Okay, you’re on deadline. It’s 2 AM, and there is no chocolate in the house. The stores are closed. What to do, what to do? You’re ready to pull your hair out because your craving is out of control, and your serotonin levels are dropping dangerously low. I recently ran into that problem. After tearing through the cabinets, fridge, and freezer, I found my answer. Tucked inside the door of my refrigerator behind the strawberry jam was — ohmigod! — a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. In an act of pure desperation, I squirted a couple of tablespoons down my throat. Okay, maybe it was a quarter of a cup. It did the trick. I highly recommend it. But think how wonderful it would be if Godiva offered such a product! Right now there is a chocolate silk pie sitting in my freezer. I bought it for my husband to serve him on father’s day. It’s Wednesay night. Maybe there will still be some left for him. Maybe not.
Archive for June, 2008
Most of my blogs are meant to be funny, although some people probably find my wit a little sarcastic and over the top. But I want to get serious for a minute. Those who read the first book of my Crazy series, WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY, know that the primary male character is a fireman. I expand on the topic further in NUTCASE, the second book of my series.
In researching the work firefighters do, I have come to greatly appreciate and admire them. For those who’d like to know more about these brave men and women, I suggest the book, “Report from Engine Co. 82” by Dennis Smith. It was such an awesome book that I read it twice! William F. Buckley, Jr., of the New York Magazine, called Smith’s book a masterpiece, and I agree.
Unlike most of us, firemen risk life and limb on a daily basis. How would you like to go to work every day and wonder if you were going to make it back home to your family and the end of your shift? Why do firefighters do this? Certainly not for the money because many of them hold second jobs. They do it because they want to serve. They run into burning buildings when everybody else is running out. For them, saving a life is the most important and rewarding act they perform.
These men and women are not unlike our troops who face danger on a daily basis as well. That is why I decided to donate 100 books to firefighters and spouses of firefighters, just as I did with military families. This is one time when I hope these heros tell themselves it’s not the gift that counts, it’s the thought. A book is such a little thing. It is NOTHING when compared to what these people do. I hope they will accept my small offering because it comes from the heart.
Author Dennis Smith worked in the South Bronx from 1966 to 1973, one of the most dangerous areas in NYC. What I would like to bring to people’s attention has nothing to do with the fires these men put out or the shootings, knifings, car accidents, suicides, drug overdoses, and other tragedies they face each day. What I’d like to point out is the number of false alarms they are summoned to, which make up about one-third of their calls.
What Mr. Smith refers to as malicious false alarms, costs numerous lives each year. As Smith points out, a ladder company responding to the intentional pulling of false alarms at one end of the district often reach fires on the other end of their district when it’s too late. Kids and teenagers are often the culprits. They think it’s cool.
I am just one person who will probably make a very small difference in my attempt to raise public awareness to malicious false alarms so I’m counting on word of mouth. If you have children, talk to them. If you have nieces, nephews, grandchildren, please pass this on. If you have friends with children, ask them to talk to their own children. It is never cool to pull false alarms and risk the lives of others.
Remember years back when somebody came up with a bumper sticker that said, “Have you hugged your kid today?” I think we should have bumper stickers that say, “Have you hugged a hero today?” What’s really awesome is, despite the large number of heroes, we never run out of hugs.
How many of you put off things because the thought of doing them is overwhelming? Well, join the crowd! A lot of writers I know, myself included, procrastinate. I have it down to an art form. I should be working on a new proposal. Instead, I’m sitting on the sofa night after night watching TV and eating junk food, Fritos and chocolate. I’ve gained five pounds! Every time I finish a book, I promise myself I’ll start living healthy lifestyle. I’ll exercise. I’ll eat raw vegetables like broccoli. I don’t even know how to spell broccoli; I had to look it up in the dictionary. I can spell Godiva and Snickers. The only exercise I’m getting these days is walking back and forth to the refrigerator. This is no way to live.
Yup, after 40 books, I am waiting to hear just how many revisions/rewrites my editor is going to give me on my second book of the Crazy series, NUTCASE. It has been almost three weeks since I handed in the book. It could mean two things: that my editor is swamped or that my book stinks to high heaven. Being a neurotic author, I picked door number two. After months of writing almost 24/7, I am still brain-dead. Try putting together a proposal when you don’t have one coherent thought in your head. I’ll have to pull out all my books on creativity. I’ll have to remind myself that I’ve written books before, and I can do it again. I’ll go through the job classifieds in my local newspaper, knowing there just has to be a better/easier way to make a living. You’d think, after 20+ years of writing, it would get easier. Nope.