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Talking to Small Children About 9/11 - Mo's Journal
September 11th, 2011
09:44 am


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Talking to Small Children About 9/11

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Date:September 12th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Good story

I often wonder about the day care workers and what became of them. It's such a low paid and precarious livelihood, anyway, and to lose your job and your wallet on the same day...

My 9/11 story (although I didn't start out planning on writing one - it just ended up that way) is called Taking Chances and it's here: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/viewstory.php?sid=36

Here's what I wrote about it last year:
It's my 9/11 story series, although that wasn't my intent. It's called "Taking Chances" and when I started to write it (years after 9/11) I conceived of it as being about a number of people taking emotional risks, some of which would work out well and some disastrously. Its working title was "the risk series." In it, I have characters who try to get their lovers to commit to a more serious relationship, risking losing the relationship altogether; there's a closeted young man who comes out to his mother; someone decides to adopt a baby knowing he may lose his partner in the process, etc. Emotional risks.

But I had a 9/11 story to write and I didn't know it. I'd avoided writing one when everyone was doing them right after. I felt like you need some distance to do it right, and then after a while I felt I didn't want to. Still it was there. As my characters struggle with what feels risky to them they don't know that - like the people who perished at the WTC and the Pentagon - the biggest risk they were taking was just getting up and going to work. The actual act of violence is nothing like 9/11, but the devastation is the same. Some of my characters survived and some didn't. All were changed, and in subsequent stories they look back on 4/16, when it happened, like we view 9/11.

While I was writing that story I was taking my girls to school one day, as I did every morning, and Kendra asked me to read what I was working on. I demurred and she assumed there was a sex scene (since I never read those to the kids) and said I should just skip that part. I said that it wasn't sex, but that this story was kind of my 9/11 story and the part I had just written was pretty intense. She said, in that I-know-so-much-more-than-adults voice that anyone who has ever had a pre-teen will remember, "Mooommmmmm. I lived through the real thing. I think I can handle the X-Men version." And she did. And she could.
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