Contest: Firefight on Vietnam Brown Water

Lynn Salsi has graciously offered to let the Damsels give away not just her novel Firefight on Vietnam Brown Water, but also a copy of her new picture book!  That means two winners, but just one contest to keep things simple.

In honor of Lynn’s efforts to write about a time in history she and her husband both experienced, and the anniversary of the biggest event of my lifetime, the contest question will be as follows: what “historical” event in your life do you think would make a compelling story?  How would you tell such a story, or have you already?  Let us know either by commenting on this post, or by emailing us at damselsinregress [at] gmail [dot] com by Sept. 18 (one week from today).


10 Responses to Contest: Firefight on Vietnam Brown Water

  1. Audry says:

    Well the first one that comes to my mind (especially since we just had the 8th anniversary) is the terrorist attack of Sept. 11 2001. I don’t think anyone would argue that you could tell any number of compelling stories about the events of that day, though we might still be a little too close to them for a novel at this point.

    How would I tell the story? I’m not sure, since I never thought about it till now, but I can imagine several points of view that would work… a firefighter, someone who was in one of the buildings are the first to come to mind, but I think it would be more interesting to write it from the point of view of a normal New Yorker, reacting to the attack and then experiencing all the fallout afterward.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Well, I’ve kind of already written my story of a historical even –Operation Enduring Freedom– in telling my brother’s story.

    Though there were some other events that I think were interesting, though not sure I’d ever write a story on them, but one thing my parents remember and talk about since we were living in German when it came down is the Berlin Wall and the whole atmosphere difference between East and West Germany.

  3. Tina says:

    What historical event in your life would make a compelling story?

    In the 1980s, many political refugees from El Salvador, Honduras, and other countries fled to the USA. Some states provided a path to citizenship via classes in English.

    How would you tell such a story or have you already?

    Show how acquisition of a language provided a life free from massacre and political strife.

  4. Jeff says:

    The reaction in South Los Angeles in 1992 to the acquittal of LAPD officers tried in the beating of motorist Rodney King could be compelling, I suppose. Racial tensions were elevated during the event and you might tell the story from the perspective of a reformed black street kid who participated in the violence, or from the perspective of a white police officer called to settle tensions.

  5. Danielle says:

    When I was in grade-school we were mandated by the Supreme Court to integrate our school districts.

    My family is white (at least in legal terms). My older brothers were already working to end segregation by just living their lives with their their multi-racial friends. I was lucky to watch these teens, these young men and women go against the tide of prejudice. During those first years of integration, one of my brothers was bussed to a previously all-black high school. He was the only white football player. I remember the girls platting his curly hair. He brought one of his friends, a black football player, to our church…. and both were ridiculed. So was I for sitting with them and rough housing. Didn’t seem to matter much that I was missing the sermon by goofing around….only that I was in the wrong color company. Must have been so humiliating for our black friends. My brother never went back to that church.
    I haven’t written about that particular time in the 1960s but am basing a series of women fiction novels twenty years earlier, before legal integration. I wasn’t born then, but my father was seventeen. He’s given me lots of information. I also went back to that part of the country and talked with some old black folks who are the same age as my father. I’ve read stories from many perspectives to bring some depth to a very complicated time in our history. Very few cookie cutter people. Prejudice of all sorts seems to blind even the best of us.

  6. Lara says:

    Sorry Jennifer, I meant to do this yesterday.

    Easy, historical event in my life… moving from England to Australia.

    I would write it as both a fiction and non-fiction… beginning from being in Australia for a year, and then researching my friend’s family in the library and comparing my emmigration in 1997 to their’s in the 1800’s.

  7. Audry says:

    hey damsels–

    Because the contest is usually related to the book being given away (and the author interview spent a lot of time on the hows and whys of writing about a major historic event), I assumed the intent of the question was for us to think of a historic event in our lifetime that we’d write about, even though it said “historical”…

    Could you clarify?

  8. Emilie says:

    Well, as the contest deadline is past anyway, it doesn’t matter all that much, but I was looking for a major event that has happened since you’ve been alive that you envision becoming “historical,” like 9/11. However, Lara, you went in a slightly different direction, but you did point out that immigration policies have changed, and if you were to write such a story, you would look at how they have changed, so in a way, I consider that historical because they will probably change again in the future:) You’re all (except Jennifer, as a fellow Damsel) entered in the contest, and tomorrow I will draw names, announce the winners, and start hunting down snail mail addresses for the books.

  9. Jeff says:

    Hi Damsels,

    Sent you an email a few days ago about the contest and included my address. Just wondering if you got it.

  10. The Damsels says:

    Hi Jeff – Emilie has it. Not sure if she has the book or if Lynn is sending it, but it will get off to you soon, if it hasn’t already.

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