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Dangerous beast sighting!

Dangerous beast sighting!


When is this book coming out? December
What is it about? It starts:

Bad ...

I landed facedown on the cold floor. The crashing jail cell door reverberated violently, and then all was silent except for a persistent drip. I assumed that came from the tiny sink in the corner. The place smelled like an animal cage that needed to be cleaned. I tried to move. Everything hurt.

I probably shouldn’t have fought against those guys, I mused, reflecting on how I had frantically struggled against the two burly guards. At that point there was nothing I could have gained. But what it got me was cussed, kidney punched, and body slammed through the doorway.

“They must have been holding back on account of my age,” I moaned under my breath.

My anger dried up quickly. But I was still desperate. I was especially desperate.

Urgently, my mind raced through my plight. What am I now? Sixty-seven? I hate this instant-aging thing. And they’ve got my phone. I’ve got to get the phone and get out of here. But then where? I’m running out of safe places.

My mind flitted around out of control for a few minutes. The sound of the cell door replayed in my memory, and I mused wryly, At least that sound is constant. Well, everywhere I've been so far. It made no logical sense, but I found some consolation in the consistency.

When I finally mustered the willpower to push myself up to my knees, it was abundantly clear that the age factor was not working in my favor. I attempted to reach where the TASER had bit into my back. I was certain it was still bleeding. It was not.

Another irony struck me: Those things seem to be getting hotter every time I get hit with one. Or maybe, I considered, that’s an age thing too.

As I cataloged my sources of pain, a nagging concern surfaced. Why had I not been read my Miranda Rights?

It was disconcerting that the police had been dismissive, even contemptuous, of the notion of any suspects' rights. I wondered if that was a sign of the times or if the officer had taken it personally when I had yanked his TASER and tried to use it against him. I made a mental note not to do that again. It was too bad, as that had worked particularly well a couple of times in the past. I muttered to myself, “Electric shielding incorporated into body armor. It’s brilliant. Why didn’t I invent that one?”

With some effort, I reached for the corner of the cot in the cell and gingerly pulled myself to my feet. It was more difficult than I had anticipated. But once I got straightened up, I found myself face-to-face with my own reflection in the polished stainless steel that passed for a mirror. I looked like something an alley cat had regurgitated.

The shock of that view drove home an agonizing realization: I had failed.

I put my hands on the wall on either side of the mirror and leaned my forehead against my reflection. It was cool against my skin. I felt like crying. “I’m sorry, Farren,” I whispered. And I knew at that moment there was no longer any possibility that I could rescue him.

Then my mind briefly skipped back to the day that Ellen had died. In a flashback, I relived that nightmare for several surreal seconds before I stuffed it back into the recesses of my memory. It had been a fool’s hope to try to undo that day. Again I whispered, “I’ve failed you too.”

I tried to force myself to rationally assess my current predicament. There was no denying that I had been flirting with death at every jump. And at that moment, my reflection candidly affirmed that I had flirted too much.

“It’s 2046. You’re sixty-seven years old,” I accused my reflection. “Beat up. Locked up … again. And if you go any further, you’re going to get yourself killed too. Idiot.”

As I tried to comb my hair down with my fingers, I muttered, “But you’re not going anywhere without your phone.”

Then, for the hundredth time, I asked myself, “Am I completely insane? Maybe I do belong in a psych ward.”

The old man in the mirror did not reply, but the look of defeat was an unmistakable indictment. In despair I chided, “They’ve got your phone. They’re going to set off World War III.”

The chance to go back and fix one fatal mistake!

The Impolite Visit of Florence the Terrible

Our visitor was not very polite. In fact, her manners were so reprehensible, that I left town before the dreaded guest arrived. But even that did not stop Florence from paying the visit. And now we are beginning the clean up and recovery. So, please bear with us for the next few weeks as we reassemble our lives here in eastern North Carolina.


