Society of the Old West

From early westward expansion through the early 20th Century.

Well, sort of.

I've been busy writing romance novels under the name Marina Martindale, and running my book publishing company, Good Oak Press. Five Star Publications, who published my Luke and Jenny historical novels for young readers, has taken the books out of print, and I've been hesitant about republishing them under my own banner. Granted, the history remains the same, it's the modern day story, about the two kids visiting historical sites with their mother, that has gotten out of date. Technology is changing faster than anybody can keep up with it. The first book, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral; Luke and Jenny Visit Tombstone, begins with the two kids riding in the car with their mother, and eight-year-old Luke gets bored and tosses his Game Boy aside. Apparently Game Boys have gone the way of the Edsel and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. They are no more. And I guess those kids would be teenagers, if not adults, by now anyway.

On a personal note, I've had a very challenging year. On August 11 of last year it was a typical rainy monsoon day in Tucson, and I was out running errands in the rainy weather in a pair of flip flops. I'd just returned home, and the sidewalk was wet. So, as I'm walking from the carport to my front door my shoes got wet, and, unbeknownst to be at the time, flip flops don't have much traction on wet concrete. It was like I was suddenly walking on ice. My foot slipped out from underneath me and I feel backwards. I was able to grab onto the screen door handle as I went down, and, other than feeling a muscle twinge in one leg, I thought I was fine. I got up, brushed myself off, and went about my business.

The following morning I turned on my computer and I couldn't see the type on the screen. It was all blurry. I thought maybe I"d put on the wrong pair of glasses, but I hadn't. They were a new prescription. Turned out I'd gotten a minor concussion when I fell. I thought you had to be knocked unconscious to have a concussion, but that is not the case at all. What causes a concussion is the brain bumping the skull, as mine apparently did, and it has left me with a minor brain injury that has effected my vision. I have days when I can almost see normally. Other days, like today, I honestly wonder if I'm going blind.

Needless to say, a permanent visual impairment is a real challenge to a writer. Glasses help, but not much. That's the problem with a brain injury. It can't be fixed. So I have to keep magnifying my computer screen, and trying to typeset and publish a book, especially for another author, presents its own set of problems. But hey, I can get it done. It just takes me a bit longer than it did before. Driving can be a real trip too. Yes, I can see the other cars, but it's hard with fuzzy vision, and sometimes I'm unable to read street signs, so I don't venture into strange neighborhoods. More often than not when I go out with friends I let them drive.

No, I don't go to Tombstone that much anymore. I had a wonderful time all the years I went down there, but things change. Pat Kelly, who always booked me to perform as a storyteller at the big events--Wyatt Earp Days, Helldorado, and Vigilante Days, stepped aside and new people took over, and new people usually like to change things. It also happened about the same time I switched genres and started writing contemporary romance, so it ended at the right time, and it's probably just as well, as nowadays there is no guarantee that on a given day I can see well enough to make the drive. But it was a time in my life I'll always cherish.

So, there you have it. I'll be renewing SOTOW for another year, as soon as Ning sends me the bill, so I'm keeping the place going, even though I'm now quietly in the background. And if any of you are on Facebook I'd love a friend request, but please note that while here I'm prim and proper lady, over there I'm a bit less retrained. I may be half blind, the rest of my brain still works just fine, thank you very much, and I have no problem speaking my mind.


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Comment by Carbine on July 3, 2015 at 6:05pm

Thanks for sharing the news with us Gayle. May your experience be a lesson to all of us - Don't take a simple fall lightly. Get well soon. By the way Grandson # 2 has started reading your "Luke and Jenny Gunfight at the OK Corral". He is hooked, at 12 years old in today's day and age. 

Comment by Gayle Martin on July 2, 2015 at 10:30am

The head injury was confirmed by the ophthalmologist, and, after the CAT scan, I was told I had a "hidden" brain injury. This as also effected my equilibrium, (but not that much), and, for a time I also experienced complications with a pre exisiting heart condition. All are related to the fall and the traumatic head injury. No, I don't have diabetes, thank goodness. All that stuff was looked into and came out negative. It's a head injury. It all started within 24 hours of a bad fall. Other than being far-sighted, I've never had issues with my vision.

Comment by dirtrider on July 1, 2015 at 5:46am

It is good to see you here, Boss.  It is apparent that ning is letting us back on today.

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