Will The Book Ever Get Finished?

Oh, boy, can I ever relate to Dud in this guest post from Slim Randles. While I haven’t taken quite as long as Dud to finish a book, I do take much longer than many of my peers. And I am taking much longer with the packing than most folks, so it is a good thing I have a week and a half to finish. Yikes! Better get busy.

Have some pie and enjoy Slim’s offering.


A new year. A new start. Who said I can’t finish this book?

Dud Campbell walked the frozen sidewalk and blew steamy breath out through his parka hood.

All I need, really, are a few ideas.

Dud’s been working on his novel, “Murder in the Soggy Bottoms,” for several years now, and it has taken on different blends of seasoning, largely depending on what things were happening here in our little valley.

For example, the bizarre romantic connection between Dewey and Emily led to a rewrite of the part where the book flashed back many years to when the Duchess and the Truck Driver first met.

And when the Truck Driver’s son met the Duchess’s daughter, 20 some years later, it was the courtship of Randy Jones and Katie Burchell that he patterned that after.

What is still left to solve, however, is what happens when the Truck Driver and the Duchess discover that their children are sweet on each other, because the kids happen to be half brother and sister.

And then, the guys at the coffee shop wanted to know why the Truck Driver, an American truck driver, was there driving below the Duchess’s castle in Europe. At first he was just calling it a special assignment, but the guys wanted to know what the special assignment was, and did he have to change his name for it, and was he armed, and did theme music play when he shifted gears.

Dud had already killed off a few characters early on in the book, so he believed he was under no obligation to bump off any more, but then the book is called “Murder in the Soggy Bottoms,” (which his friends think sounds like wet diapers) and the soggy bottoms are back in the good ol’ U.S. of A. and how was he going to get the Duchess and her daughter across the foaming tide?

And as Dud walked and thought, he asked himself if really good writers like Balzac and Max Evans had to struggle like this. He nodded and smiled to himself.

Sometimes I’ll bet they just wanted to sit down, open a beer, and watch football.

Which really isn’t such a bad idea.

Art does exact its price.
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Wait until you hear what Windy Wilson has to say this weekend on Home Country with Slim Randles. On your local classic country radio station.

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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. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

2 thoughts on “Will The Book Ever Get Finished?”

    1. Pat, so proud of you and everyone who completes NaNo every year. I am never able to participate as some of my responsibilities at the Art Center always revved up in October and ran through early December, never leaving much time for much writing of any kind, unless it was the Holiday show script. 🙂 Now that I’ve retired as Theatre Director, maybe that will change. Good luck with getting your novel in shape. I’m sure you will.

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