Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Neptune direct (as of Sunday)
Sunny and chilly
BUSY few days. First of all, hop onto the FF&P blog for my post, “For Love of Things That Go Bump in the Night” — and leave a comment, so I know you stopped by!
Monday — barely remember it, other than it was busy! I think I got a lot of writing done, and I know I read the latest material from Confidential Job #1. Have to do the write-up today. Also, baked two batches of brownies.
I got great news — HEX BREAKER is coming out into print. I have the galleys to check, one last time. I also have to turn around the final galleys of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK this week. Lots of time in the Jain Lazarus world! Especially if I squeeze in the work on CRAVE THE HUNT.
Yesterday, I was out the door by 8 AM, zipped past the post office, put gas in the car, and was at the National Marine Life Center by 9. It was my “follow” day — the day when I follow to learn what a typical day is like, for the articles and other projects I’m doing for and with them. Of course, there’s no such thing as a typical day in a marine life hospital, but I got a taste of some of it. I spent time scrubbing out the seal tank and feeding our lovely seal patient, and disinfecting everything to the nth degree. I’m going back later today to do a follow on the turtles, because there was so much to do just in connection with seal protocol. I did my best imitation of the Gorton Fisherman in those bright yellow coveralls and the wellies, and I got a first-hand look at how much physical work is involved. And, like running horse barn at the track, it’s seven days a week, 365 days a year. Animals need to be fed. The enclosures cleaned. Medications, if necessary, administered. The place has such a small staff, it’s amazing how they get it all done. And, because it’s a hospital, and one does run into life-or-death situations, the training needs to be thorough, and the protocols followed exactly.
One of the things that surprised (and delighted me) is how steep and quick the seal’s learning and response curve is. He is one smart pup! Of course, one has to be careful — since he’s being rehabilitated so he can be released back in the wild, the protocol is not to get him too accustomed to humans. When he’s released, he needs to go be a wild seal, not seek out human company all the time — all he needs is to approach the wrong human, and it could be fatal to him. It’s a different situation than if he was going to remain in captivity and be an interactive teaching tool in an aquarium or zoo setting. The point is to get him healthy enough to be independent back in the wild.
It’s a huge help for the articles, and it’s a huge help for the book. That level of detail is going to make the difference between a puff piece and something with depth.
Directly from the Marine Life Center, I went to Cotuit Library, for my orientation meeting as a member of the Cape Cod Writers Center Board of Directors. It was a ton of fun. The new members are great, lively, full of ideas, and I’m looking forward to us being integrated with the ongoing members. What I love about this group is that everybody is interested in helping each other. We share a philosophy that’s very important to me: We’re all in this together.
A few of us went out afterwards, and by the time I got home, I was exhausted. Funnily enough, though, in spite of the physical labor yesterday, I’m less stiff and sore than after a day at the desk.
I must be very productive this morning, because I go back to the Marine Life Center today to do a “turtle follow”, and then, tomorrow, I go back in the afternoon for a formal “seal training” session, so I really learn the right way to handle seals.
Lots of trips over the bridge this week!