Tag Archives: sad

Do you remember?

11 Sep

My mother called that morning, eleven years ago, waking the Helvetican and me on a rare day off. “Turn on your TV,” she said. “A plane just hit one of the twin towers.”

The first channel visible when the TV came on showed the smoke pouring from the torn side of the tower. My heart lodged in my throat. How could such a terrible thing happen? It must be an accident, a horrible, impossible accident… And then the video filled with a second plane and the horror engulfed us, watching the plane deliberately fly into the side of the second tower.

I remember wishing fiercely that I could wake up for real and escape the nightmare.

I called my best friend, with whom I’d lived in upstate New York years before. With whom I’d explored the amazing, singular borough of Manhattan. She turned on her TV as I related what I knew so far, which was little. Together, linked by the phone, we watched the towers fall and cried for the city that held such a special place in our hearts. Later, as the magnitude of the day registered, as we learned this was far bigger than New York, that it was the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania–that it was our country–the emotions grew into something encompassing and surpassing sorrow and fear. Patriotism took hold, but more than that: a binding of countrymen that gave us all strength, and, for a while, made us all better, a collective loving and lifting one another.

We live directly under the flight path for planes landing at the airport. The silence felt so wrong. I’d tuned out the sounds of jets passing overhead long ago. To have them absent spoke volumes. Days later, when the first plane finally took that path, the whine of the engines shook me. Life returned to something resembling normal with the passing of that plane, though true ‘normal’ would never really come back.

And now, we find ourselves in an election year, each side tearing down the other, politics as usual. The economy has left us with yet another semblance of normal, while, for too many, true ‘normal’ has not returned, and may never return. And on this anniversary, when we mourn those lost, when we mourn all that followed, when we rub at the scars left behind, I can’t help but wish we could have held onto that sense of love and concern for one another, as fellow Americans. I wish we could grow that again, without suffering a tragedy first.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Public Affairs 2nd Class Mike Hvozda (Public Domain)

Death of an Inspiration and a Legend

7 Jun

I have to take a moment out of this week’s insanity to post about the loss of a legendary writer, a man whose works both entertained and inspired me: Ray Bradbury, who was 91 at his passing. I know this might seem strange, coming from a romance writer. But before I wrote contemporary romance, I toiled over tales of speculative fiction (with romantic subplots), and most of my reading in my youth came from that genre.

I came across Mr. Bradbury’s work as a young teen, when my reading material consisted primarily of epic fantasy novels. His stories and novels added more speculative fiction into my reading mix. The dark look at the future in Fahrenheit 451 cracked my youthful vision of a utopian future world, leading to growth in both my critical thinking skills and my imagination. Something Wicked This Way Comes entertained me, scared me, and made me think about deeper themes, which further shaped my storytelling skills as I studied how to wrap several elements into a tale. I devoured his short stories and enjoyed the adaptations on his TV series, The Ray Bradbury Theater.

Mr. Bradbury is a true legend among speculative fiction fans. He will be missed, but through his work, he will live forever.

Sad day…Jan Berenstain Has Died

27 Feb

I grew up reading the Berenstain Bears. My kids read the books and watched the cartoons. So it is with great sadness that I post the link to an obituary for one of the Bears’ creators: Jan Berenstain Has Died – GalleyCat.

I have the deepest respect for anyone who can create characters perfect for children. I’ve tried many times over the years to write a children’s, or even a middle grade, book. I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around it. Writing for kids is hard work, and pairing the words with fun pictures is even harder, in my opinion.

One fun fact about the Berenstain Bears…Dr. Seuss was the editor of the books. According to Jan Berenstain, the bears were given her surname as of the second book, The Bike Lesson, when Dr. Seuss added a subtitle: “The Second Adventure of the Berenstain Bears”.

RIP, Mrs. Berenstain. You brought a lot of joy to generations of children, and that sweet family of bears will be loved by generations to come.

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