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Catching a Lifeline and Just Catching Up

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I have been writing The Bad Death like my head’s on fire. That’s why I haven’t been blogging. I had the antebellum, interracial vampire slayer novel slated for publication this summer, but my imagination had other plans, so all I can say is — folks, it’s gonna be great! Not only is the novel taking off, I feel refreshed and excited about the year ahead as a new philosophy and new goals take shape. This sea change went from a ripple to a surfable wave on a recent business trip to Colorado Springs.

At the time I felt my Firm had misfired by sending me. I was unfamiliar with the client’s methods and jargon. I tried hard to contribute but ended each day feeling that I’d failed. I went to bed every night expecting the next day to be worse in unimaginably horrible ways. The Bargain Books Warehouse in downtown Colorado Springs turned out to be a lifeline.

I’ve always believed in the power of cats to bring luck and healing. Sure enough, this little lady named Pages walked across the paperbacks to say hello. After that I found an old hard copy of Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. I read the first three chapters that night. Its plain-speaking and practical advice turned the trip around for me.

Near the end of my two-week stay, I’d created the structure our group needed to build the products we intended. Before flying home, I stopped in Bargain Books Warehouse again and met their other resident cat, Booker.

This time I bought: Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea, and Anderson Cooper’s Dispatches from the Edge. I also bought NPR’s Story Corps collection Listening is an Act of Love; a cool, mature romance by Cheryl Reavis titled Blackberry Winter; and Suzanne Finstad’s Sleeping with the Devil, a true crime with an inspiring heroine. I flew home with heavier luggage but a lighter heart.

I’ll share my insights and opinions of these books in future, but first I’ll be guest-posting on M.R. Gott’s blog Cutis Anserina. More details on that next week.


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