Linda Maye Adams

The Writings of Linda Maye Adams


I fell in love with fiction long before I started writing.

My mother and I would make a weekly trip to the Sun Valley Library and come back with stacks of books.  I always had Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden books, because I liked the idea of solving mysteries, but I ventured into Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov with the discovery of Star Trek.

Fiction Writing

I started writing fiction when I was eight years old, inspired by a friend who was writing a school play.  My stories were wanted I wanted to see in books: people like me–girls–having adventures.  That’s in my stories today: women having adventures.

Fighting monsters.

Meeting aliens.

Maybe even solving a mystery.

Private First Class Linda Maye Adams, U.S. Army

And I’ve had adventures of my own.  I enlisted in the Army and ended up going to war.  Story adventures are much more fun!

I just follow the front of the story like an explorer and see where it takes me.

 

Contact me at LindaAdams900 AT outlook dot com.

 

 

A Writer/Veteran Looks at History: Fort Ward, Virginia


This is a writer/veteran look at our history. This post is on Fort Ward, Virginia, a Civil War site.

Continue reading

Writing in Public: Story 4: Chapter 21


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 21

The dust kicked up from the weapons fire from Kangjun still floated in the air, along with the acrid stretch of burnt sand.  Brooks pulled the jeep in front of the scientists’ tents, cut the engine.  The silence was startling.

Jian hopped out of the jeep.  The gunny was already doing a range walk in her direction, stopping with a crisp salute.  Jian returned it.

“Anyone hurt?” she asked.

“No, ma’am.  But Ms. Hagen is unhappy.”

“Well, she’ll be even more unhappy.  Got the official word from the skipper.  We evacuate everyone.  Pack it up.  All scientific equipment and notes.  Leave the tents, cots, and the jeeps.”

The gunny was gone, just like a lightning bolt, off to accomplish the task.

Behind Jian, Hope struggled to get out of the jeep.  “What do you want me to do?”

“Come with me to talk to Ms. Hagen.  Sergeant, report to the gunny.  See what he needs.”

“On it.”  Brooks dashed off, his devil blaster rattling in the holster.

Jian was ready to launch into her range walk, then reminded herself to slow down so Hope could keep up.  Mel met them before they had gone far.  Her face was set with a mulish tension.

“We are not evacuating,” Mel said.  “I just need to go back in town and talk to the 49ers.  I can smooth things out.”

“No.”  Jian ticked off the reasons this was a bad idea off on her fingers.  “One: We have no capabilities for defensive positions if you can’t do that, and they already came after us with weapons.  Two: We’re out in the open.  We don’t have place we can run to if something does happen. Three: Kangjun’s orbit will take it out of position to help us if we run into trouble.”

Hope said, “Mel, no matter what you think, I can’t do what the aliens want.  I’m not even sure it’s possible.  But if it was, I’m not going off killing anything.  That’s just plain not right.”

Mel gave Hope a look like she hadn’t gotten with the program.  “Hope, translation is always tricky.  We probably misinterpreted what they said.”

Hope stepped up to Mel, which was hardly intimidating, given Mel was so tall and Hope was so short.  “I did not misinterpret the way they looked at me.  I did not misinterpret how angry they were that they couldn’t taste me.”

Jian toned down the harshness in her voice.  “All we need to do is get out of their sight for a little while.  That should calm things down.  Otherwise, we’d put you in danger and the translators.”

She knew that was a negotiation technique—call for a break for everyone to cool down.  Granted, it was a break with a long distance.

Mel paced, tight, quick steps.

“Damn him,” she finally said.  “Opening fire on the aliens.”

“Colonel Graul did not open fire on the aliens,” Jian said.

Hope added, “He just cooked the sand.  Mel, the aliens fired their guns at me.  They don’t need to be close to kill any of us.  And I don’t want to ever be telling Colonel Graul that I talked to your ghost.”

***
Writer’s note: Because I’m pantsing this, I hit this chapter and realized that I needed to add some POV scenes with this character earlier in the story.  The nature of the beast.

Adventures Around the Web August 12-18, 2017


Fall is continuing into Washington DC.  Last week, I saw the first fall squash at the farmer’s market.  I’ll be visiting an end of summer tradition, the local county fare, today, and I decided to take the day off for the eclipse, in case everyone goes nuts.  In DC, you never know . These are the same people who, when a single drop of a sprinkle hits their windshield, goes into full panic mode.

