Playing Catchup on the Porch

Hello folks, let’s chat…I’d like to interrupt your regularly scheduled monologue to bring you more of a personal, catch-up type of newsletter dedicated to help explain my absence from your inbox! westontoday As you may have imagined, I’ve been a busy girl since Heart Wide Open launched on March 18th. But, it’s been more than book signings keeping me hopping! I had full intentions of updating the site during the tour — and I could have– but life started coming even faster than I had expected, beginning with the night I broke my right arm after a lovely book event (more on that next week when typing isn’t so painful) and continuing in a story of God’s faithfulness in the life of our youngest grandson, Baby Weston, a testament that’s still being written.  His mother wrote about that story and she did such a wonderful job that I’d like to point you there. We know God’s got this but we do ask you to join us in faith and celebration. If the Good Lord’s willing and the creek doesn’t rise, I’ll be back next week with your newsletter. Until then, take care and God Bless you everyone! Hugs, Shellie

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The Internet of Things

Hello folks, let’s chat…I’m so stinking excited that I can barely contain myself long enough to type the following words. It’s almost here! Heart Wide Open is about to hit a bookstore near you! The official launch is Tuesday, March 18th from 3:00 to 5:30 at Every Occasion in Winnsboro, LA. I realize so many of you dear long-time readers can’t be there in person, but I promise you that I will carry each of you there in my heart.

Heart Wide Open_n1

This book is literally my heart on the page. If you haven’t seen the book trailer, just click through to watch it online. :)

As soon as I hit send on the newsletter, I’m going to add some more engagements to the EVENTS calendar. (I know I need to get better about keeping that thing current!) Hopefully we can meet up on the road somewhere along the way. A lot of work has gone into Heart Wide Open and now, I finally get to share it with YOU!  For instance, my brilliant daughter Jessica Ann, also known as Kitchen Belleicious and the design brain behind Belle Greye Designs, has been giving the website a brand new “do” just in time for the launch. Do click through and check it out.  She’s also created me a ton of images from Heart Wide Open with quotes pulled from the book. Beginning on the 18th, I’ll be posting one a day to my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. I’ll also be posting the daily image to my blog along with any journal types notes from the road. My hope is to make it so you can join me in the Heart Wide Open journey online even if we can’t meet in person. You can find all of those social media links of mine at the website, so go ahead and link up now, okay? FYI, you can preorder Heart Wide Open through the website and through all the major online stores like Amazon.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all of that out of my system, it’s time for our regularly scheduled chat…

I saw Bubba this morning and he was in a real twit. He’d been listening to the news again, or rather half-listening, which is generally the problem. Today he was ranting about a refrigerator that’s accused of sending spam to innocent people.

“I still don’t know how the thing did it,” he grumbled. “But the Ups truck better not leave Spam on my carport while I’m at work. Every dog in the neighborhood will be on my front porch by the time I get home.”

Fortunately, I had read the news story in question way back in January so I knew Bubba had caught wind of the latest trend in cyberspace. Now that our TVs, and our refrigerators, and our cars can access the Internet, hacking has a brand new frontier. I explained to Bubba that someone had hacked into one of those new smart refrigerators and used it to send unwanted email to people, not canned meat.

“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” Bubba said. “That’s even worse.”

For once, I couldn’t agree with him more.

Here’s a new term for you. They’re  calling all the new Wi-Fi-enabled appliances around us the Internet of Things and personally, I find it #scary.

Will my washing machine soon be able to tell my treadmill that my skinny jeans are stretched way out of shape? If so, will my treadmill take it upon itself to ratchet up my workouts? Theoretically, I suppose my treadmill could start yakking it up with my kitchen appliances and they could decide to arbitrarily lock the refrigerator doors. This isn’t progress.


And, by the way, y’all think Bubba was in a twit?! Should the day ever come when my treadmill starts videotaping my workouts while I’m sweating like a hog without my face on (mama’s expression for being in full makeup) and secretly posts them to YouTube? Well, I would say I’m bringing down the grid but the NSA might land in the front yard before I get to the end of this sentence. I’ll speak in southern code instead, #itwillbeonchickenbone.

Hugs, Shellie

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Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Pou Pourri?

Hello folks, let’s chat… The other day one I responded to a reader on Facebook and promptly laughed out loud at what I’d written. Granted, I’m an easy laugh, but for me, the chuckle necessitated a follow-up post. “You know you’re from the south,” I typed, “when you respond to a reader who can’t make your book launch by saying, ‘We’ll miss you, Bubba, but thanks for sending your mama.’

As a writer trying to reach readers in a world that enjoys an endless stream of new books and twenty-four seven online content, I’m grateful for that level of support.  Sending your mama in your place is the type of loyalty that can’t be bought but where I come from, it’s typical.

My readers are also an endless supply of material. I’m blessed to speak to audiences who are natural born storytellers themselves and they’re gracious enough to share when my stories remind them of their own. I recently spoke to a group of fun-loving cowgirls in Tyler, TX. I shared my amusement over the news coming out of the Sochi Olympics, specifically the double toilet debut.  I’ve heard the older generations talk about two-hole outhouses, but those Russian folks have brand spanking new ones with nary a wall between ‘em. I suggested they may want to carry some of that handy dandy Pou Pourri Mama gave us girls a couple Christmas’ ago. Mama thought we should tote it in our purses to show consideration for others. True story.


Afterwards, one of the girls there emailed me this keeper.

Seems Misty Pearson’s great grandfather had a dairy farm in TX. He also had an outhouse he was quite proud of, seeing as it was a fancy two-holer.  In due time, her great grandfather was invited to a relative’s house who had recently gotten indoor plumbing. The city folks threw a big outside barbecue, too, but none of it impressed her great-grandfather. Upon his return he told his family that it was the darndest thing he’d ever seen. “Those people,” he said, “were eating outside and doing their business inside!”

Hugs, Shellie

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