9/11 – Ten Years Later – Ten Million Times Stronger

Every person that was alive and over the age of twelve on 9/11/01 can most likely recall exactly where they were the moment they heard the horrific news that an airplane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.

I was sitting at the front desk of Olympic Paper Company in Philadelphia, PA.  I was 28 years old, in college and blindly beginning a serious alcohol and drug problem.

The weather that day was amazing.

At first I thought, wow, how tragic.  I guess the pilot fell asleep or something.  I mean, to crash into a building in a densely populated city, there must have been a malfunction on a surreal level.  Like, who does that?  Crashes into a building?

Then, Janice, a customer service rep who dressed way too young for her age, shouted from the back: “Another plane just hit!”

I was stunned.  We were all stunned.  Two planes hitting the two twin towers minutes apart was no coincidence.  Something was going on….

The news that would flood the airways and television screens for the days to come would be some of the most morbid, tragic words and images any American would hear in their lifetime.

Terrorist attack.

Flight 93.

The Pentagon.

People jumping from buildings 40 – 60 stories in the air to spare the agony of being burned alive.

There were graphic pictures and even more graphic news footage of people running for cover when the second tower could no longer hold on.  That tower came crashing to the ground in defeat, taking thousands of people with it.

I was in a relationship with a man whose sister worked at the Pentagon.  We feared the worst.  Optimistically, we heard that there were survivors in the Pentagon.  His sister had been working on the opposite side from where the plane (missile) had hit.

We received sad news.  His sister was granted a promotion… to the annihilated side of the building two weeks before the attack.

Eventually, after the dust settled and life had to go on, we all got back to our lives.  It all felt different.  Freedom.  Solidarity. United States of America.  It  took on new meaning.  People flew flags anywhere they could.  They taped them to their car antennas and got magnets for their trunks.

And somehow, in some weird twist, many people I have talked to from then  until now, knew someone (or someone of someone) killed in the 9/11 tragedy.

One Nation, Under God, Indivisible… With Liberty and Justice For All.

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Songs That Make You Happy

Music feeds our emotions.  Often, when we are sad, we put on sad music.  We wallow in our sorrow as we play songs like “The Final Cut” by Pink Floyd or “Candle in the Wind” by Sir Elton John.

If we just had a fight with our significant other we may put on something like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins or any number of Slayer tunes (my personal fave).

But what about music that makes us happy?  This post comes via hearing a song that could interpreted as sad, but makes me very happy.

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. That opening G chord makes me forget the troubles I am  having.  I take a deep breath, turn the radio up and just know everything will be okay.  There are many others… but this is the one is at the top of my top ten.

What songs feed your emotions?

Crazy or Creative?

I’m off from my “real job” today.  You would think this means I am sitting here, pounding feverishly on the keyboard as my WIP comes to breath-taking life.

Simply not true.  So far this morning I have checked my Twitter account 17 times, checked Facebook 8 times and even checked my Tumblr account and my Blogspot blog.

I do not have a desk so I do this awful “hunch over the laptop on the coffee table” thing that is seriously taking a toll on my back.  I think at this point I should probably invest in one of those “lap desks” or whatever the hell they’re called.

So as I write my novel (or attempt to really) I conjured up another creative idea.

A book detailing the thoughts of a crazy person.  Kind of like a journal of sorts.  The thing is, they will be my thoughts transferred from demented mind to paper.  I joke around that I am crazy.  I have morbid thoughts, disturbing thoughts… crazy thoughts.  I suppose most writers/musicians/artists do.  Thank  the gravy that God gave us all a talent to put it to good use instead of taking our thoughts out on the living.

Now, I have never been officially diagnosed as “crazy” per say. But I often feel crazy, like I do not fit in.  Not to mention the exorbitant amount of people who have called me crazy and meant it. Conversations that often go:

“You’re fucking crazy.”

“Ha! Thanks,” I say with a playful smile.

“No. I mean it. You’re a sick fuck.”

“Oh,” I say as the smile fades from my face.

It is lonely at times.  No one gets me.  I am continuously terrified to really be me out in public.  Sometimes I cannot help it and kind of let loose.  This is something that has plagued me all my life.

I have gone for tests, but always knew the right answers and chirped them out with unabated enthusiasm.  Does this make me a psychopath?  I have never killed anyone (seriously).  I don’t even kill bugs.

So what’s the deal?

Flash Fiction!

My first shot at Flash Fiction.

