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Most of you know that we’ve been busy for the past two weeks since our daughter and her family were left homeless and without belongings after a devastating house fire. Once they were settled into suitable shelter and after they were able to purchase a few articles of clothing and other basic needs (thanks to your generous contributions and support), Denene and I headed home.

Along the way north we learned that my uncle, the last remaining uncle on my mother’s side of the family, was rushed to a hospital where he was to undergo emergency heart surgery. The first hospital was not adequately suited to perform the surgery so he was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Delaware, just a few miles from our house. Of course, we were in North Carolina at the time, dealing with the fire situation.

Unfortunately, as the surgical team started the tedious operation, they quickly learned that they, too, were not equipped to handle such a delicate procedure as the one before them. Therefore, once he was again stabilized they rushed him to a hospital in Philadelphia. This hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, is said to be one of the best in the country for the type of procedure needed for my uncle.

We arrived home late at night/early morning from the trip to Ellen’s, and the next morning I was off to Philadelphia where I sat for several hours, making the usual nervous small talk with my aunt and cousin—the stuff people babble about while waiting and hoping for encouraging words from surgeons.

During our wait a paramedic flight team rushed a patient down the hallway directly in front of where we sat. The two EMS professionals were surrounded by a gaggle of police officers, both uniformed and several others wearing plainclothes. Then came family members of the patient.

I told my aunt that the mere presence of so many police officers could only mean a few things. One: The patient was a dangerous criminal who needed lots of security. Two: He was a witness to a terrible crime and needed lots of security. Three: An important public figure and needed lots of security. Four: The patient was a police officer who’d been injured or fallen seriously ill while in the line of duty.

Before long, the hallway filled with even more police officers—motorcycle cops, K-9 officers, patrol officers, detectives, supervisors, and, well, you name it and they were there, and all with wrinkled brows, a serious and intense lack of smiles, and the absence of the usual cop-type joke-cracking and hospital humor. Had to be an injured police officer. No doubt about it.

While anxiously awaiting news about my uncle, a man walked over and sat in the empty chair beside me. He nervously twisted and intertwined his fingers, stopping occasionally to rub a hand over the fingers of the opposite hand and then after a moment or two switched to rub the fingers of the other hand, and then back to the finger twisting. His brow was deeply furrowed and he glanced around the room, obviously focusing on nothing in particular. I’d been there before, in that same mental state, when Ellen was undergoing cancer surgeries and when my parents and grandparents were nearing the ends of their lives. His heart-shattering, emotional pain was almost palpable.

He soon turned to me, a stranger, and said, “My son is a police detective and he and a couple of his coworkers were knocking on a door to speak with someone about a case when he suddenly collapsed. It’s his heart.”

Needing to talk to someone, anyone, he went on to explain how the other detectives did all the right things and, as a result of what was later learned to be a major cardiac event, the young detective, a man half my uncles age, was flown to the same Philadelphia hospital where he underwent the same procedure as did my uncle.

Both operations were performed at the same time, in separate operating rooms.

The anxious father and I chatted for several minutes, with he asking about my former career and I about the career path of his son. Then the man, Mr. Moretti, told me about an officer who’d once served with his son (Detective Andrew Moretti) at the same Pennsylvania agency, the Plymouth Township Police Department.

It was seven years ago, he said, when the officer about whom he spoke, Officer Brad Fox, was shot and killed on the eve of his 35th birthday. At the time, Officer Fox’s wife was expecting the couple’s second child.

Nick, a Belgian Malinois and Officer Fox’s his K-9 partner, was also injured in the shooting, but survived.

I remembered including Officer Fox in my long-running Friday’s Heroes column, the posts that recognize the officers who’d lost their lives in the line of duty during the week of the posts. I’d written those articles for eleven years and, yes, I recall most of the names and many of the faces. A few I’ve known personally. One was a former coworker.

So I pulled up the post on my phone and showed it to Mr. Moretti. As he read it, Detective Moretti’s wife entered the waiting room and her father-in-law introduced me as a retired police detective. Then he walked out into the hallway, wading into the midst of his son’s co-workers, work partners, and peers.

