Maryann Miller is an award-winning author of numerous books, screenplays and stage plays. She is also a freelance editor and script doctor, and is the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. Her short story collection, The Wisdom of Ages, is available as an e-book and paperback. In addition, she has written several other books: Play It Again, Sam, a woman’s novel; Open Season, the first book in a new mystery series that features two women homicide detectives in Dallas; a suspense novel, One Small Victory; and a young adult novel, Friends Forever. All are available as e-books and in paper.

Learn more about Maryann at/on:
The Passion for Writing – From Maryann’s Pen

Where does your passion for writing come from?
My passion for writing has always been stirred by things that happen in society that bother me, such as prejudice and injustice or the horribly unfair things that happen to people. Even before I thought about creating stories, I always worked through issues by writing about them.

If your passion for writing was a color, what color would it be and why?
The color of my passion would probably be red. People joke about seeing red when they are angry about something, and I think that applies to me. The social issues I am prodded to write about usually do make me angry; a woman being dumped by her husband, a gay man who isn’t accepted by his father, the unfair use of deadly force by police officers, and any other form of discrimination.

How do you keep the passion burning in your relationship with storytelling?
I don’t have to do much to keep the passion burning, I just need to make myself sit and write when the fire is hot, so to speak. Like so many others, I write because I can’t NOT write, so there is always something inside me prodding, “Get to the keyboard, get to the keyboard.”

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Three stories; four men whose lives take unexpected turns. Meet Samson who wonders what is down that country road that draws people so. Should he get in that old truck and go see? Mel and Rube have been having dinner at the Leavenworth Grill every Wednesday for years. One day the menu changes and so does life for Mel. Tom would give anything for his life to change. Can he beat back the effects of a crippling stroke by sheer force of determination? Growing old is not for the faint of heart.

Excerpt from The Wisdom of Ages


AUTHOR’S NOTE: this story was inspired when my husband and I were on a road trip, and I saw an old black man sitting under a tree watching the cars go by. The story was one of those rare gifts from my muse, and came to me in one great rush that needed little rewrite or editing. The story placed third in the Page Edward’s Short Fiction contest in 2004.


Samson sat in the meager shade of the small Mimosa tree that graced his front yard, watching the traffic on old highway 79. Granted, there wasn’t much, but every now and then a shiny new car would pass, heading toward the resort Samson knew was somewhere down the road. Or a car full of teenagers would zoom by, the boys laughing and tossing their empties out the window. And as many afternoons as he’d spent out here, it never failed to surprise Samson how much things had changed. On a good day he could count up to a hundred cars going by. Times used to be when one donkey cart coming down the road was cause for celebration.

Those had been the good years. The years Samson had worked for Mr. Watson until he’d given Samson this little piece of land for his own. Some folks thought Watson had lost his mind, giving away his land like that, especially to a black man. But Watson had never treated Samson like most white folks did, the ‘good ol’ boy’ routine that never quite covered the slight hesitation as white flesh met black in a handshake. Watson never hesitated as a man or a friend, and the memory creased Samson’s weathered face in a smile.

But the smile wasn’t just for Watson. It was for Molly and those six youngsters who had been so much a part of the goodness of those years. He wished he could have filled their bellies as easily as they’d filled his heart, but they’d never seemed to mind. They’d always laughed the place up, and any occasion, large or small turned into an opportunity for fun. When the peddler came down the road, the pots and pans clanking in time to the clip clop of his horse’s hooves on the dirt road, the children ran out clutching their dimes, eager to see what new toy or sweet the old man had. You’d’ve thought a carnival had come to their front door.

Then all too soon those good years had passed. One by one the youngsters got up and left. Then Molly had, too. Not of her own choice of course. A body has no choice when it comes to dying, so Samson had been alone these past twenty years. Wasn’t too bad though. Once he got used to listening to the radio instead of Molly and learned how to make passable biscuits. But acceptance didn’t dispel the loneliness that crept up on a man in the dark of night, and Samson wondered if he was destined to carry that loneliness to the grave.


  1. Thanks for having me here today, Shon. I like the idea of this series and look forward to seeing what other authors are going to share about their passion for writing. We all have so many different reasons for why we write about some of the topics we choose, but the bottom line is always that we have to write.

  2. You know, I'm the same way. If I get it down on paper when I'm burning about something, it's likely to get written and revised later. I'm not one of those authors who can sit on an idea for a long time and then work with it. It resolves itself in my head if I don't work with the fire. Now I'm going to try to get through that damn captcha code, Shon. 😉

  3. Loved, loved the story, Maryann.

    I'd never thought of what color I saw as my passion for writing. Maybe blue, but I can't say why, it just popped into my head.

  4. Thank YOU for coming on board, Maryann. I LOVED your comments. I find myself often drawn to occurrences in real life that bother me, too, and the only way I can get them OUT of me is to get them onto the page in a story.

    LOL, Dani, I might have to fix that. I loathe a CAPTCHA, but not sure if I loathe it or the comments I always have to delete more. LOL

    I'm interested in the color question because I assume many will say RED because it's a passionate color, right? What's been interesting is that those writers that have said red aren't saying it for the same reason.

  5. I too have the writing urge, but often I have to curb it until I can sit down and write without interruption.

    My books are not inspired by anger at society, but can be from a news story, or happening in my own life that gets me thinking.

    Morgan Mandel

  6. This is a wonderful idea for a series, Shonnell. And Maryann, now I'm going to spend hours trying to figure out what color my passion for writing would be…I suspect it's something weird like chartreuse. 😀

  7. Thank you all for stopping by. You know, even though there are writers who say they MUST write and that they live to write (I am one of them), we don't HAVE to write. There has to be something that thrums inside of us, that makes this important. I like learning what that is in writers.

  8. Helen, I'm so glad you enjoyed my excerpt so much. This is a very special story and one that was gifted to me by my muse.

    Shon, I guessed from some of your work and your shares on FB that you get fired up about social issues.

    Morgan, I get really frustrated if that urge hits me and I can't get to writing soon enough. LOL

    Glad you liked the post, Heidi. You forgot to tell us the color of your passion.

    Thanks for stopping by, Martian, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    Patricia, interesting you chose chartreuse. Was that because your passion is different from everyone else? (smile)

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