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Showing posts from 2019

Free Willy Was Made on Location. So was my son.

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On any other Sunday that summer of 1992, on location up in Oregon for the filming of Free Willy, I ’ d be digging shamelessly into a steaming stack of blueberry hotcakes, purple compote oozing out all over the place. The Pig’n P ancake in Astoria was famous for them, and I usually couldn ’ t wait to wade in. I didn ’ t need—and didn ’ t want—the calorie breakdown  to know  the pancakes were pound packers, all buttery and crazy delicious, the kind of food I would  normally  eschew in favor of leaner fare like two eggs scrambled, cottage cheese on the side, one piece of rye toast.  The rules are different when you ’ re on location. When you ’ re on location, stressed to the max working as production coordinator on a big Warner Bros. movie like Free Willy, you ( me ) reward yourself ( myself! ) with a guilt-free weekend treat. My fiancĂ© and I had  walked the half mile from the Red Lion Inn where the film crew was housed and we planned on walking  the half mile back. A full mile. Th

Above Ground on the London Underground Day 11: WWI Heroes in My Family History

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I’m taking a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using  my Tube guide and my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings. This is Day 11. I feel like one of those quasi-detective types in a old-fashioned book. On the cover there’s a group of three people—two men and a woman is the usual mix—all leaning over an oak table covered with historical documents. A lamp casts its glow on a map, a few old photos, identity papers. A mystery is afoot! After getting that initial email from my cousin Sean last week —up to now, a virtual stranger—suddenly I ’ m diving into my family ’ s British history, pulling old photos and clippings out of worn manilla envelopes. Trying to piece the past together. Last week I learned that my grandfather, who I was vaguely aware had served in World War I, was wounded three times in the Great War. At Ypres, Flers and

Sim Carter

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WRITER A novel is in the works but for now … Sim Carter’s publication credits include  Beach Music   in the  Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine ,  Last Dance   in Purdue U's   Skylark Literary Journal,  The Arab boy who took out his eye  (published under the title Double Vision) in the  South Bay Reader.  7 Reasons Older Women Love Older Men  was featured online at The Good Men Project,  Doing Nothing   in Children. Sim  was a regular monthly contributing writer to 805Living Magazine for several years  while various other pieces appeared in LA Family, Parents, and the Daily Breeze.  For more see  Out of Order . Find me on Twitter @simcarter On Instagram at Instagram.com//SimCarter.com About the work available to read here   While you'll find mostly  memoir , Sim also has those moments when she writes about whatever she wants to write about. It is, after all, her space. A mishmash of rants and raves, odes to Britain, love letters to France, reflections of living in Lo

Have Broom Will Travel

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Halloween 1995, Batman and me My history is littered with Halloween fails. Before I became a mother the question of what I was going to be for Halloween terrified me. 1958:  Halloween on a blazing hot afternoon in Tripoli, Libya. Age 5 All the military brats from Wheelus Air Force base were going to a Halloween party  in an airplane hangar just outside Tripoli.  Lots of civilian kids—mostly Brits and Yanks—whose parents worked on the base in various capacities were invited which meant my brother and I got to go too.  Our dad, who spoke Arabic fluently and had been with British Intelligence during the war, had something to do with managing the PX on the base. My brother went dressed as a hobo, his cheeks smeared grey by my mother with a piece of burnt cork, while his friend, the older boy who lived next door, dressed up as a woman—a pillow stuck down his sweater shaped into clownish balloon-sized breasts and big red sticky lips. I went as Minnie Mouse in a cheap, cellopha

#27: Last Dance : Inspired by my own father.

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First Dance image by Jacqueline Osborn Last Dance I wrote this short story after my dad died in 1992. It was published in SKYLARK, Purdue University's literary journal; I was so thrilled I framed the acceptance letter. I still have that letter hanging around someplace. Not literally hanging anymore, I packed it away in storage during one of our moves. Like my memories, it's in there somewhere. I wish I could give you this stuff in order, begin at the beginning. If I could do that, I'd write a book. Instead I have to grab at what glimpses I can. It's as though all the places and people stuffed inside my head are like yards and yards of once beautiful fabrics, ripped from their bolts and shoved into one large bin. Velvets, jewel-toned satins, richly-textured tapestries, billowy silks. Cotton, denim, gingham and chintz. They're all jammed in there together, some faded now, some in tatters, a loose thread here, a trace of a connection there. A smell, a smi

And the sparklers red glare [Also on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud]

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We didn't celebrate the Fourth of July when I was a kid growing up in Canada in the Sixties. But that doesn't mean we didn't have fireworks. And the Sparklers' Red Glare July 1st and in Niagara Falls we were celebrating Dominion Day just a few days before the Americans right across the river celebrated their independence. As a kid I didn't separate the two concepts. Fireworks were fireworks, explosive charges that burst into beautiful fiery lights, zapping our sleepy summer skies with noise and color and a dash of danger. The nuance that the Americans were celebrating their freedom while we were celebrating the 1867 union of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada into one country, the Dominion of Canada, under the governance of British rule was lost on me. It was 1963; the maple leaf flag was yet to be, the Union Jack still waved. God Save the Queen! Like the American kids across the river, all we cared about were the burgers being g

Graduation Day 1971: Throwback Thursday

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I dug this one up out of my archives, a two time nominee for a Throwback Thursday. First, because it's about my high school graduation which seems right for the times. Second, because it's a piece I was able to place in the Daily Breeze, a Pulitzer Prize-winning local newspaper, in their 15 Minutes column. So called because everyone—even the general public, even introverted writers with social anxiety—could have their 15 minutes of fame if the editor liked their submission. Translation: I didn't get paid but I got to put another publishing credit in my file drawer.   My baby boy was two, my mother watched over him while I drove to the newspaper office to have my picture taken. He's twenty six now, and she passed away six years ago. Here's this week's Throwback Thursday bit of memoir, packed with reminders of personal pain for yours truly.  Class of '71 We were the class of '71 and believed that graduation day really was the threshold. Bold new