Recently a fellow writer reached out and asked me what advice I’ve received from other authors. It’s a great question and I was happy to offer the insights I’ve learned on my own and what others have taught me since I began my own writing journey.
Stand up? Or take a knee? Much has been said this past week about the flag and national anthem as it pertains to what is taking place before NFL games. In fact, this topic hit such a nerve we are seeing similar displays at other sporting events. Americans on both sides of the issue feel passionate regarding their point of view and their ability to proclaim what they believe. And you know what? They should.
I remember where I was sixteen years ago on this day. And I bet you know where you were as well. We all have a story to share and today many of us will tell others what we were doing on a Tuesday morning. Two generations ago President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 “A date which will live in infamy.” For most of us September 11, 2001 will always hold a similar significance.
We celebrate our Independence Day every July 4th. But here’s a little bit of history for you. We actually adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd. Then for two days, the founding fathers debated over the wording of the document and finally came to an agreement on July 4th. It wasn’t until August 2, 1776 the Declaration was signed. A few signed it after that and even others would not sign what became our most sacred document.
Merriam-Webster defines a hero as, Someone admired for achievements or noble qualities. Also, One who shows great courage. Actually, I think they only needed two words to define a true hero, Terry O’Hara. Now, I don’t use that word lightly, but on March 10th 2017 we lost a man whom I believe exemplified what it means to be a hero. Terry O’Hara was a husband, father, son, and brother. Many people called him a friend and even more who never met the man - myself included - considered him an inspiration and a warrior.
Part X – Go BIG, or Go Home (The Conclusion) Washington, DC/Tacoma, WA
He looked down at his watch and silently swore to himself once more. His brother should have called fifteen minutes ago, which meant he was late, and that could only mean something went terribly wrong. The American’s, he thought, They must have interfered. A bead of sweat formed on his temple and slowly followed the deep contours of his wrinkles down his bronze colored face towards his square jaw. But is he dead? He wondered. Captured? His mind swam with the possibilities and a fierce anger boiled deep inside and slowly rose to the surface.
The heat, always the heat. Troy hated the sandbox as he not so affectionately called Iraq. When he stepped off the plane and his feet touched the concrete tarmac the wind, filled with granules of sand, smacked him against the side of the face causing his cheek to sting. He took it as Iraq’s way of saying screw you to him one more time. Dammit, he thought, I’m back again. Curiously, his mind wandered back to Drexel where he grew up. The harsh climate of Iraq made him miss the quaint town and long for the days of his youth. Quickly he pushed those thoughts aside and walked with purpose a step behind the Colonel.
Troy climbed the stairs of the G450 but his feet felt like lead as multiple days without solid sleep started to take its toll. Standing at the top of the stairs Harry blocked the entrance into the sleek jet. “Move it squirt,” barked Troy with a playful grin plastered on his face as he gave his medical sergeant a forceful shove with his carry-on bag. Harry stumbled a little and turned around, “Sorry Cap, Sarge is yapping his trap and jamming the aisle.” “I heard that,” hollered Terrance from inside the plane, “Don’t make me hurt you, boy.”
For me this year Christmas is a season of hope. You may ask, isn’t it always about hope? Not necessarily. The season can take on various meanings to us based on what happened during that year. Some years we may feel immense joy and express rejoicing as Christmas approaches. While other years are filled with unspeakable sadness and Christmas dredges up memories that lead to more pain. Other years are just “blah,” nothing too bad happened but nothing special either. I try to be an upbeat person but I’ve experienced various feelings and emotions around Christmas, not every year is festive.
“Where are you?” inquired Sarge. “Three minutes out,” responded the Colonel who answered on the first ring. “Did they make it out?” “All hell just broke loose …” he replied followed by a long pause. “And?” “And, what do you think? It’s Cap we’re talking about here…”