The Military Yearbook Project

USA Military Platoon and Personal Photos

This site takes the concept of a school yearbook and puts up the group photos from Basic Training.  Some great history here.  One of the earliest photos is 1934!.  Mine’s not on here, but I would have been Fort Dix, 1989.  From Tracy Jordan, Desert Storm veteran.

K. Gitter on Do You Remember?

These Vintage Photos Show the History of the Supermarket

Shopping for food has changed quite a bit over the years.  I found it fascinating to see that in the early days, it was a series of small shops specializing in produce or fish, not a general store of everything.  I also remember in Los Angeles the grocery store, Mrs. Gooch’s, which was also a precursor to Whole Foods and got bought out when they started growing.

Joanna Penn on Creative Penn

Writing Christian Fiction and Success Over a Long Career with Jerry Jenkins

(Link Corrected) Under the process question, he describes how he cycles through his writing to get a clean first draft.  He calls it revising, but it is a form of cycling.  I used to call it revising when I write, but that leads to thinking it’s actual revision, which isn’t, so I’ve just called it moving around in the story.

Harvey Stanbrough

Why Do You Write?

This is an interesting look at the different categories of people coming into writing and all their reasons.  When I first got on the internet and joined up with writing communities, I ran afoul of what I call hobby/lottery writers–people who wanted to write a best seller so they could quit their day job.  I thought everyone was like me–wanting to write full time, always wanting to improve as a writer.  It ended up being the reason I dropped off writing communities, because they were also the same people passing around a lot of bad information.

Melissa Ragsdale on Bustle

7 Things People Who Use Bookmarks Will Never Understand About People Who Dog Ear Books

Waves!  Yes, I dog ear my books.  Don’t know why. Just always have.  Might be that, being an INTP, it’s easier than tracking down a bookmark.  If I had one.  The writer of this might be able to find free bookmarks, but I usually don’t see that many around.

And since I mentioned dog ears, here’s a dog doing a Marilyn Monroe imitation.

https://giphy.com/embed/l98iCrT6lEQDK

via GIPHY

Writing in Public: Story 4 (Novella): Chapter 20


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 20

Graul, Jian, and Brooks launched into a rapid planning session.  Hope watched in both amazement and fear.  They were business-like, efficient.  All the parts worked together without any questions or arguments.

Graul’s image above the jeep flickered.  “Comm’s already contacting the Marines in camp.  How many weapons do you have?”

“Just me and Brooks,” Jian said.  “Devil blasters only.  The Marines have the rifles, and we have them in our shuttle.”

Hope hugged herself, reminded that she had no weapon, no way to defend herself.

“Do you have the capability to be a distraction?” Graul asked.  “Give us a little time?”

“We have an old-style jeep, sir,” Brooks said.  “We can drive right through them like a bowling ball if we need to.”

“We’re moving Kangjun into firing position,” Graul said.  “I’m going to lay out a stripe of weapons fire in front of them.  Twenty percent strength.  Should be flashy and frightening.  Hopefully, it will make them turn around.”

Evil fingernails scratched at the inside of Hope’s belly.  What if the aliens didn’t turn around?  She wanted to ask, but Jian and Brooks were already forging ahead.

“One distraction coming up, sir,” Jian said.  She cut off the comm link and slipped it back over her wrist.

“What about me?” Hope asked.  If they left her here alone, that would be even more frightening than not having a gun of any kind.

Brooks grinned in spite of the situation.  “Don’t worry, Hope.”  We’re not leaving you behind. Just get in the back of the jeep and stay as low as you can.  The aliens might open fire on us.  The CTU will protect you from a lot of weapons fire, but it’ll still hurt a lot.”

He took the driver’s seat, and Jian the passenger.  She took her devil blaster out of the holster and laid it on her lap, resting her hand on the grip.

Hope clambered into the back seat, trying to scrunch herself on the floor as much as possible.  As short as she was, there still wasn’t enough room!

Brooks mashed the accelerator.  The jeep lurched forward, engine screaming.

He began honking the horn.  Beep!  Beep!  Beeeeeeeeppppppp! Beep!

The jeep followed the outside of the barrel road, staying on the side where the camp was.

