Since I last blogged - and I'm not prolific - something has changed. I'm writing this without my glasses. Two weeks ago, my right eye was operated on for cataracts. Yesterday, my left eye ditto. Although that left eye is still a bit dilated, I'm okay. I've worn glasses or contacts since I was eight years old, and now it's just me and my bionic lenses.
My daughter Sarah was my best cheerleader. She's an ocular diagnostician and worked for Doctors Hansen and Byers in Price, Utah. When I flunked an eye exam in November, she was so pleased, because the next step was cataract surgery.
I'll admit to some apprehension two weeks ago, but it was slam dunk. They don't knock you out for cataract surgery, but they do numb the eyeball, then sedate you with what I call "I'm-not-out-but-I-don't-care" drugs. I could hear indistinct voices and see some odd flashes of light, but that was it. For yesterday's surgery, I was less sedated, so the voices were more distinct and I could see better out of my previously corrected eye. Interesting.
So here I am, and I'm happy. Two things: 1) don't be afraid of cataract surgery 2) don't put it off.
Busy times. I made my changes on the copy edited manuscript of The Double Cross, my first in the continuing adventures of Marco and Paloma Mondragon in 1780s New Mexico. The first book will be out August 1, and I'm happy with it. Marco and Paloma will be around for at least four books, and maybe more, if they do well.
I've received a copy of the ARC (advanced readers copy) for Stop Me If You've Read This One. It's a collection of some of my Prairie Lite columns from the Valley City [ND] Times-Record, a daily newspaper where I labored for four years, before we moved to Utah. Writing for a daily is a total grind, but the carrot was the opportunity to write - among other things - a weekly column on anything I wanted. For a writer, that is dangerous, indeed. I made the most of it. "Stop Me" will be out in April.
Harlequin Historicals sent me the cover for Her Hesitant Heart, which stunned me. It's a beautiful cover, and has everything to do with what happens in the novel. I sent an email to my editor, Bryony Green, and the Big Cheese, Linda Fildew, telling them how delighted I was. (After not being delighted for quite a while.) But it's a great cover. Her Hesitant Heart will be out in late April/early May. That book, set at Fort Laramie in 1876, turned into huge fun for me, because it's a subject I know well. There's nothing nicer for a historical fiction writer than to be able to turn around and look at shelves and shelves of research books on the Indian Wars, Napoleonic War, and medical history.
I've been speaking at a number of book clubs lately. At one last week in Carbon County (where My Loving Vigil Keeping is set), one of the readers said she is a great-granddaughter of Richard T. Evans, who is the choirmaster and good friend of the fictitious Owen Davis. At another book club in Utah County, a lady told me that years ago when her husband was in graduate school at BYU, they lived in an apartment in the Knight-Allen House. In "Vigil Keeping," that's where Jesse and Amanda Knight live. Other readers have told me of their relationships to some of the real people in the book, which pleases me greatly. The challenge to putting real people in fiction is to get it just right. It matters.
Onward. Now I'm writing the outline for the first of two Regencies I owe to Harlequin. It's either going to be set during the Treaty of Amiens in 1802-03, or just after Napoleon is exiled to Elba in 1814. Involves a Scottish lass, Mary Charleson, who goes on an adventure to locate a Christmas cake in which a valuable ring was baked by mistake. And fruitcakes being fruitcakes, the doggoned thing has been passed to other folks, and passed on...
So it's off to the living room, where my European history is shelved. And I'll look at it through "new" eyes.
So glad the surgery went so well! Looking forward to the new volumes. My challenge is to keep up with you, and everybody else I want to read. The stack is pretty high and the Kindle backlog is growing. Glad I already had my cataracts removed.ReplyDelete
Pam, now the hard part is remembering where I left my rasserfrassin' dark glasses, since I'm not wearing glasses.Delete
Carla, congratulations on your successful eye surgeries. I'm rather jealous; I too have worn glasses since early childhood and haven't done well with contacts. I'm scared of LASIK, so mabe I'll get "lucky" and develop cataracts too! ; )ReplyDelete
I'm in the middle of "Vigil" - marvelous! - and am eagerly awaiting your new issues. Please NEVER stop writing. You are superb! If you ever want to do a book tour in the Boston area, I'd love to host you.
Fond regards, Janine
Thanks, Janine. There's an outside chance I might be in NYC for a book sellers thing this summer. We'll see. As for cataracts: someone asked my eye-guru Sarah what causes cataracts, and she said, "Birthdays!" So chances are, you'll get'um. Thanks for your nice words on "Vigil." I've been doing this a while, but I never had a book go directly from the page to my heart, do not pass go, do not collect $200.Delete
Congratulations on both the successful eye surgeries and the great covers for your next two books. I'm looking forward to both of them. Happy lack of glasses!ReplyDelete
Being without glasses is crazy. I reached up last night to take them off.ReplyDelete
Congrats on your new eyes, and thank you for years of wonderful reading! My Mom died last September, and as part of the grieving and healing, I pulled all of your books to re-read. You write characters who are so deeply kind and who face the ups and downs of their lives with such grace!ReplyDelete
I saved Summer Campaign and One Good Turn for last (Mom and I shared a love of Peninsular War history) and just finished them with a sigh. Thanks ... you helped! - Ellen Anderson
Oh, Ellen, thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry for your loss. I think you'll enjoy Her Hesitant Heart when it comes out soon. I just started another Harlequin, as mentioned, and decided to go with the time period right as Napoleon is being taken to Elba. It's good to get back in the Royal Navy groove.ReplyDelete
You're very welcome! I neglected to list The Wedding Journey in my short list, an A+ book if there ever was one. I just love how you champion guts, faith, and perseverence!ReplyDelete
I actually think of that one when I think of the title Summer Campaign, though I love the real Summer Campaign as well. I could also have mentioned all your fine "on the blockade" related books. So glad you're taking on Boney again!
As Laura said in The Surgeon's Lady, we all fight Boney in our own way. I suppose I do, too.ReplyDelete
The Wedding Journey was enormous fun to write. I'm pleased it will be out in ebook form this month.
Hi Carla-this is Trieste Bentley. We discussed briefly at bountiful baskets a few weeks ago about our book club. We would sure love you to speak! We are thinking to gather on the third Thursday in April, the 18th. My number is 630-3121. Call when you can so we can get details planned. Thanks so much! Our ladies are excited! Sincerely, TriesteReplyDelete
I have it on my calendar now, Trieste. I'll call you in a bit.ReplyDelete
Some people become really concerned when it comes to medical issues about their eyes. Well, same here. I really feel like something bad will happen and I might lose my precious eyesight, and I get really anxious about it. We really cherish our eyes, so we really can’t avoid thinking that way. The best thing that a person supposed to undergo a cataract surgery can do, is to find a reliable doctor to do the procedure. Likewise, check the medical equipment that the clinic/hospital has. That way, you can assure yourself that you’re going to have a successful surgery.ReplyDelete