I know this is late, but I've been too busy for someone who is supposed to take it easy.


Although the following happened a few days ago, I think it's worth showing what an editor will do to go to the RWA national conference.

It all started on Monday...when I discovered that my car had died. (I think the battery is dead. How it has reached that state is a mystery that can't be solved for a while. Needless to say I have just paid off my car, so it's time for things to go wrong.)

So, since my ride to the airport wasn't happening, I figure that I'll call a taxi. No worries. I found this out the night before, so plenty of time to plan.

Tuesday morning the taxi turns up--early, no less. "You're early!" I say.

"No problem," My driver cheerfully replies.

We're on our way, and I'm staring into space thinking about all the coffee I'll get once I get to Newark, when suddenly an ominous thumping starts. The driver slows down, I look up. "What's happening?" I ask.

No reply. I repeat. He points--down to the right of the car. "No problem!" he says.

I can't believe it, as he labouriously pulls over to what I call an "end zone"--the striped lines between the ongoing traffic and an exit ramp. This one is in between two lanes of 80 MPH rush hour traffic and (this is New Jersey after all) 70 MPH drivers taking an exit ramp. (This is off a road called the Pulaski Skyway, which sounds lovely but is really one of the more dilapidated highways in NJ.)

He leaps out of the car, opens the hatchback, and begins to pull out a jack. "Is the tire FLAT???" I ask.

"No problem." He insists. And that's when I realize, HE DOESN'T SPEAK ENGLISH.

As he begins to change the tire (with me in the car) I'm torn between staying in the relative safety of car and risking a sudden crash of the jack--or leaving the car and risking getting run over by some crazy person on their way to work.

After a while, a state trooper pulls up. You know how you're never happy to see a cop except when you're in trouble? Well, that's how I felt. He was my new BFF. I think I'm rescued. Surely he can get me out of here--maybe take me to the airport--but I'm not.

He can't put me in his car unless I'm under arrest. "Well," I say, "I can promise you some aggravated assault in about five minutes, if this doesn't get fixed." He laughs.

I ask him whether I'm safer in the car or outside of it, facing the oncoming traffic. "Oh," he replies casually, "Just stand here in front of the taxi. That way, if a car seems to come your way, you can jump out of the way."
Somehow this doesn't make me feel better.

The cabbie approaches the trooper, lug wrench in hand. "Hey buddy," says the cop, "I wouldn't approach a trooper with a lug wrench in your hand."

"No problem," says the cabbie.

Four phone calls later (two from me, one from the friend I frantically called, and one from the driver, or, at least, I assume he's called the dispatcher) a replacement cab pulls up. I gratefully get in, we get on our way, and, after about 30 seconds, he says, "Twenty three dollars!"

"You don't mean I have to pay for this ride?" I ask.

"YOU HAVE TO PAY $23.00!" He screams as he pulls over to the side of the highway. "GIVE IT TO ME NOW"

"No problem," I reply, forking over the dough, wisely realizing that I'm now riding with a real life equivilent of Paulie Walnuts.

Anyway, I made it. But, by the time I got on the plane, I was in serious need of a cocktail. And this, all before 7am.

PS--be sure to check back throughout the day for more posts from other Avon authors.


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