A new book is on the way

I’ve mentioned in the past that after my heart attack in November last year, the medication I was prescribed (in addition to my existing prescriptions) has had a nasty impact on my ability to write fiction.  That part of my brain doesn’t seem nearly as creative as before.  I don’t seem to be able to consistently produce work that’s up to the standards I set for myself.  I can do it sometimes, but not always, and not on demand.  That’s very frustrating.  I’ve been assured that it’s a temporary effect of the drug combination, and that when I come off the new medication in the fourth quarter of this year, things will get back to normal.  I certainly hope so!

However, my non-fiction writing abilities don’t seem to have been affected.  I’ve been able to blog, including in-depth articles, just as before.  That being the case, I’ve picked up a project I mentioned last year.  I’ve experienced more than most people in preparing for and responding to emergency situations, both in the Third World and here in the USA.  I’ve been a sector officer in a major city’s civil defense organization;  been involved with humanitarian aid and relief projects in much of sub-Saharan Africa;  experienced more than one war zone, both in uniform and as a civilian;  helped to respond to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and a couple of others since then;  and written extensively about emergency preparations, including here on this blog.

I’m in the process of turning all that experience into a book.  It’s not going to be a typical SHTF type of approach.  I’m aiming it at “normal” people like you and I, not those who are fanatical about a survivalist lifestyle and focus on that to such an extent that it’s a major priority for them.  Instead, I want to illustrate how emergencies can arise in the course of everyday living, from routine events to unforeseen circumstances, and show how to prepare for them to the extent practically possible.  Most of us simply can’t afford to devote thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of our time to that sort of thing.  Nevertheless, there are basic concepts to consider, basic needs to be met, and a balanced, feasible approach we can adopt to cope with such issues when they arise.  That’s what I’d like to cover.

I’ll also include a number of stories – perhaps interspersed between chapters – of actual emergency situations I’ve encountered, or people I’ve met and how they responded to such crises.  In that way, I hope to illustrate the realities of such events, and illustrate lessons in how to cope.  Some will be tragic, some humorous, but I hope all will be informative.

I’ve already started work on the book.  I’ll put up a snippet or two in due course, to whet your appetite for it.  Since I’ve already covered much of the subject in one or other form, a lot of the work will be to examine, expand and update articles I’ve already written, which makes it simpler for me.  Other parts will be fresh, all-new material.

Now, of course, I have to think of a suitable title.

  • “Emergencies I have known”?
  • “Prepping – don’t do that!”?
  • “Doofuses and Disasters”?

Heh . . .



  1. What to do when you find out that "This Time is NOT different!"

    As I was reading about your reduced creativity, I was thinking "funny, he seems to blog fine"… so it was to good to read you think so, too.

    Getting your experiences into a book would be great.

    Free advice – use prior blog posts whenever you feel like it!
    (Advice worth at least twice the price)

    Do writing / brainstorming and get ideas out and words in paragraphs that say something. Old blogposts can be copypasted, or copy edited, or just inspiration. (Can you search your own blog well? Tags help.)

    I like reading you.

  2. That's a great idea for a book or manual. As for a title, how about, 'How to be prepared'?

    Something you might like to consider is splitting the project in two: in addition to writing the book, have a binder of plasticised pages that are key information sheets.

  3. On first thought I'd go for shit happens but that's a bit raw.

    Followup on that might be Stuff Happens, What to do, why and how Handbook/Guide.

    Based on reading years of your work and my own New England
    proclivities for being generally prepared the idea of being
    ready to stand a month without going to stupor-market so far has worked. Its also we [us at home] are not at the end of our

    So we are at the edge of it yet, the big fun is likely ahead
    of us. Being ready and able to solve the problem it brings is
    just good sense.


  4. Got to admit, your preparedness posts helped me out a lot. Wife thought I was being paranoid a bit last year. Now she's trying not to use the other "P"word too much. Things aren't exactly perfect in my view point, but we aren't going to be scrambling if things get worse.

  5. #2 is pretty good as almost all of them start with the premise you are doing wrong and I am going to tell you what to do.

    I have at least three titles on bug out bags and most of them you need a truck just to carry the bag.

    Will be interesting to see your take.

  6. I like "Emergencies I Have Known" When I see the words
    Prep or Prepared, especially Prep I think *eyeroll* "those guys".

    Granted some of their and much of your info has been useful but I live in the suburbs without game to hunt (or anywhere to hunt safely) and my condo doesn't have room to store tons of "just in case" food or other large supplies.

  7. “Disasters I Have Known and How to Make Your Next One Less Unpleasant”

    “Be Prepared: Here Is How and Why”

    “Disasters Suck: How To Make Them Suck Less”

    “Sh*t I Went Through So You Won’t Have To – Surviving and Avoiding Disasters With Style and Panache”

  8. Emergency Preparedness for Everyone: How to get ready for the next disaster while living an ordinary life.

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