Hope risked popping her head up enough to see where the aliens were.  A lot of them.  They must have emptied out their town. They were on foot, approaching in an irregular line.  Close enough that she could make out the weapons: guns that fired bullets.  The triggers were big, so they could fit their shovel hands on them.

Coming up on the other side, the camp was already ready for the attack.  They had nothing to hide behind, so the Marines were on the ground, devil blaster rifles ready to fire.

She wouldn’t want to tangle with any of them.

Brooks continued to blare the horn.  He and began a chorus of singing—out of tune—the Army song.  Jian added in her version of the Navy song.  Together, it was a horrible mess.

The closest of the aliens stopped, staring at the jeep puzzled.  Then one raised his rifle.

Crack!

Something whizzed above Hope’s head.  She squeed and tried to flatten herself to the floor.

Then another sound, like an electrical short.

“Here it comes!” Jian yelled.

Brooks swung hard to the left.

The wheels came off the ground on the right side.  Hung for a moment, then dropped back with a bounce that made Hope’s bones rattle.

The electrical sound grew louder.  A weird blue light illuminated the air.

Hope covered her ears.

A blue beam shot out of the sky.  It sliced a line through the sand.

Smoke and dust made Hope cough.

When the dust cleared, a ten foot wide hole had been carved into the sand.

The aliens were running in the other direction.

Brooks stopped the jeep.  “Skipper sure puts on a show.”

But did it give them enough time?

Writing in Public: Story 4 (Novella) Chapter 19


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 19

The morning had started out hot and got hotter by the time the jeep arrived at the pointy rock.  This time, Brooks drove, Jian sat in the passenger seat, and Hope in the back.  It was noisier riding in the backseat, and she wished she sat in the other backseat.  The exhaust was pretty bad.

Hope had only looked at the rock from a distance.  Now Brooks parked in the rock’s shadow.  Only slightly cooler.  She unscrewed the cap to a bottle of water and unclogged her throat of dust.

While Jian went around to the front of the jeep to contact Kangjun, Hope and Brooks got out and walked to the base of the rock.  Hope craned her neck back and looked up.  She pressed her hand against the rock.  Even in the shade it was warm.

“For a rock,” she said, “it doesn’t look rock-like.”

Brooks tapped on it with a knuckle.  “Feels like a rock.”

“You aren’t going to taste it, are you?”

He laughed.  “No.  But you know, I saw photos of the Sphinx in Egypt, before they restored it and put a preservation field around it.  The erosion reminds me of that.”

Hope remembered that.  It had been a big job, and no one had been sure it would work.  The statue had been eroding for years because of the rock bed it was carved out of it.  Limestone, or something like that.  Water had gotten up into it from underground.

Then she stepped back, and back again until she could see it better.  “Maybe this is manmade.  If it, it must mean something to the ghost.”

She found herself turning a circle, looking for the ghost.  For once in her life, she wished a ghost would show up.

The only ghost she saw was the ghostly shape of Graul hovering above the jeep’s hood.  Jian had taken off her wrist comm and laid it on the top of the hood.  About time they finally got through.

Graul was saying, “—Is a statue.  It fell over and was covered up with sand.”

Hope looked up at the pointy rock again.   “Be an awful big statue.”

“It is,” Graul said.  “Your camp is sitting on the back end of it.  Looks to have once been a marker for ships coming into port.”

“Water here?” Brooks said in amazement.

It was hard to imagine that all this dry, purple dirt was once a waterfront.

“So this is a really old ghost hanging around?” Hope said.  That’d be cool if she could talk to such an old ghost.  It’d be like seeing the Sphinx and talking to the ghosts of the builders, or even one of the pharaohs.

“We’re still translating the records,” Graul said.

“Any estimate on that, sir?” Jian asked.

“No.  We don’t know where to look.  It could be five hundred years ago or a thousand years ago.”

Jian pressed her lips together in deep thought.  “It has to be recent. I think the aliens know exactly what the ghost is.  If it was five hundred years ago, that gets lost with time.  Try a hundred years.”

“And check on the other aliens who died off,” Brooks added.  “The ones nearby couldn’t have created that statue.”

“Good idea.”  Graul’s eyes focused on Hope.  “I take it you haven’t had any luck.”

Hope shook her head, looking down at her feet.  “No.  The ghost isn’t cooperating.”

“Maybe the ghost doesn’t want to talk to you.”

“Then why did it tear up the camp, sir?” Brooks asked.

