A little writing update: While we were in Missouri I made it a point to work an hour or two each day on my Storm Chaser sequel, which was original called Storm Damage but now has the working title of The Notorious Ian Grant. (Partially because there’s already at least one book named Storm Damage.) I’ve now finished the second draft (third, depending on how you define it), and Emily is going to be my first reader – we’ll see what she has to say about it.
I’m also working on a series of what I’m calling “space opera” stories, and a possibly novella length story that’s going to be part of a Girl Scout related project that I’m helping with (no, seriously). And of course Harlequin Special Edition still has my full manuscript of Coming Attractions; I don’t expect to hear from them for at least a couple of months.
We've sold, so far, just under a hundred copies of Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights, On a related note, here’s the story I did for the 125th anniversary of the Albion Fire Department, along with some photos of the event:
The Albion Fire Department threw a party for themselves and the people they protect Saturday, with a 125th anniversary celebration that was months in the planning.
They reported good turnout despite hot weather and other activities going on around the area. Several area fire departments brought trucks to a cruise-in at the parking lot of the Central Noble High School, while antique and other specialized emergency vehicles also appeared. Among them was the AFD’s own reconditioned and operational 1929 fire engine, the first gasoline powered fire truck to protect Albion, and a line of four antique hose carts – two of them once in service with the AFD.
Albion firefighters put on their gear despite the temperature to demonstrate the use of the department’s powerful auto extrication tools. Nearby, kids could play “waterball” – which also helped in keeping cool – and other games that were originally designed to hone the skills of firefighters. Area organizations provided food for the guests, which included firefighters from around northeast Indiana and several retired Albion Fire chiefs. Kendallville radio station WAWK did a remote broadcast from the celebration early in the afternoon.
Unfortunately, conflicts prevented the Samaritan Helicopter or the Fort Wayne Firefighters Pipe & Drum Corps from coming. But an unexpected group did make an appearance, forcing writers to think about what the plural of Santa Claus is. Members of the Hoosier Santas Club, dressed down for the off-season, happily got their pictures taken in front of Albion fire trucks.
Local author Mark R. Hunter, a 33 year member of the AFD, chose this appropriate event for the unveiling of his newest book, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. He signed about 65 copies of the book, which was designed, formatted, and edited by his wife, Emily. Proceeds will go toward the fire department’s training and equipment fund. Copies of the book will be available at the Albion fire station, the Albion New Era office, and through Hunter’s website at www.markrhunter.com.
The anniversary dedication took place in the Central Noble Auditorium, presided over by current Albion Fire Chief Steve Bushong. He introduced the former Chiefs who were present and thanked the committee that planned the celebration: Albion firefighters Phil Jacob, Bob Beckley, Bob Brownell, Chris Cavanaugh, Mark Hunter, and Sean Jacob.
Other speakers included District 13 State Senator Sue Glick; District 82 State Representative David Ober; State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson; David Israel, President of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association; Jerry Sprague, District 6 IVFA Chairman; and Albion Pastor Bret Frymier, who gave an invocation and benediction. Albion Boy Scout Troop 507 presented Colors.
It was hard work, but the Albion volunteer firefighters are ready to do it all over again – in another 25 years.