On the Road: Tombstone, Arizona

The Town too Tough to Die

Tombstone is famous for the 1881 thirty-second gunfight at the O.K. Corral between the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday on one side and Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury on the other.

The shootout has inspired books and movies, including the 1993 Tombstone starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

A series of framed drawings at the historic Cochise County Courthouse, which is now a museum and visitor’s center, shows the progression of the gunfight though it happened so quickly no one is certain what transpired.

Tombstone is about more  than a gunfight, though. Nicknamed “The Town too Tough to Die,” it was founded in 1879 and prospered because of silver mining. Two major fires devastated the town in 1881 and again in 1882. But it was the drop in silver production that sent inhabitants scurrying for greener passages.

Over a hundred years later, tourism has replaced mining, cattle rustling, and gambling as the major industry.

Our first stop was the Bird Cage Theater, home of the longest poker game ever.

For eight years, five months, and three days a variety of players wagered at the table in the basement. You can still see it, and it’s almost eerie to think that historical characters such as Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson actually sat in that very place.

Sadly, bloggers are prohibited from posting photos taken at the Bird Cage Theater.

So here’s a photo of the O.K. Corral re-enactors waiting to shoot it out.

After touring the Bird Cage and eating lunch, we walked around town, visited the Courthouse, and went into a few stores.

Our next stop was Boot Hill.

Those who were killed at the O.K. Corral shootout are buried here. What we found most heartbreaking, though, was how many of the stone markers said “Unknown.”

Others gave specific reasons for the death such as “Hung” or “Killed by Indians.”

Six years after the Earp/Clanton gunfight, there was another shootout near the O.K. Corral. I wrote about William Cornell, a copper and ranching mogul, who sought revenge for his daughter’s tragic death at Midwest Almanac.

This is my first trip to this part of the country, but it won’t be last because my two grandgirls live here now. To this Midwest gal, who has lived most of my adult life in the Sunshine State, the landscape is very different.

But I like it!

Your Turn

I wouldn’t say Arizona was my dream destination (no offense, Arizonians!), but I’m enjoying my time here very much.

What state are you eager to visit?

Looking Ahead to 2017!

And a Few Ventures

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A friend recently posted a meme in a Facebook group with this message:

2015 was practice.

2016 was warm-up.

2017 is game time!

In a way . . . somehow . . . this is my life.

The new year brings a major change. This spring I’ll be moving from my sister’s four-acre hobby farm –where I tended an alpaca herd, discovered newborn bunnies, witnessed my little papillon actually tree a raccoon (more than once), surprised a fox (and we were way too close to one another), dealt with more dead things than I ever have in my life, took a weaving class, and imagined three novels and a novella–to a home of my own near Tampa.

A new chapter is exciting, but closing the current one will not be easy. In the time I’ve lived here, I’ve become part of the local inspirational writing community, made new friends, and enjoyed Mid-South hospitality.

It’s hard to think about New Year’s resolutions when I don’t even know what “a day in my life” will look like.

But I am planning ventures (which just may be my 2017 Word of the Year).

Writing ventures include a second cozy mystery, a major revision to my unpublished novel When Memory Whispers, and a third still-to-be-decided project.

I’ve already started my travel ventures. I was in Tulsa over Christmas and, as you’re reading this, I’m headed to Arizona to hug my grandgirls. Who knows where else my vagabond feet will wander in the coming months?

(If venture is my 2017 Word of the Year, then a bicycle is my symbol.)

Let’s not forget hobby ventures.

I’ve been taking horse-riding lessons . . . on a pony. A TALL pony! Gabby probably won’t miss me as much as I’ll miss her but she’s given me the confidence to take a chance, try something scary, and live to talk about it. <said with a grin>

My weaving sample (woven on a table loom)

A weaving loom probably isn’t in my future, but I enjoyed the class I took.

A friend from church has promised to teach me to crochet an infinity scarf. I’ve already created the 72-inch chain she told me I needed.

An acting class might be fun–not because I have any talent, but because of the insights I’d gain about creating characters.

So many things to do. So many things to try.

Now it’s your turn. What ventures might 2017 hold for you?

Prize Packages: Misty Willow Novels & Cary Grant Classics

A Merry Christmas Giveaway!

Christmas is the time for giving and winter is the time for curling up with a good story–a contemporary romance or a classic movie. Here’s your opportunity to win one of two fun prize packages.

Where She Belongs Giveaway

Shelby and AJ quote lines from Cary Grant movies to each other. One of their favorites is An Affair to Remember with Deborah Kerr. But as Shelby says, you can’t watch this classic without watching Sleepless in Seattle, too.

This giveaway includes an autographed copy of Where She Belongs, the first novel in the Misty Willow Series, and DVD copies of An Affair to Remember (25th Anniversary Edition) plus Sleepless in Seattle (10th Anniversary Edition).

When Love Arrives Giveaway

Dani doesn’t want Brett to know she was secretly photographing him. So when they unexpectedly meet, she says her name is Regina Lampert–the name of Audrey Hepburn’s character in the Cary Grant classic Charade.

This giveaway includes an autographed copy of When Love Arrives, the second novel in the Misty Willow Series, and a DVD copy of Charade.

Thanks for entering!

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Note: Two winners will be selected in a random drawing. Contest is only open to those with U.S. mailing addresses.