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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Of passings and new beginnings

First, let me say that our trip to Oklahoma City and the memorial there several years ago was very moving.  It was peaceful and beautiful and fitting to remember the lives lost.  Then, all of a sudden, the hush was broken by, "Jonathan!  Get back here!"  My nephew was several feet out into the shallow reflecting pool, splashing in the water.  Then, I took these pictures and sat for a bit on the steps, looking at the chairs, lit at night, one for everyone killed during the bombing.  The smaller ones for the children sent shivers down my back.  The quiet was interrupted by, "Jonathan, NO!" and my brother in law moving faster than any human I've ever seen, because his little boy was on the very high brick wall, getting ready to climb the Survivors' Tree. 

He's not bad, just a little high strung and a teenager now.  Since my husband and I were not blessed with children, I closely observe at family events and public places, listening and watching.  I hear the words my mother warned me with coming out of my mouth to my cats.  They sigh and roll their eyes as I'm sure I did. 
Another passing happened recently. 
This was a picture of the shuttle they had at Space Camp, in Huntsville, Alabama, which we got to tour quite a few years ago when we were in the city for a science fiction convention.  I grew up reading SF and as a little kid, couldn't decide if I wanted to be a ballerina or an astronaut.  Mom often told the story of how distraught I was I didn't get to hear my name read for my birthday on the local kids' show, because it was interrupted to report John Glenn orbited the Earth.  She stayed up with me to watch the Apollo 11 landing and said it was a thrill when we watched the Apollo-Soyuz launch.  Ah, good memories and the latter was the source of one of my greatest sunburns. 

So, I guess what I'm saying here is that in our fiction, as in our lives, our characters have to change and grow.  Events are often catalysts to the change, but sometimes, it's just maturing.  We know we truly have a winner when we can also change the reader with our work, while we're creating those word images in their minds.  Just a little something to aspire to, as we try to decide those pivotal events that made our characters what they are. 


  1. Interesting post, Julee. I have been told that my story is too "quiet." So I am trying to make sure to include plenty of challenges for my characters in my stories. And it is my sincere hope that my readers will be transformed right along with my characters.

  2. Thanks, Pam--yes, throw some more challenges your characters way and see how they react! I love it when they surprise me.

    Thank you, Nadja. I enjoyed going through flash drives of pictures I'd scanned in recently and will share more in future blogs.