FREELANCE CAPABILITIES

I love to write. I love to work with words because there's a certain magic in them. They can make life come alive on a printed page or in a video clip. I've written pieces on religion, politics, history, education and more. They've taken the form of editorial comment, essays, point of view pieces and exposes. I don't write "fluff" pieces; fortunately today there's not much demand for them. So if you want something researched and written carefully and thoughtfully, let me do it for you. I'm affordable. And there's a quick turnaround if you're in a hurry.  

CONTACT  ME:   dtarpenning@gmail.com

FREELANCE NON-FICTION WRITING

Below are excerpts from non-fiction freelance pieces I have written.

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    At certain times of the day and certain days of the year, a single beam of sunlight from the windows falls directly in the center of the altar; during vespers, it illuminates the priest behind the altar holding the “host” (the communion symbol.) The light is then joined by another beam of sunlight from the back of the sanctuary as the sun begins to set. The beams illuminate the screen behind which the nuns sing. The symbolism of the wandering sunlight is very much a part of the mystic religious experience in the Chapel, especially when the worshipper is in an attitude of contemplation or prayer. 

    In the words of Saint Simeon: “One day, as he stood and recited ‘God have mercy on me as a sinner,’ (Luke 18:13) ‘uttering it with his mind rather than his mouth, suddenly a flood of divine radiance appeared from above and filled the room.  The man saw nothing but light all around him. Oblivious of the world, he was filled with tears and with innefable joy and gladness.”  

Written for CATHOLIC DIGEST, 2001. 

    In a squalid apartment left alone with no adult supervision for ninety days, a two-and-a half year old girl survives by eating uncooked macaroni, spaghetti and other dried foods she could find within reach. She was suffering only from dehydration when found by her father. 

    A young African-American male revisits his old high school in Harlem now closed. He stands behind the cyclone fence surrounding the crumbling building and recites a litany of education roadblocks he encountered in the run-down crime-ridden inner-city school. “But I graduated and went on to college and law school because I chose to make something of my life. I chose to survive.”

    The preceding items are, first, a recent TV news clip and second, excerpts from an article in Parade magazine. One is proof of the human will to survive; the other, a conscious effort to overcome grim circumstances and become a contributing member of society.  

    What distinguishes one from the other? Did the abandoned child survive on instinct? Because of her genetic makeup? At that early age, it would be difficult to assume it was learned behavior.

    And the young man? If Albert Einstein had been born in a New York City slum and gone to the same Harlem high school would his genetic potential have enabled him to survive and make such indelible marks on the world of science?

    The behavior of the child left alone to die or to survive might have been as suggested by sociobiologist E. O. Wilson (1971) a combination of both internal genetic causes and external environmental influences. Contemporary society, however, maintains a philosophical tradition that our behavior is shaped by our external environment as opposed to our internal environment. 

Written for the JOURNAL OF AMERICAN EDUCATION 2010

As early as 1630, before America was born, John Winthrop, who later became the second governor of the Massachusetts Colony, referred to the colonies as "the city set on a hill." In his sermon, A Modell (sic) of Christian Charity, his master plan for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, he wrote: "We are a special people with a providential mission of responsibility to the world." This declaration has been considered the forerunner to the concept of American exceptionalism. Although he had distinctly anti-democratic political tendencies, Winthrop saw the equality and diversity of the colonists as "different" from any European societies.         

            In 1835, in his De la Democratie en Amerique (Democracy in America), Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: "The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is  impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary (sic) faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live. There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor." 

Excerpted from an article written for Linkedin

2018