I nodded toward the mob of police officers standing in the hallway leading to the operating theater of the cardiac care unit, and said to her, “Were you aware that when you married a cop you married an entire department as well as thousands of law enforcement officers all around the country?”

“It’s true,” I continued. “We’re a family, you know.”

She said she’d entered into their marriage with eyes wide open and knew exactly what was in store for her, and that I was correct, their extended family was one that reached the four corners of the country and all areas between. They’d seen evidence of that when Officer Fox was killed during the ambush attack.

It was then when the surgeon came out to deliver news about my uncle. His condition was serious but he’d survived the operation. There was much to be done in the days following the surgery … one step at a time.

When I finally left my uncle’s room that night, the elder Mr. Moretti stood in the hallway. The smile on his face told the story that his son, too, had survived the surgery. Relief had eased the worry lines that had earlier shaped his forehead and the area around his eyes. His jaw was relaxed and he displayed a cheek-to-cheek toothy grin. His wife stood at his side, tired but happy. The detective’s wife was ecstatic.

I wished them all well and headed toward the elevators, still limping from my recent hip replacement, and with the weight of worry for my own family members resting heavily on my shoulders. On the other hand, I was happy for the Morettis.

The next day, Detective Moretti was up, sitting in a chair, chatting away with his smiling wife and a group of police officers, a crowd so large that many were forced to stand outside in the hallway. I felt extreme joy to know that he’d “made it,” even though I’d never met him. Hey, we’re all family, right?

A few doors down from the happiness inside Detective Moretti’s room, my uncle, still basically unresponsive, was in the process of experiencing a heart attack and severe respiratory distress.

I’d just entered his room when the event began and the room quickly filled with doctors, nurses, surgeons, respiratory therapists, anesthesiologists, and more. Total but highly organized chaos. An hour later he was once again stable and that’s the situation today—stable.

So, my uncle, Pete, a veteran who’d served in Korea, is currently in a Philadelphia hospital room fighting for his life with the assistance of various machines, tubes, a ventilator, blood transfusions, and numerous dedicated and caring medical professionals.

My daughter and her family are living in a motel, with no home and no personal belongings. She’s recovering from cancer and the after-effects of aggressive chemo and radiation. She and her husband and son are emotionally and physically drained. They’re broken and they’re broke. Her hospital bills now exceed well over $1.25 million.

My mother-in-law is still battling serious cancer and still receives chemo each week. She’s weak.

Our wonderful daughter-in-law Stephani was recently diagnosed with a serious, chronic illness that has totally disrupted her life. As a result and after trying numerous other medications/injections that cost a couple thousand dollars each, she must now be hooked to an IV for hours at a time every few weeks to receive infusions of a new drug. She’s desperate for relief and for remission. “If it works, it will be worth it,” she said to me a few days ago.

This is the spot for a long … sigh …

When I walked down the hallway to leave the hospital this past Tuesday night, I overheard Mr. Moretti telling a group of officers that seven years ago I’d taken the time to recognize Officer Brad Fox’s service and sacrifice, and that I’d actually remembered his name after all the time that’s passed since he was killed in the line of duty.

It is my hope that Officer Fox’s wife and children know that he, like all the other officers who’ve lost their lives so that we can remain safe, will forever be remembered for their heroism.

And, speaking of heroism, Officer Fox’s death came as he and his K-9 were searching a secluded area for a suspect who was on felony probation, and who was the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fiancee.

I know, this post was absolutely all over the place, but so are my thoughts and my own emotions. I guess what I want to say most right now is thanks to each of you for your support for me and my family during the tough times we’ve experienced.

So yes, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You guys mean the world to me—you’re family—and I wish I could somehow repay your kindness and extreme generosity.


Officer Bradley Fox, 34

Plymouth Township Pennsylvania Police Department

September 13, 2012 – Officer Bradley Fox was shot and killed by ambush after responding to reports of a hit and run. The suspect opened fire as Officer Fox approached, wounding both Fox and his canine partner. Officer Fox is survived by his expectant wife and daughter.

