Archive for January, 2009

Celebrating Firefighters

Monday, January 26th, 2009

            I did not fully appreciate the sacrifice firefighters and their families made on a daily basis until 9/11. It was a stunning revelation. Not only did we lose 343 of these brave men and women, hundreds of firefighters still suffer the aftermath in the way of respiratory illnesses.

            As an author, I knew I would one day write a book where a firefighter played a major role. It was just a matter of when. I read several books by veteran firefighter, Dennis Smith, my favorite being, “Report From Engine Co. 82.”

            I spoke at length with the wife of a firefighter who discussed some of the fears shared by spouses. Most of us take for granted that our loved ones will return home at the end of the day. That is not always the case with firefighters. I can’t help but wonder why we don’t have bumper stickers that say, “Have You Hugged a Firefighter Today?”

            When I decided to write a comedy/suspense series about a female psychologist and her crazy family, friends, and patients, I already knew her husband would be a firefighter. In my wacky plot situations, he is the grounded one.

            The first book of the series, WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY, introduces Jay Rush, a fireman in Atlanta. While I touch on some of the dangers his company faces on a normal day, I don’t think I will ever be able to do these men and women justice. I can’t relate – I doubt many people can – what it’s like to race into a burning building while everyone else is running out. I can’t imagine putting my life on the line to save another, but saving people is what firefighters do. Racing into the belly of an inferno gives a whole new meaning to “Serve and Protect.”

            But this is a fact of life for those who choose this career. There are many heroes. I highly recommend Dennis Smith’s books for those who want to know what firefighting is truly like.

            To celebrate the second book of my series, NUTCASE, due in bookstores Feb. 24th, my publisher and I have donated hundreds of copies of WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY to firefighters and/or their spouses. NUTCASE is dedicated to these same people. It is such an embarrassingly small way to say thank you and bring attention to their sacrifice and bravery.

            On Feb. 24, I will begin a southeast book signing tour where I hope to meet a number of firefighters or family members. Please check my website: www.readcharlottehughes.com for dates. More than ever, I would love to shake your hand or give you a big hug. And say thank you.

Review of Charlotte’s New Book Nutcase- LongAndShortReviews

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

5 Book Review- Nutcase by Camellia, of Longandshortreviews. Here are some snippets: “A bevy of interesting characters, many of them emotionally challenged,”  “irreverent, and politically incorrect at times with characters saying things that many of us think but would never say aloud.”… “funny and heartwarming…NUTCASE is good therapy – prescribed for reading to relieve stress.”

To see the full review go to this page:

 http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2009/01/nutcase-by-charlotte-hughes.html 

Top Ten Things I Resolve

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Okay, so I’m a little late with my resolutions, but I wanted to have time to think them over carefully. So here they are! 

1. I will no longer bring chocolate into the house and ask someone to hide it from me because I end up blowing a whole day trying to find it once they leave.


2. I’m going to start bingeing on bean sprouts.
 

3. I will not buy cakes, pies, or donuts for unexpected guests because I never have guests. I don’t  even have friends. Hell, I don’t even know the names of my neighbors, and I’ve lived in the same house for six years. They don’t knock on my door and ask for favors like they do the others on my street. Probably because I have a sign on my door that says, “Please don’t ring doorbell.” 

 4. I will no longer fake orgasms so I don’t hurt the other person’s feelings. In fact, I may buy pepper spray because if I don’t have an orgasm somebody is going to pay.

 5. I’m going to stop trying to think of ways to break up CNN’s Dr.Sanjay Gupta’s marriage in hopes he’ll want me. 

6. I’m going to stop wearing my expensive underwear if I don’t have “plans” for the evening. 

7. I’m going to buy that gadget from Walter Drake that vibrates and promises to ease muscle pain because I think it really has other uses.

8. I’m not going to put up with my Dachshund’s flatulence problems any longer. I’m going to ask the vet to show me, once and for all, how to express his anal glands. Maybe. Also, to pay him back for waking me too early in the morning? I’m going to wake him up every time he takes a nap. 

9. I’m not going to answer the phone when my mother calls me at 6:00 AM in the morning. I’m going to wait until she calls again at 6:30 and tell her I just got home after a late night. Also, I’m going to run my errands after dark when, according to my mother, all the serial killers are on the prowl. 

10. I’ll start a wild rumor about myself so I’ll sound exciting.

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B.O. -Should You Tell?

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Okay, this might be a gross topic, but I’m curious. With all the air travel going on at Christmas, I read a recent online article written by a staff member at City News in Toronto, listing the biggest complaints by passengers. A new survey from TripAdvisor claims that travelers biggest gripes are kids who misbehave during the flights and body odor of those sitting next to them. There are other complaints, of course, but as the article states, “Bad body odor was cited by 54 percent of passengers as being their personal pet plane peeve – especially when they’re stuck beside an offender for hours at a time.” I’ve been told that people can’t smell body odor on themselves. I find that hard to believe. If I’ve been working in my yard, I can pretty much tell if I need a shower.   So why cant people can’t tell if they have BO and why are some people more prone to it? 

But the million dollar question is: Should you tell someone if they have it?

Just Me and My Christmas Tree

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

            Okay, it’s January 3rd, and I still haven’t taken my tree down. I don’t WANT to take it down because it’s the most beautiful tree in the world. Okay, maybe the White House has a prettier tree, but mine would probably come in a close second.

I put up my tree after Thanksgiving, but, really, who has time to enjoy a Christmas tree when there are gifts to buy and wrap, and when the family is trying to decide where to congregate at Christmas? It isn’t until after the New Year has come and gone that we actually take a deep breath and say, “Whew!”

So here I am. The presents have been exchanged, the guests are gone. Finally, I’m able to sip my morning coffee quietly in front of a roaring fire and gaze at my beautiful tree. I can relax and enjoy the memories of this recent holiday season and those long past. At night I can pile fat marshmallows in a cup of hot chocolate, sit on my overstuffed sofa wrapped in a thick throw, and enjoy it all over again.

The thing about Christmas trees, all bright and shiny, is they lift our spirits and warm our hearts. At least for me. I feel more hopeful about the future. And, here’s the cool thing: I am able to make memories of those moments I spend alone, just me and my Christmas tree. The world’s concerns slip away for a while, and the hard edges of fret and worry grow soft and fuzzy. For just a small moment in time, my little space in the world experiences peace on earth.