The Outsider: Blog


Pen Pals

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Something I've been lucky to experience since I started posting is the interaction with readers. Many readers have sent along their comments, suggestions, corrections and other thoughts over the last years. For that I am very thankful.

I've also been lucky to make closer connections to a few readers, to the point where we email each other outside of FS. Graybyrd, of course, was one of the very first to message me. A gentleman from the United Kingdom was not far behind. A little later came a connection with a retired Army sergeant major who was once stationed at Fort Devens.

The most incredible blessing I have yet received is the chance to meet the sergeant major and his wife. We had dinner together last night and breakfast this morning. They adjusted their New England vacation driving routes to allow us the chance to do so.

While our emails allowed the sergeant major and I the opportunity to know a bit about each other, I hadn't had any correspondence with his wife. Didn't matter. Like the gracious Lady of the South she is, she welcomed me with open arms and made our meals together a true pleasure.

I look forward to more connections with folks here.


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My plan to revise ‘A Charmed Life’ before returning to the next story foundered, as I should have expected; I haven’t gotten anywhere with either for many months. Only after being away on vacation for two days was I able to wrap up the chapter in the new story I’d been “working on.”

It remains to be seen if I can incorporate writing back into my schedule once I return home next week. I hope I can, as it was my escape for so long.

Revisiting the Past

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My work schedule, and the work itself, has drained me of any creativity I possessed. Progress on the new Knox story is dead in the water.

While moaning about my lack of progress, an opportunity to revisit A Charmed Life rolled up on me unexpected. I've been wanting to do a heavy edit on my first story for some time. Re-reading what had been here for five years would give me chest pain when comparing it to A Glass, and Darkly. Thankfully, I have enough in the tank to edit an existing story.

I've submitted a revised version of the first part of ACL - the Introduction to Chapter 10 - for the mods to post when they are able. I don't think there is much of a change, if any, to the underlying story. Any changes made have been to sentence structure and grammar.

I hope to finish the ACL edit and be to be back to the third story soon. If work ever slows down, that would be helpful, too. I've got an idea for a fourth Knox story rolling around in my brain housing group, and need to finish number three first...

Work In Progress

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A keen-eyed reader noticed an offhand comment I made over on the SOL Forums about my latest project. That reader asked if my comment was true since they didn't see it here on this blog.

As I mentioned in my reply, yes, I am working on another story in the Knox series. Unfortunately, between home and work I cannot give you a definitive posting date; as with A Glass, and Darkly, I am going to finish writing before I post. Given how slow my writing is these days, it wouldn't be fair (IMHO) to do otherwise.

Once more unto the breach…

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Again. Yet again.

My hometown has had entirely too many Line of Duty Deaths since I started in EMS, that being more than zero. For a city the size of Worcester there has been entirely too much heartache.

December 3, 1999:
Lt Tom Spencer, FF Paul Brotherton, LT Timothy Jackson, FF Jeremiah Lucey, Lt Jay Lyons, FF Joseph McGuirk

December 8, 2011:
FF Jon Davies

December 5, 2016:
Paramedic John Lynch

December 9, 2018:
FF Christopher Roy

November 18, 2019:
Lt Jason Menard

June 4, 2021:
Officer Enmanuel "Manny" Familia

All of these men died while they tried to help their community. Manny died today while trying to rescue a drowning teen from a city pond; that teenager also perished.

It is often said that Worcester is a big small town. The city will once again prove that as it rallies around its police department.