 

  1. Being a writer is like being a politician. You get to make up @#$! and your fans love it.
  2. Being a writer is like being a plumber. Somewhere around the middle of the job you find yourself elbow deep in @#$!
  3. Writers are like prostitutes. They do it for money but the income arrives in small amounts at random times.
  4. Agents are like pimps without the purple suede leisure suits and feathers in their hats. Oh, wait …
  5. A good book is like a side effect of “the little blue pill.” It keeps you up all night.
  6. Sitting at a keyboard while clacking away at random characters is something an illiterate chimp can do. Much of today’s media is proof that chimps are better at it.

    Wandering Eyes

  7. Spellcheck is great, except when it isn’t.
  8. A great book is a like a fine statue. Their creators started with an idea and then carved away everything that didn’t help tell the story.
  9. Writers are like cops. They like coffee and whiskey and telling tall tales … and whiskey.
  10. A bad story is like a snow skier. They’re both start at out on a slow upward climb toward the summit. Then it’s all downhill from there until they reach the end, which is totally uneventful.
  11. The words of a good book remain forever. The words of a politician remain only until the next big donation comes along.
  12. If real-life bad guys would simply take the time to read a mystery book they’d know the good guys always win in the end.
  13. Good books are like the bed in a by-the-hour motel. Lots of action between the covers.
  14. Great ideas make great books, except when they don’t.
  15. Social media can be like a cancer. No punch line. It truly can be like a cancer.
  16. The bravest men and women in the world today are currently sitting at home, ranting and raving away on Facebook, telling people just how brave they are. Then they get up and go to their day jobs, greeting customers at Weirdmart, or selling fries at Booger Joe’s Burger Emporium.
  17. Lone literary agents at writers conferences are like the innocent fawns that tiptoe through the forest—they both know the attack could come at moment. This is why experienced agents travel in packs.
  18. A firefighter and a police officer enter a bar at a mystery writers conference. They’ll know better next time.

Finally …

Two drunks and a writer enter a bar during a writers conference. Three drunks come out.

*Have you got a zinger you’d like to share? If so, please do. (no foul language, racism, cop-bashing, politics, etc., please.).

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Tribbles have not taken control of my computer.  Yes, Star Trek is indeed coming to the WPA, and in a big way!

With that said, those of you attending the Writers’ Police Academy this year should be ever mindful that, at any moment, you and your fellow academy recruits could be pulled deep into the Delta Quadrant, some 70,000 light years from earth.

Fortunately for us, Lisa Klink, writer and producer of the Star Trek juggernaut, has arranged for her personal transporter to “beam” her to Green Bay in time to stop any alien attacks on the event. In fact, while she’s there in Green Bay to save the day, she’s delivering an absolutely fantastic Thursday evening presentation titled, Pitching, Selling, and Writing for Television.

This is a presentation straight out of the 24th century. It’s epic. It’s … COOL!

For those of you who may not know Lisa Klink. Here’s a sample of her work:

Lisa Klink began her career in the world of Star Trek, writing for the series Deep Space Nine and Voyager before coming back to Earth for shows such as Martial Law and Missing.

Lisa Klink

In addition to her television work, she’s written short stories, graphic novels, a theme park attraction and three books in The Dead Man series, as well as co-authoring the novel “All In” with Joel Goldman. Lisa is currently writing an FBI thriller for SerialBox.com, which will be released one chapter per week starting this fall.

Lisa’s TV credits are vast, including writing and producing some of the most popular television shows in their genre, such as:

1-800-Missing

Earth: Final Conflict

Martial Law

Star Trek: Voyager

Flash Gordon

Painkiller Jane

1-800-Missing

Star Trek: The Experience – Borg Invasion 4D

Roswell

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

Martial Law

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Earth: Final Conflict

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Roswell

Martial Law

And, to add to her already impressive resume, Lisa appeared on Jeopardy! (Contestant and Tournament of Champions contestant).


Thomas B. Sawyer

Now, as you know, each year, we strive to bring attendees the very best instructors, presenters, teachers, volunteers, material, information, and more. Well, the lineup this is no exception to our rule. The 2017 schedule is packed to the brim with superstars in their fields. And we were over the moon excited when Thomas B. Sawyer, head writer and producer of the Murder, She Wrote television series, accepted our invitation to present three wonderful workshops.

