Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Travails of August

The Travails of August

This is going to be my last blog for a while, because I’m having lumbar surgery on September 11, and will be recovering for several weeks after that. And probably sore and grumpy. Maybe even really, really grouchy, mean-tempered and hateful. However, some interesting things happened during August, and one of them was even good. I’ll start with the mayhem.

On the 15th the cataract that developed when I recovered from the surgery to reattach my left retina got removed. Yay! That required a two-day stay in Albuquerque. I'm really sick of driving back and forth to Albuquerque. Still can’t see very well, but the surgery went well, and I’ll be able to get corrective glasses one of these weeks. The surgery was NOT painless, no matter what they tell you. Well . . . actually, the next day when I went in for my follow-up appointment, a little old lady sitting in the lobby said hers was totally painless, so maybe it was just me. The eye still bothers me some, but it’s only been a couple of weeks, and I’ll survive. Whether those around me will is another question entirely, although I’d better be nice to them since they’ll be taking care of me after my back surgery. I hope to heaven I’ll be knocked out completely for the back surgery.

And then, shortly after the cataract operation, Freckles, my latest foster wiener, managed to nearly rip a toenail off somehow (I was at the grocery store at the time so didn't see it happen). I came home with grocery bags, and there was blood all over the place. I couldn’t tell which dog was hurt (due to the aforementioned semi-blindness) so I called my dear neighbor, she came over, and we discovered it was Freckles doing the bleeding. So I took her to the vet, she had an operation, stayed overnight, and came home with a cone around her neck. If you’ve never seen a dachshund in a cone, it’s worth a look. Here she is:

After that, all seemed well for a few days, until Freckles went bananas and tried to murder poor little Bella, the most timid of my herd. Bella and Bam-Bam came to me from a puppy mill in Texas, and they’re both quite shy dogs. Freckles meant business, and Bella went to the hospital on Monday morning. Why do disasters always happen on weekends? Anyhow, it’s now Thursday, July 30, and Bella’s STILL in the hospital. I have to go to Albuquerque for another blankety-blank eye appointment tomorrow, so I won’t be able to pick her up until Saturday morning. I’ve been visiting her, though, and she’s a real mess. She has more than twenty holes in her poor little butt. The vet’s been giving her pain meds and antibiotics. Sigh. God alone knows how much this will cost. But Bella’s worth it. Truly. Really. Honest. As for Freckles, she’s now in another foster home in Fort Stanton, New Mexico, where she’s being closely watched, and we’re trying to find a home where she’ll be the only dog.

But then something good actually happened! A fellow author and friend, Jackie Griffey, told me some of her books were coming out in audiobook format and will be available on I was fascinated, since I’ve longed for years to have my books available in audiobook format (I listen to audiobooks all the time because of hideous arthritis and . . . well, semi-blindness). Jackie told me what to do to get my books considered for Audible, and I went and did it! I uploaded all my Daisy Gumm Majesty books and most of my Mercy Allcutt books to a place called ACX. What you do when you’re an author-type person is upload your book’s information and then wait until a narrator gets interested and auditions to narrate the book. I figured it would take months and months and probably nobody would want to audition. I mean, I’m not Nora Roberts or Stephen King, y’know?

However . . . ta-da! The very next day someone auditioned for ANGEL’S FLIGHT. The narrator wasn’t awfully good, but I was pleased she was interested. And then, by gum, other people began auditioning! I found someone I think is going to be excellent to do my Daisy books. I have no idea how long this process will take, but I suspect months, if not years.

And THEN, by golly, an old, old friend (okay, he’s younger than I am, but almost everyone is these days), Jim Hull, who’s a voice-over artist and who narrates books for the Braille Institute, said he’d be willing to narrate one of my books as an experiment if I had one that could use a male narrator. So I sent him SIERRA RANSOM (an historical romance novel set during the California Gold Rush), he did a great job, and he’s going to narrate that book!

In the meantime, since I’ll be out of it and not able to fiddle with my rotten, lousy hair after my surgery, I got a permanent. I now look like an elderly French poodle with truly, TRULY stupid smile. I really ought to remember to wear makeup when somebody’s going to take my picture. Sigh. But at least I’m eventually going to have some books available in audio!