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For The Best

“Look, I know you’re hungry, but do you really want to eat me? “

“It is for the best,” Charlie said as he bent down, his mouth gaping.

“Wait!”

“What? We are both out of options.  I am hungry and you are going to die anyway.  We would be helping each other.”

“But, I have another wing.”

“Yes, but you need two wings.  Much like I need four legs.  Just look at you,” Charlie said as he nudged the bird with his wet nose. “You cannot fly; I will end your suffering.”

“I said the same thing to the butterfly I ate not half an hour ago,” Mickey said as he jumped, flew in a small circle and landed on the ground with a heavy sigh. “Maybe it is best that you eat me.”

“Now you want me to eat you.  That is funny.  Where is the adventure in that, I ask.”  Charlie plopped to the ground in a lump and yawned. His chubby paw whacked the small rock on the ground. “I’m bored.”

“Eat me, you silly feline.  Please!  I am in pain and you are hungry.  We will both be pleased.  This I assure you.”  The bird flew  around Charlie.  His one wing flapped violently.  Feathers jarred loose, cascading Charlie in a sea of gray and white.

Charlie stood up and swallowed the injured bird in one gulp. His tongue cascaded his furry chops as he walked over to the puddle by the big rock.  He squatted to wash down his tasty meal with a cool lap of water when his left legs gave out.

A snake slid up from behind the rock toward Charlie…

GROWing With The Flow

Growing with the flow… what the heck does that mean Darlene?

It means…. I’ve learned not to force things.. no forcing traffic (never works), no forcing two hours of work into an hour and no forcing the writing.

When I force a character, it feels false. I have learned to leave that character be and when it is time, that character will pop up and say, “Hey!  You!  Over here! I’m ready to jump in and take over.”

Ahhh.. there you are my sweet.   My characters are little pieces of me peppered with the traits of others.  They must be placed at the right time with the right voice.

The voice. EEK.  My voice is their voice and their voice is my voice.  I know after the first chapter write as I re-read my work that a character sounds “just right” or sounds “LAME.”

One of my characters is a pimp.  His actions, traits, flaws, tone of voice and wording must resemble that of a pimp.  No, I don’t know any pimps, but I have read about many and seen a few in movies.  As I write the character outline of my pimp and then fill him into the corresponding chapter, having him say something un-pimpish is, well, unbelievable and it simply will not work.

How I Love Thee.

That is unless his back story is that he was once a college professor and it just didn’t pay well enough.  Plus there weren’t many women to degrade… hmm…. not bad.

Anyway.  This week I am ROWing with the flow.  Tonight I am taking my daughter to work and there is a Starbuck’s right next door.  My butt will be firmly planted along with my laptop, a bottle of water and a cup of delicious coffee.  She is working for three and a half hours.

Yes!  Three and a half hours of writing, people watching, eating a tasty morsel or seven and really hunkering down and getting to the meat of my plot.  I am about to start Chapter 2 and I really need to add some substance.  With two jobs and all that other hugamaloo, I am finding that I have little time to write. 😦

My goals for this week are simple.  Read, Write, Blog, Comment. That’s it.  Usually I have a slew of goals that get bashed into the mud because it is too much.  Sure, I start out with  the Super-Wonder-Indestructible Woman attitude.  By the time Thursday rolls around I am deflated and mad at myself.

Attainable Goals.

Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen - Awesome.

Today is a big day. My little girl, the last of my spawn, is 16 today.  A bittersweet day indeed.  There were no gifts of Barbies or stuffed animals.  She got gift cards, a gym membership and a beautiful card from yours truly.

No cake.  “Cake is fattening,” she said.

I rolled my eyes.  But respected her wishes.  Even though I wanted to say, “but I WANT BIRTHDAY CAKE!”

So her big day got me thinking about life goals. She wants to join the Army and I am all for it.  I seriously hope she pursues her dreams and doesn’t let revenge or a boy stand in her way… this is exactly what happened to me at her age.

I gave birth to her brother at 16.

It is interesting to me that the years have flown by. It seems just a week or two ago I was talking to her about things un-boy related, un-fashion related and all little girl related.

Friday, Andy and I are taking her out to a restaurant of her choice for dinner.  I took the day off to hang out with my little princess.  In a bit we will be going to the mall so she can spend her gift cards.

My little girl is the polar opposite of me… I love it.  No one wants to grow up to be like their mother… and it looks like she isn’t going to.  *phew*

Happy Birthday, sweetheart! I love you.