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Daniella Blackwood fought Apaches, the Army, her own family.

She fought hatred, prejudice, jealousy and greed.

She fought for solitude, for peace.  For her very life.

But she could not fight the love in Travis Colton's eyes.

Apache Magic

Book 1 of the Award Winning Apache-Colton Series

 


Catching Up, or, Better Late Than Never

May 30, 2015

Dear Readers,  Dear Diary...?

Okay, it's a Blog, but I just can't bring myself to like that word.  I'll have to think about it a little longer.

How's that for procrastinating?  I've updated most of the rest of my website—I mean, a person ought to do that once every 9 or 10 years, right?—and this is the last page I need to do for now, and I can't even decide what to call it.  Pathetic, right?

I blame it on the drugs.  Oh, not the illegal, recreational, fun kind of drugs.  I don't do those.  I have too many of the other, medicinal, doctor-prescribed, keeping-me-alive kind of drugs to have room or the inclination for any other kind.  The fun kind could interfere with the keep-me-alive kind and I'd be a goner.  But the kind my doctors give me have a tendency to interfere with my ability to focus and concentrate, which is why this website got 9 years out of date, and why I haven't had a new book out in ages.

You see, once upon a time (Oh, look!  I'm finally writing a story!) there was a teenage girl who decided it would be cool to do what all her pals and her favorite celebrities were doing, so she started smoking cigarettes.  Sure, experts started saying smoking was bad for you, but if that was true, why did all the doctors still smoke?  So the teenager continued, because she genuinely liked to smoke, and she figured it made her look cool.  You know, like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Dean Martin, The Marlboro Man.  Just because a couple of them died of lung cancer (The Duke and The Marlboro Man!), that didn't mean she would.  Such a thing was uncommon, after all.

Her prediction, that she wouldn't get lung cancer, so far, has proven true.  However, after 30 years of smoking a pack and a half a day, she—I—was diagnosed with emphysema, back in 2000.  Hack hack, cough cough, pant pant.  Then came the oxygen bottles, but soon, even they weren't much help.  Eventually I was unable to even say my full name (in my defense, it is a long name) without stopping to take a breath in the middle.  Then, praise the Lord, in September of 2009 I received a lung transplant.  Just one lung, but it saved my life.

But once you have a stranger's lung inside your chest, things start to get interesting.  Yes, I could breathe without the oxygen bottles, but to keep my immune system from thinking that new lung was an invading foreign body, I have to take anti-rejection medication to knock out my immune system, so my own body won't destroy the new lung.  Then the real fun starts.  Antibiotics so I won't catch every germ that comes a long.  Insulin and other diabetes meds because the anti-rejection meds make me diabetic.  Steriods, which spike my blood sugar, which requires more insulin (which causes weight gain, which worsens the diabetes, which requires more insulin, which causes more weight gain, which...you get the picture).  Tons of vitamins.  Calcium and Vitamin D, because the anti-rejection meds eat away at my bones.  Iron because I've been anemic since I was a kid, and I'm damn tired of the doctors freaking out and ordering me to get a colonoscopy because they think I'm going to bleed to death out my you-know-what.  Etc.  Ad nauseam.

[Oh, dear.  I can already feel a separate blog coming on about getting a transplant!  But, please, I can't let myself do that until I start working on my Western again!]

But the point of my telling you all of this sob story?  The diabetes (caused by the anti-rejection meds, caused by the transplant, due to the smoking so I could look cool) brought on peripheral neuropathy, which feels like somebody is taking a blow torch to the bottoms of my feet.  The drug they gave me for that, Cymbalta, I do not recommend to anyone who ever wants to use her brain again.  It turned me into a zombie.  All I did for many months was slouch in my recliner and stare at the television all day.  For months!  Until I finally learned what was causing it.  The Cymbalta.  THAT is why I haven't written in so long.

I got off the Cymbalta.  I tried Capsaicin on my feet, but I never could scrub it entirely off my fingers, and I'm always rubbing my eyes.  Needless to say, hot pepper cream in one's eyes is a tad uncomfortable.  I finally found Blue Emu Oil.  I hurt for the poor emus, but this oil stops the burning in my feet instantly.  Sometimes the effect lasts only a few minutes, and I have to reapply.  But other times, I use it once, then am fine for the rest of the day.

As you can see by this updated website, I'm finally learning to focus and concentrate again.  Now, if only I can turn this ability back toward my writing!  I owe Harlequin three historicals.  They have been so tolerant and patient with me all this time, here's hoping they—and you—still want them!

They say you should write your goals down, then work toward them.  Okay, I'll do that.  The three books I owe Harlequin are Westerns set in post-Civil War Texas.  The series is called The Daughters of Sarah McCord.  Now, all I have to do is write!

Best,

Janis

 


 

February 26, 2006

Dear Readers,

There's nothing like keeping on top of things!  I looked at this web page this morning and realized I had not updated it in, well, lets just say it's been a while.  What can I say?  After writing all day for a living, I find it difficult to write anything else.  That's no excuse for not keeping you up to date, but that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

It's almost spring, and we've had maybe two weeks of winter here in Central Oklahoma.  And they weren't consecutive.  My office is upstairs in our home, and as many of you with two-story houses know, all the heat from the first floor shoots funnels right up the stairs.  I bet I used the air conditioner in January — I kid you not — nearly as often as the furnace.  But I'm not complaining!  Well, except maybe about the electric bill.  Ugh.

I haven't made an trips lately, except for the RWA National conference, which was in Reno, NV, in July of 2005.  The best part about that was that my brother and his family drove over from California to see me while I was there.  And I've been down to Ardmore, in the southern part of the state, and to Ada and Blanchard, both in the central part, to see family.

Years ago I started a list of interesting or noteworthy things I've seen.  I thought of that list the other day and looked for it, but couldn't find it anywhere.  I'm going to have to start a new one, because I simply have to put this in writing:  I have seen a squirrel yawn.  It was the most adorable thing!  And I've seen a duck with a Mohawk.  Go figure.  I know certain breeds of ducks have a little topnot like that, but this is the first one I've seen, and she has left her home (it was down the street) and moved onto our pond with our duck. 

I'm learning little-kid jokes to tell the four-year-old who visits his great-grand-parents next door to me every day.  He always remembers the punch line, but usually not the rest of the joke.  But he did come up with a good one recently:

"What did one casket say to the other casket?"

"I don't know."

"He said, Is that you coffin?"

Now, how can I possibly top that?

Yours,

Janis

 


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