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Got up Saturday morning and the furnace went out while I was in the shower. Thermostat is directly across the hall, and I’ve grown paranoid about looking to make sure it is on. It wasn’t.

Called the service and was on hold for a while as the poor woman at the call center was overwhelmed. Eventually, the tech who has been out here the most times called back, apologizing that they were closed until Tuesday, but they’d get the Lennox folks (the heat pump causing the problems) involved.

Then, because I had paid attention and asked questions, he walked me through unwiring the heat pump from the circuit (five wire nuts joining three sets of multi-color cables together) so that at least the furnace would work.

So I did have heat all weekend, even as the rest of the week sucked.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I lost power. Several hours Thu. Two hours Fri. Just long enough to trigger some PTSD Sat.

Friday night, I was attempting to cook a grilled cheese sandwich. Ended up finishing it on the flat-topped fireplace, on a marble tile explicitly put there for this sort of thing.

Friday morning, I lost water in the middle of the shower. I’m guessing that the pipes had turned to slush overnight (got down to 18F around here), because by the time I got up to the pumphouse to look, I had pressure again. Still turned up the space heater in the pumphouse, which I have to reset every time I lose power for longer than 10 seconds.

So it’s been a mostly bad week. Christmas was quiet. We spent Sat and Sun cooking. Upside down pineapple/banana pancake pan cake. Cookies. Bisque. Pudding. Had a ham for Xmas that was part of a pig we bought this past fall, loading the freezer up with chops and such.

I live a privileged life, that I can have an eighth of a cow and a quarter of a pig butchered every once in a while. And the hydroponics that let me harvest my salads, some days.

But I’m a little frazzled and fragile right now.

It did, however, bring me an interesting revelation. Science Officer #12 came out this month. Captain Navarre. Writer-brain explained that I can only write the Season Two/Rising Storm storied when I am angry.

And, bubba, I’m there these days, so there might be #13 soon. Possibly #14 as well, as I have them all outlined roughly. (About a paragraph each, covering 50-70k words. Not even a blurb, but enough emotionally.)

I was about 3,000 words into Last Stand #10, but had to stop yesterday. Literally ran out of words, so I opened a new file and attacked a blank piece of paper.

Five thousand words of Eclipse poured out in about three hours, so obviously I had been writing the wrong story. Got another 2500 this morning after breakfast and before I stopped to write a blog post for you folks. No idea how long it is, because I am just typing as fast as I can take dictation at this point.

Many folks will assume that I have thinly veiled Batman, but they are wrong. Bruce Wayne is like the fifth or eighth such Black Mast detective hero like that, but the one that survived and became the best known. I’m actually somewhere in the center of a triangle with Batman, Sandman (Wesley Dodd) and Dr. Midnite on the points.

And there wasn’t really a lot of difference there in those days. We know Batman, because the others went out of business, bankrupt, and eventually got bought by the company that would become Detective Comics (DC). Same thing happened with Superman, who inherited the “Fortress of Solitude” concept in almost exact detail from Doc Savage, written by “Kenneth Robeson.”

There is nothing original in literature, except how you tell a particular story. And I have a fun one on my hands, mostly because all that anger has to come out somewhere.

Finished Stephanie #6. And maybe Season One, because it wound itself down perfectly for a break, but I didn’t realize it until I was on the last half-page. Probably will take a break after Six, then pivot to one of the other characters in Cole’s stack of people to write. Want to keep that penname fresh. Do that by dropping something every other month, at least until I can build up a deep enough catalog.

It will be 2023 shortly. I have a LOT of Action-Adventure coming out shortly, with Marcus in January as the b-side, and Pacific Force in Feb and Mar. Also, I hope to be part of a new Thriller Magazine that will come out in the spring with four issues scheduled. Not certain, but I think I have placed three stories, and maybe four. Fatima and Boston, new characters for folks to enjoy.

Hope your holidays have been less stressful than mine. I’d like things to settle down some around here, so I’m not rolling gators at one moment, and walking on eggshells the next.

What did you get for Christmas?

Shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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