Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! Ketchup Blog

Happy New Year, everyone!
On the whole, 2011 was kinder to me than the prior several years were. I guess that makes me an exception to the rule. But my independent editing business picked up, three of my books were published (along with a short story I published on Kindle when I got so sick of writing the book I was writing, and decided to stick it in a drawer and do something else).
Then December happened. You know how it goes: if things are going along smoothly something will hit you upside the head to remind you that life isn’t a bowl of cherries. On or about December 8, the retina in my left eyeball detached itself from whatever it was supposed to be attached to. I felt something funny in that eye, but thought I was being sort of hypochondriacal when I called the eye doc for an appointment. However, when I described my symptoms to the appointment lady, she gave me an appointment for far too early on Friday morning.
After being dilated and poked and prodded and blah, blah, blah, they stuck me in a room, called a place called Eye Associates in Albuquerque, told me to pack a bag and get myself to Albuquerque instantly. As I sat in the little waiting room, waiting and worrying, I called my wonderful neighbors, Ann and Barry Lasky. Ann said she’d be happy to drive me to Albuquerque, Barry said he’d feed my dogs, and we set out.
Unfortunately, neither Ann nor I had any idea what to expect once we got to Eye Associates. All I knew was that a doctor was waiting for me to show up (I honestly didn’t realize a detached retina was considered a medical emergency. I do now). So my eye was dilated again, again examined, Dr. Sidd’s (he’s the Roswell eye doc) diagnosis was confirmed, and I was told to show up at Presbyterian Hospital in Abq. at some ungodly hour on Saturday morning. That’s when we learned that Ann was supposed to stay with me for the entire weekend, and that we’d have to get rooms at a hotel.
Well, what the heck, y’know? I’d been making a tiny bit more money than usual in recent months, thanks to my independent editing work, so I could actually afford to house us at Albuquerque’s Hotel Elegante, a wonderfully misnamed hotel at which the New Mexico Book of the Year Awards banquet was held a few weeks earlier. So I got to spend a lot of time in the Hotel Elegante during the last part of 2011. Ann’s husband Barry brought her some clothes on Saturday (by the way, it’s a 400-mile round trip from Roswell to Albuquerque and back again), and he also brought both of us our laptops, so we were able to communicate with the rest of the world.
Then, on Saturday, December 10, a very nice Dr. Kamalesh Ramaiya reattached my left retina to whatever it’s supposed to be attached to, lasered another weak spot in the same eyeball, installed a gas bubble (which is supposed to dissolve about six weeks from the date of the operation), and I’ve been a one-eyed, extremely bored person ever since. Can’t read. Can’t watch TV. Can’t drive (for the sake of the rest of the world as well as myself). Can’t even go for walks with the dogs. I get to lie face-down on my bed with my head in the holes of a foam-rubber pillow for the duration. If it weren’t for audiobooks, I’d be totally nuts instead of merely partially nuts, as is normal.
The problem is that I am unable to work. I am also unable to fulfill my obligation to the people who have won books in various contests. That, however, doesn’t mean I’ll always be incapacitated. As soon as I can read again, I’ll send books to everybody to whom I owe books!
These folks include winners of November’s contest and this month’s contest wieners, Brenda Williamson and Jacquie Seewald, who each won copies of GENTEEL SPIRITS in my December contest.
Also, anon at and Karen Mayers, who were kind enough to leave comments on our Magical Christmas Mystery Book Blog Tour, out of which I had to drop precipitately when my eye done me wrong, also won books. If you two could send me your home addresses at I’ll eventually get your books to you. Of course, you’ll need to decide which books you want first. You can choose by looking at my web site:
Anyone who wants to enter my January contest (I’ll be giving away two copies of ANCIENT SPIRITS, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s sixth [and perhaps last] adventure) please send your name and home address to the same e-mail address:
As for 2012: onward and upward! Forward into the unknown! As P.G. Wodehouse wrote: the future lies ahead!
Okay, I’ll quit now. Thank you. And please do have a happy new year!


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Alice,

I hope that you will be seeing well again soon. May this year be the happiest, healthiest and most successful year yet.

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Jacquie! I know the eyeball's getting better, but it's SUCH a slow process.

Carolinw Clemmons said...

Our family had the worst year ever in 2011, except my indie book sales were up. We are hoping 2012 will be kinder, and that books sales continue to climb. Wishing you a great 2012!

Anne K Albert said...

Alice, please just concentrate on getting better. That's all that matters. Cyber hugs!

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Caroline and Anne. It's a very slow healing process. I hope 2012 is kinder to your family than 2011 was, Caroline!

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh wow. No reading! I'm sure I'd go way crazier than usual at that. I do hope you manage to relax and get better.

Alice Duncan said...

If it weren't for audiobooks, I'd be a stark, raving lunatic, Sheila! As it is, I'm only mostly nuts :-)

Anonymous said...

I hope 2012 will make up for how bad 2011 was!

You always write amusingly even when telling the saga of your eye problems!

I am quite excited to hear I won a copy of Genteel Spirits!!!!!!


Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Brenda! With any sort of luck, you'll even get your book one of these days! I mean, I won't be blind forever (I hope).

lil Gluckstern said...

Oh Alice, my heart goes out to you. It must be so hard to still when you are used to being active. Thank heaven for Audible books indeed! Take care.

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Lil! It's very depressing -- for the dogs, too, because we're all used to walking a couple of miles a day. Oh, well, this too shall pass. Maybe not fast enough, but it'll pass.

Anonymous said...

Alice, dear Alice - cyber hugs. I'm so sorry about your retina trouble but thankful you had friends to help and a good doctor's care. Also glad you had the audios to keep from going nuts. :-).
Hang in there, I'm sending good vibes and praying 2012 starts good and stays good for all of us (and our 4 legged friends too.)
Jackie Griffey

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks so much, Jackie! Things are getting a little better. I'm able to take tiny walks with four of my dogs (the other three will have to wait), so I guess I'm getting better. I'm praying that 2012 will be easier on lots of us people "of a certain age" than the last few years have been. Lordy, work like the devil all your live, and you end up with nothing. Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?