Friday, April 29, 2011


Sleep accomplished!  Actually making it all the way to the book-writing portion of my agenda tonight -- did NOT see that coming several hours ago.

This afternoon and evening have been sprinkled with grace notes like that:  A bird's-eye view of the Hoover Dam and its new bypass bridge on the way back from our flight earlier; the flight itself (first time to Las Vegas in awhile -- it's a ghost town compared to a few years ago, but still fun to fly over); the nap; falling asleep and waking up to wild grasses and clover blowing in the wind right outside my window; a really charming spontaneous story on Twitter; little bits and pieces of time with friends new and old.

I love my job, and my life in general, but it's always a special treat when a day ends up a whole lot better than you expected it to.

Currently wrestling with VANISHED's "Saturday Morning in the City of Angels" chapter.  After trying every way I could think of for several years to figure out which crash victims' stories to tell when, I finally decided to just introduce the passengers I have the best pre-flight stories about in this chapter, then talk about the flight crews and everyone else in the airplane-specific chapters.  Tried that out of sheer frustration at first, but it works better than anything else did.

At the moment, trying to figure how much to say about Disneyland.

Disneyland opened the summer before the mid-air, and was still the subject of media saturation-coverage (ads in every newspaper and magazine, its own TV show, you name it) at the time of the crash.  At least one family, the Kites, were returning from a trip to Disneyland that Saturday morning.  TWA was one of the most prominent corporate sponsors in the park.  All that definitely goes in the book.

But then there's this home movie, Disneyland Dreams ( ...

It was filmed by a family that won a 1956 trip to Disneyland in a Scotch Tape contest.  Among many other cool things, it captured an 11-year-old Steve Martin working as a top-hatted Disneyland street vendor.  It's the best representation of what a visit to Disneyland and Southern California in 1956 would have been like that I can find ... and I'm thinking I'm gonna include a lengthy description of Disneyland Dreams in my introduction of the Kites.

I'd been thinking of cutting Disneyland Dreams out of the chapter (I often worry that VANISHED is gonna end up the size of the New York City phone book) ... but now that I tell you about it ...

... I'm thinking I'd be crazy not to include it.  In fact, now I'm wondering if "Disneyland Dreams" might not make a better chapter title than "Saturday Morning in the City of Angels"?

What do you all think?

Good night everyone.  Thanks for all your help and support!

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