Tuesday, November 22, 2011

National Novel Writing Month Continues

There is something to be said for writing fast and furiously instead of stopping to think about what I want to say. During November, I don’t have time to linger over what I write; I just write.

Good stuff. Bad stuff. Stuff that right now I can’t tell if it’s good or bad. And not including what I write for work, or pep talks I write to send out to my region for NaNo (for more information, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org).

I realized today that I think of my stories as female. If Mother Nature is female, why can’t my stories be? I wrote a pep talk last week for my region, and talked about the wall you hit at a certain point in this process (excerpted here – I’m sure you’ll catch the female reference):

Are you feeling stuck? Have you hit the wall, and just feel so over your story and/or characters? Has their bright shiny new world tarnished? Is a better story weaving its siren song into your creative mind, and you just know that if you start this one, you’ll finish with ease as the words just pour out?

Don’t give in to the flirty new story shaking its pretty characters and sinful plot at you. You will grow weary of them at some point, and they too will become tiresome; you will think fondly (dare I say wistfully?) of the story you want to callously disregard now.

Throw in a circus or a gun or a posse of clowns (or a posse of clowns waving guns at a circus) – they don’t have to stay, and probably won’t - but they do act as a stimulant to the imagination. You want to break through a log jam if you’re stuck. Just dealing with them and having to make a sentence about them will get the fingers moving and that will lead to good stuff. Even if, or especially if, they are not part of your story. The point is to get unstuck, not to write the great American novel. That comes later.

I write mysteries, so I am prone to throwing in a gun, or a bad guy, or another dead body (cause of death to be determined). The hard part is continuing to the end, but I persevere. I want to finish, I want to have a crappy first draft to revise; I want to be published.

I have been writing a lot more than usual these past few weeks, and not just because of NaNo. I had two articles for a local weekly newspaper to write, in addition to work and outside writing projects. One of the writing projects was proofreading a novella, another was formatting a novella and two short stories for an e-book, and another project is editing the first draft of a manuscript for grammar and punctuation.

The upshot? I really love writing. I like taking a blank page, and decorating it with the words that convey a situation, an emotion, a story. I have learned a lot about my own writing, and that I know more about story structure than I thought I did.

The hardest part of learning to write is knowing if/when you are making progress. I read what I write now and it is better than what I wrote last year. I am better at conveying what is in my mind, and how to get it on the page.

My editor at the newspaper helped me, by asking a couple of questions and by highlighting what she wanted me to cut – if I agreed with her. In an article by Reed Farrel Coleman, Reed says that what he writes are just words, not darlings or babies. If they need to be cut, so be it (I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the gist) – the point is not to be so attached to them that you take offense when someone suggests perhaps you could do better. That’s what revision is for: to make it better.

I received an email from the subject of my first article – he liked it, and said it looked great! He probably would have liked the way it was submitted to my editor, but I think her input made it stronger. The end result was all that mattered.

The end result of NaNo is having 50,000 words to work with, words I didn’t have on November 1. The point is to make it through to the end of the story, and let the agony come later.

I can’t wait to make it better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is National Novel Writing Month

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? The goal is to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. If that sounds challenging, it is. It breaks down to 1,667 words/day over the course of 30 days. 

I have participated in NaNo since 2004, and I have been an ML (Municipal Liaison) since 2005. Being an ML is fun; it has all the glamour of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, plus the delight of organizing Kick-Off and TGIO (Thank God It's Over) parties and weekly Write-Ins. I schedule the Kick-Off party and Write-Ins within easy access of caffeine. The TGIO party has always been where adults have easy access to adult beverages if they so choose, as well as tasty snacks. 

I use the time to write a first draft of a WIP (Work in Progress). It's a great way for me to work out the kinks in a story I've been mulling over for some time, to see if it has legs on its own or if it needs beefing up. The process is also illuminating, in that when you are writing so fast, the internal editor really doesn't stand a chance of being heard; that's not a bad thing. Without NaNo, I am prone to polishing the first few chapters so they shine brightly, while the following chapters suffer from the lack of TLC.

