By Mark Alpert I’m on vacation in northern Michigan and using my father-in-law’s computer to write this post (so please excuse any weird formatting problems). Needless to say, it’s great up here. So great that I haven’t thought about writing for two weeks. I did a couple of book signings for my latest novel, Extinction, at my two favorite bookstores in the area, McLean & Eakin in Petoskey and Between the Covers in Harbor Springs. But I haven’t written a word. I’ve been very bad. But I’ve been reading a great new science-fiction book, Wool, by Hugh Howey. My son recommended it to me. It’s fantastic. And I did something heroic: I saved the life of an American icon. I was with my wife and kids at the trout pond at the Oden fish hatchery when I heard a loud thrashing in the trees nearby. Much too loud to be a squirrel. I walked closer and saw huge brown wings flapping ineffectually among the branches. Then the large bird fell to the ground and I saw it was a bald eagle in distress. Maybe it had broken a wing, I couldn’t tell. Anyway, my wife called the rangers at the fish hatchery’s visitor center and within a few minutes they drove up with a couple of nets. By this point the eagle had tumbled into the pond and I was worried it would drown. But the bird had amazing stamina and it managed to keep its head above the water until the rangers fished it out with a net. We checked on the eagle’s status the next day: it was doing well at a local bird sanctuary. So now I’m expecting a congratulatory call from the White House. Mr. Alpert, the President is on the line. Unfortunately, we head back to New York City tomorrow. Dirty, crowded New York City, which always seems twice as unlivable in the days after we return from Michigan. On the plus side, though, I’ll probably get more writing done there.