#173–Good news & the bridge lady is back . . .

On March 17 when I saw my oncologist, he gave me the good news that I’m finished with chemotherapy. My cancer still has a few tiny spots but compared to the huge areas affected when I started chemo, it is about 98% gone. In four months, I’ll do another PET scan to see about those tiny spots. The bottom line is that I am off chemo and can restart my life. I am no longer in limbo-land! YAHOO11111

This is how I feel after seeing the oncologist on St. Patrick's Day.

This is how I feel after seeing the oncologist on St. Patrick’s Day.

During chemo, I didn’t do much marketing of my books. In all of January/February, I sold only three. But the first week of March, I sold 46 books and this week another dozen. So the bridge lady is back—all books sold were bridge books.

Here are both Crossings and The Crossings Guide.

Here are both Crossings and The Crossings Guide.

Most of my46 books were sold on March 6 (some had been sold earlier in the week to Cape Perpetua). Connie Bradley and I went up the coast delivering our books. Connie is the author of Snowball: The Nanny Goose of Sutton Lake and Lulu, the Dancing Snail. She is also co-founder with me of the Florence Festival of Books. We have gone on road trips  together delivering books, attending book fairs, and passing out festival flyers up the coast, down the coast, and to Roseburg and Grants Pass during the past few years. So it was good to get back in the groove.

Both of us had made calls ahead of time to all the venues that carry our books, so we were not making cold calls. We stopped at Mari’s in Yachts, Well-Read Books and the Historic Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center in Waldport, Canyonway Restaurant & Bookstore and Nye Beach Book House in Newport, and the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center north of Newport. Then we headed to Depoe Bay to have lunch at Tidal Raves. Their food is to die for; I have never had a bad meal there. Connie had an oyster dish that looked wonderful, and I don’t even like oysters. I had cioppino. Yum!

A great place to find books, and it's in the middle of historic Nye Beach in Newport.

A great place to find books, and it’s in the middle of historic Nye Beach in Newport.

In the car on the way back, we had a pre-planning session regarding the Florence Festival of Books,. Because Connie was driving, I was free to take notes. After getting home, I typed them up and that was the basis for a planning session between Connie, Meg Spencer, and me for the first planning committee meeting on March 24. Connie and I used to have a planning session before each meeting and come up with the agenda. Now that I have resigned from being co-chair and Meg is taking my place, this was a transition meeting. So the work of putting on the FFOB has begun.This year, it takes place on September 26, the last Saturday in September.

Good news on the FFOB front––we received a grant from the Western Lane Community Foundation for the purpose of funding a website. We’ve been a part of the Florence Events Center website, but it hasn’t been easy for those wanting to participate to find it. We’ve really needed a website but couldn’t afford it until now. So this is really good news.

This year, I’ll have my fourth book, Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known available at the FFOB.

Here is the mock-up of the new dust jacket of Devil Cat. Everything should be sent to the printer March 19 or 20.

Here is the mock-up of the new dust jacket of Devil Cat. Everything should be sent to the printer March 19 or 20.

Bob and I had the edit and the dust jacket for Devil Cat all ready to go as of two weeks ago, but we still needed to choose the color and type of fabric for the hardback book cover. The samples had been sent from the printer about a month ago, but never arrived as far as we knew. We later found out that delivery attempts were made by UPS, but their notices were all blown away and the package returned to sender. After a couple of weeks, Bob called and they were resent through the post office. They arrived this past Monday and we made our selections. Then yesterday, I gave the PDF of the entire manuscript another once over. Today or tomorrow, it will be sent to the printer. Finally!!

In my role as bridge lady, I want to forewarn everyone about the work that will be going on at the Siuslaw River Bridge. If you want to get a good photo of it or walk across it with no workmen around or to get a good shot of Florence from the bridge, then do it this spring. Work could start as early as this May.The first project will involve replacing the bridge railings. They will look the same, but be made with state-of -the-art concrete. There are sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, and the plan is to keep one sidewalk open to the public throughout the whole project.

Get photos like this and get your bridge walks in before work begins––late spring or early summer.

Get photos like this and get your bridge walks in before work begins––late spring or early summer.

