Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Quick Update and Springtime Greetings

Not having access to the channel on which my interview on Mount Pleasant Up Close aired, a DVD of it has been made for me. All I need to do is pick it up. Look for the video to be posted the week after Easter.

Happy Passover!
Happy Easter!
Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Exercising Arms

When I do research for my books, sure, I turn to internet sources and books for information. I also interview people who have experience with certain things and do or learn things for myself. One of my works in progress is the first book of a mystery series where an injured homicide detective turned PI has to relearn how to shoot. Recently, I went to a local pistol range to take a private lesson on shooting a handgun.

It was my first time shooting any kind of gun. The instructor was surprised that I had never even shot a bb gun. I learned on a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The former Vietnam Marine started with basic gun safety. Although I wore a turtleneck, he warned me about wearing open necked shirts for future shooting. The empty shell casings are hot when they fly out of the gun and if you are wearing a shirt with an open neck, there is a possibility that the casing can hit your skin and burn you. (Always good to know.) At the shooting bay, he went over grip, stance, sight lines, and loading a magazine.

Then, it was my turn to pick up the gun. The black metal felt foreign in my hands. After he checked my grip, I squeezed the trigger. A hole in the paper target appeared in the vicinity of the A for which I was aiming. My heart raced and I was not aware of breathing. When he told me to shoot again, my hands couldn’t feel the gun. The front and rear sights blurred too much to align. My eyes saw nothing but a black blob in front of a wash of gray.

When he finally told me to stop, he brought the target towards us. All the holes were clustered where they were supposed to be. He told me that I did a good job. Then, he had me put the bullets into the magazine. I impressed him by loading them correctly after only watching him once.

The second time I picked the gun up off of the plastic ledge, which rested on top of the metal bar separating us from the target area, I was no longer shaking. My shots reflected my new-found ease with the firearm. Holding the gun steady and not allowing the recoil to control my shots was my biggest challenge. In time and with practice, I will be able to compensate for recoil.

After shooting two handed, he had me shoot one handed with each hand. I liked one handed shooting the best. However, that was near the end of the lesson where I was feeling the most comfortable with the pistol.

On the car ride home, I realized that I got much more out of the lesson than just fodder for my books. A part of me feels safer with only the knowledge of how to use a gun. I look forward to returning to the pistol range. Practicing can only make me better and more comfortable with guns.

I believe that all of us should be “armed” with the knowledge of how to defend ourselves. Knowledge is power and learning any kind of self-defense puts the power in our hands.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Behind the Scenes at My Recent Guest Appearance

Sitting at the table with Jeff and Jerry

Mount Pleasant Up Close is a weekly local TV and radio show.  The hosts are Mayor Gerald (Jerry) Lucia (on the right) and Borough Manager Jeff Landy (in the middle).  This coming week, I will be their guest.

Talking with Jeff and JerryWe recorded it yesterday amidst the snowstorm.  Sitting at a small table in the Borough Council Chambers, I answered questions about my books and being an author.

In the beginning of my first “live” interview, I was nervous.  Jeff and Jerry started the show with a little intro, then they turned to me.  Jeff said something like, “Tell us a little something about yourself and your books.”  And that’s when it happened.  I felt as if I were having a brain freeze moment like a kid in school on test day who just stared at the paper on the desk because the answers eluded her.  I took a small pause, let out a tiny laugh, then my brain began to function properly.

Answering questionsOnce we got going, everything flowed so well. The half-hour show whizzed by faster than I expected.  Jeff and Jerry asked great questions.  We had a lot of fun.  At some point, I felt as if I were simply having a conversation with two of my oldest and dearest friends.  The camera and microphones no longer existed to me.  I had a great time and I am so glad that I was able to be a part of their show.

Anyone in SW PA and NE WV can catch Mount Pleasant Up Close Sunday mornings at 7:30 on 103.1 WKVE.  It also runs on Armstrong Cable channel 20 Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 am and 6 pm in the Fay-West PA region.

Listening to their questionsMy guest appearance will air this Sunday, March 10th at 7:30am on 103.1 FM and on Monday, March 11th, Wednesday, March 13th and Friday, March 15th at 10 am and 6 pm on Armstrong Cable channel 20.

To know more about the quaint, friendly town of Mount Pleasant check out this video.