I have also been surprised by what comes out when you're just in the flow, or writing zone. Your subconscious takes over and sends some good stuff out and onto the page. There is also, as in any first draft, a lot of crap that will be left by the wayside once the revision process begins.

By November 30, my butt and my mind are happy to have another task to look forward to: our annual Sausage Party, where we make - from scratch and by hand - Italian sausage. 

It's been said that sausage and law are two things you never want to see being made, and rightly so. How did I come to be so familiar with the former? That's a story for another day.

Friday, September 30, 2011

My Birthday Surprise, and Mariano Rivera

Last year my birthday present from my husband was a trip to Tampa to see the New York Yankees, our favorite baseball team (and the only sports team we both like: I like the NY Giants and the NJ Devils; he likes the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres). Another part of the treat was lunch at Cheesecake Factory.

We drove over to Tampa and were sitting in the small dining room of the restaurant located at International Plaza. This smaller room had booths around the perimeter, and several tables in the center. We were seated at one of the center tables.

Within our eye line was a booth with a young boy and what appeared to be his mother, grandmother, and great-aunts or grandmother’s friends. They kept the child entertained, and he was well-behaved throughout the meal. When he was finished eating, one of the women gave him a frozen treat they had brought with them, a frozen ice.

It was neon blue, and about 5 or 6 inches long. The grandmother or great-aunt was trying to open it without freezing her fingers (I am guessing here), but it looked odd. I was thinking about how it looked, and hadn’t laughed, but as soon as Ray said, “Why is she playing with the blue penis?” we both just lost it.

We were trying to muffle our laughter, but the more we tried the harder we laughed. We were crying, tears running down our faces, and Ray had thrown a napkin over his head to cover his face. He pulled it down, and says, “Mo!”

Walking towards us, with a who-are-these-crazy-gringos look, was Mariano Rivera. Yes, that Mariano Rivera. He nodded at us, and then sat behind the booth with the young child. He appeared to be in a meeting with his agent or manager. We both had baseball hats in the car, but didn’t want to disturb him by asking for an autograph.

From Cheesecake Factory, we headed to the Salvador Dali Museum, and then to Tropicana Field for dinner and the baseball game. We had a great burger and fries at The Brewhouse inside the ballpark, and then headed to our seats for the game.

My birthday was complete with a Yankees win (including a save by Mo) over the Tampa Bay Rays. Tickets to the ball game: $100. Lunch at Cheesecake Factory: $60. Seeing the frozen blue icy and then Mariano Rivera: Priceless.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Be Careful

I don’t think this is particularly a NJ thing or a FL thing, but I am visiting with my sister today and we were talking about “Be Careful.”

She said she tells her kids to “Be careful” whenever they go out, and they look at her and roll their eyes, like of course, Mom, we’re going to be careful.

Our mother was visiting my sister a couple of months ago and as my sister was going out the door to go to work, our mother said to her, “Be careful.” My sister told her kids that her own mother still tells her to be careful.

My husband and I don’t have kids of our own, but we do have each other. One night I was going to bed after he was already sleeping, and with the lights off I misjudged where my bureau was in relation to the end of the bed. I jammed my foot under the bureau, and I’m not sure if my sudden inhalation of breath roused him, or the thud of my foot hitting the wood and jangling the drawer pulls. He woke up enough to say, “Be careful,” and immediately went back to sleep. Trying not to laugh, I was thinking this was information I could have used five seconds ago. Now we use “Be careful” as our code for anything that would have been better known moments sooner.

The funny thing is that as we get older, we are still kids to our parents. When my 97-year-old grandmother talks about the kids, she is referring to my 75-year-old mother and her 73-year-old brother. I don’t think we’re ever too old to hear “Be careful” from someone we love.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Everyone has a 9/11 story, and everyone remembers where they were when they heard about it. The sight of first one tower, then the other, falling down in some parody of a planned demolition is seared in my memory.

I lived and worked in New Jersey and New York City until 1990, when I moved to Florida. On September 11, 2001, I was at work in Vero Beach when my sister called to see if I had heard that a plane hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. She worked from home and saw it on the television. Cable was available on the television in the break room of our building and I immediately went down to see what happened.

