Word of the Day

The government is up and running. tRump has accepted Nancy Pelosi’s invitation to give the State of the Union Address on February 5. I finally worked through a major plot tangle in my current WIP.

All is well with the world. 

WIP, for all you non-writers out there, means work in progress, and I have been trying to finish the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series. The book was put on hold a number of years ago when my life started being battered with grief and health issues, and I decided that I would finish it this year come hell or, you know, flooding.

Any time you start work on a project that has lain dormant for so long, the first thing to do is to read through what has already been written. I did that at the first part of this month, and that’s when I found the tangle. I knew who had been killed. I had a number of suspects. But I had no clear line to which suspect was the actual killer. Just a jumble of notes and possibilities that looked something like that snarl of yarn. 

If I didn’t untangle the mess, I wouldn’t have an ending to the book, so you will understand my glee at the recent “aha” moment that made it all clear.

So, I invite you to join me in a glass of bubbly to celebrate. By the sound of the nonsense, er, fun, the guys at the Mule Barn Truck Stop are having, I suspect there is more than coffee in their coffee. But who am I to judge? I’m having champagne at nine in the morning. Enjoy this offering from humorist, Slim Randles.

“I can’t stand winter,” said Herb Collins, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter for a quick cup. “There’s nothing to do.”

“Get out and enjoy it,” suggested Doc. “Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you’ll feel better.”

“I don’t think your advice will take,” said Dud. “Herb seems to be intransigent on this one.”

We all looked at Dud.

“You see, he said he couldn’t stand winter,” Dud continued, “which shows he has a proclivity for intransigence on that particular subject.”

We looked at him some more.

“If he were to take up a winter hobby,” he continued, “he could stop being intransigent and enjoy things more.”

Even Herb was staring at him now.

“I usually,” said Herb, “enjoy a proclivity in that direction, but winter is pretty boring, so maybe I really should be intransigent on this point.”

“Well Herb,” said Dud, “even though you might have a proclivity this season for being intransigent on your attitude about winter, you could kinda ease up and consider a hobby. That way you’d be showing a proclivity for transigence.”

“Transigence?” said Doc. “I thought those were people who lived under bridges. You might want to look that one up, Dud.”

Dud blushed as we laughed.

“Say Dud?” said Steve, the cowboy. “Wasn’t proclivity last month’s word?”

“Yes,” said Dud, “and I believe I’ve used it a couple of dozen times already.”

“And now this month’s word is intransigence, right?”

Dud nodded.

“Well then,” said Doc, “it looks like you are going to have a proclivity for saying intransigence this month. That’s a veritable plethora of proclivity my friend.”

Dud pulled out a pencil and grabbed a napkin.

“How do you spell it, Doc?”

“Spell what?”


We just groaned. Sometimes education can be ugly.

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Brought to you by The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List, available at LPDPress.com

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at www.slimrandles.com, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books and is host of two podcasts and a television program. 

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