Journal of a Pandemic Year: Part Eighteen

Dear Readers,

It’s been another week of wasting away again in Coronavirusville. I’ve had a few health issues pop up lately that aren’t the virus, including a cancer scare. It’s a long story and not one that I really want to tell, but let’s just say that the original fear turned out to be unfounded after more tests and consultations. Given my occupational history as a firefighter, and the fact that I smoked like there was no tomorrow for twenty years, it’s really just a matter of time, and so had it turned out to be the big C, I wouldn’t have been all that surprised. The second issue landed me in the Emergency Room last week, which is NOT the place you want to be during the Rona! For those of you who have followed the blog for a long time, you’ll remember that between Nov. of 2017 and May of 2018, I spent a total of six weeks in the hospital, including a three week stay and two major operations. When I got out of the hospital that May, I weighed 130 pounds (remember, I’m 6’4!) and it has taken me two and a half years to finally hit 180 again which is what I weighed before that nightmare started. Truthfully, since the second surgery, I haven’t thought or much worried about a recurrence of the problem. At least not until last week. It wasn’t a full recurrence, but it was enough of one to cause severe pain and send me to the ER. By the time I got there, it was starting to resolve on its own, so they let me go home eventually, but now I am left to feeling like I am playing Russian Roulette with it. The issue (chronic small bowel obstruction) is not only horrifically painful, but also potentially fatal as it can cause serious complications. That’s not something I ever wanted to have to worry about again, yet here we are. 2020 has been a shit year for my wife and I, even if you take the Rona out of it. Still, we keep pushing ahead.

If you recall, late in the spring, we had to have a massive amount of home repairs. As part of that, we did a bit of redecorating/rearranging of the house. My bedroom is also my “office,” as our house is only 900 sq. feet. We moved all of the big bookcases into the living room, which opened up the whole wall near by my writing space. I write standing up because of my spine injury, but I wanted to decorate it nonetheless. I selected two regimental flags (the Royal Irish and the 79th [Cameron Highlanders] Regiments of Foot as I have familial ties to both. My other regimental flag, the Connaught Rangers, is in my office on campus. Then, I selected two 19th Century military prints; one of the Connaught Rangers storming the walls of Badajoz during the Peninsular Wars, and the second of the last stand of the 44th Regiment of Foot at Gandamak during the Anglo-Afghan War. And, of course, I also added some framed photos of my Mashka. Last but not least, I have printed out four of the photos of the unnamed prostitute who inspired Molly’s Song. It’s only right to include her! Plus, there’s more of her story to tell. Remember, that’ll be a three book series. Now, it looks like the proper place for a writer/historian to work, but I’m not a historian, I just pretend to be one in bars.

I’ll get Molly’s Song back from my editor at the end of this week, and then the book will go out on submission. Wondering what that means? It means rejection. A lot of rejection. The best advice I could ever give to aspiring novelists is to develop a thick skin and learn to live with rejection (and self doubt). Even the best books get rejected a few times. Unfortunately, I cannot give you an firm estimate on when the book will be released…it might be a while yet. Rest assured, Dear Readers, that it will happen as soon as possible. The best way to stay up on all the current book news is to subscribe to the blog by email or to follow me on The Twitter. My handle is author_hutch . You’ve been with me for this whole journey, and I’d hate for you to miss out on any happy news relating to the book.

Don’t laugh at me, but I’ve discovered the TV series Glee which ended several years back. It’s a teen comedy/drama about a high school Glee club. I love music, as I think most of you know. 2/3rds of the space on my phone is taken up with music divided into various playlists, including the one for Mashka which I’ve written about here. And you can see the full playlist I listened to while writing Molly’s Song here! Anyway, the music in the series is really good. This might actually be a better series than Dawson’s Creek…but I’ll reserve that judgement until I have finished binge watching it. Once upon a time, I could sing, but I shredded my vocal chords with years of yelling over the sound of sirens, yelling to be heard through an SCBA mask, breathing in God knows what while investigating fire scenes, and twenty years of smoking. However, since I have given up the cigarettes, my voice is starting to come back a little bit. I’m planning a nice surprise for my wife, but you’ll have to wait until the next installment to find out what that was.

Until next time, Dear Readers, take care of yourselves, and each other.


2 thoughts on “Journal of a Pandemic Year: Part Eighteen

  1. It is always so good to hear from you! So glad your health scare abated. I swear…it seems like everyone I know (well, I am 66, as you know, after all…) has or has had spinal, cancer, emotional, arthritis, and intestinal issues…and others or more. I have IBS and am no stranger to blockages, but I am so careful now, so it has been awhile. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. One of them took me to the floor and the ER. So, I will pray for you to not have another episode!💕🙏 On to Molly: I know it must be nerve wracking to wait, but it also seems so exciting to know that she is on her way!! Praying the best!😊💕🙏. Your wife is so blessed to have you planning a surprise for her! We look forward to hearing what it is.🌺. I think we live vicariously a lot now as retirees and in quarantine!😳😉. Some teachers have full classes at school now, buy my teacher friend says it will be stage five before volunteers return, and we just started stage three. I could sub, but being 66 and Bobby 73, we are going to hold out a few more weeks if we can. Sure hope round two stimulus check comes. The first one is still helping us make it without working so far with my small pension and our small Soc Sec payments. On check, though, we aren’t holding our breath. I keep thinking about the folks in Louisiana, the west coast, and all of the animals.😢. My small donation and many prayers just seem like nothing, but my faith tells me it helps. By the way, I still listen to some of your podcasts and fire fighter chronicles, etc. sites. My education continues with laughs along the way as well! Thanks for your hard work and time sharing. God bless you and yours! Loved photo of your visiting kitty sunning in your truck. She’s a cutie. You have great puddy cats and animals all the way around! My best to your wife also. Thanks to both of you for your work as teachers as well. You are frontline workers, and so appreciated! Best regards, Mrs. K😊💕🙏🎃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. P.S. Your decorating looks nice and I saw some of GLEE and it was fun. Perhaps I should check it out again. Here’s to having fiber🍏, water, good diet, etc. as our friends. 😌😉 It is so much harder for you due to your back prohibiting quality movement. 😳😬😖😕😢. Prayers for you every day in every way! 😊💕🙏 Mrs. K


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