Mary Beth Writes

Section Archive

Tag Cloud

17 minutes AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable apples Arrows Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Berry birthday bistro BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 creditreport death December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit Dreams Duty eBay Eclipse FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode ghosts GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MindfulChickens Mistakes Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves New York City Nomadland OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining StoryStarts Survival taxes teenager Thanksgiving ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather

Writing fiction is the hardest thing I love to do.

If you like one of my stories please let me know.

There are no good writers without good readers.

Where Love Died...

(This is a fictional short story I wrote in 2001.  The photo is from Kathryn Rouse. Thanks.) 

           We'd been driving for hours. The unending trees of upper Michigan were a dark corridor around us, the sky above was unpolished silver. I was weary and my neck ached.

            "Mom?"

            I glanced at my son, just waking from a monotony-induced nap.

            "Yeah?"

            "Where are we?" He lifted his shoulders, easing the kinks from the awkward way he'd slept. "Are we close yet?"

Lucy's Light

 The kitchen was, as children's picture books and women's magazines love to (cloyingly and deceptively) describe, "abustle with holiday cheer." Mrs. Willard had just pulled the Thanksgiving turkey from the oven to where it now rested in Norman Rockwellian splendor on the counter. Her daughter Caroline was flinging butter pats into hot, defeated potatoes being pummeled by the Kitchen-Aid.

Mrs. Willard's oldest daughter, Lucy, was tucking brown ‘n serve rolls into the turkey-themed-napkin that lined a turkey-shaped basket.

Field of Dogs

This was written in that bend of the year between Thanksgiving and full winter, when so often there is a feeling of anxiety. We are marooned again in too-short days. We are prone to becoming stranded in long nights among our old and unsettling memories.

This story started on a November evening. And although this is fiction, in my opinion it wouldn't have to be.

A Small Owl

My first Joyce Andrews story is Outside on a Very Cold Night.

This is my second Joyce Andrews story. Joyce is around seventy years old and lives by herself in an old farmhouse that is twenty minutes from the expressway between Milwaukee and Madison. She divorced her first husband decades ago; then raised good kids who have their own lives now. In her 40’s she married John, a wonderful man who died several years later.

She’s smart and brave and has lived a complicated life.

She isn’t done yet.

Outside on a Very Cold Night

I wrote this in 2016 and shared it with some friends. I know it's not Christmas Eve yet, but it is the beginning of the season where most of us will wonder what lies beneath and behind the things we do.  This is my salute to people who pay attention. 

................................

A Fairy Tale for People who are Generous for No Good Reason that Anyone Can Understand.

Virginia swore under her breath as she kneaded, pounded, and rolled out her third batch of cinnamon rolls. The cat, startled by the racket, ran from the kitchen. Virginia stomped across her tiny kitchen to microwave the butter. She measured the cinnamon and sugar and then sprinkled it over the smeared melted butter with absolutely no patience for what she was doing.