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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I'm still here

My apologies for such a delay between blogs, and I don't know where all the photos vanished. It's probably part of a new improvement that I missed out on. Well, tough.

July was a hard month. My husband had a stroke. He probably got lucky, though, because it only involved three of the five major symptoms of stroke: a sudden, stabbing headache, loss of balance, and loss of vision. He spent four days at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, undergoing a raft of tests. His vision returned, except for the rare odd flash of something or other. His balance is fine now, well sort of. Two or three weeks after the stroke, he was out on his usual walk, didn't lift his foot high enough to get to the curb, and did a face plant. The result was a broken nose, and the broken humerus bone about 2 inches below his elbow. (H'mm, look at those two words. Guess I never noticed how closely related they are.)

Luckily again, the break was such that he has a splint, rather than a cast. The doc let him take off the splint, and he'll probably be doing some rehab time in physical therapy.

Naturally, during all this the basement remodel began. It's a week from being done now, so all is well.

The surprises continue. I was supposed to take part in a booksigning at Brigham Young University during Education Week next week. I was informed yesterday that I have been uninvited. When I asked the publicity guy at Cedar Fort to find out why, he learned it was because I also write for Harlequin. I have to wonder which of my Harlequin Historicals they read to make their informed decision, but they probably read none of them.

This sort of broke my heart yesterday, but today I'm seeing the funny side. One of my Facebook friends suggested that I dedicate my next Harlequin to BYU, and I'm going to do just that. It'll read something like this: To Brigham Young University, my alma mater, where I studied history and learned some shocking things you can't write in books, apparently. Thanks for your support.  The book is called The Wedding Ring Quest, and it will be out in March.

I do give props to BYU's excellent history department, where I learned a lot about research and thought, as well as "the hot poop," as my favorite teacher there used to say. Well, when next I go on campus - we like to see plays there - I'll probably have to wear a scarlet A.

Now to the funny stuff. I was shopping yesterday and noticed that Air Wick has come out with a National Parks line of air fresheners.  So far, the four choices are Zion, Acadia, Cape Cod, and Rocky Mountain. As a former ranger in the National Park Service, this gave me the giggles. Personally, I think Rocky Mountain National Park air freshener should smell like mosquito repellent. If they every do Fort Laramie National Historic Site, where I worked, it'll have to smell like stables and old saddles. Fort Union Trading Post NHS, where I also worked, is a reconstruction of John Jacob Astor's 1828 fur trade fort. Historical research has determined that there was no evidence anywhere of privies, in the fort's 38-year history. I guess that air freshener will have to smell like, well... you get the gist. I worked at Yellowstone National Park in a private capacity, years ago. The predominate odor there is most definitely sulfur, from all the geysers and hot pots.

I guess it's a good thing that Air Wick didn't hire me as their Park Service consultant.

As for writing, The Double Cross and Safe Passage are out now. I'm working on Book Two of the Spanish Brand Series. So far, I'm calling that book Son of Double Cross, because I don't have a title yet.

So cheerio to you all. I'll be better about blogging in the future.


  1. I laughed out loud about your Natl Park fresheners, and am sure you're right about someone at BYU never having read one of your books. I'll have to ask UCR to invite you to their Writer's Week - it was at their library that I read my first of your books - Daughter of Fortune - would love to buy a copy - did someone republish it? - they are too expensive as used, so I keep going back to UCR to read theirs (I'm an alumnae.)

    So sorry to hear about your DH. I'll keep him in prayer.

    I have ordered and await eagerly Safe Passage, The Double Cross and My Loving Vigil Keeping from Amazon a week ago. What a wonderful way to end the summer.

    Take care,
    Angie in SoCal

  2. Thanks, Angie. Martin is much better. Daughter of Fortune is indeed available now from Camel Press, both as a trade-size paperback and an ebook.

    I was thinking that another good scent in the Park Service series might be Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, on the Santa Fe Trail. It should smell like trail dust!

  3. Glad Martin is doing better. Thinking get well thoughts his way.

  4. That must have been a scary time for you. I know it would have been for me if my husband had a stoke, even if he (kind of) lucked out as your husband seems to have done. Best wishes for complete recovery to him.

    I wonder, do they believe in book burning, too?

    But keep writing. We love it, even if published by Harlequin.


  5. I don't think they burn books at BYU. Never saw it, myself. I'm disappointed they condemned me out of hand without probably even reading anything of mine from Harlequin. Ah, well. That just gives me an extra day to work on book two of the Spanish Brand series.

