Dana Martin Writing

"Waiter, drink please!"

A [mostly amusing] blog about travel, life, and TSA pat-downs
Dana Martin Writing

Bridal veils and helium balloons

At some point, I'll stop crying on the first day of school

Dana Martin Bakersfield
Filed Under: Family

I’m crying again on the first day of school, but not because my kids are growing up too fast. This time, it’s because they are already grown. To older moms everywhere, this is for you. Whether your kids are in college, working a job, or are married with a family of their own, we didn’t send our children to school again this year. And we won’t. Again. Ever. As I wrote in my article School Buses and Helium Balloons, I suffered early from P.E.N.S. (Pre-Empty-Nest-Syndrome) when all three children still …read more

International Travel, Part 1

Some stories simply write themselves

dana border
Filed Under: Travel journals

Things happen when I travel. Security things. Embarrassing things. To date, however, I’ve enjoyed relative security in my surroundings: no matter HOW wrongly things go, no matter how intimate the pat-down or HOW sharp the scissors found in my purse after four security checkpoints, I am on American soil. There’s only so much trouble I can find in a small town airport traveling to a haunted house convention. Throughout my prior travel follies, at least I was in America, with a measured understanding of what a mild rule breaker can expect. Traveling …read more

Travel Blogs: Married Edition, Part 1

Halloween convention in the Big Easy

vodka
Filed Under: Travel journals

Convention season is here, and with it comes inevitable travel. Once, I was retired. I remember those times, a few months ago, when deciding what bathrobe I wore for the day was my biggest decision. But not now. A scary-ish non-profit program and a burgeoning Halloween business have thrust me once again across the globe, through x-ray machines, and onto crammed fights, discovering whether new cities are dry or if I’ll fit right in. This time, however, call me crazy, but I invited Rob. For those of you who don’t …read more

E.T. Roberts, D-Day veteran, opens up about Normandy

Tribute to still-living local survivor of WWII

Filed Under: Uncategorized

It is Thursday afternoon, and Centennial High School’s baseball team takes the field for fall practice, playing a game of T-ball in order to hammer out kinks in fielding and give players a little batting practice. A few eager dads trickle in to the stands to watch, hoping to soothe the longing they suffer during baseball’s interminable off-season. Varsity T-ball? Isn’t that like being a spectator at competitive bird watching? Not so for one familiar face, who hasn’t missed a handful of games since Centennial High School opened in 1993. …read more

“O” is for Obedience

A-Z Blogging Challenge

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The first you’ll notice (if you have nothing better to do than follow this blog) is that I skipped a chunk of the alphabet to arrive at “O” in this A-Z blogging challenge. The irony, then, is the title of this post. I cannot be obedient even to alphabetical order. Longtime friends, it’s safe to say, do not associate me with the word obedient. My mom surely doesn’t. I was born under a birth sign that disqualifies me, as well. My sign is the spontaneous traveler of the zodiac—the one …read more

“A” is for Anita Hill

A-Z Blogging Challenge

This is an open letter to Anita Hill: Dear Professor Hill, As I watched your interview this morning on The Today Show, I was struck anew by your contribution to my life and the lives of women across the United States. You became the voice for sexual harassment happening across the country; your conversations with Clarence Thomas replicated water cooler talk everywhere. In 1991, I was a 22-year old secretary working in a commercial real estate firm in Southern California. And I was you. Because of you, my age group …read more

“B” is for Boots & Bakersfield

A-Z Blogging Challenge

As I tentatively enter the A-Z blogging challenge for 2016, let me admit two things: I have not written with any regularity since I completed this challenge in 2013, and, true to form, today I skipped A and went straight to B because I’m already running behind. Judging by the calendar, April 7 should be letter F at least. The point is: Don’t expect me to come flying out of the gate with guns ablazin’. After a long absence from writing, it may take me a while to get back …read more

Frightening fall tradition opens this weekend

Talladega Frights gears up for guests with new attractions and DJ dance parties

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Talladega Frights gears up for guests with new attractions and DJ dance parties If all the new construction gets finished before opening night this Friday, the folks at Talladega Frights will feel relief from a great amount of pressure. “We like to make everything new. After our Friday the 13th event in June, we tore down seventy-five percent of the haunted houses and even built an additional attraction, so we have been feeling quite a bit of pressure to get all the changes done in time,” said Mike Wilbur, the …read more

Murder your own darlings, Darling

When critique groups go bad

Filed Under: Uncategorized

“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it – whole-heartedly – and delete it before sending your manuscripts to press. Murder your darlings.” ― Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch When I met with our WOK (Writers of Kern) critique group leaders last month to hammer out the details of our upcoming meeting on critique groups, I shared a story that I’d never told anyone else. It’s private. It’s about writing—my writing. I had a critique group experience that changed me, and I felt it was relevant …read more

The Great Send-Off

Attending a classmate's funeral taught me this

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I read a blog post recently by a woman whose personal philosophy on death is to “always go to the funeral.” It’s for the family, she said. I agree. Today I attended the funeral of a man my age, and as I watched the shell-shocked, grieving family scan the standing room only crowd, my heart was glad I went. They should know that their son/father/brother meant something to people. He mattered. I contend that the funeral served another purpose, too, at least a small one, for the high school friends …read more

Dana Martin Writing

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