Mary Beth Writes

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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.

Thunder and Courage

After I write a story, I like to let it sit and steep. This story has been in the 'story cellar' for two years. I woke up this morning thinking about it, so I think it's time to put it here.

I'm surprised by how much courage  some people have when they think they don't have much at all.  This is my take on that thought.

PS: if you like this story, forward it to others you know who might like it. Thanks. 

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Thunder and Courage

The Pilgrimage of Wally, Diego, and Miles

I wrote this story nearly 20 years ago. Our second kid was getting ready to go to college, our youngest was in middle school. I needed to find a job - and trying to find a satisfying one when you still don’t know, at the tender age of 50-whatever, what it is you want to do … that is a tricky time for many women. For many adults.

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.