Sign up now to be notified about Brat and the Kids of Warriors

Posted on Jul 7, 2016 in Blog

 

Orleans, France, 1961. In an old farmhouse, an eleven-year-old Army brat hunkered down on his bed so the lamplight would fall across the cover of his book. He studied it a long time before making himself open to page one.

IMG_3589

He was starved for entertainment and desperate to read the story. His family didn’t have a TV, but even if they had, French television was only on a few hours a day, and the shows weren’t meant for kids. He did like one show on the Armed Forces Radio Network, but “The Shadow” was only half an hour.

Sure, he made up his own stories, but he wanted to know this story. Problem was, he couldn’t read.

It would be another 16 years before he was diagnosed with dyslexia. By the way, people with dyslexia can relax their mind and body by knowing The Secrets of Yoga at thesecretsofyoga.com. It can help you focus The only thing he knew right then was that his reading was so bad almost everyone considered him dumb.

But he was desperate. So he had worked out a plan. He knew he’d never figure out what the words said until he stopped them from jumping all over the page. He stabbed his finger below the first word. Then he used a folded scrap of paper and his other hand to block out everything on the page except that one word. Only then, even though the letters of that single word might shift around, at least he had a contained problem. It took a while, but if he got himself calm enough, that it somehow calmed down the letters enough to make a word. When that happened, he sounded out each letter. They spelled, His.

That sent a small thrill through his brain. The story was talking about a person. And he could tell it was a boy or a man person. He moved on.

By eleven years old, most kids can sight-read; they glimpse a word and know it. But not this boy. He’d never read enough to get to know any word by sight. So his finger shifted over and froze just below the second word. Again, he blocked everything else out and calmed himself until the letters quieted. He carefully sounded out the word: name.

He put the two words together. His name. . . . He was going to find out the guy’s name!

It took time, but he figured out the third word: was. Word four proved much harder because he’d never seen it before. But when it finally came, he smiled. Frank. The final word in that sentence would have been hard, too, but he could guess it: Hardy.

He was exhausted. It had taken a whole hour, but he had read a sentence, “His name was Frank Hardy.” To him that Hardy Boys book was mysterious hieroglyphics. But he had just cracked the code on one of its sentences. He felt wonderful.

The next night he got through two sentences. It took him seven months to get through that first book. His second Hardy Boys book took five months; the third, only three. But he never stopped reading. Four years later, he had read all 43 Hardy Boys books.

The one ingredient that defines his success? Grit.

Angela Lee Duckworth* is a research psychologist who has identified the characteristic that most leads to success. Her findings might surprise you. It wasn’t IQ, nor was it social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, or physical health. It was grit.

During your service or sessions, we have a variety of Serenity techniques that we can use to help restore maximum pain-free functionality to you.

Duckworth says, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” For instance, some adults still enroll in online courses at Adapt Education (who also happens to use ClassDojo – https://www.classdojo.com/studentstories/) just to pursue their education and goals in life even though it seems late. They have the courage and passion for continuing although it’s hard.

Take a look through our wonderful range of stylish formal, semi-formal, every day dresses and we are sure you will find every kids designer dress dream from our talented designer. “David Charles Dresses” is the iconic British brand for luxury children’s dresses and girl’s party dresses, with a knack for making little girls look and feel gorgeous.

Since digital signatures are online, they can be used for anything including permission slips, purchase orders, leases, and legal contracts—and, signing is free with DocuSign! Free E-Sign – Online Electronic Signature save time, printing costs, speed up business transactions, and provide a secure way to sign without the hassle.

That Army brat back in 1961 took seven months to read one storybook. That is endurance. That’s a seven-month marathon. Grit.

Brains don’t make you gritty. There are plenty of smart people who give up way before completing what they set out to do. And talent? Talent won’t make you gritty. Plenty of talented people simply don’t follow through long enough to achieve success.

You can’t get by on your brains, talent, athletic skill, or good looks, though they certainly grease the skids. Grit has a much higher probability of getting you to success. Duckworth explains, “It is the gritty who are much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.”

