dream was still very much alive for anyone who wanted it, which had in subsequent years been more grimly portrayed, motivating your experiment in the first place. Do you believe since writing it that The American Dream has been more stifled or just as obtainable?

The American Dream is just as obtainable now as always. The American Dream is not a time period or a particular economy or good luck and bad luck. And it’s most certainly not a woe-is-me-in-these-circumstances scenario. The American Dream is an attitude that exists here, as it does in other free and democratic countries, that if you wake up in the morning and decide that you are going to kick your day in the ass, you can. And if you want to sleep until 11am, well, you can do that, too.

Out of the Great Depression emerged a great generation of workers and entrepreneurs and thinkers. And the same has been true since this country was founded as it was during our most recent recession, that the economy will always ebb and flow, but the attitude of the American Dream remains constant.

Do you feel it’s a particularly challenging time for Millennials as of now? If so, what can they do to utilize what’s available to them in terms of breaking through?

The challenge for Millennials now is to break through a sense of entitlement that has been ingrained in us from the compilation of our parents, our teachers, television, and social media. Society has dictated that we are special, or different from any other generation, and the fact is that we are not. Once we recognize that, we recognize that we have the capacity to be good or bad, lazy or hardworking, kind or mean, frugal or spendthrift, greedy or selfless. And once we recognize that capacity, we can recognize that Millennials have the power to break through and make a positive impact on this world. It’s up to us whether we want to exercise that power. Or sleep ’til 11am.


In just the last decade we have seen a major shift in the country; politically, economically, socially, etc. Where do you see the vast, unique  landscape of America currently going?

If I knew that, I would be writing to you from one of my many homes, this one on Barbados, and I would shortly be boarding my private jet to go have dinner with my wife in Paris for the evening. I guess the excitement, though, and what keeps me getting up in the morning, is that we don’t know where it’s going. That what we have today could be gone tomorrow, and that is a very exciting challenge, and one that we can control with our effort and our spending habits and how we treat people.

Do I interest myself in political candidates and interest rates and who my friends are? Sure, but I only do so to the extent that I recognize there are things that I can and cannot change, and regardless of the swirl or calm around me, I’m going to keep plowing forward with the same conviction.

Technology, essentially for Millennials, seems to have even affected our sensibilities,  as no one has to deal with real conflict or engagement, when a majority of us are on our phones, on our computers, completely disengaged. How can we redirect this in a more positive fashion?

Take time to step away. It’s simple. Technology is a beneficial component of all of our lives, but it also has the dark side, and much like gambling or alcohol or hashish, it can be abused. So use it to your benefit for an hour or two (technology, not hashish), and then walk away and realize how beautiful it is to cuddle up and read a book, to meet a friend for coffee and dive into some heavy issues, to take a moment to engage a stranger with a smile or a nod or a wave.

When you give your lectures, what are some of the main focal points you try to instill amongst your audience to lend themselfs  to a more fulfilling way of life?

My talk isn’t so much centralized in seeking to help someone fulfill their life as much as it is to say, “Hey buddy. Life is tough. And awesome. And when you get kicked in the teeth, you either get back up or you lie there whimpering. And when you win, you either call and tell everybody how fantastic you are or you work to capitalize on that win.” as4

Dealing with failure, maintaining a positive attitude, setting goals, getting after it…every speaker’s messages–including mine–are commonplace but if they are wrapped around entertaining stories, they can be packaged in such a way that those messages become very real and relatable.

Can you tell us about

I have been fortunate over the last 8 years to travel the country addressing these very same issues with high school and college audiences around the country. I love it. Storytelling is what I do, and when I speak to an audience, and then I get an email that says that I touched someone in the audience, and inspired them to action, it makes my life a little bit more worthwhile than it already is.

Is there a main source toward where your inspiration lies in terms of your natural desire to explore the uncharted, like putting yourself in places you haven’t’ been, encounters you wouldn’t normally have, people you wouldn’t normally meet?

The inspiration comes from my parents, and it is the belief that experience trumps income.

In the middle of it all, a few years ago, I took a year to travel around the world. I volunteered in Central America, I worked on a cattle station in Australia, I rode elephants in Thailand, and I spent a couple of months traveling around Europe with my future in-laws. (Oh yeah, and I fought bulls.) And all along the way, as my eyes continued to widen, I gathered this sense that as long as we remain curious, it is incredible what we can learn about the world around us.

And even more exciting is how those teachings, while enriching our lives, allow us to then give back to the world in a very purposeful way.

Finally, What’s on the horizon for Adam, in what direction does your journey currently take you?

as3I just finished working on a second feature-length documentary (with a really skilled and passionate group of Millennials!), and now I have another really big project in my sights (that I can’t quite discuss at the moment).

I just moved to Orange County, California for my lovely wife Ivana to go to grad school, and we’re loving it out here.


Well, I wanna personally thank Adam, and know he’ll be fulfilled as he continues on his journey.