You may not have noticed, but I’ve made the commitment to post here every Tuesday, excluding holidays, birthdays and vacations. And for sure if I get a chance to hang with my grands on a Tuesday – I hope you understand I have my priorities. For me, grands always come first. I’ve learned the hard way not to make commitments that I cannot fulfill, so this works for me.

      If y’all read this blog is it safe to assume you write a blog? (Yes, I know the folly of assuming.) If you do blog leave a comment with a link below. I’d love to follow you. I confess I’m now struggling to add words to this page, but only because I’m so excited. My mind is shouting and doing the happy dance because I managed to use y’all here and it’s only my third post! It sounded natural right- not awkward or forced, right? I so want to sound Texan even though I’m a recent transplant. If I wore t-shirts with clever things written on them I’d would definitely have one like this:

       You might wonder why I want to sound like a Texan. Y’all need to understand (hooray! I used y’all again! Does this parenthetical phrase count too? It does for me! 3 y’alls and counting) I came from the state that is currently #1 on the list of states the most people are moving out of and trust me there’s an abundance of solid reasons. Now when I’m away from home and someone asks me where I’m I don’t have to avoid answering. Because I know the next question will be “Isn’t that the state where _______ you fill in the blank. But I guarantee it will be something negative. 

       Now, I answer loud and proud, “I’m from Texas.” Then I see the impressed look on their face and maybe a little envy too. Okay, enough said. Jumping off the soapbox now and getting back to my topic. 

      Sometimes I wish I did wear t-shirts. I do always read the ones other people wear. Out loud of course. Wearing t-shirts is not my style because most of the ones I see out and about are men’s t-shirts which do not look good on me since I am not the height or weight I long to be. I do own several t-shirts that look very nice hanging in my closet. My husband recently picked one out and bought it for me and I graciously thanked him but I still haven’t worn it.

        Here it is:

      I expect you’ll agree this particular t-shirt does need to be worn to just the right event. Maybe the next time we visit grands, hopefully the dazzle will catch their attention and make them think about how fabulous Texas is so they’ll beg their parents incessantly to come on down and visit us. Sounds like a plan to me.  🤠See y’all next Tuesday. (that’s 4 y’alls!)

 [exactly 500 words not counting these] 👍🏻

Short & Sweet & Sometimes Sassy

        Howdy y’all! If you know me personally I’m sure you’d say I am not a person of few words. Yes, I admit I’m a talker. And I’m a reader. Although you may be surprised that I’m not a fan of non-fiction. The exception is reading my Bible, of course. I don’t mean to be offensive if y’all love non-fiction, it’s just not for me.

             I find it hard to stay focused,

                          my mind wanders

                                     and then I have to reread — which is so time consuming.

I’m thinking I have some syndrome that hasn’t been categorized and given a name. Maybe I should make up a name so I can feel validated and a certain kind of normal. Or better yet let me tell you how much I love fiction.

        A good YA romance:

                 takes me away from my busy and sometimes messy life to a peaceful place

       A middle grade contemporary story:

                  reminds me of how books I read as a child helped me feel good

      A funny picture book:

                    reading PBs to grands is very good

        But all that to let you know when I named this blog Short and Sweet

                                 I meant it.

     I’m committing to a very low word count. If you’ve researched, which means going to the internet for me, you’ll learn the ideal word count for a blog is 1200 words, while the medium length is 1700 words. But, when I say short I’m thinking 500 words. 

     In order to validate this choice, I checked, “How long does it take to read 100 words out loud?The internet (aka the fount of all knowledge) says, the average reading speed is 130 words per minute, but that’s for reading out loud which is generally slower than reading to yourself.

     A short side story here, but first (I just know everyone reading this will enjoy seeing my grands) here’s a few bloopers from about a year ago when I insisted I needed a pic of my grands lined up in age order. (Note: not included 7-month-old, Keilah who wasn’t born yet)

And now my funny story about reading:

     Once when visiting my grands in California my 3-year-old granddaughter caught me reading and asked,

         “What ya doing?”

          “Reading,” I said.

          “But I don’t hear any words.”

          “I’m reading to myself.”

          “But I’m right here and I still don’t hear words,” she said.

          “Actually, I’m thinking the words, in my head.”

          “You’re so silly.”

           She picked up one of her books and stared at the first page. “I can’t do it.”

           I did my best to not let her hear my laugh. “First, you have to know how to read out loud,” I said. Then I read her book to her, out loud of course.

     So now I’m at 499 words and it might have used up 3-4 minutes of your day. But still this is short, right? And sweet or maybe today I just being sassy.

     See y’all next Tuesday  

Tuesdays with Mary

     If I met you at a party,

            or a writer’s conference,

                   or even if I bumped into you with a full cup of coffee,

I would know exactly what to say. Probably because:

      I’d see your smile

             or I’d want to know what you write

                    or I just had to tell you I really liked your coffee-splattered shoes.

     We might know some of the same people or you might write middle grade novels like I do or shop at the same shoe stores. It’s not the details of meeting — it’s the personal encounter. But here on this blog I’m lost. I’m thinking you’ll give it a glance and tap the X to close it. Somehow, I need to be interesting, so you’ll hang around long enough to find out I’m fun and nice and at least moderately entertaining. So, that’s why I started with the row of silly pictures at the top. And I guess if you’re still reading it worked. So, since you’re still here, I’ll give you my stats.

          I am a wife.

                     My husband uses the name Rick “Spencer” on social media which
                     makes people wonder why I’m “in a relationship” with him ;o(

          I am not photogenic.

                    Rick is an amateur photographer. He spent an entire afternoon
                    snapping over 400 pictures, so I could have a “professional” photo
                    for my publisher.  — Yes, he did actually take 400+ pictures —

                   and most of them looked like the ones above. Amazingly, I ended
                   up with about a dozen that were useable. Besides being awful at
                   holding still for a decent picture;

         I am a mom.

                    I’m Mom to Michael, Jonathan, Leanne, Sherilyn, Ritch, Terianne,
                    and Jeff. Plus, I’m Mema to Morgan, Vince, Hunter, Ashlynne, Caitlynn, 
                   Jocelyn, Treson, Madison, Kortney, Ryker, Bethany, Gannon, Gabriel,
                   Laikyn, Naomi, Jabez, Mara, Keilah. That’s 18 fabulous grands, ages
                   16 to 6 months. Each one is a treasure! I’ll stop now before my bragging
                   gets tiresome.

         I am a writer.

                  I’ve been published more than 50 times. My first book is being released
                  by Ambassador International on October 1, 2019!

          I am a Texan.

                  I’ve lived in Hickory Creek, Texas (located about 30 miles North of Dallas/FortWorth)
                  since March of 2018. I was born and raised in Chicagoland and lived there until
                  June of 2017. The day we moved out of our house in Illinois,
                  I posted this on Facebook:

   “My husband has no job,

              we are homeless

                    and living out of my car . . .

                          but we’re sticking together through thick and thin looking forward to a fabulous future.”

   I thought it was hilarious.

                Rick knows my sense of humor, so he just let it go. The good news is: during
                our 10 months of homelessness we spent time with every one of our grands,
                discovered the generous Moore family who provided a place for us to stay near
                our future house, and survived the multitude of ups and downs that are
                common to having a house built.

  God is good!

Look for my thoughts next Tuesday