Friday, April 21, 2017

#Fridayreads Home Country by Slim Randles

Since this month has been focused on humor here at The Blood-Red Pencil, I thought I would give a shout-out for humorist, Slim Randles. He has written a weekly column, Home Country, that has been syndicated in hundreds of newspapers across the country, and several years ago the best of the best of those columns were collected into a book of the same name.

He has also been a frequent contributor here with stories about his friend, Dud, the writer who struggles like the rest of us with finishing his novel.

I first met Slim when he was a contributor to, and online magazine where I was the Managing Editor for a number of years. I've always had a special affinity for humor writing - that's where I got my start as a writer - and I believe that humor helps the days pass in a much more enjoyable way than if we never got to laugh.

When the online magazine closed down, Slim was kind enough to still share his columns with me to post on my blog, It's Not All Gravy, as well as here. Like so many other writers, he is a good and generous soul.

He's also a cowboy, and I have a special affinity for cowboys, too. I love to listen to them talk about working on a ranch, connecting with animals and Mother Earth. When I first moved here to East Texas, my husband and I often went to a local diner where farmers and ranchers would gather on a Saturday morning for breakfast, and I always made sure we had a table close by so I could listen. For a little while, I could pretend that I was one with them.

But I digress. This is about Slim and his books, of which he has many. Quite a few are filled with humor, and most contain a bit of wisdom, too. All are worth a read and can be found

Here is just a sampling of what you can find in Home Country:
If you didn’t know what time of the year it was, or what the weather was like, you could tell simply by eavesdropping at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn coffee shop. Let’s give it a try.

“Good to see you here, Doc,” said Herb Collins. “That warm water on the battery trick work for you?”

“Thanks, Herb. Yep. I tried it this morning. What’s that you got there?”

“Travel thingie. You know it’s more than 80 degrees in Guatemala … right now?”

“Saw a deal on TV,” Dud said. “They’re water skiing in Florida. You can go fishing down there all year round.”

“You going to Guatemala, Herb?” said Doc.

“Maybe. Been thinking about it. I don’t know much Spanish, though.”

“All you need to know,” said Dud, “is ‘Hace mucho calor,’ Herb.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Sure is hot!”

“I was just thinking yesterday,” said Doc, “of the unsung beauty of sweat. You know, we take sweat for granted in summer. Heck, we even dislike it and go swimming to wash it off.”

“That’s a fact,” Dud said.

“But I think it would be kinda fun to sweat right now. You know, just sit in a hot sun and bask like an old lizard and sip iced tea…”

“… and wear dark glasses,” said Herb.

“ … and watch girls in bikinis,” said Dud.

They looked at him.

“Around here?”

“Well, no. I mean, Guatemala or Florida, you know.”

“Yeah,” said Herb. “Guatemala.”

About that time Loretta came up. “You boys want your coffees topped off, or should I just turn the hose on you?”

They shoved their cups forward and grinned.

“Sale on snow shovels down at the hardware store,” said Doc.

“Heard that,” said Dud.

You can find all of Slim's books on his Author Page on Amazon

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. Visit her Amazon Author page to find a list of all of her books, and you can see her editing rates and references on her website. Maryann is on Facebook and Twitter, and her Twitter handle is @maryannwrites. Her most recent book releases are Doubletake and Boxes For Beds, both mysteries that are available for Kindle and in paper. 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. I love being a Floridian. I'll take 3 months of oppressive heat and 9 months of beautiful. I can go to the pool 365 days a year and the sky is always blue and I live in sundresses and sandals.

    1. Lucky you. We have probably 7 months of warm weather here for swimming and wearing shorts and sandals.

  2. Don't love Florida quite as much as Diana, but it is inviting in the winter when snow's pummeling Colorado. As for the humor, Maryann, it did its job. I'm smiling. Great post. :-)

    1. Glad Slim could make you smile, Linda. Keep it going.

  3. Slim, come to South Carolina. Beautiful weather. Short winter. Beaches, mountains, great state parks. We even have diners for Saturday morning breakfast. Polly Iyer

    1. I think Slim prefers to stay in New Mexico, with frequent trips to snowier climes like Montana and Alaska. Can't speak for the rest of the Mule Barn Truck Stop guys tho. I think Doc might take you up on the offer. LOL

  4. I love cowboys too! I suspect Slim will slide onto my list of favorites. Thank you for sharing this, what fun.

    1. Hope you enjoy his books, Khadijah. Some are full of humor and some are more serious, but I have enjoyed them all. He really speaks from the heart of someone who is deeply connected to the earth.


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