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Editing is Like Doing Laundry

Earlier I explained how fun it is to write a book. It's like building a house starting with a good foundation, a strong story arc. However that's only half the job. Now that your thoughts have materialized into words on paper the content needs to be checked and rechecked ad nauseum. This is the editing phase which I compare to doing laundry. Many writers utilize critique groups to help edit. I prefer to do my laundry at home where I have editing expertise available 24-7 using two on-line editing applications, Grammarly and Prowriter. Unlike critique groups which occur in soft and fuzzy social settings where the writer obtains helpful hints from friends who don't want to hurt your feelings,

Fear of Failure: My Autobiography

A Two-Edged Sword The autobiographical work “Fear of Failure” documents the life and times of James Aarons, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. It is a bold, uncensored look at the struggles of a young man looking for fulfillment in his profession and love in his life. Dr. Aarons pulls no punches and makes no excuses as he charmingly writes his way through his life’s journey. It is an effort that took great courage to write, and took even greater courage for his wife to permit him to do so. Most of all, this book is full of hope. The author’s self-disclosure is at once heartbreaking and enlightening, honest and innocent, with an eagerness to face headlong difficult and often painful truths. It is

Rectal Palpation

Doc’s routine starts after the morning shift when the cows are left in their stanchions inside the milking barn. Doc put his long, plastic s

Encounter With a Sea Monster

Another time brother Rob and I went on a dive out of Dana Point. Standing atop the cliffs at the point, one sees a long and massive seawall separating the harbor from the open ocean protecting moored boats from the pounding waves. The harbor is to the left of the seawall, and the sea is on the right. We walked down the cliffside pathways toward the ocean wearing our wetsuits and buoyancy compensators and weights, carrying the tanks on our backs, masks, and fins in our hands, entering past the tide pools just where the jetty began. It was an easy swim; soon we were out in the swells about a quarter mile from shore. Bobbing amongst the floating seaweed on the surface we readied our scuba gear,

Understanding Currents Will Save Your Life

When I first started snorkeling off Corona del Mar beach I was accidentally caught up in a wave; it crashed me into rocks clad in barnacles, and these suckers have sharp outsides. I was able to scramble out onto the stones between waves, but blood was coming from numerous cuts on my chest and belly because of the sharp barnacles. This taught me to stay away from barnacles, that’s why I kept trying to swim away from the pier. People walking on the dock thirty feet above me noticed my lack of progress and began yelling advice. Oh! I finally realized the plan, the people on the pier want me to go right through, that's what they were telling me, I realized. I still didn’t want to go between the

Lamarck Col

Martha arranged a backpacking trip to spend three days in the eastern Sierras hiking out of a trail head near Bishop Calif. She had done a similar hike a few years ago with her Girl Scout troop and wanted to introduce me to the topography. I expanded the trip to eight days and invited family and friends on the outing as well. Over the next few months we outlined a trip using a topographical map of the area. We would hike over Lamarck Col in the Eastern Sierras. Our group totaled eight people. We planned the menus and went shopping for the food. We met in the employee break room at the vet hospital one evening to weigh the gear and ingredients, so everyone carried their fair share of the load

Jugular Catheterization

The work habits I learned in my previous rotations came back to plague me in my Equine Surgery rotation.

Discovery: Cocaine Eggs, Chapter 16

“Is that a lighthouse, Marol?” Rory asked. “Oh, that’s Loggerhead Key Lighthouse, we’re close to our photoshoot. We’ve traveled farther than I thought.” “A loggerhead is the sea turtle, right?” “Yes, and they come onto the beaches to reproduce. The whole area is off-limits to hunters, but historically turtles were a natural food source for the European sailors. The unsuspecting turtles would swim up on the beach at night to lay their eggs, only to find themselves rudely inverted and carted off by three or four men. Each one weighed two hundred to five hundred pounds. Hunting turtles became a social event, referred to as “turning turtle.” “That lighthouse island doesn’t look big enough to mak

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