Good Monday Morning

Since I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger recently, I’m going to let my friend Slim Randles entertain you today. But first, a word about that old adage. In my youth, I hung a lot of wall paper, and I have to say that there’s no way that a person can do that with only one arm.

Okay, maybe. With lots of practice and effort, if a person with one arm wanted to do that he or she could, but why would they?

Release date for Brutal Season is fast approaching and the prep work is still in full swing, which is why I’ve been so busy. The ms has been edited, twice, and is off to the folks who do the formatting. The final eBook cover is finished – the one at Amazon is a copy of the next-to-final before the artist and I decided that the cloud in the upper right needed to drift away. I’ll put the final cover, and book description, up when I load the ms on April 6, but here’s a sneak peek at the new cover.

Cover for Brutal Season by Maryann Miller. Downtown Dallas skyline against a late afternoon blue sky. Dallas police badge on the right. Crime scene tape on the bottom.
No pesky bright cloud in the corner anymore 🙂

In addition to covers, book descriptions go through many changes. That pithy little thing you read on the back of a book doesn’t come easy, and my writer friends can relate to what a challenge it is to write just the right book description and how many revisions that takes. Hopefully, the latest one I wrote will work, and I’m so grateful to two of my writer friends, Carrie Rubin and Caleb Pirtle III, for providing wonderful endorsements to include.

What would we do without our friends?


Now here’s Slim. Enjoy!

Herb graciously spread his right arm around the table, indicating to Loretta that all his friends needed their coffee cups topped off. She would’ve done it anyway, of course, but this made him look … generous.

“I’ve been reading up,” said Herb Collins, who had retired from his pawn shop but not from reading up, “and I learned a thing or two.” 

We settled back, in what we considered a learned and curious pose. We probably weren’t, though.

For the more forward-looking members of the World Dilemma Think Tank at the Mule Barn coffee shop, learning from Herb’s habit of reading up sometimes was entertaining, if not always educational.

“How many of you fellas ever heard of Babe Ruth?” We all raised our hands.

“Now how many of you fellas ever heard of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorff?”

There was a paucity of paws in the air.

“He was born way-back sometime in a suburb of Vienna, and started out life as Johann Carl Ditters. But through the years, and because his compositions needed publicity, and his friends didn’t think his name was impressive enough, he coagulated his name into what it now says on the billboard at the opera house.”

“And you read up on this by yourself?”

“Sure did, Doc. Now ol’ Carl made a bunch of friends who were musical and had weird names, too. Used to hang around with Christof Willibald Gluck. Name like that, you’d have to pardner up with someone who could handle himself in a dark alley. So there’s my theory in a nutshell guys. If you were a German or a fake German living in a  close by, but not yet German country, and your name was too common for people to remember, you either had to give them a name they couldn’t forget … or go start a war.”

And some folks just watch teevee…


Free sheet music from the ol’ Ditters himself!  If you can play this, you’re better than most mental patients.

About Slim

Banner with Home Country written on it. Old red pickup on the left and headshot of Slim Randles on the right. He's smiling and wearing a white cowboy hat.

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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