  6. I loved The Double Cross and look forward to the next in the series. I just ordered Safe Passage and am looking forward to reading that as well. I just read Daughter of Fortune, the only one of your published books that I had not read. What a harrowing tale, and what an amazing story. Realistic albeit fictionalized depictions of the past (and the present for that matter) do indeed include shocking things. I have always felt that you do a splendid job of walking the line between sufficient information to present life as it is lived by real people without including gratuitous detail just for the shock value. I hope that you will not be discouraged by some person's uninformed, unwarranted decision, especially if they can't give you a real substantive and truthful reason. Hilarious air freshener suggestions—some day when the natural world has been totally sanitized perhaps we will see those in actuality. Very sorry to hear about your husband's health difficulties and my prayers and best wishes for a good recovery. And I hope that your muse keeps providing inspiration and that you keep writing these wonderful stories, no matter who does or does not publish them.

    1. Thanks Wendy. The interesting thing about Daughter of Fortune is that I toned down the violence that I found in official accounts. It was a truly awful event. When the Spanish finally returned 12 years later in the reconquista, they appear to have learned a few things and operated a little more on the side of kindness and fair dealing. On the other matter, I was bummed about BYU's decision, but figure even major universities are entitled to stupidity, like everyone else.

  7. I am happy that your husband is on the mend and that your sense of humor is still thriving. BYU made a ridiculous decision that I hope will have the "powers that be" kicking themselves over--REPEATEDLY--HARD. :-) It makes me wish that I ran a university rather than just teach at one. (Never fear: I'll get over that wish soon.) Talent is nothing to cast off. Shame on them. We still love you, Carla...nuff said.

  8. This was the first year that I didn't go to Welsh Fest in Malad and when I read that you were there, I was so disappointed. Hopefully I'll get to meet you next year. BYU's loss is everyone else's gain.

  9. I'll be there next year, Lori. I've been asked to present a talk on how I researched and wrote My Loving Vigil Keeping, and about the mine disaster in general. Had a great time this year. I sold books and my hand cream, which my husband cleverly named Mrs. Kelly's Novel Hand Cream. Isn't he good?

  10. I absolutely love all your books. Your humor is so refreshing and calms my anxiety. I have been ill and my meds cause anxiety; all I have to do is open one of your books and I'm okay. I do appreciate LDS historical fiction the you have any recommendations? I am a genealogy buff and you mentioned in one of your articles that you have Baier ancestors. I too,have Baier ancestors on my maternal line and my husband's step-father's line. I would so like to meet you, do you post your itinerary? You are amazing, thanks for sharing your talent. Jackie Madden

  11. Baier ancestors? Cool. Ours came from Bavaria of course, then settled around Chatfield, Minnesota. And do you pronounce it the right way? (Buyer)

    My itinerary this fall is Big Sky, Montana, sometime in September to visit an editor; Denver Oct. 10 for a booksigning; Malad, Idaho Oct. 2 to speak at a library; Yellowstone Park Oct. 3 to visit a ranger buddy; Cardston, Alberta, Oct. 5, for a booksigning. That's about it for now.

  12. Speaking of being uninvited (and from your publisher, no less!):

  13. Wow, Nate. Publishing/writing in Utah is turning into a minefield for lots of reasons. Food for thought here. Thanks for sharing this.

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  15. I must say, bad form on BYU's part. I've read a few of your Harlequin Historicals and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I'll be starting in on your Channel Fleet series tonight.

    Sorry to hear of the health scare, but glad to hear he has recovered. I know how strokes can be on family. Best to you both.

  16. I'm glad your husband is on the mend. Sorry about the book signing stuff. I think your books are great!

  17. So sorry to hear about your husband's stroke, but I am very glad to hear that he is doing very well. I know what a shock it is to have a loved one have such a serious event. I also know the joy of counting your blessings because they are still with you with only a few losses and still lots of love and life left in them.

    I hope that you are taking care of yourself also because sometimes as the loved one of the person affected with a health crisis you can easily forget to deal with your own shock and emotional well being. You always sound so steady and put together and wise that I am sure that all continues to be well - most especially as it is now months after your husbands event. :)

    As to the uninvite (is that a new word??) it never ceases to amaze me the places where ignorance hides. Your attitude towards it is excellent though. Apparently they do not know the amazing capacity that people have for excelling at more than one thing or more than one type of writing. It sounds like they only want writers who are typecast into a certain mold. I would think that exploring the edges and boundaries and horizons would be what a university especially would be all about. It's definitely their loss.

    Your life sounds like it is very busy and full. You live life to the fullest and that makes for some very happy reading too. Thank you for writing your wonderful stories. I always enjoy and highly recommend your books and have spent many wonderful hours with your characters and their stories.

    May you have continued good health in your world.