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Copyright 2000 Tara K. Harper.  All rights reserved.

Tara K. Harper
February 1, 2000

In which TKH visits the Body Farm, goes falconing,
and is hit twice in her pickup truck.


Lately, I've been getting a lot of requests for information about what's new in my life, with my writing, and so on.  I suppose people want to know why I'm so slow to answer letters and why it takes me so long to get the next book out.  What I can tell you is that my life always seems full of various traumas and events.  For example, here are the last three weeks in my life--a fairly typical series of events:

It started out with a hit-and-run.  This newish, silver sedan just sort of folded itself into the driver's side of my pickup.  At the time, I couldn't help thinking that my truck is big, red, and hard to miss--and they didn't miss it.  Don't know how much damage they did to their car--they didn't wait around to show me.  But, as usual, my truck suffered no damage--just a little black streak that came off when I wiped my fingers across it.  (Rather like this other time, when a young woman totaled her new car and left my truck with a clean streak on the bumper where the impact occurred.)  

After the hit-and-run, I figured it was time to get out of town, so I flew off to be one of the Guests of Honor at Chattacon in Tennessee.  Nice people.  Had a good time.  A bit odd though--I know there were well over 1200 people there, but I never saw more than 50 at a time.  I think the elevators were directly linked into some sort of gravitational sinkhole...  

Went from Tennessee to North Carolina, where I nearly died in a goat barn.  Interviewed a forensic anthropologist, who wasn't very forthcoming with her information; but did see the "body farm"--the human-decomposition research facility that was sensationalized in a popular mystery novel.  

I interviewed a parasitologist who was very forthcoming with her information and samples, and while in her lab, I discovered a new death-reaction---to formaldehyde.  Almost didn't make it out that time, and it took a lot longer to recover than I expected.  

Went falconing with some master falconers.  I have done some wild-raptor rehabilitation work, have worked with some captive raptors, and have certainly read about falconing.  However, the sense of what I saw with Sheri and Dennis never came through in the books I'd read.  It was fascinating to be along on the real thing--the sounds of the tail bells, the method of diving, the way the hawks worked through the trees, the partner hunting.  Of course, <sigh> the lighting was either night-black shadows or winter-bright, so the photos didn't come out well, but perhaps next time...

Photos Copyright 2000 Tara K. Harper.  All rights reserved.

I also arranged for a six- or eight-week stint with a prominent biogenetics company in Huntsville, Alabama.  As usual, I will end up down South in the summer.  I'm beginning to think that southerners have only two types of weather:  hot-and muggy or extremely-hot-and-muggy.

Since life apparently thought it had not yet been interesting enough, it sent two 120' trees down on our house in one of our typical Oregon wind storms.  One tree crushed the hot tub (which had been a gift from a friend barely a year before), tore the new gutters off the house, and left one heck of a lot of firewood in the back yard.  I can see the sky now for the first time in eight years--since I moved into this house.  Luckily, none of the falling trees hit the motorcycle parked in back, so we are counting our blessings.  

Finally, to complete the two-week period, I was in another accident at the same intersection where I was hit-and-run-from before.  I managed to avoid this yet-another-insane driver, but had to go up against a thick concrete post, and it tore out the side of my pickup.  I actually cried.  I broke my truck, and that means it will be much harder to take off to the mountains to write and have a life.

Oh, and I did rework my entire new novel and add two more chapters that I had not realized that I needed.

My life in a nutshell.  Can't wait for the next three weeks.

Copyright 2000 Tara K. Harper

All rights reserved.  It is illegal to reproduce or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, any part of this copyrighted file without permission in writing from Tara K. Harper.  Permission to download this file for personal use only is hereby granted by Tara K. Harper.

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