Back on Track

on June 11, 2010 in Misc

June is shaping up to be a busy Layla month.  That’s good, since I feel like I’ve been in a rut ever since my non-self-inflicted injury. 

Currently on the schedule is skydiving with friends and paragliding – FINALLY paragliding. 


Remember how I paid for a session last autumn, but then the weather turned too cool and windy?  Well, between the bad weather (WAY too much wind around here, even on warm days) and my fractured ribs, there was no way I could get into a harness.  But now we are go for launch, Houston.  Or at least we are after this weekend, which is supposed to be soggy and cold.

I’m also back in fencing.  My two months away from it is showing in my game, and besides that my cardio went to hell in a hand basket, so I’ve got to build that back up.

Then there’s my (regressed) upper body strength.  I had thought that by now I’d be climbing buildings and rappelling off walls.  Now I figure that I won’t be ready for this until late July or August.

Funny thing is, urban climbing/rappelling looks so exotic and forbidden in the movies, and of course Layla gets a thrill doing it in secret.   But at work this last Monday I looked out the seventh-floor windows during a company meeting and what do I see?  A guy in a harness calmly washing those windows.  He had to keep maneuvering himself on and off ledges by manipulating ropes, and he did this masterfully.  Also fearlessly.  Yet we don’t look on skyscraper window washers as exotic people, more like just low-paid grunts doing a thankless job. 


Personally, I now really admire these guys.  

Also on my June schedule:  trying out stuff I’ll learn from reading Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating, which I just bought.  Some of the stuff in it like how to do surveillance (both in person and electronic), “bypassing and spoofing caller ID,” and “anticipating your subject’s next move” are more relevant to the bad guys in The Compass Master since they’re following Layla.  But to make sure I’ve written them with realistic details I’ve got to learn their skills too.  Besides, Layla knows how to watch her back and at times she realizes she’s under surveillance and ditches her stalkers.

Of course you know what this means:  In the coming days I’ll practice “surveillance” by stalking perfect strangers, and maybe I can convince a friend to let me try following him/her without him/her ever spotting me.  And that’s just for starters.  I can also figure out my way around “proprietary data suppliers” and public records and tracking down people. 

Odds are, the biggest risk I’ll run is making a complete ass of myself.  But I’m used to that.

6 Responses to “Back on Track”

  1. Ben says:

    Wow! That this should be a busy summer for you, then! That book sounds interesting! I’ve been looking for a book like that to aid me in my writing. Do you like it so far?

  2. Robert L. Read says:

    Try not to pick a paranoid psycho to practice your surveillance on.

  3. Helena says:

    Ben — I do really like it, but then I’m the author. More important is that my friends liked it a lot, had a couple good suggestions for changes, and I’ll make more changes in the rewrite. Then it’s off to a (self) publisher (CreateSpace, at this point).

  4. Helena says:

    Robert — I hadn’t thought of that. I’d better choose wisely.

  5. Ben says:

    Wait, you wrote the Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating?

  6. Helena says:

    Ben — I am so embarrassed! I thought you were referring to my novel. I’ve really gotta learn to concentrate more when I’m writing/working on my blog like this. Sometimes I’ve got a million things going on in my mind and I make whopping mistakes. Like this one.

    I bought The Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating, which is written by Steven Kerry Brown, a former special agent for the FBI. And it is really interesting.