Thank you to all the brave men and women who have fought past and present to keep us safe and free. To defend a country where people have the right and privilege to criticize you and voice those opinions. Thank you for doing that which so many who find themselves judging others are not brave enough to do. Thank you for your blood, sweat and tears. Thank you to your families for sharing you with us. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for being you!
To all who serve, have served and will serve. Thank you!
In honor of Veterans Day a poem:
We were soldiers then,
Hoards of brave strong men,
Standing side by side in the face of fear,
Not knowing what to expect there,
Watching bullets kill our friends,
Our heroes, our brothers,
Wondering who would break the news
To our wives and mothers,
Trapped in a crimson sea,
My brothers and me,
In a hostile land,
The ground protested our presence,
Breaking our spirits as well as our spines,
Forced to murder, to kill, in order to survive,
Lest we should not leave that land alive,
Some lucky troops returned to the homeland,
With life and breath,
Never forsaking the spirits
Of those who sought refuge in death.
Working on the sequel to For Always, I find myself going back and rereading scenes from it from time to time. The Halloween scene was such fun to write I thought I’d share what inspired the scene. This was originally posted last year on Evie Seo’s blog. I hope you enjoy it!
Growing up in Brooklyn at the time I did, Halloween was a big deal. Not because it was a time to get dressed as ghouls or goblins. Not because we looked forward to mischief night to toilet paper someone’s house. (I never even heard of that until I moved to NJ.) But because it was a time to either bomb or get bombed. No actual explosives were used in this process. Instead, the “bombing” was an assault of raw eggs and shaving cream.
The Halloween scene, like many of the scenes in For Always was inspired by a true life event. It was a day when my friends and I decided to go bombing. I was in 8th grade and had a massive crush on an older boy. I didn’t talk much and sort of faded into the background whenever my best friend was around. At that age she was much like Maria, a true extrovert, where I was much like Stephanie, a true introvert. Add a healthy dose of insecurity in the mix, and there I was.
For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call my best friend Maria, the girl I viewed as my rival Beth, and the guy I liked Jordan. Maria invited two girls I didn’t know to go with us. It was her first year in High school, and she was branching out. I was a year behind. I didn’t know the new girls, and they weren’t particularly friendly. I decided early on I didn’t like them. I tried my hardest to ignore them, but that was hard since there were only four of us. We straggled down the street, laughing and acting silly, like thirteen and fourteen year old girls covered in eggs and shaving cream would. Until I realized where we were headed. Straight to Jordan’s house. I heard Maria mention his name and my ears perked up. Beth whispered something, all I heard was “so cute.”
My heart raced. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to stop the group dead in our tracks. I didn’t want Jordan to see me looking the way I did with goop oozing off my head and clothes. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to see Beth flirt with him. I guessed they knew each other from high school and didn’t want to witness the budding of a new relationship between them. But I couldn’t say anything. No one knew I liked him, especially not Maria. If she knew I liked him, the rest of the world would know too.
Maria rang his doorbell. As we waited, my eyes were glued to the ground. I didn’t want him to see in my eyes how excited I was to see him. But Maria returned alone. He wasn’t home from school yet. (That meant they went to different high schools.) I wanted to do cartwheels, too bad I didn’t know how. And neither was his brother.
Now I listened to the conversation with an open mind. It wasn’t Jordan Beth was interested in, it was his older brother. Just as I let the relief of what I misunderstood sink in, I saw him. He was dressed nice, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. As he approached his house, he acknowledged us with a smile and promised to be right out. I didn’t know what to do, we couldn’t leave. He already saw us. And if we stayed, I was afraid Beth would set her sights on him and he’d reciprocate her interest. And then it happened.
Just like in the book. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see Jordan standing in front of me, a huge smile on his face. I couldn’t believe he came over to me. To me! I was so happy. Butterflies fluttered like mad in my stomach. And then I saw it. The plate filled with shaving cream in his hand. I had no time to duck or move. All I could do was look from the plate to the smile on his face. And then it hit me. He took his time mushing it in my face before pulling away and laughing.
While I couldn’t see, and acted shocked and outraged at what he’d done, I felt good. Because out of the four grungy girls waiting outside his house, he came to me. He went inside for a towel and spent the next half an hour helping clean me up. And when his brother did get home, the other girls surrounded him, leaving Jordan and I to each other. Unlike Beth or Maria, or the other girl I can’t quite remember, I left there knowing the guy I liked, liked me.
I’d really love to hear what you think. what is your fondest Halloween memory?
Do you remember your first celebrity crush? My daughter has hers, and while she goes on and on about Jensen Ackles and Supernatural, I can’t help but be sucked back in time. I don’t know if these were my first celebrity crushes, but they were my most obsessive. I am about to seriously date myself here, but I’m sure you’ll recognize the names.
I loved, absolutely LOVED all things Michael J. Fox. Family Ties, Back to the Future, and Teen Wolf just to name a few. For as long as I can remember Thursday nights were spent in front of the television watching Family Ties. One of my all-time favorite sitcom characters is Alex P Keaton. Who wouldn’t love the adorable young republican son of hippies? He was cute, smart, and always knew what to say to make me laugh.
I was heartbroken when I heard the series was concluding because Tina Yothers, who played his younger sister Jennifer wanted to do other things. To make matters worse, my goal at the time was to be the youngest person to ever write a novel. She, being just a hair younger than me beat me to it. For a long time after, I hated Tina Yothers!
My other celebrity crush was on Rob Lowe. I loved him as Billy in St. Elmo’s Fire. One of my favorite movies. I identified with so many of the characters, Wendy, the girl in love with his bad-boy character, Kevin, the writer with the secret crush, falling in love from afar. In this movie especially, I allowed myself to fall for Lowe’s bad boy character, someone I’d never allow myself to get close to, let alone fall for in real life. Only a few years ago while watching the series Brothers and Sisters, Rob Lowe recaptured my attention.
Now that I confessed my early celebrity crushes, tell me a little about yours. Who made or makes your heart beat just a little faster and knees just a bit wobbly?