Friday, November 5, 2010

Cover art for The Light of Epertase

I am so happy to unveil the cover art for my fantasy novel, "The Light of Epertase," due in August 2011 from Rhemalda publishing. You are looking at the main character named Rasi (pronounced Rahs-eye). As you can tell from the cover, he has had a rough go and his world is about to get rougher. I hope that you give my story a chance on release day next year.

Comment on the pic if you'd like and remember that my wonderful artist, Steve Murphy, is available for hire. He works in many different styles whether you want hand paintings, digital painting like mine, or whatever you need. Shoot me an email or look him up on Facebook. Steve Murphy from Columbus, Ohio.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

J.S. Chancellor

Today is J.S. Chancellor Day on my blog. I am so excited to have an exclusive interview and a review of her book, “Son of Ereubus,” ready as part of her blog tour. Let’s start with the review so you know what we’re talking about.

As a writer I am sometimes overcritical when I’m reading someone else’s work. Even when I’m not trying, I subconsciously pick out things I would do differently or words I would use instead of the ones being used. It’s not that I’m trying to be a jerk or hyper-critical when I do this, but sometimes it just happens.

But then there are the other times—the times when the writing is so spectacular, or the voice is so strong that I find myself inspired, looking deeper within my own writing soul for ways to be better. Once I find a writer that does that to me, I’m hooked for life. Stephen King and Brandon Sanderson come to mind right away. But I have found another author who can sign me up for anything she writes. She is fellow Rhemalda author, JS Chancellor. Her debut novel, Guardians of Legend Book One: Son of Ereubus is a must have for all fantasy fans. While reading Ereubus, I was in awe of every word Ms. Chancellor painted onto the page. OK. So you say to yourself, why should I listen to a Rhemalda author when he promotes another Rhemalda author? Fair enough. Maybe you shouldn’t. If you’re skeptical, I understand and instead of taking my word for it, I offer you this free sample to make up your own mind: . Go ahead… I’ll wait.

Well? Was I lying? I think it’s pretty good stuff.

As for the book, which is why this is a book review and not an author review. S.O.E. is fantasy how fantasy should be done. Explaining the entire plot in this brief review would be foolish of me to even try but I’ll mention what I love most about the story. I love that S.O.E. is character-driven at its best. I love Ariana, while I struggled with whether Garren (the bad-ass dude on the cover) is good, evil, or what. He fools me by showing mercy to some. Or maybe he fools me when others receive his fury (sorry about your luck, Aiden). As with brilliant characters, you don’t entirely know whether you want him to win or lose. You’ll ask yourself, as I did, what is with the pooch, Koen? Or what happened to Ariana’s father so many years before. S.O.E. is a fantasy novel—there is no doubt—but a touch of horror is woven throughout the well-crafted world of Chancellor’s imagination. This story is great for reading on a full-moon night in an old, settling house with shadows from the outside world bouncing beneath the street lights. That is, unless you hate to be creeped out. Fantasy with a touch of horror can be a wonderful thing if done correctly and I am happy to announce Ms. Chancellor’s success at doing so.

My only question to you is—why are you still reading my blog and not placing your order?

Well done, J.S. Chancellor.

So that is my review of S.O.E. But wait, there’s more. Ms. Chancellor was generous enough to take a break from her hectic writing schedule to join me for an interview.

What inspired Son of Ereubus; Book one of The Guardians of Legend trilogy?

At night, when I was younger (and not old enough to roam the house whenever I couldn’t sleep) I’d listen to music on my huge, clunky, portable CD player. In the dark, all these scenes would come and I’d listen to the same song over and over until whatever the scene encompassed had solidified. Then, I’d write it down the next day. Sometimes I would repeat this for several nights in a row. One of those nights found me listening to a certain song (that’s my little secret) and the scene in SOE where Palingaurd is destroyed came to life. There is a section in that song (still my secret), where the music dies and all you hear is voices in harmony—that moment brought Adoria to life for me—it gave me the sense of this, place, where unseen protectors could still provide hope, even in the midst of such despair, for these desperate humans.

Tell me something about Ereubus that you haven’t spoken about publically.

Aside from the song? Haha, well…in all seriousness there are things about SOE and the Guardians trilogy as a whole that are deeply personal for me. It was never intended to be a story read for entertainment purposes only. I mean, I hope it entertains, obviously, but there are some themes and subjects covered that are unapologetically weighty; family, abandonment, slavery, rape, abuse, forgiveness, love, hate…the list goes on and on. While I’ve gratefully never experienced the worst of these things, I’ve studied them. I have a sincere appreciation for the human soul and spirit, and what all they can endure. We really are incredible creatures, with the capacity to extend love far beyond our means.

