Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 Memorial: Learning From Tragedy, and Giveaway

Friendlies! Writerly Wednesday is here!

Writerly Wednesdays here are dedicated to writers and readersIf you've published anything for Young Adults, check out the tab up there.

And now, it's time to announce the winner of a Screwing up Time coffee mug AND coupon for a copy of the book on Smashwords. Remember, C.M. Keller also promised a coupon to anyone who guessed right, so... 

The options were: 

1. C.M. was a member of the ICSA women's sailing team that took first place for the season.
2. She has ridden a sea turtle.
3. She worked her way through college doing chromosome analysis.

This week was a HARD one, but the lie is: 

#1, She was actually asked to be part of a sailing team, but only because they were very desperate. It didn't end up fitting into her schedule. 

Way to guess Liz, Laurel, Tammy and Patti! You are officially human lie detectors. (C.M. Keller will be contacting you shortly with your coupon.) And the GRAND PRIZE winner is: 

...DRUM ROLL...

LIZ!!

Congrats, Liz! 

And now, it's been a long time since I've had a guest blogger here, but it's a special day so please welcome Kelley Hicken. She's an amazing writer who's kicking off a new critique forum with regular writing challenges, Scribbleweed.com. She has generously offered a $25 Amazon card (!!!) to the winner of today's Truth or Lie game. That's like, a boatload of books! 

But first, let's remove our hats, lower our flags, and take a moment to remember.


Learning from Tragedy

Image courtesy of Kelley Hicken
September 11, 2001 is perhaps the most influential date in the modern history of our country. The residual effect on our economy, politics and psychology of our citizens are still felt twelve years later. 

We can’t go back. 

We won’t forget.

When we watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center, it confirmed our fear. This is no accident. We are under attack. We saw the fires, the jumpers, the towers falling, lives lost, dreams destroyed, and we asked the same question echoed around the world.

“Why?”

Time gives us the distance to see the events of 9/11 from a different perspective. We are no longer characters in the story, but readers with a big-picture view. From this vantage point, it is easier to extract meaning and knowledge. From here, we have the opportunity to use real-life tragedies to strengthen our character.

Crisis reveals character. Consider why ordinary people helped the injured out of the building and then went back into the smoke and flames to find others. We act on instinct in these situations and show the coward or hero we’ve already become.

Identical beliefs can influence opposite actions. Securing a place in heaven is what motivated the suicide bombers to kill. Perhaps the same belief inspired some of our NYC heroes to save lives. They were all convinced they were doing the right thing. Be careful what you choose to believe, especially about yourself.

Fear is the opposite of freedom. These ordinary people didn’t wait for a more qualified hero to come. They fought as if the outcome depended on their efforts alone. What would happen if we all stopped imposing limits on our possibilities in response to fear? I have a hunch we would all be a bit more admirable, like the heroes we remember today.


Thanks, Kelley, for that beautiful tribute. And now, to lighten the mood a little, let me officially introduce you: 

Kelley Hicken is a YA fantasy novelist from the beautiful Pacific Northwest and creator of the brand-spankin’ new writer’s website, www.scribbleweed.com. She is currently in the "somebody kill me" editing process of her debut novel, The Halcyon. When she isn't banging her head on her keyboard she is most likely spending time with her family, hiking in a forest, or killing a plant in the garden.

Her favorite cheese (this week) is mozzarella. She may or may not eat a fistful every time she shreds it for family pizza night.

TRUTH OR LIE

1. Kelley got her worst scar while building a geodesic dome home in the mountains.
2. Her nickname in elementary was "Rapunzel" because she had ridiculously long hair.
3. She got fired from her first job because she called in sick within the first 30 days.

Okay human lie detectors, which is the lie? AND be sure to check out Scribbleweed!

85 comments:

  1. Beautiful tribute!

    I think #3's the lie. Maybe she called in sick within the first week.

    ;-)

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  2. I'm guessing #3 as well. I love the nickname Rapunzel, so I'm hoping that one is true.

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    Replies
    1. Because what little girl doesn't want to be adored for her long flowing hair?

