04 October 2014 by Published in: Uncategorized 15 comments

You know those dystopian novels where there’s this scruffy stranger moving along a bleak deserted highway, usually with an adorable mutt trailing him? And there’s either smoking ruins in the distance, or a barren landscape, or some sort of radioactive looking swamp?

I have two adorable mutts.


NEWS: JET wins finalist in the annual Kindle Book Review Awards, Upon A Pale Horse wins semi-finalist. I should have bribed some judges or something.


Living out of a rucksack might have been appealing to me when I was in my teens or twenties, but it kind of sucks in 2014. Not that I’m complaining – still got all my fingers and toes, as do the pooches. But recovery time is longer, and being displaced like I currently am, blown to the far horizon by Hurricane Odile, has put a definite crimp in my production schedule – and if I can’t produce more crap, how can I demand that you continue buying it? See the problem?

Reports from my buddies in Baja are conflicting – some say there’s little dependable power and the place looks like something out of Book of Eli, others are saying the lights are on in some neighborhoods and there’s reliable delivery of food to the few grocery stores that are open. Either way, I’m going back, the only question being when. No point in returning to a smoking crater, but by the same token I’ve got deadlines to meet and plans to make, repairs to organize, enemies and critics to mock and vilify.

My hope is to make it back within ten days. We’ll see how that goes.

Not that I dislike mainland. In earlier days I spent a lot of time in Mazatlan, which is all good, but that was before I had a workload like I do. And not to be overly dramatic, but I just heard the reports of four gunshots – when you get good enough to make distinctions like handgun or rifle, you know you’ve spent too much time here. I wish I was kidding. Fortunately, they sounded like they weren’t immediately outside, so that’s something, I suppose.

Thanks for the outpouring of support and well wishes. I’ll put the bite on those who want to help me out by directing you to REBlake.com on Oct. 6th to assist with the launch of the first two NA/YA romances going live on the 7th. Not to guilt trip anyone into pimping me or anything. Although hoping you’ll do exactly that. Hint, hint.

That’s all I have for an update. I’m trying to reintroduce a sense of normalcy into all this, but it ain’t easy. Then again, nobody ever said it would be. And it could be worse. I mean, at least there’s no ebola, right? Right…?




  1. Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 12:30 am

    Don’t be silly. Everyone knows that hurricanes cure ebola.

    Sounds like you and the dogs are staying fed and safe, at least. Any word on the state of the Blake abode? Last we heard was that looters were headed your way.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 1:34 am

      Nope. Nada. I presume that my collection of beanie babies and cocaine have not been stolen.

  2. Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Congratulations on the award nominations.
    As to your adorable two mutts, I’d love to do a feature on them living through Odile – and you, of course, however less adorable you might be. It’s been since May 2013 that I did a story on your Angel. Remember? If not, it’s here: http://ingehborg.blogspot.com/2013/05/authors-and-their-angels.html
    Naturally, there should be a segue to your new book launch.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Love to, but problem is limited internet on my part.

      • Inge H. Borg  –  Mon 06th Oct 2014 at 12:16 pm

        I put a blog article together on my other “literary” blog – http://devilwinds.blogspot.com/ – and will be twittering like a nightingale about it tomorrow.
        See if the write-up is ok with you. We can do the doggies on my “animal site” when your displacement is over.
        Again, congratulations on a whirlwind (pardon the pun) output.

  3. Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Russell, I enjoy your books, your blog, and your solid advice on self-publishing, and when I read your Odile story I cringed at what you must have gone through. Horrifying!

    Good luck as you and your canine pals head for whatever awaits you at home. I’m pretty sure it won’t be Ebola–it’s too busy scaring the carp out of people in other parts of the globe.

  4. Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Hey Russell, you can count on me for the RE Blake tweet/FB/G+ hoedown! I loved those books and am mostly sorry the hurricane kept you from sending me the third in the trilogy in the rumored ten days. (selfish I know, but since you mention it…)
    Being out of your home, routine, and derailed even partly from writing sucks so bad. I am keeping a close eye on things through my relatives, equally distraught by the situation.
    Congrats on the KindleReview contest, competition has gotten downright stiff in that one!
    I continue to hope you get good grist for the writing mill out of all of this…
    Much aloha
    Toby Neal

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Gracias, Toby.

  5. Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Hope you get home and life returns to normal soon. Take care.

    Congrats on the book awards too.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 05th Oct 2014 at 10:48 pm


  6. Henry
    Tue 14th Oct 2014 at 5:48 pm

    That sounds absolutely horrible. I hope your’e able to at least go back home soon. At least you have your health, unlike the tousands, soon to be millions of people in West Africa with ebola. Don’t know whether it’s my paranoia coming through, but it sure looks like the result of an international conspiracy:
    1. A disaster in a Third World country occurs

    2. The country is allowed to suffer for a period of time.

    3. Promises of aid are made, the country gratefully accepts, as people are dying and there is chaos.

    4. Western countries send aid, aid personnel, military personnel, and set it up so the countries are virtually run by them, all the while being exploited. Colonialism all over again.

    I’ve said before, ebola sounds a lot like AIDS in how it was supposedly transmitted to humans, and we know that the AIDS explanation is bullshit. In my view, ebola is just a way of testing a new virus out, possibly in the Cold War, and it’s still around. Anyway, enough said, otherwise an “accident” will befall me at the behest of the international security community. Great books Russell, and stay strong.