Are you an outliner, a winger, or a meticulous planner when you write? Or something else?

Maybe a little bit of all of those things. I outline, then I write and toss about half of the outline—that’s the winging it part—in order to reach the areas of the story that have been purposeful, meticulously, thought out in advance. That’s the ‘something else’ part.

What is your typical writing day (or night) like?

Depends on the day honestly. If I don’t have a schedule, I’m screwed. When I write, I write with my noise reduction headphones on, for hours and I don’t emerge till I look and act drunk. Writing hangovers are the worst. I think fantasy authors experience the brunt of this. It’s tough to come back to the real world after existing for hours, days, weeks on end in another universe.

What is your favorite music band?

That’s another tough one because my music tastes are really broad. But, you did say band, so let’s go with Within Temptation.

TV series?

Right now, Criminal Minds. But, I love Law and Order.


The Burbs, with Tom Hanks. I could watch it all day, every day. Literally.

Author? (please say me, please say me, I say as I rock back and forth nervously.)

Douglas Brown, of course ;)

What has been the hardest thing for you to learn as a writer?

There isn’t enough room in cyberspace for my real answer. I’ll say this: They tell you everything will change once you’re published—be it by a large house or small. They aren’t kidding.

Tell me about what you have planned with Rhemalda after Ereubus.

Obsidian, which will come out Spring of 2012 (after book two of Guardians).

Speaking of Obsidian, tell your fans a little about it.

Obsidian is a cyberpunk retelling of Beauty and the Beast…and so far it’s been a blast to write. I’m having a lot of fun with it. It isn’t finished yet, so I’m still in the early stages, but it’s coming together beautifully.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my blog followers?

I love readers! LOVE readers, love to hear from them, what their thoughts are on the series, what their questions are, etc. I can be reached via email, I’m doing pretty good about answering all emails right now—I can’t promise that’ll always be the case, but for now it is. So, don’t hesitate to contact me!

What will you be doing special to celebrate launch day?

We’re going camping the second weekend in November and that’s sort of a gift to myself. I’m giving myself time after that, a whole month, to work on a novel that I have no intention on publishing. That likely sounds counter-productive, but it’s something I want and need. A reward for working on stuff that will see public scrutiny. I have a feeling that this will become a tradition of mine.

We are having a launch party here in Columbus, Ga. Though, the details on that are a little hazy at the moment. It will be towards the end of November so we can hit more of the Christmas shoppers.

A big thank you goes out to Ms. Chancellor and all of the luck in the world on her November 1st book release. Order it here: or go to Amazon among other places. You won’t be disappointed.

BTW, Sorry that you have to cut-and-paste but I can't get the links to work for some reason.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bone Sword Review

I was fortunate to receive a copy of Walter Rhein’s fantasy novel, “The Bone Sword,” before its release so I could give a review. Well, here’s my review.

The Bone Sword if a fun, action-packed adventure that follows a tough-as-nails warrior named Malik and a brother and sister team who are on the run from the evil Father Ivory. When I say evil, I mean torturing and lopping off hands and heads evil. A word of caution, this isn’t a story for the squeamish. The sister, Jasmine, has the ability to heal people which, as you can imagine, is blasphemy to self-proclaimed religious types such as Father Ivory.

If, when reading a book, the number one goal is to be entertained, then Walter has succeeded. You often hear people say that they couldn’t put a book down but that doesn’t make it any less true. I enjoyed the characters and the action and the pacing to a point I found myself constantly saying one more chapter before I went off to bed. As such, I would be happy to recommend Walter’s book to anyone looking for a fast-paced fantasy novel.

If what I’ve heard about a sequel is true, we can expect more from Walter’s fantasy mind which will have me first in the figurative line to preorder. Good work, Walter and good luck with the release.

So what are you waiting for. Copy and paste this link and get ordering.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Interview with author, Walter Rhein

I am very excited to have Rhemalda author, Walter Rhein, for an interview. Walter’s fantasy novel, “The Bone Sword,” will be released on November 1st of this year. You can preorder it now at If you order it before its release, Rhemalda will send you a ceramic tile with the book’s cover and a print of his autograph on the front. I’ve ordered mine. So without further adieu (I’ve always wanted to say that) help me welcome Walter Rhein.

