Thursday, December 06, 2012


I've been a little busy and my muse had non-refundable cruise tickets to east Batalanavia. One week turned into two turned into four and I'm staring at a writer's scariest sight- the dreaded white space. I began to worry my muse's ship sank in the hurricane and Rog would be stuck as a new detective- (teaser for my new book). A muse (d) or not, I have to write and I should start now.

I started working for a new department- this one is more medically-oriented, due to the response time for the local volunteer ambulances. My first call was a bit interesting- I had an elderly patient with trouble breathing.

The standard protocol in this instance is O2, followed by vitals and further treatment, as necessary. I had the patient sucking gas in record time, just as my new supervisor whispered, "our medical director likes to get a baseline Pulse Ox. before we administer O2."

A Pulse Ox is a device that fits on the finger (mimicking ET) and determines the O2 percentage in the blood, with 100 being great and 0 being very untalkative. After thanking him for that informative tidbit and inquiring if there were any other jewels he was waiting to spring on me, I said, "so, I take it we have a Pulse Ox?"

The man has no sense of humor. So noted.

It's been that kind of month. With my muse on extended holiday, I muddled through.

I pulled a midnight shift during Hurricane Sandy. I spent hours removing trees from my most rural beat. Soaked, tired and ready for bed, I pulled into my drive- halfway- realizing the road in front of my house looked like the Home Depot electrical department sneezed. Cables littered the road.

I grabbed a roll of yellow caution tape- my neighbors love me- there's nothing like the neighbor with his own caution tape (before they found out I was a cop, apparently, all kinds of comments flew. Then someone found out about my sheepdog nature and my "peculiarities" made sense)- and blocked both ends of the road- I do have a neighbor or two I'd like to see dancing with a power line... but I digress.... I had Margie call the power company- for the first time.

Turns out a huge tree took out the mast from the electric meter to the roof and pulled the wires down. I assessed the damage and headed out to Homerland for parts. Sleep fell by the wayside. A couple of hours later, I was ready for a quick assist from the power company, a quick power-off while I removed the tree- I'm not a fan of "riding the lightning"- I figured it should take fifteen minutes- what was I thinking?

A PPL truck showed up promptly at 0230 hrs. the next morning and cut the power. There are dedicated linemen and trolls out there. I met both types and unfortunately, the dedicated guys were still en route when the troll slithered into my life and left me holding the cut end of my service line... and the cable line... and the telephone line.

Needless to say, the troll was in troll heaven, cutting power cable and telephone lines without concern for those who would come after him. Add one name to the karma list...

Margie made eighteen calls (cried twice, called one secretary a, ah, an, well, something having to do with human reproduction, pig mating and a banjo and begged once) for an electrician for the now- required signoff on the now-necessary permit, (I had the mast repaired and ready to replace when the troll showed but that's another chapter or four) three calls to three clueless PPL reps (our automated system shows you have power) and five days later, we had power restored.

We didn't suffer like so many people in surrounding states but I can truly say I understand what it's like to leave my home to protect the flock, worried about leaving my family behind in the dark. My thoughts go out to my brothers and sisters who also went through this and, in many cases, are still fighting this battle.

The days passed without so much as a postcard from my muse. The bitch (lovingly said).

A friend passed on a week or so back. Teddy was a simple man. Age and illness had taken most of his friends and relatives, so I found myself sitting with the widow, scratching out a eulogy. Karma touched my shoulder because, as I sat comforting the widow, taking some of her burden away, my muse showed up, sun tanned and revitalized, ready to get to work.

I suddenly found myself penning (in a sense-the hum of a computer is never far from my finger tips) a eulogy that even my mother liked- ("they're always so preachy and full of crap"). Mom knows how to be supportive. I spoke of a man who never saved the world or even a woodland creature but was always there for his friends. My muse came through.

I found a poem that was appropriate, entitled "Death is Nothing At All, by Scott-Holland that was read at King Edward VIII's funeral- this is part of the poem:

What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner

Of course, as I practiced aloud, Margie, who was making spaghetti sauce with wine (one cup for the sauce, one bottle for the Chef), discovered the humor in yelling "Boo" at the end.

Fortunately, a very hung-over Margie was on her best behavior at the funeral and there were no further interruptions from the gallery.

Not being Catholic, I was just getting into the heart of the exercise routine (up, down, look at the scary singer for the signal to hum a few unintelligible words) when the priest motioned for me to sum up a guy's life in under a thousand words- anyone who knows me is well aware succinctness is not one of my strong points.

The few friends and family assembled understood. I felt from the audience, that rare connection, the sense that the eulogy captured the decedent's character. It was in that moment that I thanked karma and my muse.

And so I write again. The holidays are in full attack mode and the rush is on to buy, buy, buy! Maybe tomorrow. Tonight, I sit with my muse and we write. It's my holiday present to myself.

Just in time for the holidays! The perfect gift for that adrenaline junkie!

In Another Life is my first novel- it's available from Smashwords just about any ebook format! 
And now, in paperback- from!

Thirty and Two finds Morris in a race to save a girl injured in an automobile crash- and he once mentored her. 

My latest short story: Drop A Dime!

Rookie police officer Rog Mackay is getting tips from a very unusual confidential informant- one who seems to know more than he should! 

Robberies, attempted murders, suicides- who is this mysterious citizen who has the info and is ready to drop a dime at just the right time? 

Find out in this new short story, "Drop a Dime!"

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