May?? Not sure we will have a lot going on this month. Canada has Victoria Day Weekend and the US has Memorial Day. In Canada all celebrations have been cancelled because the Corona Virus is still with us. In Canada, as of today, we have 53,236 cases of the Covid virus and 3,184 deaths. And it doesn’t look like we’ve peaked. We’re doing still on an upward curve.
We’re still on lock down and stay-at-home. It’s an interesting time. Many parts of the world have had varying degrees of infection and they have handled them in different ways. Some are slowly starting to open up. We’ll see how it works. I have no comment on what appears to work better. Before we get a treatment and hopefully a vaccine. I do believe that the one thing that works is social/physical distancing, staying at least six feet apart. The second thing is hand washing, frequently and for at least twenty seconds. Avoid crowds. Face covering in close distances. All these things appear to help slow the infection, flatten the curve and hopefully reduce the number of deaths.
I’m doing stay-at-home. I shop once a week, wear gloves and a mask and stay at least six feet from anyone. Am I going stir crazy? Oh, yeah. The weather is finally warming up so I can spend a little time outside in the yard – but then we have the wind. Like many writers I have used the time to write. I was challenged to do 100 words a day for April. I accepted the challenge and wrote at least 100 words every day and reported in, to my challenger. It helped and I did write. I finished editing Death Southern Style.
I had to find a new editor, but the book is now at an editor. And I’m hoping to get it back, do the revisions, and get it to my formatter before the end of the month. I make get it up for sale yet. And with my 100 words a day I also pulled out The Foundation Lydia’s Story, the second in the series, and started back writing that book. I’ve heard many writers are getting lots of writing done with stay-at-home. That’s one good thing related to the virus. There should be lots of new books out there to read while staying-at-home.
There are also a couple of other positive thins with the virus. There is limited transportation and the air around the world is cleaner than it has been for a long time. Also, the SPCA’s and other pet control centers are empty. All the animals have been adopted. So, hold that thought, and let’s hope May is a good month for all, including writers.
I’m hoping Death Southern Style will be available for sale by June. Once I get a pre-order date, I’ll start to promote it. Until then I’m taking a break. Besides, with stay-at home I tend to be a little brain dead at time and I was too late to get in on a couple of promotions.
Since I’m working On Lydia’s story, here’s an excerpt (draft).
Hidden in the shadows they watched the guards change. The heavy Peruvian undergrowth prevented any sun shining through but keep the humidity locked in, giving the air a sauna-like feel.
"Ready?" Lydia whispered.
Sara nodded, and edged toward the path. She got the assignment because she spoke fluent Spanish. With her dyed black and make up darkening her skin she looked Peruvian. Mac had helped her dye her hair and use the skin darkener. He really had come a long way. With a quick glance at her team she pulled a scarf over her head and sauntered towards the prison gate.
Maggie beside her. She dropped into the undergrowth when they approached the guard.
The guard stopped Sara.
"I'm working in the kitchen today. Maria is sick."
He nodded and waved another guard to escort her.
"Scuse." Sara bumped into him as she passed, pocketing his gate key.
Maggie crawled close in the underbrush. Sara dropped the key. Maggie’s hand shot out and grabbed it. Sara proceeded into the prison.
In the kitchen Sara removed her scarf and pulled on an apron. The head cook shouted at her in Spanish to make the soup.
Sara swallowed a smile. The soup would be perfect. She added bouillon and water. She glanced around the room, pulled out a slim container from her pocket and dumped a large portion of the powder into the cauldron. She hummed a melody from her childhood and continued to stir the soup. This had been easier than they expected, but would the rest of the plan work as smoothly?
When she finished the soup Sara checked the coffee. She added more water and a generous dump of powder.
A few hours later, after finishing the menu for dinner Sara left the prison. Maggie put her hand out from behind a bush near the gate and returned the key to Sara.
The gate guard stared at Sara. She smiled at the guard, ran her fingers up his chest ss she returned his key. Then, smiling, she swaggered down the trail, hips undulating, as she headed toward town. Around the corner she slipped off the trail into the darkness of the jungle where her team waited.
"They should sleep well." Sara grinned as they crept through the underbrush to the temporary camp they had set up.
Several hours later, in the pitch black of night, the four women made their way back to the prison gate. Dressed in fatigues and black face the women waited outside the prison gate for the change of guards.
Lydia nodded and they crept forward to the gate. Inside a guard slumped to one side, leaning against the pillar, snoring loudly.
Maggie pulled out the duplicate key they had made and opened the gate just enough for the women to slip inside.
Once in the courtyard Maggie grabbed the sleeping guard's keys. Sara led the way through the prison, at a fork in the path she turned away from the kitchen and toward the cells. In the cells they searched for Dr. Miguay. A few inmates woke, shouting to be released. Most slept soundly.
Dr. Miguay had a cell to herself near the end. Opening the cell door, Sara opened the cell door. The doctor slept soundly. "Damn, she must have eaten the soup. Quick, Maggie, the antidote."
Maggie dug into her pack and handed Sara a syringe. Sara shot it into the doctor's upper arm and waited.
She continued to sleep on her cot for several more minutes. Finally her eyes flickered open. She stared up at the four women.
Speaking in Spanish Sara said, "We're here to rescue you. We're Americans. We're taking you to the United States."