YA Indie Carnival: Summer Summer Summer!

Hi all! I took an unintended summer vacation early, from the internet. A lot has been going on here in Colorful Colorado. We apparently made international news for being on fire. I have to talk about that for a moment, because if you work in emergency preparedness, Colorado summers mean wildfires. And these were a stark reminder that nature is still nature, and when push comes to shove, we cannot always control it.

I don’t know how many people saw the images of the Waldo Canyon Fire burning on the slopes behind urban Colorado Springs. Normally, I groan whenever I hear news people using dramatic phrases like ‘apocalyptic’, because I think, ‘With all of the Bible kooks out there lately, how is that helpful to us?’ But that image was burned into my thoughts because I truly have never seen anything like it. And the word ‘apocalyptic’ did come to my agnostic mind. Another thing that I learned from my cousin, was that when I was on the phone with her, she was in Boulder, near the canyon when another fire came down. She was not in danger, she was far enough and traveling away, but she said that she watched it spread down the canyon in a matter of seconds. There is a reason it is called a ‘force of nature’. And it was almost unreal to watch. But we felt it, even in Denver. We smelled the smoke every day for weeks, most people knew someone who was evacuated, or someone who lost their home.

The firemen from all over the state faced that, this image like the breath of Hell. They walked into Hell to keep us from being eaten by it. I have always had respect for firemen, but after this summer, they are legendary, at least to me.

And despite the calamity, I gained a lot of confidence. I work in emergency preparedness and response, public health. So, as you might expect, I spent some time working as a pubic health lead in a couple emergency operations centers, getting information from different areas and different agencies. Though I am shortly leaving my current job for a different field, watching my fellow workers assist makes me confident as a citizen to know the competence and dedication of the people there who weren’t first responders too. It gave me optimism about the segments of the government, at least in the areas I work. It was really heartening to see, and I’ll always remember that when I think back.

Disasters are good for something else too. They remind obsessive people like me that there are more important things than all the little things that piss me off every day, like the guy who cut me off in traffic, or the increase in the price of gas. I have my life, and I have my home. All the people I know are alive, and most of them have their homes too.

That was how my summer began. It’s not really a light-hearted jaunt or stress release to break up the year before buckling back down again. Instead, it was a reminder of my place as a human being in nature, and my place as a human being among other human beings.

For a look at some other summer stories, hopefully in cooler climates, take a look at my fellow indies!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self 4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
7. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 8. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
9. Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series 10. Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
11. Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey 12. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
13. Melissa Pearl, Author of The Time Spirit Trilogy 14. Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga
15. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose. 16. Ella James
17. Maureen Murrish 18. Valerie Sloan
19. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 20. LM Preston

For What’s New, Visit the YA Blogspot!




2 Responses to “YA Indie Carnival: Summer Summer Summer!”

  1. WOW Rachel, your post is truly an inspiration. I cannot even imagine how terrifying it must have been, regardless of how far away you were from the fire itself. This certainly does put things into perspective… we shouldn’t care about the little things, like that moron who cut you up in traffic (but I know where you’re coming from!). We are here, we are healthy, we are alive and we are doing what we love to do. We truly are lucky.

  2. I have to agree with you regarding the pictures, esp the ones out of Colorado Springs. They were really terrifying. Our older patients in clinic were having a hard time breathing; folks came in who had never had “allergy” issues before; asthma/copd/emphysema problems were everywhere. I always worry about my friend Melanie who lives up in Conifer. She’s at the top of one of those foothills and has stuff packed up and ready to go. It’s been a very stressful summer.
    But you’re also correct in that it can teach us to be mindful of what’s really important in life and who you have around you. Those relationships become even more important. Love you sis!!!

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