Stop the ride. I want to get off.

If you ever want a heart attack, go to Vegas and ride the “Insanity” at the top of the Stratosphere Tower. Dangling 1,100 feet over nothing but certain death, you’ll be spun around so fast that the sound of your hysterical screaming won’t keep up with you. (Depends™ are highly recommended).

The fiction writer’s goal is to suspend disbelief. You don’t want the reader to say, “this is a load of crap” when he reads about how the hero fought off a grizzly using only a roll of toilet paper and some dental floss (mint flavored).

Lately, my life has been such a thrill ride that if I wrote it down, my readers would say “liar, liar, pants on fire.” Short version: divorce, marriage, injury, illness, and career meltdown. These things happen, but they usually don’t gang up on you like a Barry Manilow song you can’t get out of your head.

Strangely, I’ve been able to laugh off a lot of weirdness for my family and myself. Most distressing is a Great Dane who adopted me into his family three years ago. Maverick was 170 pounds of puppy-like joy, playing tug, pouncing on toys, and galloping around my back yard. In the last two weeks I’ve held my friend’s hand as she watched her beloved five year-old dog waste away, the victim of heart disease.

Not a day went by in the last two weeks, when we didn’t think Maverick might pass away during the night. He’s dropped 30 pounds in the last month, and is as weak as a kitten. I would deeply appreciate your prayers, as we try yet another heart medicine. I don’t know if I could bear to lose another four-footed family friend.

I don’t like roller coasters, but I’ll ride this one to the end, because true friends are worth the trip.