Unfortunately, I am the bearer of bad news. My good friend Tom experienced a very serious medical event this past Saturday and was immediately rushed to the hospital. The good news is that he’s on the road to recovery and should be back at home with his wife, Holly, in the coming days.

Toms sends his best to each of you and wishes he could there wth us.

Well, we have some exciting plans in store for you in 2018 and I’m thinking Tom will be a part of at least some of it.

Fortunately, for us and you, Lisa Klink stepped up to the plate to fill in for Tom.

So thank you, Lisa. and please , all of you join me in wishing Tom a big GET WELL SOON!

*Tom sent two signed scripts for the WPA raffle/auction. Break open the piggy banks this year folks, we have some cool items up for sealed bid, auction, and raffle.

 

It’s the year 2525 and yes, man is still alive. Things are different, though, in that scientists  have unlocked the secrets of altering and editing genes.

Experts began gene-altering for the purpose(s) of having the ability to switch on the “good stuff” and turning off “the bad characteristics.”

With this process in full play, the U.S. government (they control all gene altering) hired numerous “gene editors” who were once former employees of major publishing houses.

When the Great Book Plague struck in 2500, well, book editors and agents were left twiddling their thumbs. This transition was a no-brainer. Gotta pay the bills, right?

Red pencil

So, with red pencils in hand and the luxury of never, not ever, having to respond to emails, the former literary folks hopped into their teleporters and zipped over to the DARPA headquarters situated on WIP123, the meteor tethered to the spot where New York City once sat. There, the editors and agents were divided into two groups—one responsible for gene drive and genetic remediation technologies, while the second … vivo therapeutic applications in mammals.

I know, a huge leap from the written word to dealing with live mammals (some of you will recall that literary agents are mostly solitary creatures who often avoid contact with other humans, especially writers). But, upon closer examination, the change is not all that drastic. Think about it. Book editors and agents are tasked with finding the good in a manuscript. Then, using a red pencil they trim away all the bad, leaving behind a desired product.

Genetically altered turtle

The same is true when altering the genes of living things—trim away the bad and leave the good.

This entire process started way back in the year 2017, when the U.S. government awarded DARPA grants to seven teams—The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; North Carolina State University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Riverside.

DARPA invested $65 million in the Safe Genes program through 2021.

Those scientists were tasked with collecting empirical data and developing an assortment of versatile tools that would work to support bio-innovation and combat bio-threats. 

The idea was for the seven teams to devise and develop biomolecular “instructions” that provide actual and reversible control of certain genes in living systems. They were also to go even deeper by devising drug-based countermeasures to provide the ability to prevent disease, as well as offering treatment options.

Edited “Tweet”

Gene editing is designed to protect the integrity of the “good genes” in populations of organisms, as well as providing a means of detecting and eliminating unwanted engineered genes.

And …

Okay, enough Sci-Fi. This is happening right now. Today. In the United States.

Those seven teams mentioned above are currently hard at work devising means to switch on and off genome editing in bacteria, mammals, and insects.

Angry mosquito in need of intervention

The plan is to limit or protect against future biological threats, reverse mutations caused by exposure to radiation, develop an “off switch” in mosquito species relevant to human and animal health, gradually improving mosquito performance (little or no malaria), regulating invasive species, target species that spread Zika and Ebola (for example).

The program could go a longs ways toward making the world safer, I guess. But at what cost? Well, other than providing an income for all of those out of work editors and agents … in the year 2525.

So, what are your thoughts about our government having the capability of altering genes to force living things to behave according to the desires of government officials? I know I don’t mind at all. In fact, I signed up as human guinea pig to help further the research. And, you know, I haven’t seen a single thing go wrong. Not one side effect.

 

 

Before you read the first word word of the article below, I want you to know that it’s far from what I normally present to you. If the following text offends you, well, let me say right now that I apologize. I do not, however, apologize for the message. So here goes…

There’s been lot’s of name-calling and outright hatred spewing from the mouths of many people who are totally against law enforcement agencies utilizing what some are calling military-like equipment—armored vehicles, camouflage and/or night-black uniforms, Kevlar helmets and other protective gear, and automatic weapons. Those are only a few of the despised items, by the way. The list is long.

