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For My Next Trick . . . .

December 17, 2014

Tags: Never give up. Perseverance

So, there I was about to continue writing on my opus, The War Whisperer. I was sitting in an easy chair writing on my Mini because I was just nearing the end of a really horrible cold and just completed a two month exercise with an infected tooth that concluded with getting a crown after a two hour plus session with my dentist the day before. I called up my current book within WW, titled "Black Satin," and almost got a word written when I heard a just barely audible alarm go off: "wa-wa, wa-wa," etc.

I checked my phone, my mini, my maxi, my battery backups for my computers, until the only thing I hadn't checked was my Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), the gadget that does pace making, reorders my heartbeat so that it beats more efficiently, makes a try at gently moving me from V-tach into sinus rhythm during an episode, and hits me with the paddles at full blast if the V-tach episode goes on longer than twelve seconds. The wonders of modern science.

Yet one more wonder, my ICD has a telemetry unit through which I can download all current performance data to my cardiologist. Every so often, in the middle of the night while I'm sleeping, this device can sneak in and talk to my ICD getting it to blab all. That was how I found out that my heart had been in A-fib for three days, which is a tale for another time.

One of the things I can do with my telemetry unit is initiate and send down a reading if I think something might be awry. Since I thought the alarm might be coming from the ICD, I sent a strip down to my cardiologist and returned to the Mini to continue with the story. I had almost gotten a word written when I got a call from the cardiologist's saying, in essence, "How quickly can you make it down to the Maine Medical Center emergency room?"
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Catching the big ones.


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For writers & readers. For writers, this is stuff I've learned, am in the process of discovering, and stuff that is imparted to me by other writers. For readers, I believe the more one knows about what goes into the writing of a story, and into the life of being a writer, the more one appreciates an author's writings.

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Barry B. Longyear is the first writer to win the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer all in the same year. In addition to his acclaimed Enemy Mine Series, his works include the Circus World and Infinity Hold series, Sea of Glass, other SF & fantasy novels, recovery and writing instruction works, and numerous short stories.