I’m currently ghostwriting two books for clients, bringing their stories to life for readers.
One is a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer who was diagnosed with PTSD. Here’s a short sample from the 1st draft of the manuscript:
It’s Friday evening. I’ve eaten my supper. It’s time to shower, shave, and get ready for another night shift. I’m tired, even though I spent most of the day sleeping. But because I’ve been working this shift for at least 12 years, I know my fatigue is because of what I expect to encounter on a typical Friday night shift. I begin getting myself mentally ready as I put on my uniform trousers. Then my boots and bulletproof vest, making sure to adjust it properly. Who knows what might happen tonight, I think? I put on my shirt, making sure it’s tucked in, so I look as professional as possible. Then I strap on my duty belt, which will contain about 25 pounds of gear when I’m through. It holds my 9 mm service pistol, handcuffs, two extra magazine cartridges for my gun, each holding 15 rounds of ammunition in them. My duty belt also holds my portable police radio.
It’s a summer night, so I know chances are I’ll get in a scuffle or two while arresting some drunk person who is acting like an idiot. I try to focus my energy, expecting to get into at least one confrontation. I’m mentally preparing myself like an elite athlete would do before a competition, I think to myself. The only difference is that I’ll be facing people that will want to hurt me physically.
I’m all dressed now and mentally prepared to face the night in the same way that I’ve prepared for the past 16 to 17 years. I go to find my wife, kiss her goodnight, and tell her I love her. Why aren’t I feeling any love anymore? It’s been like this for years now. I know I do still love her, otherwise, why am I staying here? But for whatever reason that I don’t understand, I can’t feel any emotion of love anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m tired, yeah that must be it.
As I’m driving from my house to the detachment, it dawns on me. Hell, I really don’t have any emotions left. No that’s not true, I do have feelings. I’ve got my rage, my anger, I guess. Not much to brag about but it does keep me from getting hurt whenever I have to face one of those Friday night idiots.
I guess I also have a bit of fun with my colleagues on shift. Well, most of them anyway. But why can’t I have fun and be happy at home? It seems like I’m letting my family down and can’t get along with my older stepson. There are more and more arguments with my younger son, and I argue with my wife pretty much all the time lately. I seem to be saying all the wrong things to them.
I don’t know. Maybe I should go on leave. My head doesn’t seem to be right for whatever reason. But I can’t let anyone know. If I do, they’ll think I can’t handle the job. I have a lot of respect from my colleagues. They know that I take care of things when shit goes down. I can’t tell them that I’m probably burnt out. I have to keep going. They need me on shift.
The second book is another true story about a woman who came out of a horrible situation and today runs a home for troubled women on the East Coast. Here’s a glimpse of her story:
“This is so annoying,” I thought, as I struggled to hear the caller on the other end of the phone. I was on the phone with my hair salon, confirming my appointment the next day and was surprised by how many sirens I heard and how loud they were.
What is going on, I wondered in irritation, as the din of sirens only blocks away continued to ruin the phone call. I was in a hurry and afraid of forgetting one of a million things to take care of.
It was a Monday afternoon, and my husband and ll and I were busy getting ready to leave on a much-needed family vacation. It was a beautiful summer day with temperatures in the low 80s and breezy. Life was great, and we were excited to get away for four nights at the Spiral Hotel in Hampton Beach, which was a yearly family tradition. Then it was off for two nights at the lake to attend the Soulfest at the Gunstock Mountain Resort where we’d spend the day supporting our son’s love of music.
As I hung up the phone, I noticed that the sirens were getting louder and sounded closer. The sirens filled the air of our office as if they were right outside our door. Suddenly, fear gripped my heart as I thought of Bill, who had headed to the shop on his motorcycle to take care of a few last-minute details.
We had just met and prayed with a couple we were ministering to as part of a marriage ministry at our church. After they went on their way, one of our employees called, and my husband left for the short ride to check on him. He still had anointing oil on his hands as he headed out the door.
It had been at least a half-hour since I first heard the sirens, and he hadn’t returned, so I called his cellphone. A familiar voice – but not my husband’s – answered the phone. It was our friend, Jazz. I thought it was strange that she answered the phone. “Your husband has been in a really bad motorcycle accident,” she told me. “Sabrina and I had just walked out of the store and saw the accident happen. We were on the scene in seconds, well before police and the ambulance arrived. Bill is alive, but not doing well.”
I immediately cried out, but Jazz stopped me in my tracks. “You need to stop. Your husband needs you, your family is going to need you, you can’t do this, you need to focus.” Her words may have sounded harsh and unfeeling, but they were spoken in love from one Christian sister to another and were exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.
That was July, 2009 the day my life changed forever, and God began revealing His love to me in a way I could never have imagined. I later learned that a cable company service truck pulled out in front of Bill at an intersection in our hometown, striking his motorcycle as he turned at 30 miles per hour and tossing him into the air about 40 feet like a rag doll. It was 1:15 p.m. – shortly before I began hearing the sirens blaring. The truck’s driver had been on his cellphone and didn’t see Bill turning at the light.