Police Equipment is Scary!

I recently read an article where the author, a “news” reporter, wrote that police officers absolutely do not need any of the aforementioned gear and equipment, nor should any of it be made available to them. The writer went on to say that officers should return to the days of six-shooters, avoid physical confrontations, and never, ever use deadly force. Instead, the writer suggested that officers should simply talk bad guys into giving up their weapons and ask them to surrender. No surrender? In that case, he stated that officers should be taught to passively disarm and handcuff the naughty folks and cart them off to jail.

Bearcats are nothing more than metal boxes on wheels

Obviously, this person lives on a planet other than earth. And, there’s no doubt the author of that ridiculous piece has never, not once, come face-to-face with the business end of a gun or knife. Well, Mr. Don’t-Know-S**t, I’ve ducked a few rounds in my day. I’ve been cut and stabbed more than once. And I’m only one of thousands of officers who’ve “been there, done that”, and in my day things were nowhere near as bad as they are now.

It’s not a good feeling to think you’re about to die because some two-bit thug would rather shoot you or stab you than be arrested. By the way, a thug is a criminal. The term has nothing to do with race. Skin color makes no difference to me. A thug is a thug is a thug—green, blue, purple, or pink.

Metal boxes on wheels are soooo …. spooky, right? No weapons whatsoever! (Writers’ Police Academy photo)

Okay, where was I? Stabbings, I believe, and I’ll be the first to say that those particular wounds hurt. Knife wounds are extremely painful, actually. I occasionally feel/imagine the pain from my old wounds. It seems very real, at times. And to make stabbings and cuttings even worse, I’m not fond of bleeding so profusely that my hands are slimy and slick to the point where I can’t hold onto my pistol or handcuffs, not to mention struggling to arrest and handcuff the bad guy who’s trying to puncture my liver with his mom’s best carving knife.

Today’s bad guys are armed to the teeth. They train to fight and they practice shooting. They study police officers, trying to find their weaknesses. They develop ways to beat the system. And they kill cops. Let me say that again to be sure you heard me, Mr. Anti-Cop-Writer.

BAD. GUYS. KILL. COPS.

It’s almost like a game, or a badge of honor. Many of these killers are cowards, so they use high-powered rifles to ambush officers from safe distances. Some even ambush cops while they’re enjoying a meal, like the two cop-killers in Las Vegas a while back. Of course, there are the baby and child murderers who go to schools and shoot little kids to death. They, too, have used high-powered rifles. Whatever it takes to kill.

Do you think it’s fun entering a building not knowing what, or who, is waiting on the inside? How about entering a school full of kids and teachers, knowing a killer is there salivating at the idea of killing you. Sounds like a great time, doesn’t it?

Do you, Mr. Article-Writer, truly believe that cops enjoy the fear that causes them to sweat when the temperature outside is below freezing? Is it the perfect day when you tremble and feel your heart pounding against the inside of your chest because deep inside you know you could be shot and killed at any moment?

Save a Cop, Ride a Bearcat

Even more horrifying is knowing that children are being slaughtered while you step across the lifeless bodies of those already dead. Sure, you’re hoping to save those still alive, but will you get to them in time? If only you had some of that protective gear, like the Kevlar helmet that would stop a bullet from ripping through your skull like a hot knife through butter. A real hoot, isn’t it? Yeah, a real knee-slapper. Fun, fun, fun.

The mere sight of the rear compartment of a police Bearcat is terrifying to all who enter. OMG, It’s a freakin’ metal box that stops bullets. That’s it!

Image this, just for a second, Mr. I-Hate-Cops. You’re at work, clacking away at the keys on your laptop, when the guy in the next cubicle stands up and yells, “I hate you!” Then he pulls out a pistol and shoots you and your coworker, Bobby Jenkins. No warning. Just four or five rounds to your head. The same to Mr. Jenkins, the former father of three little girls.