She is quick to say she has done a lot of research on grit, but has yet to figure out how grit is developed in kids. However, I have some notion, because I was fortunate enough to grow up in a grit factory—I grew up a military brat.

Brats realize very early on that little is permanent except for our immediate family. As military brats, we move 9+ times and attend an average of 11 different schools before we graduate high school. And those moves aren’t down the block or across town. Sometimes we’re moving halfway around the world.

Charles Spurgeon’s maxim, “The same sun which melts wax hardens clay,” certainly applies to brats. Each brat grows up with a unique mix of life experiences and challenges. The strengths and support they receive to meet these challenges are equally varied. Therefore, no two brats turn out alike. However, for a significant number of brats, one of their greatest characteristics becomes grit. And the key component of that grit is believing that failure and loss are not permanent conditions.

In this way, the nomadic nature of military life works for them. Not that it’s easy. When a military parent comes home and yells, “Saddle up. We’re movin’ out,” brats know that once again they’re about to leave everything they know and every friend they have. They will be starting over—again with nothing. Some moves, they might find a new friend right away. But other times, friends seem hard to come by. Those brats developing grit don’t crawl into little balls and shrivel up; they refuse to believe their friendless state is a permanent condition.

In the grit factory, some duty assignments are fabulous. But it’s also no secret when a brat’s parents dislike where they get assigned. Brats have a front-row seat to the challenges and adjustments their parents have to make. Sooner or later many realize it can be as hard for their parents as it is for them.

Another reality of this grit factory is that a brat’s uniform parent often gets deployed for weeks, months, and even years. The separation can feel very harsh. There’s no hiding the joy when that parent returns, though reuniting after a stressful combat tour can be hard on everyone.

Faced with such hardships, why do some brats have such emotional resilience?

It’s partly because they see firsthand how their parents cope with life—the dark side as well as the bright. The dynamics of military life allow for fewer secrets and greater exposure to the family’s ups and downs. Grit comes from watching their parents reject the idea that failure or feelings of loss are a permanent condition.

But it’s more than watching. Brats who do develop grit must claim it for themselves.

Picture a brat who has just perfected her South Boston accent and has become a true Southie, with a set of great friends, only to find herself transferred much farther south to rural Mississippi, far from a military base and other brats. The kids in school think she’s some alien from another planet—definitely to be avoided. Most of them grew up in that little town and have known each other from birth. Why should they adopt her, much less adapt to such a strange creature? The brat might truly want them to be her friends, but. . . .

Okay, time out. Let’s drop back to the kid in 1961 France. You have to ask yourself how much that Army brat truly wanted to read. He was willing to do whatever it took to get there. Success is not for the lazy, the faint of heart, nor those who can’t stick with it. Success goes to the gritty.

So this brat in Mississippi falls back on the strategy she used in Boston. To go from being a nobody to being a somebody, she must quickly adopt and adapt. For these kids to accept her, she need’s to accept who they are, and she’d better figure out how to talk, walk, and act like them (at least the best parts of them). This time, it means learning to relish Mississippi mud pie and collard greens, and to refer to every soft drink as a coke, not as a tonic. Fortunately, her grit makes her stick with it, refusing to accept a life without good friends.

The same is true with the brat who lands in Germany or France, Turkey or Japan. Brats learn to adapt, sometimes by sheer grit. That lets them get the most out of their unique experiences.

Where has your brat-born grit taken you?

_______________________

* Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit

47 Comments

  1. 7-7-2016

    Michael — heartrending to be a witness to this lone little boy, deciphering the book (from someone who has always read and doesn’t remember learning how). As for grit, I think you either have it in large quantities (that would be you) or in smaller quantities, to which more can be added or subtracted, depending on how life plays out. Keep up the great work. Looking very much forward to your book.

