Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

The line above my greeting is for a company who sponsors blogs and helps writers. It’s really a cool idea for the professional blogger. It was neat the way it works, but it didn’t like the way I wrote the next paragraph with the “____” or the “kinda sorta” or the alphabet sentence. It found 34 things in first five paragraphs below. I told them I would acknowledge them on my blog today, but I didn’t know if any of my audience could benefit from their services. Whatever, if they think my saying is catchy, it puts me in a drawing for $100 gift card.

It’s hard to believe it has been twelve years since the attack. So much has happened in that time, so much has changed. I have noticed, as I’ve gotten older, I have said many times “____ was really that long ago? Wow, I thought it was only___.” Whether this has anything to do with a failing memory, I have no idea, but I think it has more to do with the hectic lives we lead.

Think about it. Haven’t you been surprised to find out so-and-so has been dead for ten years, not six or seven? Or, they’ve been married twenty years already? Really? I can’t be the only one who experiences this…

Last night my writing group started up again, well kinda sorta. It’s a writing group and there are some of the folks from the original writing group, and the group is now being run by my friend Keith instead of my friend Beth, so actually, we didn’t start up again, it’s a new group. The turnout was huge, I think there was close to twenty-five people. It was nice seeing several new people, even a thirteen year old boy came to the group. Keith did this one challenge where you had to write sentences where each word had to begin with the next letter of the alphabet. Here’s one of mine as an example: Only Persnickety Quilters Ruthlessly Stitch Tablecloths Under Verandas With Xavier Youngblood. Needless to say, there was a lot of giggling going on as we shared our ridiculous sentences. Todd, the guy who runs our critique group swam circles around us when he wrote a cohesive story which went through the alphabet three times.

It is time for me to start getting into a routine again, and get out of summer mode. I need to make a “To Do” list so I can stay focused. With my daughter off at school for seven hours, and no one in the house, I have no excuse not to have the place clean and to pound out a minimum of 1K words a day. I need to finish Corporate Blues and send it to my editor so it can be released in November. I also have to write the dreaded blurb for the back of the book and get it to the graphic designer. The cover is finished and it looks amazing, but he is still waiting for me to provide the teaser on the back so he can be done with the project. I also want to have Simply By Chance out in January, so I really need to get my butt in gear.

On that note, I should get a move on. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

I remember where I was that day…

Growing up, my grandparents talked about knowing exactly where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with when Pearl Harbor was bombed. For my parents, it was exactly the same when they heard President Kennedy was shot. At that point in my life, the only monumental thing that had happened was a man landed on the moon, and my memories were sketchy at best; but then again, I was only three, so I really couldn’t relate.

Then, on a cold January day in 1986, I got a small piece of what they had been talking about. I was in my apartment, alone, getting ready for work and I had the TV on watching the space shuttle launch. I watched in shock and I thought it was a Hollywood prank, but no. Seven people were dead. I can still picture the smiling teacher Christa’s face. Yes, it was a horrible memory, but it was not earth shattering, at least not for me personally.

The next disaster, I was clutching my two month old daughter and watching the havoc Timothy McVeigh wrought in Oklahoma. Images are vivid, but life moved on pretty much as usual. Two years later, hearing of Princess Di’s death also left an imprint, but it wasn’t until September 11, 2001 that I really understood what my grandparents and parents meant.

I remember every minute from when my mother called me at work to say they think a small commuter plane had just crashed into one of the towers until I finally passed out over two days later from exhaustion. The images still haunt and the emotions can be brought up with very little effort.

Totally ran out of time, but I am sure you all have your own memories of that fateful day and you do not need my full recount.

I do have a confession to make though. When you see these long responses to a ten minute prompt, I do, after the ten minutes are up, go back and put in the paragraphs to make it look a little neater. The writing itself though IS done in the ten minute time allotment, it’s just usually in the form of one giant paragraph, and if there is dialog, I do make sure I did not miss any quotation marks to minimize any confusion, but that is all the editing I do.

Your Next Challenge is:

It is the first really cold day and you decide you need your coat. You have not worn your coat since last winter. You put it on, reach in the pocket and find…

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.