Or, your boss sends you to a client’s house to pick up some paperwork. You knock on the man’s door and the last thing you hear in your short 37 years of life, is a shotgun blast. Just like that, Mr. Do-Not-Know-What-I’m-Talking-About, your wife is left to raise your kids and care for your elderly mother while maggots feed on your flesh and beetles slurp up what’s left of your internal organs.

MRAPs Need Love, Too!

Would you not want all the protection you could possibly have to prevent being killed? Is it really so horrifying to see a cop wearing a pair of camouflage pants and vest, knowing that those simple things would help him make it home safe and sound, where his kids could feel his arms around them one more time?

In 2016, Dallas police were ordered to leave their protective gear behind during a protest. Five officers were killed and nine others wounded – because politicians thought the protective equipment might offend someone.

Are you, Mr. Cold-Hearted-and-Clueless, so offended by a bulletproof steel box on wheels that you don’t value the lives of the men and women inside?

MRAPs save officer lives. They are not TANKS!! No weapons. none!

Those tools—that’s all they are, you know, not some evil contraptions built by a zombie king—keep officers safe. They keep the officers inside safe, and they keep them alive.

I know, you’d rather that police officers run into a hail of automatic gunfire carrying only a whistle and some really stern words. Well, Mr. S**t-For-Brains, I invite you to search for an armed cop killer in a dark warehouse, carrying only your mighty keyboard for protection. And when a robber kicks in your door and grabs your wife or daughter, don’t call 911. Instead, I want you to aim your computer mouse right between the rapist’s eyes and tell him to drop his weapon and leave your home immediately. Better yet, grab a whistle and blow it. I’m sure he’d tuck his tail and flee. Be sure to tell him he’s a naughty boy as he runs away.

Your argument, Mr. Chicken-S**t, about law enforcement wasting your tax money on those “so-called” toys is totally invalid. The equipment you see making its way into police departments is mostly surplus military equipment, and it’s free to law enforcement through various grants. I was in charge of the program at my department, and I made regular trips to a DOD warehouse to pick up various much-needed items.

Sure, I could’ve grabbed a hovercraft or a couple of armored vehicles because they were there for the asking and taking. Otherwise, the stuff just sits and collects dust and rust. Actually, there are acres and acres of unused rusty and dusty military equipment, so why not put it to good use protecting the lives of the men and women who keep even your sorry hind parts safe.

It’s Free and It Saves Lives

So there, I’ve had my say and I probably won’t address this topic again. As for the author of the article I read, well, it was obvious he’d used only the information needed to push his one-sided agenda (and possibly to sell a book or increase ratings). Unfortunately, people will read the piece and form a conclusion based on nothing more than one man’s hatred of something he knows nothing about. Absolutely nothing.

Finally, and this is to Mr. I-Hope-We-Never-Meet, I want you to understand something—many good men and women have died this year in the line of duty. They were out there protecting us.They did not  deserve to die.

Some of those murdered officers were shot to death by ambush or other means. But it doesn’t matter how they were killed. What does matter is that they died while running toward the gunfire, when necessary, not by running away from danger. Had they been inside one of those free armored vehicles at the time, Mr. Article-Writer, well, chances are they’d still be here with us and their families, including small children.

Important facts

German book translator Jeannette Bauroth behind the wheel of a police MRAP – No on-board weapons. None!

– One police officer dies every 58 hours.

– Nearly 60,000 officers are violently assaulted each year.

– There are are occasional stories about “bad cops.” Perhaps two or three in some weeks and none in others. Out of 900,000 police officers in the U.S., those numbers, even though bad, seem a bit smaller when looking at the whole picture. But the public rarely ever sees the big picture.

How many of these lives could have been saved had the officers been issued better protective gear/vehicles? Does the appearance of the equipment really matter more than the lives of good men and women who work long hours for low pay while protecting our families from harm? Wouldn’t you want your husband, wife, brother, sister, daughter, son, father, or mother to have everything possible to help keep them alive? Or, is a personal agenda/opinion more important than the healthy heartbeat of someone’s loved one?