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    2. I'm the only girl in my family, and therefore the only princess - so that has to be true, right? :)

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  3. Congrats to Liz! Hmm, I'm going to say #3 too. They can't fire you for that!

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    Replies
    1. Depends on where you live. Any right to work state they can.

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    2. Well, if I were an employer, I certainly wouldn't try to fire someone for that. Seems legally risky and unethical, right?

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  4. Love the post, Kelley. We can incorporate these traits to strengthen the characters in our stories,also. I'm guessing #1 - I'll bet it was a tree fort in her backyard!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Interesting that you mentioned a tree fort. I never grew out of my love for tree houses - so maybe you're right. :)

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  5. Number One is the lie. Its too hard to build something in the mountains. Why bother. Just stay at a Holiday Inn.

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    1. Brr? I built a raft with my brothers in the mountains. There were no Holiday Inns at 12,000 feet above sea level. ;)

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  6. #2 is the lie.

    I will never forget how confused, saddened, and heartbroken I felt that day twelve years ago. The feelings flood back along with the vivid memory of sitting there watching the morning news when it happened. We all thought it was a plane crash/ mechanical failure until the second plane was caught on camera. The aftermath brought the best and worst out in people.

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    1. It was so awful, but I remember if vividly wake up call. It seemed the whole country's hearts knit together as one afterwards.

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    2. I think you're right, Christine. Something like this sheds light on charitable people as well as greedy opportunists. It's interesting to go back now and learn about all the different "types" who showed up in the aftermath.

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  7. Great post! And I'm going to guess #1 for no other reason than I find geodesic domes kinda strange :)

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    Replies
    1. Meradeth, they probably find you kinda strange too. ;)

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    2. Ha! Meradeth, I've never really understood the merits of a dome home, either.

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  8. "fear is the opposite of freedom" - I love that Crystal. So so true. I've never thought of it that way before.

    Congrats to Liz!!

    Let's see...I think #1 (the scar) is a fib :)

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    1. I love it too. I love even more that it didn't come from me. ;) Kelley wrote a beautiful piece, didn't she?

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  9. Events like 9/11 leave a mark, almost like a tattoo, on people's memories. You can't ever forget what you were doing or where you were when you saw what was happening. It is still so confounding.

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  10. Kelly, this was such a beautiful tribute. I think of all the ones I've seen and heard on this day, your's touched me the most.

    I'm going with #1

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  11. Beautiful for sure.

    And 3 seems to be the false one. Despicable if it is triem

    Sarah Butland
    Author of Arm Farm, Brain Tales and Sending You Sammy

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. I love that you assume #3 is false. You must be an optimist at heart?

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  12. Congrats to Liz! And I'll guess #1 as the lie.

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  13. It's been a sobering day, looking at the blog posts people have written. I think it's good that we don't forget.

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    Replies
    1. It's difficult to remember these kinds of days, but thanks for taking the time to read this.

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  14. Beautifully said. I don't think we will ever forget. I remember the exact moment I heard about it.

    Nas

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    Replies
    1. Twenty years from now you'll still be able to ask, "Where were you on 9-11?" And people will be able to tell you. Moments like that are rare.

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    2. Thank you, Nas. I remember, too. I was concerned about my husband who worked steps away from the Denver world trade building. It was sobering to think of each family world that collapsed that day.

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  15. This was a beautiful tribute; I liked it pointing out ways we can 'strengthen our character'.

    I think #2 is the lie... :)

    -Michelle

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  16. Congrats to Liz. And a wonderful post from Kelley. Americans should never forgot this day. God Bless America!

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  17. I thought it was bad enough to live through the assassination of president... But we (as a country) survive and move on. It's what we do.

    I think the lie is #3.

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    Replies
    1. It's so true. How often have we seen something major happen and think the world is going to end?

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  18. The world remembers 9/11, not just America. I still feel that it was more than just seeking a place in heaven for the bombers, not that their actions can ever be justified. But that day, thousands of innocent lives were taken - not nearly as many thousands as have been taken in the Middle East in the wars there, but still too many.

