Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

One of our traditions here at the Coulter house is the Annual 4th of July Chili Dog Festival, an event that evolved years ago after we moved into an historic neighborhood within close walking distance of an excellent community fireworks display. Our driveway became a coveted parking spot, and each year we would find as many as 40 people milling around on our patio, clutching their folded-up lawn chairs and looking at their watches and wondering if it was about time to "head on over there."

Since we never knew quite how many people to expect and because we usually spent the morning at a parade and didn't want to rush home and make buckets of potato salad, we decided early on that hot dogs and chips were the way to go. So later today we'll be chopping onions, counting hotdog buns, chilling soft drinks, and opening bags of chips--keeping it simple for the crowd that will begin arriving at seven o'clock.

I wasn't planning to work today, but I've yet to finish the three chapters I promised to mail to my editor on Saturday. So I'll be here at my desk almost until our company begins arriving.

The book I'm working on (At His Command, which will be released in September 2008) happens to be a military story. It's set in and around a fictional Army base in Texas, and features a disabled former helicopter pilot who's become an attorney and an Army nurse who's just returned from a Combat Support Hospital in the Middle East. Since I don't know beans about helicopters, the law, nursing, or the Army, I've been killing myself to research this stuff.

So here it is, Independence Day, and while everyone else is watching parades and waving flags, I'm sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out why Chapter Three still seems to be dragging. But as I said, this is a military story, so in my research I've come across a plethora of stories about the courage and sacrifice of real-life members of the armed forces, particularly helicopter pilots and Army nurses. Many of those people won't be sitting on patios tonight eating chili dogs and waiting for the fireworks show because they're busy doing their jobs--and I'd just like to express my gratitude to them and to all of those who have gone before and will come after them.

God has blessed America. May He continue to do so.


Jennifer Shirk said...


Have a happy 4th!

Anonymous said...

As an Army wife in Texas, I'm really looking forward to reading your next book. Also looking forward to some day actually being able to spend a Fourth of July together with my soldier-husband, instead of him being overseas fighting a war. So... I appreciate the sentiments expressed in this blog and want to say thank you for remembering his sacrifice and those of his comrades. And I can't wait to read the next book!

Brenda Coulter said...

Thanks, ladies.

Laurel, I prayed just now for you and your husband. May the Lord keep him safe and may the two of you celebrate the next 4th of July together.

Brenda Coulter said...

Oh--I just had a thought.

Laurel, if you happen to be at Ft. Hood, you may be interested to know that I'll be visiting there this month (probably the 24th or 25) to do additional research for my book. If that's your post and you'd be willing to let me take you to lunch or something, please shoot me a private e-mail. I'd love to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your prayers, Brenda. Check your email:)

Brenda Coulter said...

Got it. Thanks.