Typing with My Fingers Crossed

Photo used with permission and provided by Pasco Fire Rescue

As I write this post I am clicking between my Twitter feed and the local news websites following a story about a massive sinkhole that swallowed two homes just about ten miles from where I type.  It happened a few days ago and, Thank God, no one was hurt, including the pets, thanks to our brave Pasco County first responders. 

Property loss, yes. Groundwater contamination—likely. Peace of mind for those involved and their neighbors? Gone. Makes this post seem minor in comparison. It is. So, what’s the connection?
Those homeowners chose to live in homes built on a foundation of brittle karst topography. As do we all in Florida. Drawn by the area’s lakes and natural beauty, they lived each day with fingers crossed that the earth would remain stable under their feet. Every day they enjoyed the beauty of their surroundings—a tradeoff.

When the earth won the gamble, and collapsed under their homes, their neighbors, sheriff’s deputies, and fire rescue teams responded—heroically. Recovery efforts intended to make them whole again will continue in the coming months. So will the prayers.

Writers are drawn to a similarly fragile place, situated amidst the beauty of words and the rhythm of stories. We risk the emotional ebb and flow of publication’s karst topography—our brittle landscape.   
A few of this writer's reference books.
We cross our fingers as we submit our expertly structured query letters, loglines, synopses, sample pages, and back cover blurbs to agents and editors. Often, our stories are swallowed whole by the process and sheer volume of competition from other talented writers and the shifting market underfoot.                                                                                  

The writing community has its own first responders, also there to help in times of recovery. Critique partners, reference books, blogs, conferences, writing organizations, and yes, even the positive feedback from an agent who has passed on our work—all of us are on the same journey, crossing our fingers against the hungry earth for the chance to linger in the neighborhood amidst the beauty of the words and the rhythm of stories—a tradeoff.                                                                                          

My thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by nature’s sinkholes in Pasco County and to the community there, helping for the long haul. 

What do you think? Please leave a comment, or better yet, see the info below from Pasco County and the United Way:


  1. I had no idea that many sinkholes happen in Florida. Where I live, we deal with flashfloods and tornadoes. Sorta "there's always sumpin."

    1. This one was very large, most are small and easily fixed with structural pins and concrete pumped into the hole. I really don't think they are as common as they are dramatic--not sure of the stats. At least there are usually warning signs and time to evacuate--unlike the flashfloods and tornadoes. Be Safe!


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