Guest post: "The One Thing" by Jane Tesh, author of 'Butterfly Waltz'

          My writing life is my whole life.  Every single thing that happens becomes Story.  Every event, good or bad, turns into How Can I Use That?  Every person I meet becomes a potential character, or a part of one, as I make a quick description.  Elderly lady with backpack as big as she is.  What is she carrying? Books?  Herbs?  Another little old lady?  Teenager with purple hair cuddling a large toy orca. Why an orca? Was she raised by whales?   Impatient man jumping the line at Southwest Airlines, phone at his ear.  What makes him so special? Why doesn’t someone punch him?
Every emotion becomes material. Even in the middle of intense sadness, I can hear my Inner Author saying, “This is how your hero feels when he loses his one true love.”  It sometimes astonishes me how calculating I can be.  But a writer observes everything.  We can’t help it. It’s an odd way to live, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other way.  Here’s why.
In the movie City Slickers, aging cowboy Jack Palance is telling city boy Billy Crystal about the secret to life.  Billy is anxious to know this secret because he’s come on a dude ranch adventure to learn more about himself.  Jack holds up his index finger and says, “This!” Billy, ever the smartass, says, “Your finger?”  “No,” Jack says.  “The one thing.”  And he goes on to tell Billy that everyone should have that one thing that makes them get up in the morning and keep moving, no matter what.
I’ve always liked this scene, mainly because of the finger joke, but it’s true.  If you’re lucky enough to find that one thing that gives your life meaning and purpose, then you can handle whatever reality throws at you.
I walk every morning and get to work around 8 AM.  I write until noon, have lunch with my Chihuahua, Pearl, and then work until 2 or 3 PM.  I have several stories going, so if one stalls, I switch to another.  It’s not work because I love it. Writing is my one thing, and I’m forever grateful for this gift. 

Jane Tesh is a retired media specialist and pianist for the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mt. Airy, NC, the real Mayberry. She is the author of the Madeline Maclin Series, A Case of Imagination, A Hard Bargain, A Little Learning, and A Bad Reputation, featuring former beauty queen, Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather.  Stolen Hearts is the first in the Grace Street Mystery Series, featuring PI David Randall, his psychic friend, Camden, Randall’s love interest, Kary Ingram, and Cam’s career-driven girlfriend, Ellin Belton, as well as an ever-changing assortment of Cam’s tenants.  Mixed Signals is the second in the series, followed by Now You See It and Just You Wait. Jane’s mysteries are all published by Poisoned Pen Press, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Butterfly Waltz is her first published fantasy novel from Silver Leaf Books. All of Jane’s books are on the light side with humor and romance. 

Visit Jane’s website at and her Facebook page,  You can also find her on Goodreads, Amazon’s Author Central, and

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