    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 15th Oct 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Henry, if I wrote a novel wherein the US government ignored the biggest epidemiology threat to the nation since the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic killed 100 million worldwide, and instead of quarantining the affected regions (as has been the ONLY mechanism to work with ebola outbreaks in all history) allowed literally unfettered air travel to and from the areas, as well as to the rest of the world, it would be rejected by readers as being too unrealistic, because that could never happen. If I tried to write a scene where CNN reported that there was no reason to worry, because the screening mechanism that had 100% failed the only time tested by the Dallas patient, was being used to protect us, I’d have to delete it as being too implausible – because nobody’s that stupid.

      Because there’s no way that the CDC, the media, and the government could take a highly contagious pathogen capable of surviving outside the body for days, and allow unrestricted air travel, etc. as though there were no threat. There’s no way that those who clean the planes would go to work knowing they might be risking their lives for $12 an hour. There’s no way people would sign up for going out of their homes once it became obvious that it would go parabolic, and the woman or child sneezing near them could be a death sentence.

      I don’t have a good feeling about this, Henry, and my biggest fear is that eventually no place will be safe. The only positive I see is the Chinese company that is pressing for approval for what it claims is a cure. Other than that, public health authorities so far have shown utter disregard for common sense, and our health care system has shown itself to be completely incompetent. I’m usually the first to shrug when confronted with calls to worry (as I’m being told I should do about ISIS, and as the media wanted me to do about Syria gassing people – a lie – or Iraq having WMDs it could deploy within 45 minutes, or Swine or avian flu, etc.), but it’s even scarier when the media is telling me I shouldn’t worry. That’s where I start to pucker, and I’m puckering, even with all the chaos from the hurricane, the looting, the storm-related safety concerns. I have a friend who flew to Dallas yesterday. I asked him if he understood he was flying into ground zero of an area where nobody knows the level of ebola exposure yet, and won’t for a month or more. He shrugged and said, “but I already paid for the tickets.”

      Nough said. Hope I’m completely wrong about all of this.

  7. Richard Fox
    Thu 16th Oct 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Sorry to hear about the austere living conditions. A house and its contents is only stuff, replaceable stuff. You and your dogs aren’t replaceable, so all should be thankful that the irreplaceable is safe.

    Why the attachment to that part of Mexico? Why not rent out an apartment north of the border and enjoy the steady internet connection?

    If you are concerned about ebola, then China is probably the best place to be. No politically correct hand wringing over upsetting people. The Chinese will lock down a region and shoot anyone tring to escape a hot zone. Quarantine is the only way to stop a plague, hope is not a method.

    In renaissance Italy, if someone in a home came down with the plague, the city authorities locked everyone inside the house until the occupants were dead or the disease burned through whoever was inside. Problem solved.

    I have bad thoughts about some illegal in a detention center going hyperbolic, infecting hundreds of illegals in the same detention center, then all those infected getting bussed around the US before being released with a peice of paper encouraging them to show up for a deportation hearing.

    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 18th Oct 2014 at 12:53 pm

      The problem isn’t the faceless illegal, Richard. It’s the legal nurse on the plane next to you. It’s people who look exactly like you, have the same language, skin color, faith in the same white bearded God, etc. etc. It’s the mobile middle-class person who is on the plane, or whose brother is a long-distance trucker, or whose sister is a hospital worker or a garbage man or a TSA supervisor or works in gift shop, etc. etc.

      If I thought I could get into China with my dogs, I’d be looking hard at it. Ditto for places like Australia and New Zealand, who could give a crap about political correctness.

      North of the border isn’t an option – north of the border has full blown Ebola. North of the border is what I’m worried about. The fact that those in a country with active Ebola cases spreading consider themselves safer than they would be in countries without it is part of the problem. The CDC and the government is lying about everything. I caught them in several lies already. Why would anyone believe proven liars when they come out with their latest lie? That’s the part I just don’t get. Blows my mind.

      Here are the facts as we know them: Ebola is contagious. There is some argument about how contagious. Those who have underestimated its virulence are largely dead. We know there are serum concentrations in sweat, saliva, blood, all bodily fluids. There is some disagreement over exactly when each of those fluids contains sufficient concentrations to infect others. There is no disagreement that if someone with sufficient concentration sneezes on you, or near you, or you come in contact with that fluid hours or even days later, you are at risk.

      We know there is up to a 30 incubation period between exposure and presenting with symptoms. Some experts say 21 days. Others say 40. 30 is as good as either in my view.

      Put simply, we will have no idea how many people will develop Ebola over the next month from their exposure on the plane, in the airport, etc. We just don’t know. Could be none. Could be a couple. Could be dozens or hundreds. Nobody knows. Anyone who says they do is lying.

      But perhaps more ominously, there is nothing to stop another 5000 Dallas patients from entering the country today, with no fevers (like the Dallas patient), lying on their questionnaire about exposure. There’s nothing to stop them from hopping on a plane from Germany, or Spain, or the UK, or anywhere else they were able to get, and to enter the U.S. So whether or not this Dallas outbreak is contained without any second or third generation cases presenting (you can really pucker up if within about two or three weeks there are a bunch of “we’re not sure how they got it” cases in disparate areas of the country), the writing is on the wall, because the public health apparatus is a joke, and is doing everything I would argue for if I wanted to see it spread. That’s my take. So north of the border? No thanks. Better to be in a fishing hamlet in Nicaragua 300 miles from the nearest air strip. Like I said, if I’m wrong, I had another in a long line of adventurous years. If I’m right, there won’t be anyone to tell.

      • Richard Fox  –  Mon 20th Oct 2014 at 12:06 pm

        There’s always Fiji.

        I don’t know if we’re in the first chapter of The Stand or if ebola is on par with a bad cholera outbreak.

        But, at the current R0 rate (2), every human being will have ebola by mid 2016. Again, that’s the current R0 rate.


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