My book doesn't have one plot like a novel. Oh My Gosh, Virginiahas a whopping 100 plots. This book is a collectionof my columns over the past ﬁfteen years.
"Grin and Bare It" means exactly what it says. I have no secrets in my columns. I call my writing essays orcommentaries. Each column has a series of facts, combined with my opinions. At times, my writing is tongue-in-cheek, which confused my mother-in-law. She'd say, "Hon, I think I like your stories, but I don't understand them." My writing goal in the monthly news magazine Today in Mississippiand the George County Timesis to entertainand encourage people to lighten up. A few stories are sentimental, but the main thing is they are true life happenings.You will most likely ﬁnd yourself in many of the stories, since I write about things we all have in common. I frequently speak to civic organizations, women's clubs, bank socials, country clubs and church groups. Once I wasintroduced at a Methodist Church dinner in Columbia, Mississippi, and the president of the organization said, "Kayhas come to make us laugh." I'm not a comedian, so that made me very nervous. I call myself a humorist when I write or speak. The differencein a comedian and a humorist is that a comedian tells one joke after another, and in our day, many of them are off-color. No thank you. That's not me. On the other hand, a humorist writes about the fun side of life and, in the process,has an encouraging message to deliver. I believe we need all the encouragement we can get. I write some funnystories now and again, but I don't call them jokes. People like me I call "incident prone." Things just seem to happen to us. A few months ago in my ladies' SundaySchool class, I'd unbuttoned the top button of my suit skirt because it was tight after a ﬁve-pound weight gain, andit fell off when I stood up. I froze in shock and stood at my chair like a statue. Two helpful members grabbed myskirt and pulled it up for me. My readers like pet stories, travelogues, memories, current events that are fun and different and, well, just look inthe Table of Contents for some other topics. I stress a good attitude in stories and speeches, though we're all faced with unwanted changes, unexpectedchallenges and unpleasant surprises. I've heard it said that things work out best for those who make the best outof the way things work out. I liked that, so I adopted it as my philosophy for life. Keep grinning! ~Helen Kay Fountain Grafe