Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Raccoon adventure at Autobahn Auto

An hour before closing today, me and my employee Nathan stood in the back shop by my tool box. He looked suddenly past me and said "Oh kitten. Oh no, raccoon."

I turned to look, thinking he is kidding me. Just a few feet away, this raccoon toddler walked, drunk like, around the shop.

A few weeks ago we discovered a dead, adult raccoon in the dungeons, which is the far back part of the shop where we keep parts cars stacked on top of one another. That part of the shop is a add on, accessible by a heavy door. We call that part the dungeons because there is no lights there, just some daylight through a window and some holes in the roof.

So here was this raccoon baby walking around us, no different than a tame puppy. He looked like he was near death, he walked slow, not scared of us, tipping over a few times. His fur was wet, he looked skinny. While my business partner rushed in with a box, Nathan called animal control. We feared he might get away and die in the shop. We all had the same thought, exercise our human power to save this poor creature.

The box scared the poor baby and he came to life, standing on his hind legs screaming. Then he walked away and stood by the door to the dungeons which I had closed after going in there an hour earlier. Nathan and I decided to open the door to see if he would lead us to more baby raccoons in need. Once in there, he crawled in the darkest corner behind a car, crying and trying to climb the vehicles.

I got a flashlight and climbed to the car stacked on top of it. There I sighted the face of another baby raccoon behind the front seats. In the meanwhile, the other raccoon walked back to the front of the shop where he just sat and waited like a puppy outside a store. We walked right by him several times and that didn't bother him at all.

Animal control showed up and now Nathan and I felt saver, these guys know what they're doing, right? He put the one in a cage and suggested putting up traps. He feared, we open the car door and they might jump in his face (or ours.)

After offering our help, the animal control guy agreed to try to recover the raccoons. I got onto the roof of the two pile car, he handed me his gizmo, a stick and handle that looked like one of those light bulb changing devices but with a claw. The man held a cage below the door while I opened it and fished for the second baby raccoon. By the time I was done, there were 4 baby raccoons in the cage.

Another animal control officer rushed to the scene. The lady admired our catch, but suggested separating the fallen dirty one.He was being licked and hugged by the others who were happy to see him. The lady opened the cage and reached in with her bare hands, picking up the one like a cat picks up her kittens. She even cleaned him and he loved it.

These baby raccoons had no way to get down from the cars inside the shop, had it not been for the one baby falling down from the car, we would have not noticed them until they died.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Murderisation at my house every night

I got a big problem. Lately here I've been wondering what happened to those annoying Turtle doves that were driving me insane every morning. For some reason they have been quiet, almost none existent anymore.

I'm not that lucky though. About two weeks ago it became apparent, why the turtle doves hang low. In the tree directly in my yard, two humongous Blue-Heron have nested. The sight of those sitting on rooftops in the far distance has always given me the chills as they look like something out of Jurassic Park. Don't be fooled by that picture I took, Heron's are big with a long neck.

Now they are in the tree, just ten feet away from the upstairs-front windows of our house.
I've been told they nest near water, well I guess my pool counts. However, they supposed to eat fish and that is why, I was told, they nest near water.

Every night around 1am I awake from a semi sleep because some animal screams for its life, then shortly after you can see the Heron return to the nest. They got a crazy wingspan, makes you wanna run the other way.

Tonight was extreme, which is why I'm still awake and ultimately re-booting my PC to write this blog. About 40 minutes ago, just as I was getting ready for bed, this animal-attack like scream for its life sound came from the direction of our garage roof. It was either a cat or a squirrel that was being murderized. The sound was horrifying--all dogs in the neighborhood barked up a storm.

There is no light near my garage, yet I stepped on our back porch--trying to intervene with mother nature and save whatever was being killed. The sound of the attack was so intense and horrifying, the houses bordering my property started to come alive with lights. No one however, dared to come outside.

Sudden doubts of the Heron causing this massacre had me scared to death. I turned in the house quickly and slammed the door--locking it with extra care. The struggle lasted 10 long minutes then it was quiet and the Heron's returned to the nest.

I can't wait for daybreak to see if the roof of my garage is covered in blood and remainings of something that lived in my backyard.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Torn From Normal" demo cover and blurbs

I apologize for not posting a new blog earlier. I've been holding off, gathering updates.
There is still no exact date for when Torn From Normal will be released. As soon as I find out I will update the blog and other media.

I sent the final manuscript off to my publisher and other authors for reviews. One review is already included at the end of this blog.

To the left you see a demo of the cover the way I wanted it to be and I created this cover myself. Tell me what you think, I would love to hear your opinion. You can click the picture to enlarge it.

***Image removed***

As soon as I receive a demo cover from the publisher I will post it here.

I know many of you are getting eager to finally hold Torn From Normal in your hands and I can tell you, ted tape is a snail in publishing and it gets worse every time you think it gets better and your book is almost published.

I'll leave the guess work as to who posed for demo cover, to you. Ask me and I might tell you and by the way, the same person volunteered for the book trailer of Torn From Normal.

The Hockey Jersey along with the number 24 is very significant to the story itself and no Torn From Normal is not a book about sports.

I hope you enjoyed this short update, please feel free to comment. (If you don't have a google account, select the anonymous setting when ask under what server to leave the comment, but sign your name in the field so we know who you are.)

Now to the review, here is the first one. More will follow.

By Ophelia Julien.

Martin Bartloff's Torn From Normal is a very moving, very strong story. The catastrophe that is protagonist Andy Riley's life will resonate with his readers, as will the inherent tragedy awaiting secondary characters Danny and Marvin. The characters are believable, especially Danny, an honest and likeable young man, and Marvin, the strong father figure you wish you'd had in your own life. Andy Riley, though, is the one to tug at your heart strings, the sad, young boy you'll want to welcome into your home. A quick read, Torn From Normal is a telling reminder that the myth of carefree childhood is exactly that for a lot of the young people in our society: a myth.