An Unplanned Break from Civilization

(Monte Dutton photos)
(Monte Dutton photos)

In hindsight, losing my satellite TV reception wasn’t such a bad thing.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)
By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

A storm hit last Thursday night, and while the damage wasn’t severe, it did rip apart a cedar tree in the backyard. I’m not sure whether the tree will survive or not. She might just need to be taken out of her misery.

The power was out for about sixteen hours. Oddly, wi-fi remained in force. The phone was intact, and, I guess, the modem must have a backup power source. Or not. I don’t know. All I know is I could still access the Internet, and I could recharge my devices in the truck.

Storm3The house seemed eerily quiet without the drone of the TV, which I often watch idly while writing. The hum of the refrigerator was gone. Since the windows were up, I could hear birds chirping as they examined the ruins of my tree.

I spent the better part of Saturday morning clipping branches on the dirt road to my house and dragging them to the side so that I could escape home without taking a circuitous path through pastures and past my mother’s house. Then I mowed the lawn while watching the nice man from DirecTV put a new dish on the roof because the other one was buried under the side of a tree. Satellite TV was restored in time for me to watch and write about the NASCAR race in Kentucky.

The lingering memory of the past four days, though, is how much work I got done while suffering from the absence of television.

Storm6I did not plan to finish editing Cowboys Come Home, my next novel, but I did. Now it’s ready for a cover design, the suggestions of two people reading it, and a decision on my part regarding how in the hell I’m getting to get the fifth one published. Maybe I’ll make that bold decision next time the power goes out.

It has crossed my mind that I should get rid of TV more often, but what happened over the weekend was an extreme example. I’m cut off from the world enough already.

The lyrics that come to mind are from Shel Silverstein by way of Johnny Cash:

If I ever have a son, I think I’ll name him …. Bill! Or George! Anything but Sue!

Storm5

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Mr. Monte sent you, y’hear?

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).

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