They (whoever they are) say that when you lose one sense, the others strengthen to make up the difference. As I lost my senses of practicality, logic and good television viewing, my sense of smell has increased at least by about 2%.

Tonight, after working through the final pages of H&B, I decided to stop before writing the final two scenes, not quite an epilogue but the denouement or, how I like to say it, the daewoomon. When I called my friend SP to share the good news, she informed me that I was procrastinating. So I hung up on her...after chatting for another half-hour or so. ;)

But still I wasn't ready to approach those last pages, so I ran upstairs to my "work" computer (the one that doesn't have the bookmarks of all the contests I enter, and not the writing ones) and proceeded to sort out some files and respond to emails.

Then I smelled something...wrong. It was just a whiff, but I knew something bad was happening somewhere. So I felt around the computer, thinking that I'd finally received enough spam about viagra to make my computer melt. Nope, everything was way cool on that PC.

So I checked out the stereo, where Madonna was hanging out all decked out in plastic bracelets and bad-nasty torn leggings. She might have thought she was hot, but there was nothing else happening there apart from a clever hook and a funky backbeat.

The smell was at the top of the stairs. So I called down to DH, who was so engrossed in an eBay auction for vintage windshield wipers or even a life-size Wookie doll (Christmas is only a few months away...maybe more) that he didn't hear me.

I climbed down two more steps and shouted, "I think something's on fire!"

That's when I noticed that it was awfully dark at the top of the stairs...and it wasn't just the warm summer air making the top floor of our wee home stifling. Afraid to flip the switch, I went back to turn off Madonna completely by putting a Clay Aiken CD case next to hers. The computer was next, without the necessity of a WWJD reference.

As it turns out, my super-schnoz detected an electrical fire in the early stages. In the light that I like to leave on when we go away for weekends or longer trips so the house looks "lived in." Oh yeah, if that hunk of whatchamacallit decided to melt when we were up in cottage country, we might have returned home to a pile of ashes.

Lesson learned? Use timers and fork out cash for lighting fixtures that cost more than $9, no matter how nice they look.