“Because sometimes you get so angry that you get stuck and don’t want to talk to anyone.”

That was interesting.  Hope worked through it in her head, thinking she’d have dig around the ship’s archives for Earth history.  There were places where the ghosts couldn’t could to rest, because what had happened to them was so horrific.  They were stuck there, locked to Earth in misery and anguish, unable to move on.

It would be awful to be stuck in anger like that forever.

“We have to be ready to pull the plug,” Graul said.  “Your call, Ms. Delgado.”

“Mine?” Hope squeaked, exchanging glances with Brooks and Jian.

“What about Mel, sir?” Jian asked.

Graul shook his head, giving them a rueful grin.  “Mel does know what she’s doing.  But she’s like everyone else in Alien Affairs.  Thinks there’s always another chance to work the problem out.  Sometimes there isn’t.  Ms. Delgado, you know ghosts.  What do you want to do?”

Hope hated this. What if she was wrong?  She clasped her hands behind her back to hide her trembling.

But as she spoke, she knew there was only one answer.  “We need to get out of here.  The aliens don’t want me talking to the ghost.  They just want me to kill it, whatever that means.  I can’t give them what they want.  They already weren’t happy with us when we met in town. It’s only going to get worse.”

Something caught Graul’s attention, and he looked off screen.  Hope thought she heard a muffled voice.  But it was Graul’s body language that frightened her.  He’d instantly gone into alert mode.  Both Jian and Brooks were mirroring it now, like some military switch had been turned onto high.

Graul disappeared from the image for a moment, leaning over—Hope guessed—to look at the computer on the table top.  Then a new image sprang up in his place.  It showed a computer generated overhead view of the scientist’s camp.  A line of figures was approaching the camp at a rapid pace.

“Looks like we just went to worse,” Graul said.  “They’re armed.”

Writing in Public: Story 4 (Novella) Chapter 19


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 19

The morning had started out hot and got hotter by the time the jeep arrived at the pointy rock.  This time, Brooks drove, Jian sat in the passenger seat, and Hope in the back.  It was noisier riding in the backseat, and she wished she sat in the other backseat.  The exhaust was pretty bad.

Hope had only looked at the rock from a distance.  Now Brooks parked in the rock’s shadow.  Only slightly cooler.  She unscrewed the cap to a bottle of water and unclogged her throat of dust.

While Jian went around to the front of the jeep to contact Kangjun, Hope and Brooks got out and walked to the base of the rock.  Hope craned her neck back and looked up.  She pressed her hand against the rock.  Even in the shade it was warm.

“For a rock,” she said, “it doesn’t look rock-like.”

Brooks tapped on it with a knuckle.  “Feels like a rock.”

“You aren’t going to taste it, are you?”

He laughed.  “No.  But you know, I saw photos of the Sphinx in Egypt, before they restored it and put a preservation field around it.  The erosion reminds me of that.”

Hope remembered that.  It had been a big job, and no one had been sure it would work.  The statue had been eroding for years because of the rock bed it was carved out of it.  Limestone, or something like that.  Water had gotten up into it from underground.

Then she stepped back, and back again until she could see it better.  “Maybe this is manmade.  If it, it must mean something to the ghost.”

She found herself turning a circle, looking for the ghost.  For once in her life, she wished a ghost would show up.

The only ghost she saw was the ghostly shape of Graul hovering above the jeep’s hood.  Jian had taken off her wrist comm and laid it on the top of the hood.  About time they finally got through.

Graul was saying, “—Is a statue.  It fell over and was covered up with sand.”

Hope looked up at the pointy rock again.   “Be an awful big statue.”

“It is,” Graul said.  “Your camp is sitting on the back end of it.  Looks to have once been a marker for ships coming into port.”

“Water here?” Brooks said in amazement.

It was hard to imagine that all this dry, purple dirt was once a waterfront.

“So this is a really old ghost hanging around?” Hope said.  That’d be cool if she could talk to such an old ghost.  It’d be like seeing the Sphinx and talking to the ghosts of the builders, or even one of the pharaohs.

“We’re still translating the records,” Graul said.

“Any estimate on that, sir?” Jian asked.

“No.  We don’t know where to look.  It could be five hundred years ago or a thousand years ago.”

Jian pressed her lips together in deep thought.  “It has to be recent. I think the aliens know exactly what the ghost is.  If it was five hundred years ago, that gets lost with time.  Try a hundred years.”

