Writing in the Mountains
A few years ago, my wife and I permanently relocated from the big city to our vacation home in the Colorado Rockies with our Golden Retriever, Shelby. We’re in the middle of nowhere on the top of a mountain and completely off-the-grid, so life has been quite interesting to say the least. You would think it’s a cakewalk to sit here and write books – no hustle and bustle, no distractions, beautiful scenery, fresh air, delightful creatures romping about for the sole purpose of providing us with endless entertainment, etc.
Well...yes and no.
Admittedly, it's gorgeous up here, and mountains in general are mysteriously inspirational, just like the ocean. All I have to do is walk out to the patio from my study, look at the panoramic view of the Sangre de Cristos, and I'm ready to start making things up. Add a glass of Scotch to that scenario, and we're really talking. Some of my best (and worst) work is done AFTER cocktail hour!
But the environment inside our house is no different than a home in the big city. And because of my obsession with technology, it's probably worse than most. For starters, my computer workstation has four screens (not counting the TV), thereby allowing me to have my manuscript, outline, stock-trading software, email, Internet and social media conveniently segregated on my desktop.
Wait a minute. If you did the math, you just figured out that I'm two screens short. Well, I'm afraid it's going to stay that way because I told my wife I was tossing around the idea of wiring up a couple more, and her response was not exactly enthusiastic. Apparently, she's already worried I'll go blind from the massive barrage of synthetic light in my face all day, so adding to that problem is not her idea of a rational decision. Okay, maybe she's right.
I treat my writing like a business, which includes a regimented 45-hour base work week, Monday through Friday, with extra hours and/or weekends added as needed - just like a regular job. So, as you might imagine, most of my work time is full of distractions like the stock market, emails, tweets, Facebook posts, phone calls and texts.
Then you have to add the time-consuming aspects of maintaining one’s existence on a remote mountaintop. Thank God for satellite Internet and DIRECTV with NFL Sunday Ticket!
For example, our mailbox is twenty minutes away on the county road. Running to the store takes an hour. Retrieving packages from UPS and FedEx when there’s snow on the ground can be a fiasco. And when one of the many systems around here that duplicate city services goes down, who knows how long it will take yours truly to fix it, especially considering it's anywhere from one to five hours just to run out and get the parts I need.
Take water, for example. The last time it went out, the problem was reported by my wife without her saying a word. She just showed up at my study with her hands on her hips and white facial wash dripping from her chin. Like a crack detective, I promptly deduced what was wrong.
I swear, this actually happened a couple of weeks ago, and I had no choice but to drop everything and get on the job.
Seriously, when you live way up here, you can't exactly get a tradesman to pop over to the house for a quick repair, so I've had to learn how to do pretty much everything myself. I just draw the line at servicing the septic tank.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I just can't help but dispel any illusions people might have about life in the wilderness.
That being said, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
The Jack Lazar Series has it all from mystery and suspense to action, humor and romance
Jack heads to Egypt to investigate a crash-landed World War II fighter plane that was recently discovered in the middle of the Sahara. But something remarkable was left onboard, and people will stop at nothing to possess it.
An Egyptian Girl with Blue Eyes? Just Stunning.
But Jack soon finds himself in the middle of a hornet's nest as he becomes enthralled with Dalia, an exquisite woman of Egyptian and English descent whose father is the Egyptian Head Consul to the UK, not to mention a formidable ex-agent with the Mukhabarat. The man's skills and weapons come in handy as he and Jack join forces to battle a faction that has plans to kill millions of innocent people and subject the world to their twisted ideologies.
A Race Against Time
The trail leads to Northern Europe as all hell breaks loose. And before long, it's up to Jack and Jack alone to cheat death as he struggles to save Dalia, her father, and scores of unsuspecting people from the plot of a deranged madman.
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Genre – Action, Mystery, Suspense
Rating – R
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