It was horrifying enough to see the first building burn; that first strike was the beginning of the end of our innocence, or maybe naiveté, about terrorism. The first strike was thought initially to be perhaps some random, tragic accident. The second airplane hitting into the second tower let us know we were under attack. The news that a plane had hit the Pentagon removed any doubt, and then there was the report about a fourth plane. Was it heading for another target in DC, perhaps the White House? Was it going somewhere else? Did the plane crash? Were people on that downed plane responsible for foiling would-be hijackers? Yes. No. Yes. Yes.

The technology of the day, specifically cell phones and email, were the bearers of bad news almost as it happened. On that fourth plane, as passengers heard about the three buildings already damaged by planes, they realized their plane was intended to become another such weapon. Taking control, realizing they were going to die anyway, several of the passengers overwhelmed the hijackers and forced the plane down into a field where no other people would be harmed. But that all came out later.

The initial news was sketchy and anecdotal, from people on the ground or in buildings with an eye-line to the burning World Trade Towers. My cousin worked for Morgan Stanley in Connecticut; since Morgan Stanley was the largest tenant in the World Trade Towers at that time, I called his office to make sure he wasn't in a meeting in Manhattan. He wasn’t, although he had been the previous Thursday and Friday.

My uncle worked in lower Manhattan, and I called his office. His secretary answered, and she said my uncle was on the phone. I told her she didn’t need to interrupt him, I was just checking to make sure that he was safe and she could let him know I called. She said they all were safe; later, talking to my uncle, he said the impact of the planes hitting the towers felt like an earthquake. At some point, the buildings in lower Manhattan were put on lockdown until authorities could determine if there was further danger and from what quarter. Later in the day, they were released from the lockdown and allowed to make their way home as best they could. Public transportation was not available in that area; my uncle walked up the FDR Drive to his condo on the Upper East Side. My aunt was safely out of town visiting her sister in the Midwest.

Reassured that family members who might have been in that area were safe, I called my sister to let her know. From that point she was fielding calls from various family members. She talked to my cousin and was able to tell him that while I hadn’t talked to my uncle, I had talked to his secretary and she said they were all right. My cousin could not get through to my uncle’s office because by the time he called the phone lines were jammed and all circuits were busy.

My father and stepmother were driving from Michigan back home to North Carolina after taking care of my stepmother’s parent’s estate. Her father had died several years before, but her mother died in August. They spent several weeks in Michigan wrapping things up and getting the house ready to sell, and told my sister they would be coming home that Tuesday. Following form, they got an early start. My father did not embrace technology: they had a cell phone for emergencies only, none of us had that number, and they kept it turned off in the trunk of the car. They stopped somewhere along the way for gas and food, which is when they heard about the attacks. At that point my father did not know whether his brother, my uncle, was safe. The ensuing long hours of travel were filled with fear and uncertainty. My father called my sister when they arrived home, and my sister called me. I asked if he knew his brother was safe, and she called him back to make sure he did know.

While still at work that morning, someone in another office looked up the FAA website that showed the airplanes in the air. It was eerie, and somehow chilling, to see the air traffic diminish and then end. We knew by then all airplanes were being grounded at whatever airport was closest. Vero Beach has a small airport, and the noise from the planes taking off and landing was always in the background. The quiet as that traffic stopped was noticeable; what shocked was the sound of a lone jet flying low in the area during what was supposed to be a flight lockdown. The only one making what until then had been a normal, benign sound, everyone who heard it looked to see where and what it was. I don’t know if we knew at that point some of the hijackers had trained at Flight Safety here in Vero. If we didn’t, we still were jumpy about any unusual flight activity.

There were many stories of heroism and loss that day and in the days that followed. 2,977 people died, but the impact and ramifications stretched out to everyone within reach of a radio or television set.

When I think of 9/11, the lingering memory I have is about someone I didn’t know but was told about. There is a train station in Branchburg, New Jersey, close to where my family lived at one time. On the morning of 9/11, the parking lot held the usual collection of cars left by commuters taking the train into New York City. As the week wore on one car remained in the parking lot, gradually gathering dust as it became evident the owner was never coming back.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Knew It Was You, The Timer Just Went Off

My mother thinks I drive too fast. When I was single I would call her when I got home after a visit, so she would know I got home safely. I didn’t know she set a timer so she would know if I had been driving too fast.

After one visit to see her in Flemington, I drove back to my home in Old Bridge (New Jersey). I got home, did a few things, and then remembered I hadn’t called her yet to let her know I was home.

“I knew it was you, the timer just went off,” she said.

“What?” I was confused by her connecting the timer and my phone call.

“I set the timer so I know when to expect your call. If you call before the timer goes off, then I know you were driving too fast.” She seemed pretty pleased with her system.

Note to self: Don’t call Mom immediately after getting home, she’ll worry that you’re driving too fast.

After that, I would note the time I left her house, and call about 45 minutes later. Sometimes I had been home for a few minutes, and sometimes not – it depended on traffic. This way she didn’t worry about my driving, and I didn’t worry about stressing her out.

Fast forward twenty years, and we had both moved from New Jersey to Florida. My mother was now living alone in Sebastian, and I was living in Vero Beach (about 16 miles apart). Now I am setting the timer for her call when she leaves my house to go back home.

This is just a little check we do when someone lives alone, because in my case my husband would notice if I wasn’t home and look for me if need be. Since my mother was living alone, no one was home to notice if she didn’t make it back. She would tell me about any stops she had planned, so I would know how much time to allot. Cell phones made it easier because if too much time elapsed I would call to see where she was.

It is interesting to me how the tables turn as we grow up; not that we necessarily become the parent, but as we adopt the habits of our parents we become more like them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Urban Snoresalofagus

When we first started dating, I asked Ray if I snored. He said, “No, baby, you purr like a little kitten.”

Kitty’s all grown up.

It is not that I snore, per se; it’s that I snuggle up to Ray and snore in his right ear. Apparently I am not easy to dislodge. Ray has tried many tricks through the years to get me to roll over. Gentle nudges. Not-so-gentle nudges. Saying “Roll over.” Loudly saying “Roll over.”

He thought he finally found the answer one night when he inadvertently pulled his ceiling-fan-cooled arm under the covers, and I rolled away from the cool arm. Eureka! Until I started having hot flashes, and the cool arm under the covers was welcome.

Ray has sleep apnea and uses a Bi-PAP machine when he sleeps. The nasal mask has a little stream of air that comes out between the hose and the mask, and aiming that at me would make me roll over. Sometimes.

He has put his hand on my face like a face claw. He has tickled me. He has rubbed my hip. He has tried many things, and they all have one thing in common (just like an investment): past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

Understand that this all happens while I am sound asleep. Rarely do I come to enough to hear him say “Roll over,” and on the occasions I am aware I also subconsciously know that I did not hear him the first time he said it. I never remember any of the physical things he tries to get me to shift back to my side of the bed.

He tells me about his attempts to get me to move off him the next day. It’s always interesting for me to hear what he has tried, because I know nothing about it. When I sleep, I am a Gordon Log. This is the nickname in my family for the deep, immovable sleep we Gordon girls fall into when we are tired, and it spans generations. Every night when I go to bed, I tell Ray that I will try not to be a pest. We both know that I can’t help it; it’s the nature of the Gordon Log.

Now he calls me his “Urban Snoresalofagus.” I think humor is his way of dealing with the sleeplessness when the 4:30 train rolls into his ear and he can’t get back to sleep.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Does Eating at 4:30 Mean I'm Old?

I turned 52 this year, and my husband and I celebrated by dining out.

At 4:30.

We generally don't eat that early, but he had a gig to play with the Crooked Creek Band and needed to be at El Toro Taco and Tequila by 6 o’clock to set up. The band was schedule to play from 7:00 to 10:00, so an early dinner was really the only option for the two of us to have a little quiet conversation that evening.

It is a cliché that in Florida the senior citizens eat early. I can attest that most of the other diners at that time were older than Ray and me, although there were some younger people scattered around (I suspect they were visiting family members who were on SCT - Senior Citizen Time).

Getting older doesn't bother me, in fact I rather like it. I try to stay out of the sun both to avoid wrinkles and fading my hair (it costs a lot of money these days to hide the gray). I like to think that I would do some things differently If I Knew Then What I Know Now (buy Microsoft, for one.)

Despite living in Vero Beach (which has, as you might expect, a beach) I don't spend time baking myself to a crackly crunch. I have seen the leathery, wrinkled skin on people who spent too much time in the sun, and I have no desire to look like an iguana when I am in my 70s. Certainly in my teenage years I sunbathed. I wore the smallest bathing suit I could, to minimize tan lines, and rotated regularly so I had an even tan all over. I did use sunscreen, but not the 55 I currently use. Now you can only see my “savage tan” when I expose my wrist and show the mild contrast on my arm.

Every time I put that SPF 55 on, I think about the Mad About You episode when Paul (Paul Reiser) was putting sunscreen on his wife Jamie (Helen Hunt) and saw the SPF number on the bottle. He said, "45? What, does a little sweater come out of the bottle to cover you up?" That may not be the exact quote, but you get the gist.

I don’t feel much different than I did when I was 25, and it is hard to fathom how I got to be 52 so quickly. I think age is mind over matter: if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Didn't Plan to be a Groupie

I didn’t plan to be a groupie, it just worked out that way.

But seeds were planted along the way even though I didn’t recognize them.

I like music, and after high school my sisters, friends, and I would go out to hear local bands, or go to clubs to dance. I never chased after any of the musicians in the bands we listened to, and never aspired to be a groupie.

What I knew about being a groupie came from Kate Hudson as Penny Lane in Almost Famous. I still didn’t plan to be a groupie, and my then-fiance/now-husband Ray wasn’t playing music in 2000 when the movie came out. He had played in bands from the time he was 17 until he was in his late thirties, and he knew some of the local Vero Beach musicians.

We would go out to hear Smoking Man and Elegant Mess, and sometimes when they mixed their lineups, Smoking Mess. We got to be friends with them (alright, he was already friends with them, I got to know them and be friends with them). When Smoking Man and Elegant Mess broke up, two members from each band got together and formed 4 Steps Closer. The two singers and the lead guitar player sang and played at our wedding.

And life intervened. 4 Steps Closer went on hiatus; I don’t think they ever formally broke up. My husband and I co-chair two annual fundraisers for the ARC of Indian River County, one of which is a music show.

ARC-a-palooza was born in 2006. As part of the lineup, Ray asked Sheldon and John from 4 Steps Closer if they would like to play one set as a three-piece band. Rehearsals started in October for the April show. I suggested the band name One Night Stand, since they were only going to play one night.

Three years ago One Night Stand added Dave Ulrich, and he suggested they start playing out. One Night Stand no longer applied, and the band name was changed to Crooked Creek Band. They play a mix of rock and new country (Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, hometown boy Jake Owen, Tim McGraw).

My job as a band wife is to be a groupie. I go to most of the shows in public venues (Earl’s Hideaway in Sebastian, Long Branch Saloon in Vero Beach), and some of the private parties. I cheer, I clap, I dance, I talk about the band to anyone with questions. I take pictures of people standing in front of the band with their cameras. I am my husband’s best groupie. It’s fun “being with the band,” and brings a different element to my quiet life as a bookkeeper and writer. 

I like the biker crowd when the band plays at Earl's on a Saturday afternoon (next show date September 3, if you're interested!). I like the country crowd  and the line dancers at the Long Branch Saloon (next show dates August 25-27). People like to hear good music, get up and dance, and enjoy the show. 

I'm lucky that in addition to enjoying a band, I got the chance to be a groupie. It's a good gig if you can get it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bruce Springsteen Was My First - Twice

I grew up in Old Bridge NJ, geographically and chronologically between Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Each was my first, for different experiences.

The first concert I ever went to was at Madison Square Garden, to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band during their Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. I was 19, and I thought, Oh, so this is what a concert is. There was no opening band, and the show lasted forever, but in reality was probably two and a half to three hours. I was spoiled, because I thought all concerts were like that.

Not so.

My second concert was at a small venue in New Jersey to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The details that stick in my mind were that it was a Sunday night and the show was supposed to start at 10 pm. I went with my sister, her boyfriend, and a friend of mine. We all had to work the next day. The show started close to midnight (two hours late) and the band played for 45 minutes. We were underwhelmed by the concert, and particularly for me, after seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, it was a disappointment.

I have seen Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band numerous times and never been disappointed. I have seen them at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, and I saw them most recently at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, FL.

It was April 2008, and they were performing on their Magic tour. My husband and I, along with another couple, had tickets to see them April 19, and we four also had tickets to see Bon Jovi on April 26.

Danny Federici’s untimely death at 58 from melanoma postponed the Springsteen concert date.

On April 26 we went to see Bon Jovi at the Bank Atlantic Center, with Daughtry as the opening act. We expected an exciting evening, and we weren’t disappointed.

After checking into the hotel and meeting for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at the Sawgrass Mills mall, we walked across the parking lot to the Bank Atlantic Center. Crowds of people milled around, and police blocked the intersections to keep people from crossing. The reason? There was a bomb scare at the venue, called in during the sound check, and the band and crew were told to evacuate the building. Law enforcement from all of the surrounding communities responded with bomb squads, bomb-sniffing dogs, and the manpower necessary to search the building.

We were not told that the show was cancelled, so we waited in a pool hall at Sawgrass Mills. Many people with tickets to the concert were waiting there as well, and updates were relayed around the bar whenever anyone had news. We finally got word that the concert was going to go on, and everyone headed over to the venue.

Security guards were searching bags and handbags as people went in, but the lines moved relatively smoothly. Daughtry was playing as people entered, and played a shorter set to accommodate the late start. Bon Jovi came on and the concert ended close to midnight. Both Daughtry and Bon Jovi put on great shows, the crowd was appreciative that they did, and the bands were appreciative that we stayed.

The next week was the rescheduled date for the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert. Due to the bomb scare the previous week, I had my second first with Bruce: a pat down before entering the Bank Atlantic Center. The show was phenomenal, and was my husband’s first Springsteen concert. He finally understood what all the hype was about, and why I am such a fan.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Differences in Driving

I am a Northern girl living in a Southern town. I love Vero Beach, and after many years driving 45 minutes to an hour commuting to work, I have to say I love being less than 5 miles from work. Having said that, for as much as I have driven in New Jersey and New York City, I have never come as close to dying as I have in Vero Beach, Florida.

There is a joke that Florida is God’s waiting room, and because of all the retirees it is not hard to understand the joke. You may see a large, older model car driving down the road, and all you can see inside are knuckles on the steering wheel, and perhaps the top of a hat or a fuzzy white head. If the car is old enough, you may even see sparks flying from the seat belt trapped in the car door as it flaps against the road.

In New Jersey and New York City, aggressive driving is the norm, everyone knows that, and the passive driver is left on the side of the road. In Florida, due to the large amount of both seniors and tourists, aggressive driving can get you killed, but so can driving the speed limit and being on your own side of the road minding your own business.

One Saturday, driving on the west-bound lane of a divided highway in Vero Beach (State Road 60, by 10th Avenue), an older woman driving a tank turned into my lane as I neared the intersection. It was early enough that there was not much traffic, and I knew there was only one car beside me. He saw the car moving s-l-o-w-l-y into my lane, and moved to his right to give me room to move over and out of the path of the oncoming car. My coffee flying, I was swerving, honking and braking and I moved over to the lane on my right. The oblivious driver was fully turned and driving east bound in the west bound lane, and fortunate that the light at US 1 was in her favor. I didn’t hear a crash, and assumed she turned onto the next cross street.

I have had a similar experience at least two other times, and I always do the RCA dog impression: head cocked to the side while I puzzle out what is wrong with this picture. I have been lucky not to be involved in any head-on collisions, but there are many people in this area who have died. More than alcohol, driving while elderly is a problem here.

I understand that giving up one’s driving privileges due to age is equivalent to giving up one’s independence, but I have two good examples to go by. My father-in-law realized that he should not drive anymore when my husband suggested that he shouldn’t. My grandmother voluntarily gave up her car when she found out she had a heart problem; in her case, she said she would feel terrible if she caused an accident and someone was hurt.

I hope I recognize when it is my turn to turn in my keys, and let someone else do the driving. In the meantime, I keep my eyes peeled out for the errant driver.