Writer’s Woes

For as long as Slim Randles has shared Dud’s struggles with writing his novel, I’ve chuckled and commiserated. Chuckled because Dud goes to some extremes in his thinking, and commiserated because I feel his pain. Plotting a story isn’t easy.

Grab a cup of coffee and help me welcome Slim and Dud as today’s Wednesday’s Guests. Enjoy…

Dud Campbell was at the kitchen table, contemplating what to do next on his novel, “Murder in the Soggy Bottoms.” It’s been a constant concern to him for several years now, since the idea struck him. The idea was a love affair between a duchess in a castle in Europe and an American truck driver on special assignment to her home country.

Try as he might, he had yet to overcome a few roadblocks in the writing. Such as what to do with the love child the duchess had with the truck driver, the last time he was on special assignment. What the special assignment might have been, and how many murders to put in the first chapter.

A guy can’t just rush into these things, of course.

On top of those plotting woes, he still had never heard of a place called Soggy Bottoms, and didn’t even know which state it was in. The guys down at the Mule Barn Truck Stop thought his book should be called “The Duchess and the Truck Driver,” but Dud didn’t think that title was mysterious enough.

And Doc thought Soggy Bottoms sounded like a diaper change was called for.

But maybe Dud could conjure up something from his own past that might give him an idea of what to write next. So he took the lid off his cast-iron Dutch oven and walked into the back yard. He built a fire in his barbecue and tended it until it was down to coals. Then he turned the lid over and put it on the coals. He smeared a little oil on the lid and poured pancake batter on it.

After eating too many pancakes, long before Anita even woke up, he walked back in the house and began writing.

How on earth, he asked himself, does anyone anywhere write more than one book in a lifetime?

For a treat, go to the heart of Louisiana with Shari Hearn’s books.

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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