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    1. It's true, they had a cause they were supporting, and unfortunately it was a cause of hate and intolerance. It's a good lesson--that we need to examine our actions and motives before acting.

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  19. I'm shocked but happy to have won last week. So, this week I'm guessing #2.

    The principal at the school I was at did a nice tribute during the announcements this morning. So many lessons to be learned from 9/11. Kelley, beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you, Liz, and congratulations winning last week. :)

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  20. 9/11 affected everybody, even those outside of the US. An unforgettable and senseless tragedy...
    And I'm guessing that #1 is the lie.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. It's so true. It was definitely a world-wide event.

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    2. Yes, and I remember being impressed by so many different countries rallying around and expressing condolences.

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  21. Unlike Kelly, I haven't banged my head on the keyboard yet.

    I forgot to mention that I like your blog page design.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks! This is when having a computer geek husband pays off. ;) (Not that it doesn't always pay off.)

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    2. That's good, Peaches. I don't recommend it. :)

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  22. Beautiful post, Kelly.
    #2 is the lie.

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  23. I'm guessing #1 is a lie.

    Beautiful tribute.

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  24. beautiful words and how to recover and renew

    since i believe truth is stranger than fiction, i'll believe 1 & 2, and say 3 is the lie...

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    1. Thank you, Tara, and I love your reasoning for guessing number 3. :)

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  25. Kelley, I appreciated your 09/11 Tribute. It's always important to ask why.

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    1. You're so right, Theresa. Now if I could just remember that when my kid asks me "why" for the three hundred and twentieth time in a day...

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  26. Nice tribute, Kelley, I was in NYC when it happened and it was really intense on all levels.
    Okay, on another note, I'm guessing #3, calling in sick is the bogus one.

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    1. Catherine, I can only imagine the insight you have on the subject being in NYC at the time. Have you written about your experience? Thanks for reading.

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    2. Catherine, I cannot even imagine how incredible that must have been--living in the city at the time. (And I mean that in a positive and negative way.) Wow.

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  27. Now there's chock-full-of goodies post! Even tragedy can be good when we learn from. Great tribute. I get very emotional and fiercely patriotic the more our world crumbles around us, so I stayed off facebook and most blogs on 9/11...
    Tina @ Life is Good

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    Replies
    1. Why thank you, Tina. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I feel the same way and usually avoid reading anything about the topic because my emotions are so tender whenever I think of anyone willing to sacrifice themselves for another.

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    2. Tina, not a bad plan. I think that's going to be me, on release day. (Yup--I'm a chicken.)

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  28. VERY interesting, the comment about people on both sides (bombers and rescuers) possibly thinking they were securing a place in heaven. Therein lies a definite dilemma. We do what we can.

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    1. Thank you, Carol. Of course we may never know what all those people were really thinking, but the optimist in me likes to think most people want to do what is right. Maybe our perception and definition of "good" sometimes gets skewed... who knows?

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    2. The more I travel, the more I'm astonished by the different perspectives people have, based on their cultural influences.

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  29. i'm gonna say the 1st is a lie... thanks for the win!!!

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    1. Thanks for reading the post, Tammy. Good luck!

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    2. What can I say? You won by sheer awesomeness. ;)

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  30. 3? Cos that just sounds so mean of an employer to do!!

    1 - sounds like a a delicious truth as I haven't a clue what a geodesic is and what a way to get a scar! LOL!
    2- Kelley totally looks like a gorgeous Rapunzel!

    Take care
    x

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    1. Aw... shucks. Thanks, Old Kitty. This comment makes me smile.

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  31. I was a kid back then..
    I remember watching it on TV and so many dreadful pictures next day in newspaper. It was a sad day..

    I'll go with #3

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    1. It was definitely sad. But, inspiring at the same time.

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  32. Hm, hm. I want One to be true, just because that sounds so stinking cool. But I'm going to guess Number Two.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, sneaking in right at the buzzer, Bethany. ;)

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Hit me with your cheese!