Friday, September 20, 2013
Tina here... I thought I'd have you put your thinking caps on while we take a look at History. Before you get scared, I promise there will not be a test. At least I don't think so.
In millions of ways with a million voices.
From early on, stories of history have been passed down from generation to generation. We write it, draw it, take pictures of it, sing about it and more. History may not always speak in an audible voice, but it is loud enough to hear.
Listen. Can you hear it?
It plays a part in the story of my life. Each detail of my story is woven together and then added to your story and to other stories to form the tapestry of time. Of course not everyone sees the stitches that make my story. My birthday, when I got my first tooth or graduation date. The day I was married or had children does not make world news, although the gifts might be fun if they did. But that doesn't mean my story isn't important.
Sometimes when history speaks it is only important to me, or my family, or perhaps my city or state.
There are times when History speaks that almost the whole world is listening. You have only to see the date or hear a name or a place and you get a vision of the event.
As an example.
If I said June 17, 1961 would that mean anything to you? Perhaps not, but now that you know it I expect a birthday card.
But what if I said December 7, 1941 or A day that will live in infamy?
For many you could see bombs dropping on Pearl Harbor and the start of America's march into WWII.
How about The Cold War? The Arms Race? What time in history would that point to?
If I said George Washington or 1776 or Paul Revere you might think of the US Revolutionary War. Just as Abraham Lincoln, Robert E Lee, US Grant and Gettysburg might conjure up a vision of US Civil War for some.
What about "The shot heard around the world?"
That might be hard to pin down. Depending on where you live or your age, there were several shots from several places around the world. For most it's the first line in Ralph Emerson Waldo's Concord Hymn that refers to the start of the US Revolutionary War for others it sounded around WWI and still for some at other points in history.
Was the British Invasion of the 1960's a war?
What about August 16, 1977 or June 11, 1979? If you're an Elvis or Duke Fan you know exactly.
What about August 31, 1997 or Sept. 14, 1982?
December 26, 2004 or March 11, 2011?
What happened on Nov. 9, 1965 that caused a spike in births 9 months later? It happened in 1992 as well?
What if I said poodle skirts, bouffant dos, or loafers? Flappers and tommy guns? Pyramids and Pharaohs and papyrus?
How about Candlewicking? Now before your eyes glaze over, candlewicking is a form of needlework where the seamstress uses candlewick to form the design out of knots and twists and special stitches. It dates back to the 1900 if not earlier.
Of course I can't cover every point of history we'd be here forever.
As a writer, history plays a major role in several of my novels. I can choose to follow history precisely, or rewrite for speculative fiction or make it up altogether like Orwell did on his radio show October 30, 1938 when he talked about the invasion from outer space and War of the Worlds.
Granted, some of the things history says can be distorted so you have to listen carefully.
In my latest novel, Then There Was Grace, I take a look at a time in recent history. September 11, 2001. Most only have to hear Sept. 11th to know what I'm talking about and from there you can tell me exactly where you were when the terrorists attacked. I was still in bed and my husband called to say 'watch the news.' I was stuck to the news for hours, afraid to move for fear I'd miss something. It reminded me of a day in 1979 when the hostages were taken and my soon to be husband's ship was called back out to the Indian Ocean and my wedding day was set back.
Back to my story; I had so many questions about Sept. 11th and what brought to that point and how and why did we react the way we did. I wrote Then There Was Grace as a way to deal with my own fears and sorrow from the day.
Then There Was Grace is a story about a man, Adam, who is ready to divorce his wife, Grace, when she is killed in a terror attack, leaving him to raise their twin 3 year-old daughters, Faith and Hope, and deal with his guilt and regret. During his journey to through grief he learns a lot about Grace and just how wonderful she really was. He also learns about God's grace and forgiveness.
I am offering a copy of Then There Was Grace to one commenter today, so please leave a comment. Tell me something about how History has spoken to you. Or tell me, 'Where you were on Sept 11th?'