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Every year I get a flu shot.  Without fail, I'm one of the first persons to go to the doctor or the pharmacy that is giving them out.  I never skip this. I have issues with nausea, and the idea of languishing in bed waiting for nausea/fever/chills/respiratory illness is more than I can handle. 

We had a warm winter up until a few weeks ago, when the temperatures plummeted.  For a girl who's lived in Alaska, and is familiar with minus temperatures, you'd think it would be no problem for me.  But I've felt colder in Santa Fe than I ever did in Anchorage.

My dear friend, the novelist, Wilton Barnhardt, came though shortly after Christmas, and as is our tradition, met at El Farol, one of the oldest bars in town, to have tapas.  Wilton and I used to cook together when we both lived in California.  So many great memories.  He is a veritable genius, and his books, Gospel, Emma Who Saved My Life, and Show World, are all in print.  He studied at Oxford.  His new book, Look Away, Look Away, is forthcoming from St. Martin's soon.  I can't wait to read it.

We had a lovely time, eating, talking food, travel, books, photographs, growing older, cowboy boots, his teaching, my teaching: everything Wilton does is on a grand scale.  He was driving back to North Carolina, so we hugged goodbye, and he snapped this photo of me in the parking lot at the top of Canyon Road. A couple of days later, I thought I was catching a cold. Soon I had a 101 fever, and felt really awful.  Then the bone-racking cough arrived.  I saw the doctor and she prescribed antibiotics for my cough.  She gave my husband, who was also coughing, Tamiflu.  Lucky dog.  He was sick for about 4 days, but bounced back quickly.  I got worse.

After a breathing treatment at Urgent Care, I was sent home with an inhaler.  A couple days after that, I returned to my regular doctor, who said I had walking pneumonia, and received a second inhaler.  I'm still recovering. It's made me think about my life more deeply than ever before.  I have prioritized my writing.  I'm added hours to my day for reading.  And this blog, which I hope to keep current, I'll talk about new books I've read.  Sort of a free book review site.  Hope you enjoy it.

Mary
2/9/2013

Love the boots! Sorry about the flu..

"Finding Casey" was worth the wait. I've read it twice already and recommended it to everyone I know. I had to special order it because none of the bookstores in the Tri-Cities--not Barnes & Noble or the independents had it in stock. I complained.

Have you had a chance to read "Lady of the Rivers" yet? If so, how did you like it.

Sorry I didn't make it to this year's Hillerman conference, but I had to choose a fence for the goats or a trip to Santa Fe. I was looking forward to your workshop. The fence is done and the horses are staying on my side and the goats are styaing on their side, so I hope you're doing another one next year.

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Gail Felsman
4/26/2014

Sorry about your flu... I used to always get flu shot when I was a mail carrier and a week to 10 days later I would get so sick. When my mom got sick with pancreatic cancer I quit carring mail to take care of her and never got another flu shot. You don't know me. I just read your novel "Finding Casey"... I loved it and just wondered if you would be doing a sequel or another in the series... it lends itself well. Aspen seems mysterious yet so open. She is different. I love your writing... excellent and so human and so inviting... thank you.

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Have you had a chance to read "Lady of the Rivers" yet? If so, how did you like it.

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    Mapson and Rufus
    Jo-Ann and Rufous the felon
    Hi.  I’m Jo-Ann Mapson, writer and the author of 11 novels.  My latest book is Finding Casey, from Bloomsbury Publishers.  I teach in University of Alaska Anchorage’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.  I’m owned by three Italian greyhounds, Henry, Piper & Rufous, and married to the love of my life, artist Stewart Allison.  I’m addicted to 2 things: Diet Cherry Coke and Old Gringo Boots.

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