Friday Read and Friday Fun

Well, Friday sort of snuck up on me, and just as quickly went away. Not completely here in NE Texas, but in other parts of the country, and the world, it’s already Saturday. Still, I want to do Friday Reads and Friday Fun to kick off the weekend for the rest of us who still have a bit of Friday left.

First, the Friday Reads

I just put my nonfiction book, The Many Faces of Grief: Stories of Love, Loss, and Hope From a Hospital Chaplain up for pre-order at Amazon. I spent 30+ years in hospital ministry, first as a volunteer through my church, then on staff of a hospital after completing 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education. The stories in the book feature many of the people who graced my life with their lives, and the primary focus is on the love and hope displayed by families.

It’s also partly a memoir of my journey from eager young minister ready to help to fully understanding the role of a chaplain.

Check it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Friday Fun is from humorist Slim Randles. Enjoy…

      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 he 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.

Hey, not a bad idea.

Art does exact its price.

In memory of my mentor, pard and good friend, Max Evans. He used to “fist fight for fun.” Thankfully, not with me.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page 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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