Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Adventures of a Crazy Woman

I am an adventurous and generous author.
Whatever I do, at least one of my characters will get to do.
Sometimes more than one gets to do it.

In Book 1 of my Artificial Intelligence series
Carla goes down a 23 foot waterfall in New Zealand.
Here's me going down that waterfall.
Yep, that's pretty much STRAIGHT down. When I traversed it, they said only 20% landed upright. The websites now claim 50%. I have to wonder if the guides have gotten better or if they bumped the percentage so more would take the trip.
Liza above

I'll admit, I don't think I would have enjoyed it half as much had I tumbled out like a lost sock in the washing machine. As it was, upon escaping the washing machine I, like everyone else, am a bit dazed.  

And if you are curious as to how I have pics. There's a guy on the cliff taking pictures. I think they cost me $20 but since it was the only 23 foot waterfall in the world that you could legally go down and expect to live, I had to have pictures. 

In a great deal of my books I raft. I love white water rafting...or normally I do. The river below was no fun at all!
I know, you are probably thinking that looks better than going down a waterfall. Well, about a second later we come to a bend in the river and the water rolls up the cliff wall then falls down on the raft knocking everyone three feet to the right. This meant I remained in the boat, but the peeps on the right got washed out. Which is how a tourist had died a few days before. We, however, recovered our peeps and no one died. Once we got around the bend the river widened and it was a big yawn. But I have to admit, that's a beautiful pic. I'm front left. My other issue is that we had zero control of the raft. There's hardly an oar that is touching water! We have zero, zip, nada control of our boat. 

When I was in Tasmania, I spent 7 days on the river with a bunch of guys. They were baffled by my presence. Why would a girl want to take a class four river raft? I loved when we had to do precise movements. Skill actually meant something on the Franklin river. I was excellent at left overs.  (That means upon command by our excellent guide, I would throw myself from my seat on the right, landing on the left side just in front of my left partner, who would slid back a bit. This enabled the raft to lift on the right side so we could slide through narrow passes between the large boulders. I did this so well, that my guide almost always called out left overs. We rarely did a right over. 

However, there were parts of the river that given the current water heights were simply unsafe to traverse, and so he'd make us do something I felt was even more unsafe.
 That was climbing on the side of the cliff and dragging our rafts with us. The picture is a bit tilted, but I was very worried I wasn't going to survive this section. I was so relieved when we got back in the raft. Climbing on two-inch ledges with rubber water shoes is NOT SAFE.

Still, this is a river you seriously have to work as a team and listen to your guide. I loved it until the last day when our journey ended here. Our way out was up a freaking waterfall.
Fortunately, it wasn't as bad as it looks. About twenty feet up that nonsense there was a 'trail' with a sign that said. "Warning. Trail is steep and dangerous. Use only in an emergency."
When I look at this for some reason it reminds me of bigfoot images. That's me leading the guys for like five seconds. Then they climbed over me, because I got stuck. One of them stepped on my shoulder to continue his climb.
The guide said we had to make two climbs to retrieve everything and bring the raft up. I hadn't climbed more than 300 feet before I knew damn well I was NOT going back down this and climbing it again. My climb was so slow that all those hunky guys passed early on and then passed me again as the hurried down. The guide gave me the good news that I didn't have to go down a second time when he passed me on his second trip up. That was never going to happen, but I refrained from telling him that and just thanked him instead.

And yes, I've a book with the whole trip. Not sure I'll ever publish it, but a character had to do this. Poor thing. 

Lucky was the character who got to go hang-gliding. Now jumping off the cliff with a cute instructor attached is lots of fun. When we were on a moderate hill, lifting the not particularly light hang-glider, and running down the weedy, potholed hill, I was not a happy camper.

In fact, I seriously hurt my ankle, which is why I got to do mountain jumps.  And if not for those sheep who refused to move when we landed it would have been my finest memory. 

I'm sorry to say, I let my character crash into the hard sheep as well.  At least reindeer didn't graze on my landing site.
 Many of my characters fly planes, since I learned to do that.  I also white water and sea kayak, so my characters do that as well. 
And let's not forget diving for the great white shark.
Fabulous trip, only I appear to be shark repellant. Once I left, the sharks came to play, but Ian Gorden let me watch the film of all the fun those who remained had after I left. I let my characters do that as well. 
I checked youtube. Ian doesn't have the actual film he showed me posted. The problem was to save the cameraman in the cage, he had to do something that's not allowed.

And how did I get two weeks of shark time with a famous shark guy? I have no idea. I asked for a shark dive and this is what my fabulous trip arranger arranged. 

Since the sharks were refusing to come during my two week, Ian let us cave dive and it nearly killed me:

The water surges into this cave were intense, and once we went in, it was nearly impossible to get out. It was the only time I thought I might actually die. Evidently, some water was making it through to the other side, which meant the surge going out did not equal the power of the surge going in. Since I had no clue if a human could get through to the other side, I needed to return the way I came in. My partner and I were being pushed further into the cave tunnel with each surge. Once I had a sense of the time between surges I would swim to a rock closer to the opening and hold on for dear life during a powerful surge. Then after the surge, swim to another rock and do the same thing again. Eventually, me and my dive partner got out, fortunately before we ran out of air.

I've done other things as well, but I think that's enough sharing for today.

With a new identity, Amanda believes she has left her past behind. Then she acquires a stalker. She contacts the FBI and in doing so alerts a program she once created to her location. Now ensconced in the internet, the program is safe from harm, smarter than ever, and sentient. Presenting itself on her phone as a handsome face with a sexy British accent, “Adam” ingratiates himself into Amanda’s life. To ensure her safety and happiness, the sentient program proves there is absolutely nothing he can’t and won’t do.


  1. I envy you... sort of. All that experience has to come out somewhere!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Some one accused me of having an early mid-life crisis. LOL

  2. You have done so many exciting things. Too many for me! Have you ever thought about jumping out of a plane?

  3. I have jumped out of a plane. The toggles were tangled and before I could control my chute, I first had to untangle it. Fortunately I found float in the air to be calming, so I casually untangled it and got control in time to land where I was supposed to.


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