Is the inside of your head full of noise? Does your narrator (or many narrators) keep you awake through the long, dark winter nights?

Last night, as I was trying to read “just one more chapter” of Kim Harrison’s terrific new book, “The Operator,” I paused for a minute. And heard the quiet. The silence. I realized all that racket I was hearing was happening in my head. The world and my house were quiet.

In my head are many voices, each dealing with or explaining some ribbon of reason … or merely expressing it more elegantly than I could without their help.

Reading, in progress!
Reading, in progress!

The reading narrator was telling Peri Reed’s story from Kim’s book. Which I will review soon, before its release this coming Tuesday, November 22nd. The rest of the noise was all the other narrators. The one who provides background description for my ongoing autobiography. He’s the one who adds “he said” and “she said” with the occasional adverb to liven things up. There are multiple “color” commentators who describe the scene. The lay of the land. The sky, the weather, the flowers. The scorched earth.

There are other narrators to manage data and clarify difficult concepts. These are managing mental editors. They wrangle and analyse pseudo and real science. Crunch numbers. Rationalize science fiction and fantasy and let me believe the unbelievable. I have others who specialize in straight news analysis — the “news guys in my brain” who, for some reason, sound a lot like my husband.

The number cruncher looks at the bank balance. He can tell me exactly when we will run out of money. Whether it will be before or after the last day of the calendar month. I had to train this guy because I until I got him up and running, I never knew what was going on with our finances. Now, I do. I can’t say I like what I see, but at least I know. If the devil is in the details, that devil is hot on our trail.

Most of the time, there are no more than a couple of voices fighting for the microphone … but last night, probably because “The Operator” is an exceptionally complicated (but amazingly good) book, everyone got into the act — and into my head. What a lot of NOISE!

Suddenly, they all shut up. For a few minutes, the world grew quiet. Garry was sleeping. The TV was off and Garry’s headphones were on the charging hook. The dogs were sleeping. Even the pipes stopped grumbling and creaking.

The heat was up. Outside, it was as cold as it would be for that night.

I heard the silence. It was when I accepted the truth of why can’t sleep. No one could sleep with that much going on between their ears. Maybe I could cajole Team Marilyn to agree on a “quiet time.” Like between two and nine in the morning, for example.

The problem is that the voices only get frisky after I retire, when their voices don’t have to compete with the activities and sounds of daytime. They gear up when I’m not engaged. Not writing, processing photographs, thinking about what I’ll cook for dinner, or what bills I haven’t yet scheduled. It is exactly because all of daily business is done that the other voices are so clear and loud.


There is a bit of good news in the mix. I don’t spend all my nighttime hours worrying. I know where the money is and isn’t. The angst which used to be atop the nighttime noise heap is just a low hum. Nor am I worrying about the election. It’s finished and what is and what will be? I’ll cross those bridges when I get there. I can’t worry about the environment all the time or I’ll drift into madness. Nor can I constantly brood on injustice, bigotry, racism, and how come there are so many incredibly stupid people in the world and why they seem to be thriving.

Sometimes, I need to ponder traveling in time. Finding a wormhole we can jump through to get us to a parallel world not being ruined by greedy morons, nor run by racist demagogues.

I think I’ll go back to reading, now. I’m almost finished. I hope there’s a happy ending.

operator-kim-harrisonTHE OPERATOR by Kim Harrison will be released on November 22, 2016. It will be available on Kindle, paperback, limited edition hard cover, and on Audible.com. It is a great book, one of the two or three best books I’ve read during the past few years. It’s unique on so many levels. No, it’s not “The Hollows,” but it’s as good or better. Exciting. Action-packed with a complex twisting plot I dare you to figure out.

Every clue Ms. Harrison drops is a real clue to solving the book’s many mysteries. I promise it will keep you guessing from first to last page. The characters are mad and complicated, each embodying his or her own mystery. Not only is “The Operator” worth reading, it’s worth reading (at least) twice.

Look for my review, coming as soon as I finish writing it!


  1. I am both jealous of your access to an early edition of Ms. Harrison’s work and envious of the fact that you are on first-name basis with all your narrators. I am still in hostile negotiations with most of mine. They are holding my sanity hostage until I release the fiscal narrator out of the oubliette where I dropped him after paying off my college loans. I hope our minds meet sometime in the quiet spaces in between.


    1. It took my a very long time to figure out what was going on. i was getting social security by the time I gained even a little control of the Big Committee. I think step one is admitting that we’ve got them and some of them have something of value to say. Then, there’s getting the annoying, useless ones to SHUT UP. I’ve been less successful at that.

      I’m considered a super fan probably because I really AM a super fan. I have all Kim Harrison’s books in signed first editions, except for the first two. She fills a major section of my personal library and I genuinely believe she is a brilliant writer who needs all the support she can get. The publishing industry is very fickle. Authors are only “as good” as the sales of their most recent book. This year, John Grishom went Indie. His last couple of books didn’t sell, so he self-published. John Grishom. Think about that.

      Liked by 1 person

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