I’ve heard this advice many times, Mr. Is-Probably-Afraid-of-Puppies-and-Rainbows, a real super-duper keyboard warrior, and it’s something you should try at least once … and that’s to write what you know. Hint … this topic wasn’t it.

Now I’m done…

*Please, no debate or arguments about gun control issues, or to bash cops. Take those things to your own sites, if you don’t mind. This stuff wears me out. Oh, no politics, race, or religion. They, too, wear me down.

*Photos of the police vehicles – Writers’ Police Academy. The reporter – typical keyboard warrior. No clue what life is like outside mom’s basement.

When it comes to the convoluted business of writing, a few things immediately come to mind. Such as …

  1. Being a writer is like being a politician. You get to make up @#$! and your fans love it.
  2. Being a writer is like being a plumber. Somewhere around the middle of the job you find yourself elbow deep in @#$!
  3. Writers are like prostitutes. They do it for money but the income arrives in small amounts at random times.
  4. Agents are like pimps without the purple suede leisure suits and feathers in their hats. Oh, wait …
  5. A good book is like a large pot of coffee. It keeps you awake all night.
  6. Sitting at a keyboard while clacking away at random characters is something an illiterate chimp can do. Much of today’s media is proof that chimps are better at it.
  7. Autocolonoscopy  Autocorrect is great, except when it isn’t.
  8. A great book is a like a fine statue. Their creators started with an idea and then carved away everything that didn’t help tell the story.
  9. Writers are like cops. They like coffee and whiskey and telling tall tales … and whiskey. I know, this one was an eye-roller …

10. A bad story is like a snow skier. They’re both start at out on a slow upward climb toward the summit. Then it’s all downhill from there until they reach the end, which is often totally uneventful.Unless it’s not. But you’ll never know what it’s like until you start the climb.

11. The words of a good book remain forever. The words of a politician remain only until the next big donation comes along.

12. Real-life bad guys, to save themselves a lot of grief, should take the time to read a mystery book. By doing so they’d know the good guys always win in the end.

13. Good books are like the bed in a by-the-hour motel. Lots of action between the covers.

14. Great ideas make great books, except when they don’t.

15. Social media can be like a cancer. No punch line. It truly can be like a cancer.

16. The bravest men and women in the world today are currently sitting at home, ranting and raving away on Facebook, telling people just how brave they are. Then they play video games like the popular Conquer the World Using Really Big Fake Guns and Lots of Noise and with People Who Live and Die a Bunch Each time the Game is Played. So march on, brave basement warriors. March on. Oh, the next time you go upstairs … get a job! There’s always greeting customers at Weirdomart, or selling fries at Booger Joe’s Burger Joint. They’re both hiring.

17. Lone literary agents at writers conferences are like the innocent fawns that tiptoe through the forest—they both know an attack could come at any moment. This is why experienced agents travel in packs. A herd of snarky, seasoned literary agents typically fares well. It’s the newbie who chats with anyone at any time who falls prey to the predatory writer(s). This is the agent we’ll not see again until they receive intensive retraining. He or she will need to hone the skills of avoiding writers at all cost. They must polish the combined technique of how to say, “Send me twenty pages of this delightful manuscript,” while simultaneously devising a clever means of destroying the pages before he/she heads back to their hotel room. Then comes the most difficult lesson of all—how to never, not ever, answer an email or phone call from writers. This one is tough, at first, because the natural instinct is to pick up when our phones jingle, and to open emails as they arrive in our inboxes. However, agents have managed to acquire the ability to ignore writers without a speck of remorse for their rudeness. Amazing ability. simply amazing.

18. A firefighter and a police officer enter a bar at a mystery writers conference. They’ll know better next time.

Finally …

19. Two drunks and a writer enter a bar during a writers conference. Three drunks come out.

20. Twenty separate news articles about the same topic are written by twenty different “reporters” at twenty different media agencies. Each of the twenty stories are dramatically different. Neither relay sthe same “facts.” Some offer praise. Some are dark and dreary. Others are light and happy. Some are filled with opinion (hatred or love). None, however, are accurate. The story is all over the place. Unfortunately, this is today’s reporter. Bull … loney.

And I know exactly what he speaks of, and it’s not something you’d want to step in …