'In the Mind of a Soldier' to be published

It's done. Finally. After 13 years, Aaron Lee Marshall's has completed his first book, "In the Mind of a Soldier."

"l'm happy, relieved, and - well - done," Marshall says.

Marshall released "Baqubah" a graphic novel, in 2016, based on his experience in Iraq in 2004/2005. "In the Mind" revisits the subject, but covers new ground. "This is a completely different story than the comic book. There may be some overlap, ... but I don't think so," he says.

"I basically covered the main events from my tour, and went into anxiety and PTSD, and ways that might have better prepared me when I came back - if they'd happened. I'm hoping if people read this it will help them out."

Marshall says the latest project is even more personal then the graphic novel, which covered serious ground.

"I (share) what I was thinking of back then, and what I think of it now."

Marshall's 40,000-word book draws from tapes recorded during his tour, along with with notes and memories, the latter both his own and those of soldiers he served with. ("We stay in touch.")

Some segments are not for the weak of heart. One recounts a search for body parts. "I'm trying to explain the constant trauma; what (war) does to a person," he says. "I'm trying to explain how war dehumanizes, how you disconnect. ... I didn't realize at the time that some of the things I did were directly due to the trauma."

"In the Mind of a Soldier" has a number of main points, he says. While it is a memoir, it is also an educational platform that addresses PTSD and how to combat veteran suicide; "I have also tried to bring the reader into the psyche of a modern day soldier."

To that end Marshall has included actual nightmares along with authentic memories, "and I don't say which is which."

The work took a toll at times, Marshall notes. More then once his wife pulled him away from the project when it dug too deep. "So, I tell myself it's OK it took 13 years to finish."

"I get kind of speechless when I think about it. I spent so much time, SO much time, and it was hard. It would trigger me, diving into the deepest part of things that happened over there. It was overwhelming at times."

Now it's time to address the logistics of publishing and distribution. "I just finished it, so it will take at least six months (till publication). There's no more adding or editing, but there's still some tedious work," he says. "I'm in no rush. I'm just happy it's done."

PPMTV seeks nominations

Hey broader community, sit up and take note. Here's a chance to nominate someone you feel deserving of public recognition. Portsmouth Public Media TV is inviting people to submit nominations for its fifth annual Inspiration Awards.

Seems only yesterday the 2018 recipients - Robin Albert, Guy Capecelatro III and Glicka Kaplan - were honored.

"Well that's because we start six months before we (award) them," PPMTV Executive Director Bill Humphreys says. "The event is in mid April. But, to get the nominations in from the community, and choose who will receive them, and then film the stories on them, it takes a little bit of a lead time."

Each round honors three individuals, with the exception of 2018, when a "Life Achievement Award' was awarded to Graham Alvord, of Kittery, Maine, a a 102-year-old World War II veteran.

"What were looking for is for the community to nominate people that ... make a contribution to the community, love what they're doing, and would never ever raise their own hand and or wave their own flag," Humphreys says. "It's (people) that need - deserve - the recognition because they mean so much to so many."

For information, visit www.ppmtvnh.org or go to www.ppmtvnh.org/ppmtv-inspiration-awards. More info at (603) 427-8093 or info@ppmtvnh.org

Meanwhile, back at the station, the next "Meet Me at the Meetinghouse," will offer a screening of "Lost Boundaries," a true family melodrama of racial and social injustice (1949), with Portsmouth ties. The event, Nov. 16, is a PPMTV and Black Heritage Trail NH collaboration. A discussion will follow. Info at http://ppmtvnh.org.

PPMTV is also working on its "Holiday Live" program, set for Dec. 13. "It's storytelling - stories of the holiday seasons," Humphreys says. "We're utilizing the team of storytellers that produce 'True Tales Live' here at the station, headed by Pat Spalding. It's our first time teaming up with them, outside the monthly (show)."

Michael Walsh releases new album

Michael Walsh, veteran, regional film, and stage actor and musician (for five decades) has released "Music from the Movie in My Mind," his first album, "of songs that have been rattling around in my cranium for some time," he says.

It took a friend being out of work to get him motivated, Walsh says, "a very talented friend, very musical."

The conversation, back in March, went something like this: "I said listen, I need to get the CD produced, because I've wanted to for years and you need work. I can't pay a whole lot of money, but let's see what we can do," he says. "And we just finished it six weeks ago."

Influences include pop, rock, blues, and folk music. "There's so many musical heroes I've admired over the years, I guess they all came to roost in one muse," he says.

"The album isn't just your standard collection of songs. It contains some theatrical elements, such as little comedy sketches," he says. "My wife, Melissa Manseau, and son, Jackson Walsh, helped me out in this department."

A portion of every CD will be donated to charity. "Music from the Movie in My Mind" is being sold at Rochester Performance and Art Center, Cocheco Valley Humane Society, and other locations with more to come. For sights and info, write icarus.walsh@gmail.com.

Walsh, known for his starring role in Alfred Catalfo's "Normal Rockwell Code" short, is also keeping busy with work as an extra in numerous films these days. He recently filmed for "Eve" starring Jessica Chastain ("The Help"), and "Little Women," which is still filming.

He turned down work in "Wonderland," because of other obligations, he says. "But, next week I expect another call, they're looking for any warm body in the background with a union card."

The actor, last seen on stage in Rochester Opera House's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," has been so busy, there's was no time to audition for other live shows. "It's just crazy with the CD, being a dad, and the movies."

Fashion designer submissions sought

Project Upcycle (a collaboration between 3S Artspace, Recovergirl, and Goodwill Northern New England) is accepting submissions from fashion designers - students, self-taught, working designers and retirees to compete in its second "Project Upcycle."

Eight designers will compete in the upcycled design/sewing challenge, March 28-30, 2019, which culminates in the Project Upcycle Runway Event, fashion show, at 3S.

Designs will be judged on execution, creative reuse of materials and styling. Cash prizes go to the top three designers (first prize: $1,500; second prize: $1,000; third prize: $500).

Application deadline is Dec. 21, applications can be found at http://www.3sarts.org/gallery/project-upcycle-2019-call-to-designers.

Jeanné McCartin has her eyes and ears out for Seacoast gossip. E-mail maskmakernh@gmaill.com.