Thursday, April 11, 2019

Eating Fried Okra in a Stranger’s Driveway By Patti Jo Moore

A few years ago, on a Sunday afternoon in January, I drove my son to a friend’s house to work on a school project. I’d never been in that neighborhood, so my son pointed out the house, and I dropped him off. I was to return three hours later to get him, after picking up a meal from our favorite fried chicken place.

Since I was able to get our food quicker than expected, I arrived back in his friend’s neighborhood twenty minutes early. No problem—I had the latest book by my favorite author with me, and couldn’t wait to dive in. I located the house (in a lovely neighborhood with circular driveways in front) and pulled right up near the front door and a large window. I was confident my son would easily see me, since I was parked so close to the house. I turned my car off, bundled up in my coat, and grabbed my book, eager to read until my son finished the project. The aroma of fried okra drifted to my nose, so I nibbled a few pieces. Perfectly content, I read as I munched fried okra and waited on my son.

About ten minutes later, my cell phone rang.

“Mom, we finished our project, so you can pick me up now.”

“Oh, honey, I’m already here. I arrived about ten minutes ago, so I’m reading a book.”

A few beats of silence, then a sigh as my son replied. “Mom, you’re parked in front of the wrong house. You went three houses too far down the street. Just stay there, and I’ll come to you.”

Yikes! I suddenly felt ridiculous as I gazed at the house where I was parked. What if the residents glanced out and saw a stranger, parked in their driveway…reading a book and eating?!

A minute later, my son climbed into the car, shaking his head. I smiled as I offered him some okra.

I’ve thought about that incident several times in recent years, and have been reminded that because I love that author’s work so much, I’d hurriedly parked my car and grabbed the book (in my defense, those houses were all similar). 😉

As writers, we know our work will not appeal to everyone. But whatever genre and whatever our writing style, we need to continue working to improve and write the best stories we can. Maybe our stories will provide such enjoyment to certain readers, they’ll be eager to devour them---with or without okra.

**I will add that at one point I was tempted to order a t-shirt that read: Embarrassing my children---just one more service I offer. 😊

AN UNEXPECTED ROMANCE

Gracie Norton loves her life on Florida’s gulf coast. When a handsome widower with adorable twins moves in next door, Gracie’s life soon changes. As Gracie helps her neighbor during a crisis, she must face her biggest fear. Could young twins be the matchmakers for an unexpected romance? 

Patti Jo Moore is a former kindergarten teacher who now writes full-time. Her “Sweet, Southern Stories” feature characters who face realistic struggles and challenging situations but always have a happily-ever-after ending.  

Patti Jo loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee. When not writing, she loves spending time with her family—especially her precious grandbaby. She enjoys connecting with readers and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore. You can also visit her blog at http://catmomscorner.blogspot.com 

She has two books with Forget-Me-Not Romances, with a third book coming out soon. 

EMERALD COAST ROMANCES series by Patti Jo Moore:

 A Seaside Romance

 An Unexpected Romance

In Tune with Romance (due out soon)

15 comments:

  1. So that was YOU in my driveway. (Just kidding.) I want one of those t-shirts!!

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    1. Sandra, LOL! Yes, I probably should've ordered some for gifts and one for myself! ;) Thanks so much for commenting.
      Blessings, Patti Jo

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  2. Oh Patti Jo! I want one of those T-shirts as well! What a wonderful story - we've all done something similar so thanks for sharing. And someday I hope to be somebody's favourite author like that, someone they can't wait to open the book and start reading no matter where they are...thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Hi Laurie! I'm sure you will be (if you're not already!) somebody's favorite author - - your first book was amazing. Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  3. Patti Jo, what a hilarious story. We've all done those "embarrass my kids" stunts, but really, who could resist a book and fried okra? You should put that in a book. By the way, my son has a t-shirt that says "My mom can write a book about your mom!"

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    1. Cindy, another great T-shirt idea! Love it!

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    2. Oh Cindy, your son's t-shirt sounds great! :) I'm so glad you stopped by and got a laugh from my post---I guess it's better for us to laugh at ourselves rather than cringe from embarrassment, LOL! ;)
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  4. Embarrassing my children happens with no effort on my part.:) I love the vision of someone reading my book, being so engrossed that they get lost in the alternate world.
    May we all continue to learn the craft in such a way that our books can't easily be put down.

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    1. Hi Mary, I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who has embarrassed my children. ;) Thanks so much for commenting!
      Blessings, Patti Jo

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  5. Patti Jo, how funny! I definitely need that t-shirt...on second thought, I probably shouldn't remind myself and my sons about all the times I embarrass them!

    You pointed out so well the desire of authors to engage their readers! I just finished a book set in medieval Scotland. I'm now talking to my husband with a Scottish accent. The power of books is amazing!

    Thanks for the laugh! Blessings to you as I anticipate speaking with an Emerald Coast accent soon. :)

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    1. Hi Sherida, I love that you're talking in a Scottish accent after reading that book! That shows how absorbed you were in that story. :)
      You are such an encouraging friend and so supportive about my Emerald Coast series---thank you!!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  6. Love this! Sounds like my life. God blesses us with many opportunities to laugh at ourselves. :-)

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    1. Hi Melissa, I think it's good when we can laugh at ourselves---and as you said, God blesses us with many of those opportunities! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Blessings, Patti Jo

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  7. Oh, Patti Jo! You made me laugh. I could visualize you sitting in that driveway eating okra and reading your book.

    Good thing you’re so sweet looking or you might have scared the homeowners!

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    1. Terri, LOL!! I'm glad I gave you a laugh! It's a blessing those homeowners didn't open their door and question me (or call the Police!).
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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