Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


One change begets another change begets another...and so on and so forth. Ben winds up in Afghanistan after his family is killed, which sets up actions later in the story much better. I'm still having some trouble with MFD's timeline of events, but they're not as obscure as they were.

I was reminded of a song I loved, back when I was in 8th grade -- Sukiyaki. The true title of it is Ue O Muite Arukou and the lyrics are elegant...if sad. The singer, Kyu Sakamoto, was so cute...and so tragic. He died in a JAL plane crash in 1985, the worst single-plane disaster ever.

Here's the original version...made in 1962 but not released in the US till 1963. The only Japanese song to hit #1 in Billboard's Top 100. I first heard it 3 years later, when we lived in El Paso.

God, that year was hell on earth, and may well be why I still do not like the desert. Because that's all El Paso is. This song was the only thing I remember as being nice...well, that and having a skunk as a pet. Sort of. Posey never was completely domesticated, and she loved to shit in corners of the closet, so I had to go in to clean it out. She finally ran away, one night. I was both sorry and not.

I also used to slip over to Juarez on the trolley with a friend of mine -- Danny? If you gave a guy a US dollar, he'd buy you beers and keep the change. That and real tamales, you were set. And my folks never knew. They thought I was going to the movies.

I did see a couple of good Godzilla films, in El Paso...and a Mothra. At a downtown theater. But for the most part my memories are of dealing with roving packs of bullies at school, teachers who didn't care or made fun of my still-British accent and spelling, and my first B in Art (I'd always had As before then). I was so glad to be leaving, even going to Grand Forks, North Dakota sounded good.

And it was; the base had a little theater group. And I joined. And then promptly got ripped away and sent back to San Antonio.

That's when I began to believe you really have no control over your life.

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