1.) First and most important, how is Princess Sofia and how is being a new dad?

Thanks for asking! She's doing excellent. She's a world champion eater and she's gaining a lot of weight. When she was first born, I was really nervous handling her even though she was a healthy 7 lbs 10 oz. Now, however, she's a lot bigger and stronger. She's lifting her head up really well (6 weeks old now).

For all of you out there thinking of becoming parents, I just have to tell you to do it! Everything everybody tells you about the experience is wrong. Sure you lose sleep, sure it gives you a different perspective on life, but the most important thing is just having your little baby in the house. There's really no point in describing the sensation because you can't. All I can say is that it's magnificent!

2.) Tell me about “The Bone Sword.”

“The Bone Sword” is a fantasy adventure story that I wrote with the intention of simply producing something fast paced and entertaining. The story centers on a young woman who has manifested the power to heal with a touch. But instead of regarding this power as a miracle, the local authorities label her as a witch. She's about to be burned at the stake when a rogue mercenary steps in to designate himself as her protector.

Being sort of an iconoclast, I've always liked stories about the “fringe” people who were fighting against a flawed society. I think it's a relatively new thing to bring that sort of conflict to a fantasy novel. Most of the time, good and bad are pretty clearly designated in fantasy (you've got the guys in white hats and the guys in black hats). However, I prefer a bit more ambiguity, after all, good people do bad things all the time, and then they spend the rest of their lives tormented by guilt and trying to make up for it.

I think “The Bone Sword” will be a fun and entertaining read for anyone who picks it up!

3.)How long does it take you to write a manuscript from beginning to when you are ready to submit the work to publishers?

Bits and pieces of “The Bone Sword” have been floating around on my hard drive for about a decade. Sometimes you have good ideas for a scene or a particular conflict, but the trick comes in how to fit that scene into the wider perspective of an entire novel. As a writer, I think you spend about half of your time writing and half of your time solving problems. Sometimes you have to shave off segments of a passage so that it fits into your book. But you have to be careful because if you shave off too much, the passage then becomes meaningless.

I suppose the majority of writing “The Bone Sword” came in about two four month periods that were themselves separated by a couple years. But even after you write a book and submit it to a publisher, you can guarantee another three or four months of rewrites.

4.) What have you had previously published and what is your background in writing?

I have another fantasy novel with epress-online titled “Dominvs” that you can pick up here:

“Dominvs” is a bit more of the traditional, large scope fantasy adventure. I enjoyed working with epress-online, but they're a little bit slow. That novel was accepted for publication in 2007, and there still isn't a print version available. Still, I'm very grateful to the work the editors did on “Dominvs,” it was a very extensive process and I learned a lot.

Besides that, I've got a degree in English literature and I've been working as a freelance writer for more than ten years. I've edited all manner of print and electronic magazines. Word to the wise, it's a lot easier to get your writing placed when you're the editor!

5.) Tell me what you feel is the most frustrating aspect of being an author.

There's one particular episode that I instantly thought of that really frustrated me. I'd sent a travel manuscript about my time in Peru off to a publisher. Now, I've been peddling this manuscript for quite a while now and I know it's pretty good. There have been two occasions where publishers have talked and talked and talked with me about taking it, only to conclude at the very end that the book just wasn't quite right for their catalog. As a writer you get used to rejection slips, but when publishers are engaged in a dialogue with you...even to the point where they call you on the phone...and then they eventually reject your manuscript, that hurts.

So I sent this manuscript off to a publisher and they sent it back saying that 3 of their 4 reviewers wanted to publish it, but the last one had some objections and they weren't able to take it without a unanimous decision. Well, that would have been fine in itself, but then they sent me the objections of the 4th reviewer, and that's where I got angry.

The book starts out on a beach in Seattle, and the reviewer wrote, “there are no beaches in Seattle, obviously this writer hasn't done his research!” But the thing is, the book is a true story! I can take you to Seattle and show you the beach that I was on!

Talk about annoying. It was bad enough to get rejected, but then throw on top of that the fact that the person was snitty about something in my manuscript that was 100% accurate...and it...well, let's just say it was extremely frustrating.

6.) What are you working on right now? Will there be a sequel to The Bone Sword?

