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Truth be told, sometimes it's a little bit fun when things go pear shaped. You get to sit back, pare back all the guff, and decide what's really important (what's the root of the problem), and what's really critical to success... then figure out how the Hell you're going to get there. This is as often a human challenge as a logistical one. Both parts are fun.

There are interesting stories behind each of these real examples - ask me about them!

  • The truly awful ones first, when what really matters isn't your guidebook, but the people on the ground: Natural disasters: earthquakes (not just Christchurch; Indonesia too), tsunamis (Southeast Asian and Pacific), Queensland cyclone, Brisbane floods, Victorian bushfires...
  • An author who succumbed to malaria in the Solomons.
  • Laptop charger struck by lightning in Tonga, just a week before manuscript submission.
  • Train derailed by avalanche in northwest China, as our author was on the way to an important research destination.
  • Crap authors. Note it's got to be said that over the course of many hundreds of author-contracted gigs that I've been involved with, this happened only four times. Each of them was a doozy tho.
  • Your own stupid fault: what to do when it's your own incompetence that got you here (and why sometimes it helps to pretend that was the case anyway!).
  • Myriad other problems - large and small, technical and human, successful and .. not so much.
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