Monday, April 30, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

So much for my updates from Malice Domestic convention! It wasn't that I was partying so hard that I had no time. I actually missed the entire convention due to an accident on the first evening. I went out to dinner with a group of friends. We were given a big table at the back of the restaurant and I dakidn't realize it was up a step from the rest of the room. At the end of the meal I decided to use the rest room before we walked back to the hotel. I turned from my chair and stepped out into nothing. I went down like a tree onto brown ceramic tile. There was no kind of stripe or indication at the edge of the step which was tile like the rest of the room.

I was taken in a taxi back to the hotel and then it was determined I should go to the emergency room. It was my first experience of being in an ambulance and such cute paramedics too, but I was hurting too much to enjoy the experience. Three friends from dinner--Carolyn Hart, Eve Sandstrom and Jan Giles--came with me and spent the next seven hours with me in the emergency room, chatting to me and keeping up my spirits. I can't say enough how wonderful they were.

Less praise for the emergency room. It didn't seem busy but it took over an hour each time between doctor visits, e-rays, CT scan and all the while I was lying on a very hard gurney. It even took an hour and a half before I got an ice pack and then only because Carolyn made a fuss.

End result was that I have broken a bone in my pelvis. It is in place and the only cure is time. At close to five o'clock in the morning we arrived back at the hotel. The staff there (Hyatt Bethesda) were fantastic. I can't say enough about their kindness and willingness. The bell man who pushed my wheelchair up to my room telephoned the next day to see how I was getting along. The hotel sent up flowers and a lovely note. How rare is such attention these days.

I also can't say enough about the kindness of my roommate, Carolyn Hart, and of Eve and Jan, and so many other mystery writing friends at the convention. They kept up my spirits, came to visit and looked after me so well. As you can imagine I was worried about how I'd get home from Maryland as I couldn't put any weight on my left leg. Then I remembered that we have emergency medical evacuation insurance (taken out in case we got sick somewhere exotic) but it worked equally well in the USA. The next day a nurse arrived for me with limo to the airport and then she accompanied me home, first class, with a limo at the other end.  So given the circumstances it could not have been better managed.

The next morning I learned that I had won the Agatha Award for NAUGHTY IN NICE. I rather think the sympathy vote had something to do with it, but I promise not to go to extreme measures to win any awards in the future!

So now I'm home in my own bed and already thinking impatiently about starting my next book. I have at least a month ahead of me not being able to move, so why not get a head start. I've already got a great idea for Georgie's next adventure!

I'll keep you updated on my progress.


  1. That's really awful, Rhys. We were all so sorry to hear about it. Hope you're healed and back up kicking butt again soon!

  2. So glad to hear it was'nt worse than it was. I do feel for you, though. My Uncle broke his a few years back (motorcycle acc.) and was laid up for 2 months! He could'nt tolerate pain of any sort. Men! Anyway, hope you feel better just being home and in your own bed. Will be keeping up with your progress as time goes on.

  3. I read about this on Twitter. So sorry you were injured and will be down for a while.

    But congratulations on the award! Take care of yourself.

  4. I'm sure your accident gendered nothing but sympathy for you. Your books won the Agatha and you deserved it. Don't think anything else.

  5. I was looking forward to seeing you at Malice, Rhys. So sorry it ended the way it did, but I have to say, your insurance sounds incredible. Sending prayers and good thoughts for quick healing.

  6. We're glad you're doing okay, Rhys. What an experience! And I hate to contradict an ailing woman, but most of us at the conference didn't know what had happened to you until after the votes were in. I'm afraid you're just going to have to accept the fact that you wrote a terrific book adored by your many fans. Congratulations again on the Agatha AND sending good thoughts for a speedy recovery. xoxo

  7. I'm so glad you are okay. I saw you come into the hotel and was concerned but didn't want to intrude but when I saw the ambulance worker come in...I sensed it was worse than I thought.

    Glad to know that you arrived home safe and sounds and I'm sending good thoughts, prayers and speedy recovery for your healing process.

    Again, congrats on winning the Agatha.

  8. I was looking forward to seeing you at MD, Rhys, and we were all shocked when they told us about your accident. Hank Phillipi Ryan filled in for you on the Lee Goldberg interview - we had all been looking forward to hearing you. Rest up now, recover quickly and completely, and we'll see you (I hope) at Bouchercon. And, of course, congratulations on the Agatha!

  9. Maybe while you are laid up for awhile you can do some extra reading just for pleasure. I understand that is a luxury for most authors. Take care and speedy recovery.

  10. Oh, Rhys, I am so sorry to hear about your fall! Only you could make it sound like an exciting adventure! Many congrats on the Agatha, but really-----would you rather have skipped the teapot if it meant you didn't hurt so much? Sending very best wishes!

  11. Oh boy, can I identify with your fall. In 2007 I fell down a flight of stairs at a NT home and broke my shoulder and 7 bones in my wrist. I had an unbelievably horrible stay in English hospital---thought I was in prison. Finally arrived home 4 days later to discover from orthopaedic doctor that the surgeon had set my bones wrong so have permanent wrist problems. It was a year before I could drive! I hope you heal quickly and without too much pain.

  12. So sorry to read this, Rhys! But you told a great story -- one false step and the best-laid plans "gang agley!" Congratulations on the award, and I hope you keep writing your blog while you are recovering. All the very best.

  13. Rhys, I hate to contradict you, but NAUGHTY IN NICE won the Agatha on its own merits. We were just all so sorry that you couldn't be there to enjoy your success.

    I had hoped to have the chance to meet you in person at Malice. I heard the next day about your accident, but it sounded as if you were in very bad shape in your room as emergency arrangements were made to get you home, so I hardly thought you'd welcome a visit.

    Everyone at the conference was stunned at the bad luck you had, but also at the incredibly positive attitude you maintained through it all. Hope your healing is fast and goes smoothly. xoxo

    1. Linda, I was looking forward to meeting you too. Will you be at Bouchercon? I promise not to go out to eat....

  14. I'm so sorry you are broken (but happily not bowed). I hope you heal quickly and that pain isn't too horrid. Congratulations on the Agatha. At least that is some consolation. Best wishes!

  15. Rhys, Jen and I were heart broken to hear of your accident. You are one of the author's we always look forward to seeing at these conferences. I only hope your not in that much pain and that your back on your feet soon.
    We missed you.
    Don from Scene of the Crime Books

  16. I'm sure the Spirits will be quick to mend the bones of such an uplifting writer.

    Thank you for your wonderful Spyness series -- Please keep them coming!