I've just finished up a sort of travel memoir about Cross-country skiing that I think people will find interesting. It's part memoir, part travel writing, part comedy with a little sprinkling of nostalgia thrown in. Cross-country skiing is such a niche sport that it might be tough to place this book simply because there aren't that many people who cross-country ski. Then again, skiing is kind of a unique and elegant sport, so that might garner some curiosity. I'm really proud of this manuscript, I think people are really going to enjoy it.

And yes, there is a sequel to “The Bone Sword” in the works. I'm thinking I'm going to have a couple of my characters have to compete in some gladiatorial matches, but I'm not quite sure how they're going to end up there yet. I guess I'll find out as I'm writing!

7.) Tell me one interesting little nugget about The Bone Sword that you haven’t spoken publicly about yet.

Oddly, I guess I haven't told people why it's called “The Bone Sword” yet. You might get the impression that the whole sword is made of bone, but that's not the case. The blade is steel, but the name comes from the handle which can clearly be identified as bone even from a distance. There is more than one bone sword as well since they're the designated weapon of an elite fighting force called the Camden guard.

Armed with this information, the next question people are prone to wonder is what kind of animal the bone of the sword's handle comes from? The conclusion that most eventually reach is that it's not made from an animal but is, instead, a human femur bone.

8.) How has your experience with Rhemalda been throughout this process?

Excellent! Rhemalda keeps open multiple lines of communication and guides you through everything step by step with a keen desire for your input. As a writer, you're looking for a publisher that spends a lot of time on the cover, editing, and doing the necessary promotion. Rhemalda has been great with all three. I've also been impressed with how quickly and efficiently the process flows along with Rhemalda from the moment they accept your work to the moment it becomes commercially available. They're a great new publisher and I see nothing but a positive future for them!

9.) Tell us where we can read more of your writing. (Blogs, websites, ect.)

My most popular blog is called “Streets of Lima.” It's an ongoing chronicle about Peru and the adventures I've had there in the past as well as how living in Peru changed my perspective on life. You can get to “Streets of Lima” by clicking here ( That blog is a page rank 4, so it's actually popular enough to get me some advertising dollars.

I also write about science fiction and fantasy on “Swordreaver” ( I haven't spent the necessary time promoting “Swordreaver” to generate as much traffic as I would like, but bit by bit it's growing. With “Swordreaver” I do a lot of interviews, and I've also been recruiting other writers to contribute to the page and use it as a showcase for their work.

“Swordreaver” is also affiliated with my Facebook group “Heroic Fantasy” which currently has over 2000 members. “Heroic Fantasy” is another great way to promote your work to an ever growing audience. You can join by clicking here (!

10.) Besides buying your book (mine is on order), what else would you like to say to my blog followers?

First I'd just like to thank everyone for taking the time to read this interview! For those of you who are writers, don't hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or story submissions. My email is, and believe me I know that above all, writers need to stick together and help each other out! Thanks for helping me out Douglas!

Thanks for the great interview, Walter. I look forward to reading “The Bone Sword.”

*On a side note, please join me on October 20th as I will have an exclusive interview with author J.S. Chancellor.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Ink is Dry

My little world of Epertase has found a home.

For those of you who don’t know, my fantasy novel, The Light of Epertase, is on its way to becoming a published book. I thought I would take some time here to talk briefly about the process of getting a publishing deal in hopes of helping those of you who seek to be published keep your heads up.

I began the querying process in September of last year (or as I like to call it, passing a nine month kidney stone). I mean, my manuscript was the greatest thing I could ever write so it was only a matter of time before I was beating agents off with a stick, right?

Well, not quite.

Each form rejection letter caused me to rethink everything from my query letter to my story itself, much like everyone who tries this authoring thing, I suspect.
So why did I keep trying? Everyone has their own reasons and motivations but mine came down to one simple fact—not one rejection came from the reading of my actual story. That’s right; I was rejected on my query letter alone many times. No partial requests, full requests, nothing. So I continued to rework my letter over and over all the while knowing that it may just as easily be my credentials (or lack thereof) as it was in my story as a whole.

What’s that?

How dare you suggest that my query letter may have simply sucked?

OK, maybe it did, who knows?

And then, because of a good friend, Rhemalda Publishing came into the picture. They read my story. The key part of that sentence is “they read my story.” I’m not sure but I’m assuming they liked it since they offered me a contract. I counter-offered, letting them know how important of a person I was and… Are you kidding me? I signed and was elated to do so. Sure, I did the due diligence first; you know, have important people look over the contract (by important people I mean my wife), research the company, and all of those things that important people tell you to do. Note: That is a joke. Signing a contract is a serious thing and you should have someone who knows more about contracts than my wife go over it (sorry, honey).

Now, I couldn’t be happier...

Well, maybe if everyone goes out and buys my book I would be happier.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Repost- When a name isn't really a word

I felt it pertinent to re-post this blog in light of the pending sale of my fantasy novel, THE LIGHT OF EPERTASE, to Rhemalda publishing as it discusses my choice of the word Epertase.

How did I come up with Epertase you might ask? That's pretty easy. While those who know me, will recognize Epertase as the name of the fantasy novel that is due out in the spring of 2011. Actually, it is THE LIGHT OF EPERTASE, but that's not really important right now. The real credit for Epertase goes to my then-four-year-old son, Aiden. When he was in the early stages of being able to talk... and talk... and talk, he used to enjoy building towers with his building blocks or whatever he could find to stack on top of each other. For some unknown reason, when we asked him what he was building, he would always say his Epertase.

At that time, I had just began my epic fantasy novel and even with all of my creative juices flowing, could not come up with a name for the world I was creating. Meanwhile, Aiden was running around screaming "Epertase" all day and, somehow, I was still stuck. This is the part where I would like to tell you about my genius epiphany, you know, the one where I came up with this wonderful name for my fantasy kingdom, even if it would have been a lift from my son's new-found vocabulary, but that wasn't so. No, instead it took my beautiful wife to explain to me the awesomeness (not sure she used that exact phrase) of Aiden's word.

Then it clicked. I ran to my computer and logged onto the google website where I typed in "Epertase." That's right, I googled. You know what? Not a single entry for "Epertase." Google thought that I wanted to see a definition for expertise. That's as close as they could get to my kid's brilliant word. Pertuse—which means Punched; pierced with, or having, holes. Actually, that's a pretty cool word too.

So there you have it. My son named my book, my kingdom, and now my blog. But if anyone asks, I'm telling them it was all my idea. Heck, he was only two.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Man, I'm tired Part 3

Please see parts 1 and 2 below if you haven’t read them yet.

I was pretty excited to have delivered a baby but I think I was just as excited to get some sleep. It had been a long day and even sleeping from 2:00 until 7:00 would seem like a dream come true. I laid my head on my pillow, already dreaming of the next hopefully couple hours of sleep. I no sooner closed my eyes when the medic tones blared again. I lay motionless on my back, listening to the entire dispatch message while hoping that by some miracle, it wasn’t for Medic 24.

Please be the engine. Please be the engine.

No luck. I sat up, slipped my boots over my feet, my sweatshirt over my head, and stumbled wearily to the truck. The call was for a cardiac arrest which meant sleep was at least another hour away. While walking to the truck, I prayed that word of another medic crew taking the call for us would come over the radio.

The closer we came to the scene, the more I realized that those prayers were not going to be answered. I concentrated more on trying to keep my eyes closed until the last second than I did wondering what we were about to get into. As we pulled into the apartment complex, I stretched a pair of our bright blue gloves over my hands. I figured now was the time to start getting my mind right.

A 20-something-year-old shirtless man stood in his doorway, frantically waving us into his apartment. I grabbed one of our 30-pound emergency kits while the guys from the engine grabbed the other kit and the cardiac monitor. We made our way into the apartment. The young girl on the floor was about the same age as the man at the door. She was dolled up with makeup, nice clothes, and heels evidence that she was just getting home from a night on the town. She was unconscious. Her lips were blue. She wasn’t breathing. I reached for her carotid artery along the side of her neck—she was pulseless.

One of the guys began chest compressions. I’ve done and seen CPR more times than I can remember but the first couple of compressions still make me a little queasy. When the cartilage between someone’s ribs loudly crack, I have an irrational fear that my hands, or the hands of whoever is doing the compressions, are about to plunge through the victims chest.

“Does she use drugs,” I yelled at the man from the front door.

“I d-d-don’t know. I don’t think so.”

“Come on, man. Tell us what she took,” I insisted.

“I don’t know. I was in bed when I heard her come home. I came out and found her like this.”

Warren dug through the airway kit until he retrieved a bag-valve-mask and began breathing for her. One of the engine guys removed patches from the pouches along the side of the cardiac monitor. We cut her shirt away and stuck the patches to her chest, ready to shock her heart back to life.

I looked to the nervous young man again. “We’re not the police. You need to tell us what she took.”

“I don’t know.”

Bullshit! “Who is she? Is she your girlfriend?”

He shook his head that she was.

“Then you know if she does drugs. What’s she take? We can’t help her if you don’t tell us.”

Deep down I think I knew what his answer was going to be but there is some sick satisfaction in making him tell us. We’re working and sweating to save her from herself, we sure as hell weren’t going to play around with a bunch of secrets.

“Heroin,” he whispered.

“Alright. Now we can help her.”

While having our exchange, I tied a tourniquet around her arm. One of the EMTs from the engine prepared an IV bag and passed me the IV supplies. I rubbed my finger over the soft part of the inside bend of her elbow until I felt the slight bump of an unseen vein. I swiped it with an alcohol prep before jamming a needle into her arm.

She didn’t flinch.

I’m so tired. Why couldn’t she have done this shit at 10:00?

Blood flashed into the hollow window of our IV needle telling me that I’ve struck paydirt. I advanced the catheter into her vein and attached the IV line. After taping it down, we were ready to deliver our anti-narcotic medication called Narcan. I ran through the Narcan dosages in my mind just to make sure I gave the right amount.

The girl’s boyfriend built up the courage to ask, “Is she going to be alright?”

I heard our Lieutenant answer him rather harshly. “Right now she’s not breathing and she may die.”

Her boyfriend didn’t seem as upset as one might expect which, combined with her late night out on the town without him told me that this love affair was closer to the end in more ways than one. “I’ll come to the hospital in a little bit,” he callously said.

I pushed the Narcan into her vein and we lifted her onto our cot. We loaded her into the back of the medic. I asked the lieutenant to give us a driver and we would be on our way. I thought about the incredibleness of back-to-back runs in which we brought a person into this world and were about to watch someone leave it. But since it was heroin that tried to kill our patient, we had a shot.

She took a breath on her own. Then she opened her eyes, disoriented. Her lips pinkened up. She looked around and I felt bad that her first sight was my ugly mug. That was a joke—really I didn’t feel bad at all.

She asked what happened. I told her she had just died and that we had brought her back to life. Dramatic, huh? I don’t usually pull many punches with ODs. I believe addicts need to know what they’ve done to themselves without sugar coating. I asked her what she had taken.

She said, “Nothing.”

I said, “We gave you medicine that only helps if you’ve taken narcotics so don’t give me your bullshit lies.”

She ignored me.

I said, “If your boyfriend hadn’t found you when he did, you’d be dead right now.”

She kept quiet for the rest of the ride to the ER. She was obviously done with me, or maybe just pissed that we killed her wonderful high which is a common reaction in just such situations. I didn’t care either way. I was tired, grumpy, and felt like I had just cleaned up another person’s mess… Again.

I couldn’t wait to be back in bed.

A twenty-something-year-old kid quickly saw to it that I wouldn’t be going to bed anytime soon. He had been smoking weed and cigarettes all night when his chest began to hurt. He was afraid that he was having a heart attack. We checked his vital signs, put him on a heart monitor, and determined his pain was clearly not cardiac related. We told him such. But he didn’t believe us, instead insisting that we take him to the ER just in case.


By 4AM I was ready to crawl into a hospital bed beside him. I gave the nurse a half-assed report so we could rush back to station for the precious 3 hours of sleep that awaited me.


As we backed into quarters the medic tones, those damn medic tones, taunted me again. This next guy needed a ride to the ER for god only knows why. He said his tooth hurt but he didn’t seem to be in much pain. I told him that the ER would only refer him to a dentist but he didn’t much care.

Since his home address turned out to be near his hospital of choice, we later concluded why he likely called. He probably left as soon as we got him to the ER. And with no insurance, he had managed to swindle a free taxi ride home. We felt like we’d been suckered.

But it wasn’t over yet.

Another call for chest pains.

I give up, game over, somebody shoot me.

By the time we returned from the chest pains call (a lady with said chest pains for the past three days) it was 7:00 in the morning. Our dispatcher announced to the stations that it was time to get up as if mocking me. And to top off our night from hell, we had an hour before I could drive my tired ass home. Plenty of time for another dire emergency.

The report of an auto accident at 20 minutes ‘til eight assured that my shift had gotten longer by at least a half hour.

The day that never ends.

I don’t know if Warren was as tired as I was but I imagine he had to be. I was finally able to get the hell out of there and head home to my four-year-old ball of energy. In my twenties, I dreamed of nights like those. But now that I’m nearing forty, let me tell you—man was I tired.