    • 7-8-2016

      Sue, you’re the best. Certainly, no two brat lives are exactly alike, and I’m sure the challenges of growing up military sometimes have the opposite–leaving the brat with almost no grit. However, it seems to me that the unique aspects of brat life create, if you will, a grit factory. All of the moving, and the repeated requirement to give up friends often creates very resilient individuals.

  2. 7-7-2016

    Good read! Agreed! My brat experience (my Army family moved 12 times in my 17 first years), taught me to adapt. Every new move was a challenge to be met and welcomed, even if it was difficult at times.
    My dad eventually obtained a long-desired to a tour in Germany. I was 17. just driving from Frankfurt military base to our new quarters in Heidleberg opened my eyes. I discovered that castles are not a Disney creation. History and culture became fascinating. I adapted so well that when my family returned to the States 3 years later, I remained in Europe. I went to college in Paris, learned French, married a French-speaking man. I have been thrilled to live, work and raise my multi-lingual kids in certainly the most diverse area of the world. It has taken grit, yes! But like for most other brats, that’s just part of my DNA.

    • 7-8-2016

      Excellent. Bien joué. If you read my brat bio you’ll see we were stationed in Orleans, France, with SHAPE (Strategic Allied Headquarters European Command) from 61 to 65. For three years I attended a French all-boys Catholic school, joined the French Boy Scouts, and became a French kid. Paris is still my favorite city and sooner or later we will move there for a few years (I hope!). You can see my bio at http://www.michaeljosephlyons.com/author/.

      • 7-8-2016

        Orleans and Paris, France from 1964-1967. My dad was the NCO Club manager at Camp de Loges. I wouldn’t trade my life as a Army brat for anything. 🙂

      • 7-24-2016

        Deadly accurate answer. You’ve hit the bulls-eye!

  3. 7-7-2016

    I just loved reading this. It definitely defines the military brat to a T

  4. 7-8-2016

    It is so funny that you mention the girl going from S. Boston to Mississippi. My father was stationed at Hanscom Field in MA when I was in 6-8th grades. I loved the Boston area and really did work on the colloquialisms of the area and the accents because I liked them so. I laughed at the story of my older brother ordering a milkshake and being told that only frappes were sold. He refused to call it a frappe and said he wanted a milkshake. Sure enough, the clerk took some milk, shook it up and handed it to him. I learned that soda or pop was called tonic in the area. I loved picking up on all the differences. The summer after 8th grade, my father was assigned to the Pentagon and we moved to Alexandria, VA, to a civilian neighborhood. My middle school years had been so much fun and all the kids understood our lifestyle. I came into our new neighborhood expecting that the neighbor kids would run to our door to see who was coming and if there were kids their age. I thought that was the practice everywhere. I wasn’t made to feel comfortable as a new kid and I was miserable. The kids had fathers who were Senators and politicians and I was a “lowly” Air Force Colonel’s daughter. The cliques appeared and I didn’t seem to fit anywhere. It wasn’t like that on base. We were all new kids and we were all similar. I found myself quickly getting rid of my little Boston accent and trying “y’all” on for size in an attempt to be noticed. Eventually, I did make friends, and when I thought about it, I realized they were all military brats as well!

    • 7-8-2016

      I love that you lived the exact scenario I wrote about.
      An for me the toughest moves were never when we went overseas, it was always when we returned to the USA and went to civilian schools.

      • 7-11-2016

        Oh I can relate to that. I knew daddy would get transferred in my senior year so I took summer classes to graduate from Gen. H H Arnold, Wiesbaden, Germany a year early. Dad got transferred in the January to Shaw AFB, SC where I walked into a civilian high school smack in the middle of cotton fields…. the first time in eight years I had attended a stateside school…. and the first time I ever had to walk into a school without my older sisters with me. I’ve never had such a hard adjustment in all my brat years.

        • 7-12-2016

          Sue, I can relate. I came back from France my freshman year of high school and went to a a civilian school with 6,000 kids. Hardest school I ever had to adjust to.

