Madelyne Adams Smith* died at her home in the Texas hill country, near Austin, on Saturday, July 19, 2066 after cliff diving for her seventy-fifth birthday. She was treated at Cornerstone Hospital in Austin for a concussion and three broken ribs but was discharged when she got up and walked out of her room with her hospital gown flapping in the breeze. She was surrounded at her deathbed by family and friends, who were throwing her a going-away party, per her request. Her final words before breathing her last were, “I always wanted to go out with a bang.” Immediately after her demise, a six piece jazz band played At Last.
Mrs. Adams Smith was an interesting person from her very conception. Over her seventy-five years she wrote and published 28 novels, 86 short stories, three anthologies and one autobiography. She got her first tattoo on her nineteenth birthday and her last on her 74th. In 2020 she founded the publishing house, The Speckled Gecko, and ran it until her retirement in 2061 at the age of 70.
She believed that her best work was done in the homes of strangers and was frequently making friends with people who lived in nice houses so that she could visit them for dinner and then lock herself in their bedrooms for an hour or so when she had writer’s block. She loved the outdoors and was well known for shouting, “That bitch’ll never get me!” when the topic of skin cancer came up in conversations and at random intervals in public.
She is survived by her husband, John Doe Smith, her four siblings, Katie Adams Walters, Robert Adams, Hannah Adams Williams, Ben Adams, her nine children, Theodore Noah Smith, Vivian Josephine Smith Brown, Adele Charmane Smith Jones, Laurence Flynn Smith, Margaret Mary Smith, Jack Richard Smith, Hadley Tennessee Smith Johnson, Gerard Ferdie Smith, and Owen Blaise Smith, her forty-three grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
Rosary services will be held Sunday evening at 5 p.m. at the home of the late Madelyne Adams Smith and funeral services have been arranged for Monday morning at 9 a.m. on a hillside near the Adams Smith estate.
Her family would like to thank all of the friends, acquaintances and strangers who had ever had to put up with Mrs. Adams Smith and hope that you will forgive them and remember her as fondly as you are able but understand if you cannot.
When Madelyne Adams was born, something auspicious happened. She’s not sure what but she’s positive that somewhere in the world something auspicious had to be happening on July 18, 1991– besides her entrée into the world of course. (If you happen to know what this auspicious thing was, she’d gladly appreciate the information)
Born in the middle of a string of five, Madelyne Mienke Marie Adams credits her exceptional storytelling abilities to the fact that she’s the best damn liar out of all five kids (“You’ve always been the best liar out of all of us.” -my older sister). A lifelong reader of anything with words, her preferred reading spaces as a child were the floor under her bed and in a closet (in a house of 5 kids, you take what you can get).
She started writing when she was 8 (this is a guess). A copy of her first written work, The Beautiful Princess, all twenty, unfinished, Lucinda Handwriting type pages, still exists somewhere. It’s a riveting tale about a beautiful princess and basically a rip-off of anything Tamora Pierce has ever written. She’s learned a few things since then but not much, obviously, as her writing style is a blend of run-on sentences, words with three syllables and more, and lots of parentheses for (obviously essential) authorial asides. She can write metaphors about just about anything (who knew a pencil could signify that much?!) and frequently makes up her own rules; for punctuation!!!!1!!!1!!!!!!
And then so one and so forth, forever and ever AMEN, and now here we are. I’ve got my future behind me and my past ahead of me or however those things are supposed to go. I graduated with a degree in rhetoric from a university in Texas. I like hard work and pop culture references and Dr. Pepper and writing.
Three words that describe me are: reckless, unapologetic, hopeful. Matching socks and having faith are my superpowers. I don’t own anything that I’m afraid of getting dirty, broken, torn or destroyed; I don’t ever want to be so worried about the fact that I wore white jeans to a mud-wrestling tournament (I’m also really bad at wearing situation-appropriate clothing) that I can’t participate (and take home the gold, obviously). Currently, I am living in Spain for the year attempting to teach Spaniards the nuances of grammar in the English language and make them all Tex-o-philes (like anglophiles, but for Texas?).
I started this blog because I made the impulse decision that moving to a foreign country where I don’t speak the language needed to be chronicled to prevent further lapses in judgement and also to reassure my parents that I haven’t been abducted by the same men who took Liam Neeson’s daughter in Taken. Since then, it’s turned into so much more than that.
I don’t ever want this to be a travel blog where I say, ‘La-ti-dah, look how fabulous my life is and all these great places I get to go,’ because that’s bullshit. I do get to go great places and my life is pretty fabulous but it’s also frustrating and lonely and hard and silly and basically the same as real life. I pay bills and have root canals (If I, Madelyne Adams, possessing of a lifelong mistrust and fear of all things teeth and dentistry related, can manage to have a root canal in a country where I don’t speak the language, YOU can do just about anything) and flirt terribly and take road trips, the same as my fellow 20-something compatriots back home in the US.
This is a blog about life, travel, and what happens to those who mix the two and pay attention to the consequences. I didn’t plan for this to be my life and yet, somehow, almost as if by accident, here we are. I’m making the most of my stupidity and chronicling it all for y’all to read.