The Wedge of the San Rafael

The Wedge of the San Rafael
Someone has to live here, in the middle of desert beauty. Might as well be the Kellys.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Her Hesitant Heart

Had to include this lovely review for Her Hesitant Heart. After years of begging to write a Western, Harlequin Historical agreed to one. I'm back to a two-Regency contract, but this book will always be a highlight for me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The best of times, the worst of times

There's really nothing to add to what happened yesterday in Boston. Throughout the day on Facebook, that wonderful Mr. Rogers quote popped up a lot, where his mother assured him that in any troubles, look for the helpers. They were there in Boston, too.

I remember the flood of 2009 in North Dakota. Our little town of Valley City was evacuated, because of sewer collapse. We were wondering what to do, when a church friend called from Fargo, just out of the blue, wondering if we needed anything. Fargo had been through their bad flood days a few weeks earlier. We told him we needed a place to stay, and he invited us right over. We spent a few days there, enjoying their many kindnesses.

Curious thing about those North Dakota floods - the Red Cross hurried in and set up shelters for people just like us. After a week or so, they closed them, because friends and neighbors and strangers were taking in those people who would otherwise have gone to shelters. That's the way of life up there, and apparently, in Boston, too. Probably all over America, because that's what we do.

I'm reminded of something I heard from a policeman. "Whenever I speak to kids, I tell them that if they are ever lost, just to find an older woman who looks like a grandmother and go to her. She will always help." Nice to be in that demographic.

Two closing thoughts. I keep these on my writer's board beside my computer. I look at them often.

Will & Ariel Durant - Introduction to The Age of Napoleon

"All in all, in life and in history, we have found so many good men and women that we have quite lost faith in the wickedness of mankind."

Ellis Peters - One Corpse Too Many - Brother Cadfael is speaking to sheriff Hugh Beringar

"You did the work that fell to you, and did it well. God disposes all. From the highest to the lowest extreme of a man's scope, wherever justice and retribution can reach him, so can grace."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Don't Poke the Bear

Now for something a tad more light-hearted, in its own way. I was culling stuff from filing cabinets last night and this morning, and came across a doozy. It's going in my too-crazy-to-be-fiction file.

On July 2, 2012, the Deseret News published an article about a total whack job on I-80 in Wyoming, who pretty much terrorized the Interstate near Wamsutter, where, basically, nothing ever happens.

Sorry Case (No real name; I don't want him looking for me) from Nameless Town, Utah, apparently was driving erratically, stopping cars, getting out, fighting with motorists, trying to break into other cars, chasing people, and just being a really bad a**. He managed to get into one car and swiped a semi-automatic handgun, which he immediately started firing from inside the car through closed windows. Luckily, the lady managed to bail out. He rammed other cars, broke out a truck's window, and stabbed some guy with an "unknown sharp object."

I'm condensing this drastically. A few miles later, he got out of his car and stretched out on the highway, naked. He had somehow found a cane, and that became his weapon of choice when some truck drivers and motorists stopped to restrain him. By then, a highway patrolman arrived, and all of them struggled with this supremely odd individual. With the help of four people, the trooper got one handcuff on him. More officers arrived from Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department and bundled the guy off to the hoosegow.

Whew. There he was in 2010 in Green River, under what the newspaper referred to as a "slew of charges." I have to list these, because it's a prime example of why it's not wise to mess with cops, or "poke the bear," as my Border Patrol son calls it.

Are you ready? "Sorry Case was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault, attempted manslaughter, battery, driving while under the influence, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, property destruction, criminal entry, larceny, felonious restraint, failure to report a crash, failure to maintain vehicle within a single lane, failure to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian, parking on a highway, resisting arrest and promoting obscenity." (I guess that last one covers nudity on an Interstate.)

I can picture it: A whole bunch of peace officers thinking of every possible, well-deserved thing to throw at the man, and rightly so. They want to make darned certain that this guy doesn't get out of jail for a loooong time. Maybe until the 12th of Never. Crossing southern Wyoming is never a total treat, but it shouldn't have to be terror.

I asked my son once if he'd like to be able to give a ticket that just says, "You're stupid. Here's a ticket." Oh, yeah.

So if you're ever tempted to strip past your skivvies and stretch out on I-80 through Wyoming, don't. Just don 't.
My other favorite law enforcement stories happened in  North Dakota, where cops impounded a chicken crossing the parking lot of a local bank in Valley City. Another one comes from Fargo, where a cop was investigating a report of kids trying to sneak into a drive-in movie. As he walked by one car, someone in the trunk passed gas and all the kids in the trunk got the giggles. Busted.

Welcome to spring, the silly season.

P.S. If you want to read other nonsense like this blog, my book, Stop Me If You've Read This One, should be available on Amazon soon. It's a collection of some of the Prairie Light columns I wrote while reporting for the Valley City Times-Record.  I seem to recall one column about guys under some sort of influence stealing a flamingo from a zoo in Minot and eating it. Maybe they're related to the nude guy on I-80.