As the month comes to an end, I find myself getting more and more excited about my 34th book coming out and dancing faster with each day of my writing life. We expect THE COMFORTS OF HOME to come out of the gate at a full run on November 1. Also coming back into print this month is THE TENDER TEXAN in trade paperback (my first national bestseller) and my anthology, A TEXAS CHRISTMAS. It came out the first of this month and is on the New York Times list this week. Adding to all that mix, I’m writing on the next historical every night until after midnight and it’s coming along great.
So, dear friends, come along with me into fiction because it promises to be a wild ride.
Also, next week is Halloween, a fun time at my house. Last year we had over 1,ooo trick-or- treaters. I buy a dozen big bags of candy, invite my friends who have few kids to come by and bring their candy and join us. We pass out candy for three hours straight. So…when I thought about this blog, I thought about what frightens me. Growing up in Texas, I have to say RATTLESNAKES. In truth, I’ve seen very few in my life that were not in cages, but whenever I walk in the country, I’m very much aware that I’m walking on their land.
My first memory of a rattlesnake was one found under my Grandmother Kirkland’s house when I was about four. My grandmother chopped his head off with a hoe. I don’t remember the exact words, but she said something like, ‘to get along with snakes, you got to be smarter than the snake.’ That may explain why I live in town. I’ve never wanted to test my intelligence with my life the wager.
So, some facts about snakes:
The diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. Sometimes easily eight feet long and can weigh as much as 10 pounds. I thought I saw a twelve foot one on a country road one day, but it was one snake eating another snake. Yuck!
Their bites are very painful and can be fatal. Thanks to antivenin, they are rarely deadly.
Some things to do:
Avoid rattlesnakes! Seems pretty simple but you wouldn’t believe the people I know who ride out on horseback to check out the rattler nest.
If you see a snake—make noise. He’ll probably wander off.
If you do get bitten:
Relax, be calm. Yeah, sure. Good luck with that.
Keep bitten area at or below heart level.
Go to hospital or see doctor within five hours.
Watch where you walk as well as where you ride. Trust me, falling off a horse is also painful.
Don’t use ice to cool bite.
Don’t cut the wound open and suck out the venom—that’s something left for heroes in books not in real life.
Don’t use a tourniquet unless you know what you are doing. Right, if you knew what you were doing you wouldn’t be hanging out with snakes.
And last, if all else fails, hit the rattlesnake on the head with a hoe. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for live and let live, but if he’s in my backyard where my grandchildren play, I’m thinking just like my grandmother did, ‘that snake’s got a death wish.’
So, come in and tell me how you feel about snakes.
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I will give away an autographed copy of “Comforts of Home” to one lucky commenter!