Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Time Out for Some Fun

Back in April we found out from humorist Slim Randles that Dud had pretty much given up on writing his book and had taken up playing accordion. Much to the relief of his friends and his dear wife, Anita, Dud is once more squeezing words out of his computer and the accordion is resting. Here is Slim to tell us all about it...

Dud looked at his Anita across the kitchen table and smiled at the wonderment of her. She didn’t take him for granted, and he didn’t take her for granted, either. Seemed like a nice way for a man and his wife to be in love.
But how was he going to translate this? This has been the problem for several years now with the book. Dud shook his head slowly. Anyone who thinks writing a novel is easy should spend an hour inside my head first. It’s been several years since he began writing “Murder in the Soggy Bottoms,” the book that the rest of Dud’s people referred to as “The Duchess and the Truck Driver.”

“What’s the matter, Hon?”

“Oh … nothing. Just thinking about the book again.”

“Because it’s Spring?”

He nodded. They smiled at each other.

“Mrs. Campbell,” said Dud, “may I ask you a question?”

“I think you just did, Mr. Campbell.”

“Well … I mean, could you put in words how you feel about … well, us?”

Anita put down her toast and sipped some coffee and smiled as she looked across the table at Dud.

“I think … we are special,” she said. “I used to be Anita. But now … well, I’m now half of Anita and Dud, and that half is twice what Anita used to be by herself. Dud, you have given me a foundation and a safety net. I know I can say anything to you, and I’m safe in saying it.”

Dud walked over quickly, kissed her, and almost ran into his study. Anita heard the keys clicking away on the computer.

Well, she said to herself, maybe, just maybe, I helped write a book.
Brought to you by the Home Country podcast 
Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, Home Country, and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press.

Posted by Maryann Miller - novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent mystery Doubletake was named the 2015 Best Mystery by the Texas Association of Authors. She has a number of other books published, including the critically-acclaimed Season Series that debuted with Open Season. Information about her books and her editing rates is available on her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas. Slim Randles always makes her laugh.


  1. Sounds like Dud and Anita have found the secret to a happy relationship: It is not about fixing or filling in each other's cracks; it's about adding a fine patina to their surfaces through working together. :)

    1. Nicely put, Diana. Entering a relationship with the thought of changing things you don't like in the other person, is not a wise move at all. Unfortunately, too many people think that works.

  2. I related to '... it had been several years since he began writing ...', Maryann. I even related to the interaction with his wife (I married a saint, too), but the '... ran into his study (and started working)' thing ... nope, no empathy there.

    1. Didn't work for me, either, Christopher. Maybe we need more inspiration. (smile)

  3. Ah, the double-edged sword of a happy marriage: I feel totally supported in my writing life, and I feel totally supported if I decide never to write another word. ;)

  4. We add to the love, marriage, horse, carriage scenario with writer, loving supporter. Not as poetic, but it doesn't get much better than that. :-)


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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