Tag Archives: Desert Storm

The story of our lives

Bloganuary: What would you title the chapters of your autobiography?

I’m not sure I would write my autobiography. (Isn’t that what a blog is for?) But if I did write one, I do know this about the chapter titles:

Puns would be involved.

I love puns and plays on words. If you’ve read any of my Coffee and Ghosts episodes, you already know that. Of course, it often takes me a long, long time to think them up. This is the reason Coffee and Ghosts is called Coffee and Ghosts.

Initially, this was the working title for the series. But when it came time to publish, I kept spinning my wheels for a better title. At last, I kept the working one because, if nothing else, it’s accurate.

Silliness aside, I am noodling a memoir. I almost hesitate to mention it because this might not come to pass. Every time I inch closer, I take a step back. This might be because I’m not ready to write it. It might be because I know it’s going to hurt.

But here’s the thing. I want to explain how caring for my mom during the last six months of her life was like being at war. It was like seeing the elephant all over again. I want to explain—if only to myself—why these two things are linked. Because somehow, they are linked in my mind and my heart. Maybe, if I can explain the why and the how behind that, I can help someone else.

But for now? I’ll simply ponder it.


Filed under bloganuary, Writing

The green, green grass of home

Bloganuary: Do you have a memory that’s linked to a smell?

After the war, after we left Kuwait for Saudi Arabia, after everyone started calling it Operation Desert Sit, I had the chance to drive into King Khalid Military City.

At the entrance sat a patch of lawn that was so green, so lush, so potent that its scent sliced through the desert air. It struck us—physically. All of us craned our necks, exclaimed, and inhaled deeply. Whoever was driving the Humvee nearly veered off the road.

This perfect bit of golf-course grass was so opulent that it was practically obscene.

And after all the waiting, first in the desert and then in King Khalid Military City, I remember stepping off the plane and being hit with that same sort of extravagance of a German spring. Never mind that we landed at Rhein-Main Air Force Base, in the heart of industrial Germany. Never mind the jet fuel in the air or the exhaust from the buses waiting for us.

It was like walking into a wall. The scent of vegetation was so thick you could touch it, taste it. When I finally returned to my BOQ, I wanted to leave the windows open. My rooms faced a small preserve within the city of Darmstadt. It was so calm, and peaceful, and green. But, compared to Saudi Arabia, the air felt so cold, so damp, so heavy.

I had to content myself with staring at the greenery through the glass. And I did so, for hours.


Filed under bloganuary

Write 1/Sub 1 check in: the one with two publications

W1S1 2014 - Monthly ChallengeIt’s hard to complain when your week includes two publications. It’s even harder when the universe lines up those publications just so. This week I saw not one, but two, military-themed publications.

In writing news, I am seriously inching my way through my story, as you can see. It’s still a work in progress. I’m almost tempted to go back on the weekly challenge, except I am also learning/teaching myself Adobe InDesign.

So, I’m not slacking … yet. And I’m really loving InDesign. Plus, it all contributes to my plan to take over the world.

Okay, maybe not that.


Writing Work:

  • Lawn Mower Serenade ~ still in progress–I am inching my way through this story.


  • Incriminating Evidence


  • The Life Expectancy of Fireflies
  • Incriminating Evidence


  • None



Filed under Promo, Write 1/Sub 1, Writing