The main work on the bridge won’t begin until 2016, but will continue until March 2019. The bridge is not expected to be totally closed, but traffic will be controlled by flaggers with some delays and usually only one lane open.

Preparation for the bridge work is scheduled to begin this fall when a work bridge is constructed. It cannot begin until November, when it is past tourist season. This will involve very noisy pile drivers.

Once the work on the bridge begins, it will continue year-round. The work will repair damaged concrete, upgrade the structure with earthquake retrofits to keep the road from separating from the supports, make the four ends of the bridge more accessible to people with disabilities, and the biggy—install a zinc surface coating on the structure to protect it from the harsh coastal climate (aka cathodic protection). The zinc protection should last 20 years or more. Then it can be reapplied. Cathodic protection is what will make it possible for the bridge to last several decades into the future.

Before the zinc can be applied, though, the concrete has to be prepared and all oddball pieces of metal within the concrete chipped out and all rebar within the concrete must be connected to another section of rebar. It is a tedious, time-consuming process and will take place within a containment structure. The structure will prevent the sand and concrete debris from going into the water during sandblasting and chipping concrete. The structure will also make it possible to have the right conditions for the zinc spray to adhere to the bridge.

Here the bridge opens for a large barge at sunset. The bridge will remain open to marine traffic. The work bridges will extend on both sides on both ends of the bridge with the middle left open,

Here the bridge lifts both sides for a large barge at sunset. The bridge will remain open to marine traffic throughout the construction period. The work bridges will extend on both sides on both ends of the bridge with the middle left open.

So big changes are coming to the Siuslaw River Bridge. There will be workers, work bridges, barges with equipment, staging areas making some areas around the bridge off limits, containment structures, and traffic delays from 2016 through March 2019. And once it has the zinc spray, the bridge will have a different look.

This spring and possibly into early summer are the times to enjoy it as it is.

The bridge lady is back, and I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to be feeling good and to be back into living my normal life again.

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About crossingsauthor

Freelance writer/editor and author of Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges, The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans, and Around Florence. Spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.
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14 Responses to #173–Good news & the bridge lady is back . . .

  1. midori hall says:

    Praise God!!!! : ) We’re are filled with abundant joy for you!
    Love & Hugs,
    Midori, Jim & Family

  2. Evelyn says:

    When I read your most excellent news this evening, I started singing, “Oh, Happy Day,” an old gospel song. Seemed very appropriate; what GREAT news! I can only begin to imagine how thrilled you are to have some normalcy back in your life.

    I don’t envy your upcoming bridge repair. When I moved to Gold Beach, they’d been working on the Rogue River bridge for 3 years, with 1 more to go. What a major headache it was. I have no clue how the residents put up with all that for 4 years; hopefully yours will be a better experience!

    Soooo happy you’re doing well!

    • Judy Fleagle says:

      Oh Happy Day is sooo appropriate! Thanks for your ongoing support!! I remember one year when a few of us were staying in a vacation rental on the north side of the bridge over the Rogue and going back and forth to the South Coast Writers Conference–what a hassle. I’m glad I don’t live or work south of our bridge now that we’re about to undergo a similar situation.

  3. Reprieve26 says:

    Yea! I’m so glad you’re feeling better and that you kicked cancer’s butt! 🙂
    You sold 40+ books in one week? Wow. Do you have any tips to share with a fellow writer? 😉

    • I give 40% discount, usually pay postage or deliver, and never make cold calls. I always call ahead! But most importantly, my bridge books sell. It’s a niche market that should last. And I thoroughly enjoy visiting all the venues and chatting with the people. They have become friends. And when they say, “No, I don’t need any!” I just say, “Well, maybe next time.” I never get mad! This is basically common sense.

  4. Brenda Bonham Howe says:

    That is GREAT news, Judy! So, so glad to hear it and know you are out gadding about with Connie. I’m looking forward to reading your new book.

  5. Judy Fleagle says:

    Thanks, Phyllis. Now I just have to get my energy back!

  6. Hope says:

    I said, like, Boom Chicka Boom Boom! Onward!

  7. Beth C says:

    So happy that you are back and all is good again! Glad I got pictures of the bridge when I did last summer.

  8. Phyllis Bright says:

    Wonderful news Judy!!!! I am so happy for you. What a trouper you are.

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