I was at a Wounded Warrior Project Event and another veteran asked why I don’t write about my military career. I realized this isn’t the first time someone has asked Monica and I that question. She has some great stories from her time in Afghanistan and some not so great stories. I could talk about Iraq, Afghanistan, or even when I was stationed in England or other areas around the United States. The thing is, Monica and I didn’t set out to write memories. We set out to have a vacation from life. We were connecting after I came home from war. The Ice Era Chronicles are our outlet, our love on paper, our healing through words. At one point, I faced suicide, as did Monica. I don’t want to struggle with that right now. The writing we do now is fiction, but it’s also self-discovery in our fake created world.
Monica and I were working through our Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) when we first sat and played around with a story of an assassin, Karma. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of me was Karma and how much of Monica was Rea. Thinking back, I believe Monica and I discovered pieces of our soul in that made-up world. Rea struggled with his need to look after Gears. (That’s Monica’s Mom, probably.) And Rea often mentioned how Karma could just get up and leave him at any time. That was absolutely how Monica felt and it reflected in the pages. At the same time, Karma kept saying she was staying no matter what, and she wanted to be there for Rea. I identified with that. I was all in. Even when it came to looking after Gears.
I guess, over coffee, we grew as people. We met as these characters. Monica and I got to know each other on a totally different level. If I were to write some of the events in my military career, (especially the darker stuff) it might rip me open and be too large a wound to face. But on a Water Base or riding a harvester train, I can live painful things. I can be happy and sad without the emotions being too raw.
I hope that all makes sense.
One day, I plan to write about my experiences in the Army, but not yet. Monica might write about her life in the military as well, but some things for her are too haunting. I understand and I always try to protect her. I would never push her to talk about the Army, let alone write about it.
As for military romances… Monica wants to write about two soldiers that we knew in England. She might write a romance for them one day. We will see. The Ice Era Chronicles keeps us pretty busy. And… I like it that way. I think she is calling me to have coffee right now.
Our Book List in Order: