Monday Morning Musings

Yesterday I was at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts for the latest Women In the Arts Exhibition. What fun it was to be there and see all the lovely works and meet the artists, and I was thrilled to be part of the show with my book, Evelyn Evolving. Thanks to my friend, Jane St. Romain for taking the picture of me next to the display.

This morning, while I was trying to think of what else I might write about here on the blog, I was coming up with nothing, so I decided to hop over to The Blood-Red Pencil blog to see the latest post there. Interestingly enough, the topic was how the negative aspects of current affairs has many writers feeling emotionally exhausted. We need emotional energy in order to put passion and excitement into the stories we write, because without passion, everything is flat. The settings, the characters, the plot and the narrative.

The post, Is the State of the World Affecting Your Writing? by Polly Iyer, and all the comments, are worth reading if you would like to get into the minds of writers and learn a little more about how we work that is so different from most other jobs. A writer friend, Melanie Jackson, summed it up quite well with her comment, “My writing has always come from a place of hope and that is a location very hard to find these days.”

And now, because I still haven’t thought of anything else to say here, I’ll turn the blog over to my friend Slim Randles and his pal, Dud. Enjoy…

“I took Duckworth to the dog show up in the city last weekend,” Dud said.

The other members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s world dilemma think tank and philosophy counter just looked at him.

Doc put it gently. “Dud? Was this so he could get some inspiration on looking good?”

Duckworth was a medium-sized dog that found Dud while Dud was walking and thinking about the novel he’s writing. No one answered the ad he put in the Valley Weekly Miracle, so he bunked in with Dud and, for some reason Dud seemed to want to keep to himself, the dog was henceforth known as Duckworth.  And, to be honest, Duckworth looked like he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

“No, I was going to enter him in the dog show,” Dud said. “Took him right up to the registration table and tried to get him in a class. The lady there looked at ol’ Duck and asked to see his papers.”

Dud grinned. “I told her they were back home on the floor of the laundry room. She didn’t think it was funny.”

Now Duckworth had been introduced to the other dogs in the group at the sale barn, as is the custom, and Dud’s pals had been hesitant to ask much about him. Duckworth looked like something put together by a committee with a sense of humor. Oh, he was a dog … no doubt about that. But what kind of dog was he? It made for interesting coffee speculation, that’s for sure.

“You know,” Dud said, “Anita was against me getting any kind of dog until Duckworth came along. When I explained to her that Duckworth was a bird dog … a duck dog, actually, and that he’d help me bring more birds home, she finally gave in.”

“He’s a bird dog?” Steve said. “What kind?”

“Now that’s what that dog show lady asked me, you know? I had to explain to her about canardly terriers, because she wasn’t familiar with them.”


“Canardly terriers, you betcha,” Dud said, grinning, “why, I’ll bet you canardly tell what kind of terrier he is!”

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Brought to you by Merrick Petcare  in Hereford, Texas. “We know it’s not just food in that bowl, it’s love. And that’s why it has to be the best.”

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at, 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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