        • 7-15-2016

          Man Oh Man oh man!!! Gen HH Arnold (Wiesbaden HS) was the BEST school I ever attended. Hands down! Teaching staff actually educated and not taught. Allowed us to be held accountable. More so than anywhere else, made us feel “grown up”. Or close to it. Allowed us to challenge the curriculum.

          I too moved during my senior year. Hated it! 7 schools in 4 months later, I finally found solid friends. Ones who are brat-like. (Our group: black- German, Tiawanese, Tex-Mex, Caucasian, mutt – me, and a First Nation- Irish!) Funnynthing is, they all saw me for my character which is how Brats see one another. Skin tone doesn’t matter. Parent ranks and MOS doesn’t matter. We relish our differences and will usually poke fun or joke about them. We learn to respect others for who they are not what they do or socia/political/economical status. As brats, we don’t care.

          I thought I wouldn’t like Aukumm Housing or Weisbaden. I mean, we were USAF kids moving into a predominantly US Army area. All the questions faded away before school began. Helping with boxes, unpacking, hanging pictures and posters and showing us (family) other brats in the area that we may get along. We just had our Brat reunion in Atlanta. (I missed because work had me elsewhere – darn the boss : me!) But still reconnected with friends I haven’t seen since ’91!!! Just like we were still in Mr. Jude’s (AKA Elvis) English class or playing football with Coach Schwartz!

          Stateside was definitely a beast compared to Outside CONUS. If the move were in reverse – look out!!

          Now, on to your story. Grit. Yes! A MUST for any brat and more so for those of us who also ventured into our parents line of work – Military service. Civilian life is difficult. Even after 20+ years removed from official brat status. Civilians just think different. Or maybe it is my brat upbringing coupled with Marine indoctrinations? Anywho, living in Concord, MA, Hanscom is but 10-15 minutes away, I definitely see a huge difference for my sons and their buddies from how I grew up. We adapt, adopt and inter grate so quickly as we carry these traits well into adulthood without noticing! Hint: I can always spot a Brat! We interact more freely with “strangers”!

          Can’t wait for the rest of the book… Hopefully, I doesn’t take me 7 months to read it! Wink!

          • 7-15-2016

            Well it’s a good thing you didn’t read the first draft of the book or it might have taken you 7 months to get through. But . . . then my editor got a hold of me and that all changed:)
            Adapt and integrate, yup that would be us. I had to laugh so far you and I are the only ones who say CONUS. I guess that is an active duty term, rather than a brat term, all of which have gotten way to blended in my mind.
            Actually I decided to put a glossy of military terms at the back of the book to help keep the average non-brat reader straight about our military-speak.

    • 7-24-2016

      Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very imrnatpot.

  5. 7-8-2016

    So many parts of your story could have been mine. Little twist…Italian mother, military dad, stationed mostly in Europe (Italy, France, Germany). I figured out the Who’s Who list everywhere I went and adapted to their ways and did quite well until Dad was deployed in Viet Nam and Mom and I moved to Schilling Air Force Base which was the home to 350 women whose husbands were on unaccompanied tours. The base was closed for the most part, with only a handful of churches, a dispensary and a commissary. I went to Salina High School, where the hometown folks wanted nothing to do with us. Our mothers were called “Schilling Willings” because a small handful of them were partaking in the company of the town’s gentlemen. I never felt at home there, and was so glad to leave one short year later. Sadly would never even consider attending a high school reunion. While I’m thrilled that there is so much gratitude shown to our men in uniform today, I can’t say that it was so during the Viet Nam conflict, and as a teen in Salina, I was made to feel that what my father was doing was wrong, and therefore I was an undesirable. I matured and realized the pettiness of it all quite quickly, but there’s still a small pang when I hear someone talking about their reunion or see notices of them on social media. I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything, however, and this miniscule time of darkness in many ways made me even more resilient. Thank you for your book on Brats!

    • 7-8-2016

      Funny, I had no trouble adjusting or fitting in with German or French kids, but becoming part of a group when I’d end up going to a civilian school in the US was much, much tougher. Those kids had all been together since kindergarten–breaking in was no easy thing. And of course the Vietnam war days were very complex for all of us. Thanks for sharing what it was like for you.

