New Website And a Book Excerpt

Good Monday Morning and welcome to my new website. What do you think of the new look? While I did like the design of the old site, it was based on a WordPress Template that was no longer supported, which was driving me and my IT guy, my son Paul, over the edge with numerous problems. So, I invested in the Astra Pro, which my IT guy is loving. It’s a steeper learning curve for me, who is just pleased that I think I used the correct terms so far, but if not, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

One of the first things I learned how to do was to add an image. Yeah! I love to add images. These are the first daffodils I saw pop up in a neighbor’s yard that I passed on my walk this morning. Nothing says “spring” in Texas like these yellow beauties. I love seeing them blanket the sides of the road out in the country. Here in the city, I have to be happy with seeing a plant or two. But, I am happy when I come across this bright spot of color after the drabness of winter.

The other thing I learned was how to add and edit text. I won’t bore you with the technical details – mainly because I don’t know enough about those to be able to bore you, but it wasn’t hard for me to learn. The system set up for creating pages and blog posts and all those other things one does on a website is really easy to learn.

Wait! Did I just say that?? Me, who has claimed computer illiteracy for years?

I can’t take credit for that. This Astra Pro is designed for people like me, who have little computer skills beyond writing in Word and doing some social media. Plus, I owe a lot – more than a lot – of thanks to my son Paul for all he does behind what I do, to make this all neat and tidy. I also owe a lot – again, more than a lot – to my daughter Dany who designs the graphics and most of my book covers. I would be helplessly lost without them, on a professional level as well as personal.

Now I’m going to try one other thing. I haven’t done much copying and pasting, so I’ll see how it goes to share a bit from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck, when I wasn’t so enamored with my kids interfer, er, involvement in my professional life. The book is a compilation of the columns I once wrote for a Dallas suburban newspaper, when I was known as the Erma Bombeck of Plano. Enjoy…

In those early years of writing I didn’t have an editor who did more than a copy edit of my weekly column, so I was on my own when it came to content. Thank goodness I lived with five eager little editors who were willing to help me with my work and my conversations. They took it upon themselves to keep the record straight and bail me out of the perpetual state of chaos and confusion in which they were convinced I lived.

“Last Monday, when I went shopping —”

“That wasn’t Monday, that was Sunday.”

“Okay, so it was Sunday. Anyway, I bought six Twinkies—”

“No you didn’t. You only bought five.”

“I distinctly remember buying six Twinkies.”

“That was two weeks ago on Tuesday—”

“Okay, stop. I don’t really care what day it was. Who ate my Twinkie?”

If they truly cared about the state of my mind, they would have realized that my mind was in fairly decent shape before they started messing with it.

At least I knew where my Twinkies were.

It became a major undertaking for me to carry on a conversation with a friend over coffee, without having one or more of the kids run into the kitchen to remind me that I was not relating an incident exactly the way it happened.

“You did not send me to Grandma’s by parcel post.”

“I didn’t say I sent you, I said I wanted to send you parcel post.”


“Because I wasn’t looking forward to a long car drive with a thirteen-year old know-it-all.”

“I don’t know where you ever got that idea.”

If I commented that my house looks like the Ninth Infantry just marched through it, a friend totally understood and overlooked the minor exaggeration, but the kids had to know why I didn’t call them to see the parade. They just had no appreciation for the subtleties of exaggeration, and by the time they finished correcting me, they’d wrung all the humor out of a story and it had about as much appeal as a limp dishrag.

I didn’t let them near my columns.

Yeah! It worked, and that is all my fuzzy brain can handle for today. Thanks for reading. Have a great week and be safe and well.

2 thoughts on “New Website And a Book Excerpt”

  1. Maryann, I think your new website looks terrific: clean and easy to navigate. So many author sites seem so cluttered and overdone, but yours — at least to my taste — is so appealing.

    1. Thanks, Ruth, I appreciate the feedback. My son helped me with the re-do, and we considered many options before settling on this. We both agreed simpler is better.

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