“And check on the other aliens who died off,” Brooks added.  “The ones nearby couldn’t have created that statue.”

“Good idea.”  Graul’s eyes focused on Hope.  “I take it you haven’t had any luck.”

Hope shook her head, looking down at her feet.  “No.  The ghost isn’t cooperating.”

“Maybe the ghost doesn’t want to talk to you.”

“Then why did it tear up the camp, sir?” Brooks asked.

“Because sometimes you get so angry that you get stuck and don’t want to talk to anyone.”

That was interesting.  Hope worked through it in her head, thinking she’d have dig around the ship’s archives for Earth history.  There were places where the ghosts couldn’t could to rest, because what had happened to them was so horrific.  They were stuck there, locked to Earth in misery and anguish, unable to move on.

It would be awful to be stuck in anger like that forever.

“We have to be ready to pull the plug,” Graul said.  “Your call, Ms. Delgado.”

“Mine?” Hope squeaked, exchanging glances with Brooks and Jian.

“What about Mel, sir?” Jian asked.

Graul shook his head, giving them a rueful grin.  “Mel does know what she’s doing.  But she’s like everyone else in Alien Affairs.  Thinks there’s always another chance to work the problem out.  Sometimes there isn’t.  Ms. Delgado, you know ghosts.  What do you want to do?”

Hope hated this. What if she was wrong?  She clasped her hands behind her back to hide her trembling.

But as she spoke, she knew there was only one answer.  “We need to get out of here.  The aliens don’t want me talking to the ghost.  They just want me to kill it, whatever that means.  I can’t give them what they want.  They already weren’t happy with us when we met in town. It’s only going to get worse.”

Something caught Graul’s attention, and he looked off screen.  Hope thought she heard a muffled voice.  But it was Graul’s body language that frightened her.  He’d instantly gone into alert mode.  Both Jian and Brooks were mirroring it now, like some military switch had been turned onto high.

Graul disappeared from the image for a moment, leaning over—Hope guessed—to look at the computer on the table top.  Then a new image sprang up in his place.  It showed a computer generated overhead view of the scientist’s camp.  A line of figures was approaching the camp at a rapid pace.

“Looks like we just went to worse,” Graul said.  “They’re armed.”

Writing in Public: Story 4 (Novella) Chapter 18


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 18

Hope was glad Jian reviewed the scientist’s notes first.  The officer marked off the entries she thought were the ghost, and it was a pretty good job.  She’d eliminated some of the obvious not-ghost entries.

It was just Hope, Jian, and Brooks eating breakfast in the shuttle.  Mel was with her Marines., and the pilot had gone over to join them. The scientists were still in bed.  Must be nice to be able to sleep late.

The clatter of silverware against the bowls annoyed Hope this morning.  She still had to eat with her fingers and she was tired of being sticky.

Over oatmeal, she scanned through the notes.  The scientists had been quite through, including dates and details, and even where it had happened.

Not one of the incidents had happened near that big meteor.

All of them had happened in camp, some weeks before the meteorite fell..  Had the aliens even been here?  If not, how did they know about the ghost?  Hope doubted that any of the scientists would have gone gossiping about ghosties.

Did ghosts gossip?

She slouched down in her seat, rubbing her eyes.  Eyed a glop of oatmeal that had landed on her CTU shirt.  The CTU was trying to figure out to change color to match the oatmeal.

“You all right, Shrimp Woman?” Brooks asked, his tone gentle.

“Thinking about this makes my head hurt,” Hope said.

Jian glanced at the door, then skipped over a seat to get closer to Hope.  “Be honest: Are we going to be able to do anything?”

Brooks shifted, very uncomfortably.   The tension in the compartment thickened.

Hope’s tone was careful when she spoke. “I’m not going to be able to give the aliens what they want.  I can’t wave my hands and make the ghost go away.  Ghosts are ghosts.  I can ask him why he’s here, but–”

Hope stared down at her oatmeal, wishing she had better answers.  Or for that matter, any answer.

Jian glanced at the doorway again.  “I want to try to contact Colonel Graul while we’re out at the rock.”

“No Ms. Hagen?” Brooks asked, startled.

“I’ve run into Alien Affairs on and off during the last fifteen years.  Mel’s better than most of them—at least she has a Marine escort.”

Hope ducked her head to hide her smile.  “Probably the Colonel Graul influence.”

“No doubt,” Jian said.  “Most of the others come by themselves, with a couple of aides.  They don’t like the military.   They’re about going in and working out an agreement.  The military…”

“Kicks the doors in to stir up the roaches,” Brooks said.

“Spoken like Army,” Jian said.  But there was only understanding and warmth in her voice.

This was making Hope’s headache worse.  “I’m sorry.  I guess I’m confused.  What are you talking about?”

“Mel’s got a blind spot.  She thinks she can fix this problem.  I know enough about ghosts that I’m not sure this is fixable.  We might have to evacuate everyone.”

“The scientists will just love that,” Brooks said.

Hope wondered if it was going to be the first time she failed at something with ghosts.

Writing in Public: Story 4 (Novella) Chapter 17


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 17

Graul was on his way back from the officer’s mess after lunch when Marotta caught up with him at a run.  He turned back against the bulkhead as a crew member stinking of aftershave rushed past.

“Dial the smell down,” he bellowed at the crew member, who tossed over his shoulder a quick, “Yes, sir.”

Marotta waited for the ship’s intercom to finish an announcement—they’d managed to stop under one of the speakers, so it was quite loud.  “The drone’s in.  Our tech already found something.  Very interesting, he said.”

“Well, we should be able to contact the landing party soon,” Graul said.  “Mel tried to get through earlier, but we lost her in the interference.”

“She seem upset?”

“No.”

“Maybe your gut’s wrong.”

“Gut’s never wrong.”

They went three flights down to the executive conference room.  The tech, a wiry dark-skinned fellow with hair dyed blond, already had an image up over the table.  It showed an overhead view of the scientist’s camp, with people walking around.  It was too high up to recognize faces, but the movement of one figure…

Mel.

Graul resisted the urge to reach out and touch that figure, like he’d done in all the messages from her.  He clasped his hands behind his back.

“What did you find?” he said.

As an answer, the tech did a dance across the table top, pulling up a new image.  It was the same area—that big rock in the background marked the spot clearly.  But there were lines crisscrossing underneath, forming squares and rectangles.

“The data shows that there used to be a river that ran through here,” the tech said.  “Probably dried up due to draught and the desert took over.  But there was a city there once.  Those are the ruins.  That rock is a statue that collapsed.”

“Hope’s ghost,” Marotta said.

“A ghost from a long dead civilization,” Graul murmured.

“Can you tell when this city died out?” Marotta asked.

“No, Chief,” answered the tech.  “That’d be in the history records I ‘pect.”

To Graul, Marotta said, “I’ll add more people on that, sir.”

“Have them look at the aliens who died out.  It’s got to be them.’ Graul leaned close to look at the lines that had once shaped a civilization and wondered what secrets the ghost was hiding.

Writing in Public 4 (Novella), Chapter 16


Cover for 49er PlanetCHAPTER 16

“I’m not a ghost exterminator,” Hope said over a meal in the shuttle when they returned.  Outside the windows, the day had been sucked up by darkness.

Hope was so worn out that her hands trembled as she tried to scoop up purple goop with, and bless them, a spicy kick.  Brooks grimaced at his taste.  But he was pretty wimpy when it came to spices.

“Eat even if you don’t feel like it,” Mel said.  “And I’m sorry, Hope.  I tried to get a better reason than ‘fix it’ from the aliens.  I’m afraid I didn’t know what to ask.”

“I just blundered into it myself,” Hope said.

Jian bit into a crunchy vegetable.  “Is it possible to kill a ghost?”

“I don’t know how you could kill something that’s already dead,” Brooks said.

Hope stared down at her purple goop.  Her brain was so sluggish that it felt stuck in place.  Finally words came out, though she wasn’t sure her brain was connected to them.

“The aliens are afraid of the ghost.”

But when she heard it out loud, she knew it was true.  People who were afraid of what she did with ghosts didn’t stay away from her. They got angry at her.  The anger masked the fear.

“Why would they be afraid of the ghost?” Mel asked.

Hope was on sure footing with this answer.  “Lots of reasons.  Fear of death…the existence of ghosts puts it right in your face.  Reminds us our mortality.”

“Fear of life, too,” Mel murmured.  “Sometimes things get so bad that all ghosts remind you is that it won’t end.”

