|Memorial in Light |
Image by David Z from Pixabay
Using a degree of separation approach, here is my story.
Worked in an office in one of the towers (fortunately, it was years earlier)
(One World Trade Center)
- Personally knew someone on Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
- Lived in the county that lost more people that day than any other place other than New York City.
- A smoke plume drew me and others to the town waterfront where word spread of a plane hitting one of the towers. After the second plane strike, the crowd dispersed to their homes or work to make room for the emergency personnel to use our boardwalk and dock as a staging area. Watched the buildings go down on television until it went black. (The transmission towers went down and television was out for days until temporary services could be set up.) I was home and watching the smoke from my house when the fighter jets came screaming in hot and low across the town heading towards Manhattan.
- And even more personal connections. September 11th is a family member's birthday and another died exactly a month before.
- When air, bus, and rail travel shut down, trying to reunite stranded family members posed a challenge. One parent was locked down at their place of employment, while the children were locked down at school and would only be released to a parent. The problem? The other parent was stranded more than 1200 miles away. Finally the school allowed the children to be taken home by a neighbor. But there was still the problem of getting the parent on the East Coast home. It took several days to coordinate but a mid-point, highway shift did the job.
|Flight 93, Memorial, Shanksville|
Image by Andreas H. from Pixabay
Enough about the personal, time to switch to the professional.
- I had just written a local history, and the events of September 11th meant another chapter had to be added. At least it wasn't like another author I heard of who had just finished a manuscript about a plane and terrorist attack. Before gathering supplies to take to the rescuers, the novel went into the trash.
- Several years later when writing a history for a local organization, I had to again incorporate material I had gathered in the days and weeks following the destruction of the Twin Towers. The church has lost one of its leaders that day.
|9-11 Memorial, Keyport NJ|
Both of those books are non-fiction, how to incorporate the day into fiction. A few thoughts come to mind.
- A main character could have an ancestor lost that day or who survived the buildings' collapse. And don't forget about the Pentagon or Flight 93.
- If a contemporary novel, a television broadcast or visiting a memorial could trigger a flashback. Like the U.S.S. New York where steel from the towers was used in the creation of the vessel, the metal in the Keyport, New Jersey memorial also included a small section of a beam.
- Or for a murder mystery, have the debris of the towers obscure a murder.
- Using the images as inspiration and focusing on the emotions.
- My favorite plot would involve time travel and saving someone, with some romance of course.
Since my current work-in-progress is a fantasy romance, the actual events of 9/11 weren't appropriate. However, I went through my collection of images and several worked as inspiration for the aftermath of a tornado. Someday, more of the ideas might be used. but not today. Until then I prefer to fly with dragons, hang out with mages and wizards, and tell their tales.
To purchase the Windmaster Novels: BWL
~Until next month, stay safe and read. Helen
Helen Henderson lives in western Tennessee with her husband. While she doesn’t have any pets in residence at the moment, she often visits a husky who has adopted her as one of the pack.