Random thoughts and observations on life in general — and cats in particular — have been the fodder of many of Mark Smith’s Facebook and Twitter posts over the years.
“You get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, and thoughts run through your mind,” Smith said. “I can’t control it. My theory is everybody does this — make a poem, make a song. I wrote it down. I’m still writing it down.
“If we took a trip that day or my cat did something, I would write it down and post it,” he said. “Jean Erickson Johannsen, she was a year behind me, she sent them to me in an eight-page listing called Mark’s Poetry.”
Smith said he showed them to Sallianne Hines, a local author, who categorized his musings and told him he should have it published — and his third book, “Nits from a Wit,” was released by Amazon on Oct. 2.
“It’s listed under poetry, humor, and under books in general,” Smith said. “I have eight 5-star reviews so far. I can’t really describe this book, even though I did it. I can read the reactions to it and then I can tell you about the book. It’s been all positive, which is really kind of gratifying.
“I’m in the James River writer’s group,” he added. “Those are real authors. I don’t see myself that way. I’m more a story-teller collector. This is random thoughts, but I get to hang out with them.”
As with his two previous books, “Lives Well Lived” volumes 1 and 2, all of the proceeds of this book will go to local nonprofits. The Beadle County Humane Society, Stone Church and ALC Christian Learning Center Preschool will be sharing the profits from his latest book.
“This is kind of a risk,” Smith said. “Writing my family stories, that had a purpose. Doing this was risky. The idea was I can raise some money for these groups if it works out. But you’re kind of exposed, people might say that guy is really nuts.
“I hope they find a laugh, these days we all need one,” he added. “Within this thing, there’s a lot of descriptions of events with cats.”
The book cover is a picture showing one of his three cats “photo-bombing” while he was eating. Two cats are from the humane society, and the third just happened to pop up one day in his house.
“It was minus 21 in February and a friend had brought me a book and I told him to slam the door good when he left,” Smith said. “The door blew open and I went through the whole house looking for raccoons or possums."
“Three days later she came around a corner, and I said, okay,” he said. “She’s adjusted like the rest of them. She was just a kitten. She wouldn’t have made it. I call her Sneaky because she got in.”
For more information or to order his book, email [email protected]
“If I sold 1,000 books I could divide some pretty good money for those groups,” he said. “I don’t know if I can get there, but that’s the goal. Even if you hate the book, you’re giving money to charity.
“It could be like a fruitcake,” he added, laughing. “Just pass it on to somebody else.”