Remembering those who died in service to their country
My time in the military feels like another life. It was pre-kids, so in many ways, it was a lifetime ago. Those who know me know that I am a strong advocate for military veterans and their families. Many of my students are prior military, and sharing their stories has helped me to reclaim mine.
When I told my mother I had enlisted in the Air Force, she cried. When I told her I was an aircrew member on the E-3 AWACS, she just knew I was going to die. I assured her that the E-3 was perfectly safe. It had never had a fatal crash.
I was both right and wrong. I survived my time in the military without injury, the E-3 was safe, yet they did have a fatal crash. One I cannot forget.
My last assignment in the Air Force was to the 962nd AWACS Squadron in Elmendorf (Anchorage), Alaska. A small squadron, everyone knew everyone, so when the news came on the radio that there had been a crash of an E-3 out of Elmendorf, I was stunned. Because I knew people on that plane. Because I had flown on that plane, from that base and squadron. Because it could have been me.
I was in Grapevine, Texas when I heard the news. Driving in my car across an overpass. The moment is a crystal clear snapshot. I was in shock.
Every once in awhile, an E-3 will do touch-and-goes near the local AFB and I will see the flash of the heavy black-and-white dome. That image transports me back to every good and bad thing that happened during my time in the military. It takes me back to that moment on the overpass when I heard the news.
Memorial Day is about remembering those who died in service to their country. Today I remember the crew of Yukla 27.
On Sundays I run a novel writing group at the local library. They're a diverse group of male and female writers of all ages, although there is a heavy slant toward the fantasy realm. And we're lucky enough that everyone clicks. Our novel writing goals unite us.
Yesterday we talked about character development and then we continued to create a class character named Harriet Crawford, whose name we chose from a website called Random Name Generator. Over the course of the last couple weeks, I've grown rather fond of Harriet. We created her as a group, so she has some surprising traits, like playing piano as a child and now she only plays piano when she's had too much gin. That's the kind of detail the class has given to developing her, and then we move on to group-brainstorm the protagonists for other members of the group.
It's been an engaging and stimulating process, and we all take home the knowledge and the energy.
The day before a book release
The day before a book release can be stressful. So many what-ifs and I'm a worrier, so lots of stress. It helps to keep busy. Saturday night, I stayed up half the night making a book trailer. Why? Because the use of my creativity in another arena helped divert my worry into something beneficial. Plus, I'm an insomniac. :)
And Sunday, I got to hang out with my book tribe. Each week, they thank me for my time, but they don't realize I get as much out of it as they do. Hanging out with other writers feeds my creativity and I go home revved up to write. To me, that's a win.
Some people like book release celebrations, and they have their place, but for me, I"m happy hanging out with my book tribe.
What do you enjoy when you're celebrating a milestone?
Funny story. During the Mercury Retrograde Incident in September 2016, Cindy's original blog disappeared. Five years, gone in a random act of chaos. Now she gets to repopulate her blog world one post at a time. Join her if you dare. :)