Post (c) Doris McCraw


Disasters! You may be thinking I’m out of my mind, especially with all the media covering the events of the last few years. Well, that’s exactly why I am writing about disasters.

You see, the local library district released their book “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region”, based on the history symposium that took place in June of 2012, just before the Waldo Canyon fire devastated a portion of the northwest section of Colorado Springs. This was followed by the Black Forest Fire of 2013, and the flooding in Manitou Springs.


The book’s publication was delayed to include the above incidents. My chapter discussed an 35 million year disaster, which was the volcano that created the Cripple Creek/Victor gold. That event created so much good or bad, depending on what you want to focus on.

Let’s take a look at that phrase, “what you focus on”. I am not saying that disasters are not devastating, but they usually are not all-consuming. When both Waldo, and Black Forest occurred, many people asked if I was okay. Yes, I was. Both were a good 10-25 miles away from where I lived. The possibility of it coming to where I lived was remote at best. 

When I and my neighbors lost our basements due to flooding, was the rest of the area impacted. No, just select areas. You see that is the thing about media and disasters, they tell the story of the worst part of the event, as they should, but we as listeners should remember, it’s what they focus on.


Writers, when telling their stories, it’s the events they want to tell about, it’s the disasters, challenges, that they focus on. Is it wrong? No. But remember, it’s what we chose to focus on that keeps us in that space. So, chose your focus wisely and remember, there is a large world out there in which disasters are a part, but not the whole picture. 

Doris Gardner-McCraw writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
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16 thoughts on “Disasters

  1. True, Doris. So many stories worth telling are off shoots of disasters and never get told by the media–stories that would inspire positive feelings and action, bring tears, joy, and just illustrate our humanness I believe. We can include those in our books though. The media goes only for the sensationalism usually. And like gossip, the story sometimes looms out of proportion I think.


    1. Neva, This post came about due to a conversation with my ‘daughter’ about the subject. Afterwards I just decided if she found the conversation worthwhile, then others might also, the idea of trying to look at the whole story. Thank goodness most of use can tell more in our stories. You nailed it Neva. Doris


  2. Excellent post, Doris! “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” — that all depends on a person’s perspective. Great analogy about writing, too — what do we focus on as writers of our stories? What actions/events/conversations will the reader focus on? Thanks for opportunity to ponder, both about life and about writing. 🙂


    1. Gayle, I’ve been pretty deep into these thoughts lately as you can tell by my posts. I think being on deadlines for both fiction and non-fiction contribute, but I really don’t mind. There are so many similarities in life, it taking the time to see them, and focusing of course, *Smile* Doris


  3. You are so right, and congrats on your story. You are a busy bee. I’ve lived through s few disasters and they each were hard at the time, but I survived and so did all the humans and animals that were involved. I also have worked seceral disasters. I went in once and pulled elderly and animals from a flah flood, and helped to search throuhh debree from tornados. Thanks Cher’ley.


    1. Cher’ley, you are a busy person also. I have to say, it’s much easier when you are doing things you love. It is amazing how strong the human spirit can be. Bless you for the work you did. Doris


  4. I’ve been in a few hurricanes and in their aftermath, helped clear debris. That was back when I was in my forties. Now that I’m 65, I don’t need that kind of excitement. I like a calm sea. Of course, ‘Nature’ has the final say.


  5. Yes, Nature does, doesn’t it Mike. Still, we somehow seem to endure, and come out stronger on the other side. But the older you get, the more pleasant it is when things are calm. *Smile* Doris


    1. Barbara, your storm reminds me of the skies back in the mid-west where I grew up. I am glad that nature has decided to bring new trees back. When we were going through the two major fires in 2012 and 2013, I kept telling my friends that fire was nature’s way of cleaning house, we were just in the way. Doris


    1. Thank you Darrah. Having survived the events listed above, it does change the way you look at life. I’m glad the post was useful. Doris


  6. That is so true about the media (especially) choosing to place particular focus on events and disasters. You’re tight about not hearing of those who just manage to escape floods etc.


    1. When we only hear what the media says, we miss so much. Although I understand the global implications of disasters, it is the person on the ground, who is living the event that is the true story. It is the focus that resonates with the rest of the world. Thanks for adding to my focus. Doris


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