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We Soldier On

March 16th, 2009

Yesterday, I drove down to Tucson (about 100 miles south of here) to participate in the Tucson Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus. My friend Nan Beams, production manager at Poisoned Pen Press, drove down with me, which made the trip thousands of times easier and more pleasant. I gave a mystery writing workshop, which was attended by at least 60 people, so I was pleased. The Festival was enormous. 340 writers were scheduled to attend over the weekend, including some Very Big Names. I saw on the schedule that J.A. Jance, Diana Gabeldon, and Elmore Leonard were there, as well as my friends Jon Talton,Ken Kuhlken, Susan Cummins Miller, Elizabeth Gunn, J.M. Hayes, Barbara Levy, and Stella Pope Duarte, not to mention many others whose paths I have crossed and many more I have not. I read this morning that over thirty thousand people attended over the weekend.

Before my workshop, I went to the author’s room – sort of a corral where they rounded up authors who were scheduled to do a signing or talk so that an escort could take them to where they were supposed to be. There I met Nancy Turner (These Is My Words), and we sat and talked before we were cut out of the herd and sent to our respective pens, if I may continue my metaphor. Nancy and I have done a couple of gigs together, and she is a lovely person whose company I always enjoy. As we were catching each other up on our respective lives, we discovered that both of our husbands are undergoing long and unresolved health crises, so we spent a therapeutic half-hour commiserating. I maintain that there is some malevolent conjunction of planets going on, here, because I have never heard of so many health related problems happening among those I know. Could it be because we’re all reaching a certain aaaaaaage … oh, no, I can’t even say it!

Don continues to improve. His aborted lithotripsy has been rescheduled for April 3. No aspirin, vitamin E, or anything else that could vaguely be considered a blood thinner will pass his lips until then. Yesterday was the first time since his illness that Don was on his own all day long, and he did very well. He fixed his own lunch, and when I got home that evening at about 7:00, he was in the midst of fixing supper! Otherwise, he tells me he spent the day reading, writing, and sleeping.

So April 3 is the goal date. Between now and then, he will be getting some lab work done for the kidney doctor, and visiting the cardiologist (on March 23, his birthday! What fun.) for the final check of his cardiac device until June.

Tomorrow, March 17, I will be donning my green togs and heading over to Tempe Public Library at 3:30 to catch my Type M 4 Murder blogmates, Deborah Turrell Atkinson (Pleasing the Dead) and Vicki Delany, (Valley of the Lost). Debby, who lives in Hawai’i, and Vicki, who is Canadian, are on a Mighty Gianormous Book Tour together. They will be coming to their talk at TPL after an appearance in Tucson that morning, and after TPL, the three of us will go out for supper before their 7:00 p.m. gig at Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale. I’ll be at that one, too, barring the unforeseen, just to see if they are still able to speak coherently.

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