Thank you!
#HurricaneFlorence #LivingLikeARefugee #SomeOfOurNeighborsWereHitHard

She Took Me by Surprise

She's a beauty, she's coming my way, and I wasn't even watching. Turns out, Florence came into my life at just the right time. 


I've been way too busy lately. But I have been pondering what kind of contest to do next for a book give away, and then Florence waltzed in.

Florence, also known as Hurricane Florence, stumbled onto my radar, and that's sort of the same thing as waltzing. Trust me, if you have ever seen me waltz, you would agree.

I don't actually love hurricanes, but we have this tradition in North Carolina of having a hurricane party after all the preparations are completed. It's really a way to pass the time when it's too nasty to go out. I'm not a particularly fun guy, so my idea of a party is a cup of coffee and a movie. Naturally, we have to get the movie in before the power goes out.

So, here's the contest. Guess which movie I have chosen for the hurricane party? (I have already made my selection.)

First correct guess wins a free copy of TIME ZONE as soon as it is released. (That is expected to be in October.)

Post your guess on the Facebook page RV Hodge Author, so I can keep track.

Hint: If it seems obvious, it is wrong.


The Winner Is

It started as a standard Facebook update, but as I was tapping away at the miniature keys on my phone's screen, it morphed into an impromptu contest.

So the question is, what song was going through my head?

First, let's take a look at some of the interesting responses. I'm not sure if this is more like relationship analysis or psychological evaluation. But, since I'm not qualified to do either one, we'll just do it for the amusement value.

The two most popular, and I might add, most predictable responses were: Take Me Home, Country Road, by John Denver, and On the Road Again, by Willie Nelson. Good guesses, since I was tired. But I was not tired enough to resort to predictable. So, while they are iconic, those were not correct.

There were several notable, but incorrect, guesses that were excellent choices for this contest. Already Gone, by the Eagles, Carry On, by Kansas, and Flirtin' With Disaster, by Molly Hatchet, all landed squarely in my generation's music. These songs also hit the transient mood associated with traveling.

I didn't see the railroad or trucker songs coming, but there were several. Any of those could have been a good choice for this contest. In fact, there were a lot of popular and spiritual songs about traveling that I had forgotten existed until someone posted them as a guess. There were even a couple that I did not recognize.

Then there were the sneaky entries, the Misty Mountain song and The Road Goes Ever On. Songs from the Hobbit movies are always on my mind as I travel in the mountains. There are some deeply personal reasons for this. First is that I really like those movies. Second is they are richly associated with good memories of good times with our kids. The first Hobbit movie was in theaters when we visited Japan at Christmas time in 2012. It was the year that our youngest went off to college. And we saw that movie with all of the kids, in Japan. It was a fabulous visit. You could probably write a psychology doctoral thesis on all that goes through my mind and emotions when I watch that movie and/or hear the Misty Mountain song. Excellent choices, but not correct in this instance.

Well, enough with sappy soul baring. The winning song is Turn The Page, by Bob Seger.

But your thoughts will soon be wandering, the way they always do
When you're riding sixteen hours and there's nothing there to do
And you don't feel much like riding, you just wish the trip was through

Here I am, on a road again
There I am, on the stage
Here I go, playing star again
There I go, turn the page

Don't try to read too much into the meaning. It's the melancholy sentiment of post-adventure traveling that took me there. "Turn the page" is such a good word picture in my mind and it is neatly bundled with a somber tune.

I'm not sure what part of my post led Lindsay to this song. Do we have parallel music tastes? Could he have remembered some random conversation from three decades ago? I don't know, but the winner is Lindsay Miller!


All prizes must be picked up in person at our warehouse. (Just kidding!) Lindsay, please email or private message your mailing address to me. Your copy of TIME ZONE will be sent out to you as soon as we have them available.

Thank you to all the contestants!

Stay tuned for more contests. Sign up to receive my blog posts to be sure you don't miss anything. There is a box on the right hand side of this page to input your email.

#TimeZone #Christmas2018