  6. 7-8-2016

    Yes, I’m proud to say that for military brats, grit becomes their super power! Adapt or die becomes the motto. And what a mantra to prepare one for the ups and downs of life. Thank you for this short segment! Can’t wait to read your book!

    • 7-8-2016

      Karen, well said–grit becomes their super power!

  7. 7-8-2016

    Thank you Michael for showing me that what I did to survive the ARMY BRAT life was or is called ‘,Grit”. I lived about 20 some years living in 7 or 8 countries sometimes being PCs to the same country 2 or 3 times. I just took it as normal to jump right in and adapt, no big deal. I must admit I needed more of your grit when we were stateside, it seem harder to adapt. Why I’ll never know. I’m sorry I rambled but it made me feel special to know I had grit. By the way, I loved the life we led, it was an adventure and so much to learn. Again, thank you.

    A grateful ARMY BRAT..Linda ?

    • 7-8-2016

      Yes indeed returning to CONUS (stateside) took more grit. But overall it was a great life.

    • 7-25-2016

      This is what we need – an insight to make evreyone think

  8. 7-8-2016

    Great story. I also taught myself to read, largely in response to long periods of isolation and the determination to know what the few books I had were saying. I would love to participate in your project if / when you want some different experiences. Good luck, you’re a great writer.

    • 7-8-2016

      Jimi, I’ll keep you posted on things.And look forward to you ongoing input.

  9. 7-8-2016

    Very good read! I agree, brats need, develop and have Grit, when we move so many times and have to survive the ups and downs of finding friends and losing friends and learning how to fit in so many different cultures, we are resilient and earn our “true grit”. I love saying I am a military brat and proud of the grit that this way of life has given me. I truely belive that failure and loss are not permanent! Strive for happiness and succes, whatever you consider success to be in your own eyes!

    • 7-8-2016

      Robyn, when the notion that failure and loss are not permanent, and it graduates from a concept to actually part of a brats DNA–well that’s powerful.

  10. 7-8-2016

    Very well stated!! I’ve always thought of us living life through a ‘wide angle’ lens – we’ve seen much more and experienced more as children than some do their entire life. I agree ‘grit’ comes through our experiences & unique knowledge!!

  11. 7-8-2016

    “Living life through a ‘wide angle’ lens.” Nicely put Mary.

  12. 7-9-2016

    As an Air Force brat my twin sister and I were always the “New Kids in School” or “The Nixon Twins”. Our parents said that our civilian teachers in the US schools noticed that we were head and shoulders above our fellow students with our cultural experiences. We also got the cold shoulder from some kids who were probably jealous. Our biggest culture shock was moving from Ethan Allen Air Force Station in Burlington, Vermont to Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. The kids at our school said “Yawell tawk suh fuhnneee.” Really?!!

    • 7-9-2016

      I can just visualize the Nixon twins being quite a team. And it just dawned on me, I have no twins as characters in the first Brat: Kids of Warriors book. Perhaps I need to consider that for future novels.
      And I cracked up at your “Yawell tawk suh fuhnneee.” I have this character in the first two books, an old southern guy, and I invented this cool way to spell his speech/accent. I spent hours if not days on getting it right, only to have my editor immediately rip it all out. Her comment was, “Very clever, but it’s takes too long for the reader to decipher. Readers don’t want to get slowed down, they just want to get on with the story.” Oh well, maybe if the book gets a lot of traction I’ll publish a blog providing my original cut at that language, just for “yawell” brats.

      • 7-21-2016

        I read “yawell” as ‘ya well’ not as “y’all” (ye all in old English). It took me a bit to decipher that one.
        Having spent a few years in Fort Hood/Killeen, TX I’d gone from a German-American accent to a Texas drawl in a short time. School mates (civilian school) kept asking me to talk because they’d never heard a German accent before. Four years later we transferred back to Germany and the teens there wanted me to talk because they hadn’t heard a Texas accent before. Lol!

      • 7-24-2016

        Keep on writing and chngigug away!

  13. 7-9-2016

    What a great read. Grit and tenacity will smooth a path for anyone fortunate enough to possess it. My father was in the AF and we skirted the US coastline with his stateside assignments–MD, FL, GA, CA. Both my parents were from a very rural part of Georgia. I’m talking Deep South. We spent thirty days of every summer in GA. We were city girls dropped off at the farm and it was both fun (horses, chicken houses, vegetable gardens) and frightening (completely out of my element). Sometimes I couldn’t understand my cousins because their southern accents were so thick. When I was in the 5-6th grade, I began to perfect my non-accent. Having spent a month a GA, I had picked up a bit of the southern drawl and I was teased when I got back to MD. So I worked on having no discernible accent at all, which fit quite well with being from no place in particular! That age-old question posed to everyone on the planet: where are you from? The almost universal brat answer of nowhere/everywhere. While I preferred to have no accent, I realized it wasn’t always possible. I learned to drop my g’s in the South and add them back in the North. So in GA I was always goin’ places, but in MD, I was going places.

    I don’t know if this is grit or not; for me it was just a tool I used to ease transition from one region of the country to another. Please forgive typos… it’s hard to edit on these tiny screens!

    • 7-9-2016

      Beth, I’m glad you liked the grit discussion. Are we not an interesting set of chameleons? Most of the time people say, “I can’t place your accent. Where are you from.” I used to think it was because I am linguistically such a blend of places. But I’ve realized it’s also because I unconsciously modify my speech to more closely blend with the person I’m talking to.

  14. 7-9-2016

    All the military brats I’ve known had the standard answer to “Where are you from?” For me it was, “Well I was born in Indiana but…” In all the places we were stationed outside of Europe and Okinawa I always liked California best. My husband and I came from Okinawa and he taught AFROTC at San Diego State University. He got out of the Air Force and we both went to work for the County of San Diego. He did social services a/k/a The Welfare Office and I was a graphic artist for the Parks and Recreation Department. Now we are both retired and enjoying life in “SoCal!”

  15. 7-9-2016

    My personal reaction to the editor ripping out your southern accent would be, “This is my story; this is how it is!” She just took out any possibility of charm and humor. How’s that for Brat Grit? 😀

    • 7-11-2016

      Trust me my editor has made me a much better writer, and improved the story a great deal. But . . . I did so love that creative language.

  16. 7-11-2016

    Yes it takes true grit to assimilate to every new place you are transferred too, as at times it can become a real culture shock. Leaving the conservative south in the mid to late 60s with racial divisions, to move overseas where all Brats are the same and enjoy glorious commonalties and camaraderie to relocate to Long Island New York when Woodstock, bellbottoms, long hair and beads were certainly not Brat attire. We moved from VA in 1968 wearing dresses to school, continued too in Rota Spain, as it was customary of the country for females to wear dresses and then when we moved to New York on Long Island in 1969 we stood out and asked by students if we were a new teacher at the school office because we were wearing dresses while everyone else was in bellbottom jeans or elephant pants and tie dye shirts. It was only years later I realized I lived in the segregated south. Prior to a move from the north, New London CT from a military community in 1964 to a southern VA civilian community, we Brats always accepted everyone the same and we had no concerns over someone’s race. When I moved to VA, I didnt understood why I was the only one standing up to the white kids who bullied the black kids and had my butt kicked a few times. I am a girl that was raised not to pick fights but stand up for others. Years later it dawned on me that my Brat grit developed by my navaite in equality for all, being raised a Brat we were all in the same boat with our parents in the military, we were united by commonalities not divided. So Brats always look to what we share, not what divides us and that determination to assimilate anywhere provides us the means to succeed. I have been told repeatedly I have spunk, yes! Brats have spunk, tenacity and I agree Brats have true grit!