Hope busied herself with purple goop to hide her face.  She knew more about the Grauls’ marriage than she wanted.

“Fear of the unknown,” Brooks said.  “Can’t see a ghost, but can feel their presence.  Feel their emotions.  Growing up, I remember there was as spot on the street…every time I walked through it, I felt…something.  I couldn’t not avoid that spot, but I always though the monster under the bed was going to reach out and grab me.”

Jian propped her elbow on a seat arm and rested her chin on her hand.  “The aliens got very upset when Hope asked about talking to the ghost.  Could they fear hearing from the beyond?”

Hope knew the answer, it wasn’t the one she wanted to give.  “I need more information about this area.  There’s a reason this ghost is tied to this place.”

Mel said, “We’ll try contacting Eric again.  Maybe the storm has let up enough that we can get through.”  She stood up, stretching her back. “I’m going back to my shuttle.  I’ll let you know if I can get in contact.”

Jian ducked her head hiding a smile.  “Have fun.”

As she exited, Sanger stuck his stuck his mop head in and rapped on the outside.  “Miss Hope in here?”

Hope gave a weary wave.

Sanger hopped up the big step with annoying ease and came over to Hope with a bound notebook.  He held it out, then must have seen how tired she was because he set it down next to her.

He grinned, quite pleased with himself.  “We gathered data for you.  Appearances that we thought were the ghost and when they occurred.”

Jian perked up.  “Did you find a lot?”

“I’m not sure how much of it is accurate, Commander.  We got into a long discussion about what might be a ghost and what wasn’t and ended up putting it all down.”

“That’s okay,” Hope said.  “You have your expertise and I have mine.”

“Can I see it?” Jian asked.  “I’ve had enough experience with you that I can do a fast pass through.”

Sanger passed the notebook over.

“Why did you pick this spot?” Hope asked.  “I mean, why not a mile away, or closer to Sawyerstown?”

Sanger sprawled into the nearest seat, stretching his legs out.  “We didn’t want to be too near Sawyerstown because people would have interrupted.  Maybe tried to be helpful.”

Hope licked off her finger.  That spice was really good. “But wouldn’t other people finding meteorites be helpful?”

“No.  It’s like archeology.  We document exactly where we find each meteorite.  If someone takes it out of context, we lose valuable data.  We wouldn’t even know if a person found it on another planet.”

“Then why here?” Brooks asked.

Sanger shrugged.  “The rock.  It’s the only landmark for miles around.  Even a sandstorm, that rock stands out.”

Brooks grinned at Hope.  “I think we need to explore that rock tomorrow.”

Hope said, “As long as I don’t have to climb it.  I got muscles now, but not that many.”

Apologizing for History


Washington Monument against cloudy skyThis weekend, I wanted to get out and do something fun.  That turned into a trip to the Museum of American History, which is right near the Washington Monument.  It was cloudy out, with rain predicted…and humid and hot.

The museum can be a lot of fun.  Like their Transportation history exhibit, or the one on food (with Julia Child’s kitchen).  There’s even the office of the man who invented  the first video game.  It’s pretty cool looking at how different creative people are.

There were also two exhibits which apologized for history.  I got a problem with that.

  1. History’s best value is if we take all of it into context.  Apologizing takes a piece of it entirely out of context, and devalues the rest.
  2. When the rest is devalued, we don’t hear about the positive things people did.

One of the exhibits that went on apology mode was on the Japanese internment during World War II.

What happened to the Japanese in the U.S. was a terrible thing.  I was glad for the opportunity to read George Takei’s biography, because his internment camp as a child put a different perspective on what happened (it was actually more interesting that the actor part).  I also went to an exhibit several years back (think that was at Freer-Sackler) of items made by people in the camps.  It was both sad and amazing, because it spoke of the power of  human spirit.

But I also have a bit of family history that comes with World War II and the Japanese.

My grandparents lived in San Francisco during World War II.  My grandfather was a minister of a church there.  My grandmother reported that she had to do a submarine watch on the coast of California.

 

After the war intended, there was a lot of distrust of Japanese.  My grandfather gave them jobs around the church.  It was a deeply unpopular thing to do, and he did it anyway.  The Japanese honored him about ten years ago.

History is about putting things into perspective and honoring who we are, warts and beauty and all.  Apologizing robs of us that perspective, which we need as human beings.

 

%d bloggers like this: