If you’re reading this page, you’re probably wondering who this crazy person is. And yes, I can officially call myself crazy, because it’s been diagnosed by multiple doctors over the years — incorrectly, I might add. That’s not saying I’m sane or stable, but anyone who knows me already knows that. I only mean when it came to why my muscles, including my heart, would occasionally decide to stop working, THAT WASN’T IN MY HEAD.
Each and every time I’d describe the weakness, dizziness, inability to move, and that bizarre feeling in my heart, I’d be told I was only imagining it. “It’s all in your head,” they’d reassure me, directing me towards medications that would, in hindsight, only worsened my problems. Good thing my policy was to tell them where they could stick their pills. (Note: Patient exhibits bad/non-compliant attitude)
It’s been a steady decline since 2010, when things started really getting bad. In 2015 I found a cardiologist who actually listened and suspected there was more going on. And guess what we found?
Yeah. Apparently, my heart was doing that… a lot. Enough that I got a pacemaker soon after. No more skippy heart… whooohoo!
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. I was still getting weaker. These days I need a cane to walk, move at sloth-speed, and can’t always lift a gallon of milk.
And finally in January of 2019, genetic testing and an EMG confirmed I have an ion channelopathy, specifically Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis.
So, at present, I’m an old sailor who can sail (or swim) anymore, a writer of nautical murder and mayhem (thought I’ve temporarily pulled the books from distribution – more on that another time) with a bad attitude and skewed take on life, now more than ever.
And now, we wind up the way-back machine and return you to the old ‘ABOUT ME’/AUTHOR PITCH page, (unedited for your reading amusement.)
Below, 2012 at a publishing party.
Yes, this is me, looking just a bit more stylish than usual, but don’t let the curls and the cheerful smile fool you. Truth is, I’m a diesel-driving double-clutching Jersey girl who spends too much time fixing boats and trucks, motoring, sailing, writing and not behaving according to expectations, and I’ll be the first to admit I have an evil, twisted mind. I live in northeast New Jersey with my husband, two dogs and assorted cats. Growing up aboard boats, I’ve sailed the region’s waters single-handed since childhood, and done a little of everything from boat restorations and repairs to managing a boatyard and working in commercial marine transportation. My work has been published in Boating on the Hudson, Offshore Magazine and DIY Boat Owner Magazine. I divide my time between working on Annabel Lee, my 32′ trawler, and writing, where I tend to find humor in the strangest, and often darkest places. My novels, Last Exit In New Jersey and No Wake Zone, are proof of that. I’m currently at work on the third book in the series: Evacuation Route.
Why am I smiling? (Scituate Harbor, Massachusetts, November 11, 2007.) When I woke that morning it was 26 degrees outside, and, with no heater aboard, not much warmer in the cabin. The day before, we crossed the bay in 14 foot seas. I spent more time than I’d care to admit examining the swim platform. Half our food stayed behind in the car, the water in the holding tank tastes kind of funky and the cabin looks like a bomb went off. In other words, I’m having fun! (And clearly insane.)
The ‘muttly’ crew – Moxy and Rex, ready to roll.
Annabel Lee – 1977 Cheoy Lee 32′ Trawler Built in Hong Kong by Cheoy Lee Shipyards, she cruises contently at a sedate 7 knots through hell or high water, burning a mere one gallon an hour, and her 80hp Lehman diesel will run just fine on biodiesel. She draws 4.5′, weighs in just under 20,000 lbs., holds 360 gallons of fuel, 200 of water, and carries full electronics. Aboard, there are V bunks forward, a head with shower, full galley with 4 burner propane stove/oven, fridge, pressurized hot & cold running water and LOTS of teak.
Myra Lee – Annabel Lee’s predecessor, a 1978 Marshall Sanderling. A truly charming catboat and a delight to sail. She’s moored just south of our docks these days.
Kat-Cat, one of our former ferals, has much to laugh at these days.