    • 7-11-2016

      Terrill, so well said. And so true that “we were united by commonalities not divided. So Brats always look to what we share, not what divides us and that determination to assimilate anywhere provides us the means to succeed.” In fact that sounds like a pretty good formula for solving many of the worlds current tensions.

  17. 7-11-2016

    By the way, when Brat: Kids of Warriors finally comes out later this year, I think you just might see some of yourself in the character called Jayla. She to was more than ready to stick up for kids facing bullies.

  18. 7-17-2016

    Michael, I can FEEL the boy’s pain in not being able to read! You have a gift of description of discovery that few are able to convey!

    In the first of the Tarzan series (of 24 books), Tarzan learns to read English, before he learned to speak French. Took him about 12 years of learning on his own. And I equate your young man with Tarzan — possessing “grit.”

    To me, GRIT is the SAND that provides the traction necessary, beneath our slippery feet, to move ahead of where we stand on that slippery surface of our lives. Only those gifted with GRIT will achieve more than others, or even themselves, expected of them.

    And that SAND, which absorbs our slippery “weasling out” tendencies, provides the traction necessary for us to move ahead. Most military brats have GRIT, whether it’s forced on them by circumstances or innate, from parents and situations that REQUIRE us to be better than average. Some brats don’t have it, and for them, I’m sorry, for the rest of us will bypass them with little sympathy or understanding of why those unfortunates wallow in their chosen “hole.”

    The rest of us will strive for the stars!

    • 7-17-2016

      Johnnie, I have no idea how you ran across my blog, but I consider receiving your feedback and praise an honor. You have accomplished so much as a writer. Thank you. I love how you combined SAND and GRIT. Once I finally navigate all the hurtles to getting published, hopefully you’ll find that Jack McMasters, my main character in Brat: Kids of Warriors encounters enough SAND to get GRIT.
      Now, about your name! I almost named Sam, one of the female character in my book Johnnie. Here is the short version of the background story. In 1961 when I was ten years old, we left Ft. Bragg, NC, for Orleans, France. En-route we went with my mother to visited my grand parents in Logan, Utah. I hadn’t seen my father, part of 82nd Airborne Division, for over a year. He’d been deployed to Germany when the Berlin wall went up. While in Logan I was introduced to an old friend of my mother, a glamorous woman named Johnnie. She was the first woman I’d ever met with a boy’s name. And to say the least she made a big impression on me. Still today my favorite female names are Charlie, Sam, and Johnnie.

      • 7-19-2016

        Michael, I found your blog either on a Military Brat connection (I’m on about 3) or LinkedIn. One way or the other, I recognize good writing when I see it!

        Keep up the good work, Fella! And I hope to “carve out” time to read your works in the near future, since I only have 3 major projects ahead of me! hehe!

        BTW, my name is courtesy of my father, who was a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. They RUN the Navy, of course, and are all knowing. We always said that our father was the strongest man in the Navy, ’cause he could accomplish ANY task with only one finger (his index finger) by pointing and crooking it at someone and saying, “You. Come here. (Then pointing at some task) Do this.” And you can’t tell CPOs anything because they KNOW it all. Couldn’t tell him not to give his name (John) to his first born (me), because he MIGHT have more children, maybe boys! DUH! I have four younger brothers he could have given his lovely name to!

        • 7-19-2016

          Johnnie, you are just too funny. Your father being a CPO explains a lot. I’ll keep you posted on the book. After all I’d never want to be the cause of you running out of things to do.

          • 7-19-2016

            Yes! GOD FORBID I run out of things to do! hehe! But I have set for myself a monumental task, so I need to get everything else completed beforehand. When I turn 80, I’m going to drop everything I’m doing and start re-vamping the English language! There are WAY too many words that mean the same thing or different pronunciations for the same spellings, etc. So I’m gonna put the language on a diet!

  19. 7-19-2016

    Well congratulations. At least you are clear on the fact that we are never going to retire. That is unless you want to weenie out at 95.

  20. 7-24-2016

    It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of suhninse.

Leave a Reply to Sue Arndt-Barr Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *