Monday, June 13, 2011

A Fun Firehouse Good-bye

Since I was promoted, I have been spending quite a few shifts at station 15 on the near east side of Columbus. If you have read my past blogs then you might recognize 15's as the station where I spent my first day as a promoted lieutenant. (See blogs here: AND part 2 here: As you can see from that blog, the guys and gals can be pretty rough.

Anyway, one of the long-time station 15 firefighters (we call him Pup) has recently decided to transfer to another station. This is relatively common on Columbus Fire as firefighters decide to try new stations for one reason or another.

So, I was at 15's on the day that the newest transfer list, which revealed Pup's departure, was released. Let me say up front that everyone at 15's is going to miss Pup and no one wanted to see him go, but those aren't the feelings that firefighters express in most cases. Here is how they did express themselves.

The first thing I noticed was when I went to fill out some paperwork on totally unrelated matter. I scanned the roster to get Pup's ID number and saw that his name had been blacked out completely. The news of his leaving was less than an hour old and someone had already removed his name from the station roster. I thought it was harsh (and funny) but that was only the beginning. You see, Pup still had to work three more weeks at 15's before he started his new assignment at station 8.

A little later in the day I asked one of the guys what he thought of Pup leaving and he answered, and I quote, "Who?"

I said, "Pup."

He said, "I don't know this 'Pup' whom you are speaking of."

Meanwhile, Pup laughed along with the jokes as the crew jabbed him all day. He was called a quitter for "abandoning" the station, an idiot, and many other names that I won't put into print as to not offend anyone. But he knew it was all in fun. Firefighters are rough, I'm tellin' ya..

He didn't get much of a break from his future crew over at 8's either. A few days later, the crew at 8's sent station 15 a painted wheel chock (see pic) and was told it was part of the trade.

According to them, fifteens got a wheel chock and 8's got a Pup, hinting that all Pup was good for was being shoved under a truck tire so the truck doesn't roll backward.

But all of that was in fun. As I write this blog, we are at Pup's last day at 15's. You'd think his friends would buy him a farewell cake and a card or something, but if that is what you think, you haven't been paying attention. You see, a cake was purchased, only it was purchased by Pup for the rest of us. That's right. Pup's farewell cake was his responsibility and we ate every bite. Then we proceeded to tell him how terrible his cake tasted.

On a serious note. I won't see Pup as much anymore because he will be in a different area than I usually work. And do you know what? I'll miss him. (Even if he is a quitter and can't handle the pace here in Battalion four ;) So, I'll see you around... uh... um...

Who are we talking about again?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fear and Relief

As I hold my first actual copy of my debut novel, "The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn," I am struck by a couple of feelings at once. First, I have enormous relief. Relief in that the culmination of several years of hard work now rests in my hands. Relief in knowing that I have done everything I could in order to present my story in the absolute best way possible.
Now, with the actual book in my hands, I couldn't be happier with how it has turned out. Several years ago when I started imagining Epertase as a published novel, and not just something I worked on whenever I had spare time, I had but one wish. That wish had nothing to do with making money, or having people know my name, or anything like that. No, my wish was to be able to one day present my story to the world in the best way possible. I believe, with the tireless work of many people, that goal has been accomplished.

But, having said all of that, I have a new fear as well. Not really a new fear as much as a lingering fear that has suddenly rose to the forefront of my mind. Rhemalda and I have created something I am infinitely proud to have done. Whether we have, in fact, succeeded in our goal is now up to you, the reader. There comes a time in an artist's life when they must put their hard work into the public eye to be scrutinized. That time is nearing for me.

And that is what scares me. There is no way I can know how my work will be perceived until it is "out there."

Am I a good writer? Hmm. Well, for today I have to trust that I am. But come August 1st, it will be your turn to be the judge. My story will be out of our hands and at your mercy.
Rhemalda and I have done our best.

I hope you like what we have created.

I hope you will be entertained.

And I hope you decide to join us for the rest of my Epertasian journey.