Sunday, November 28, 2010


I wasn't going to blog about Thanksgiving. Everyone else enjoys talking about their own experiences and while pleasant, many start to sound the same. Then I realized how different ours was compared to the experience of others. Okay, now I'm suckered in to sharing.

Thanksgiving is about family for both me and my husband. More than that it is about community and friends. In the past we've enjoyed having the usual Thanksgiving afternoon with my family. Then the next day or very late that night we host our own Thanksgiving with my husband's mom and brother where we invite all of our wayward friends who didn't get one earlier.

Some of them don't have family in town and can't afford to visit. Others worked that day and couldn't find anything but leftovers at home. Whatever the reason for their lack of turkey we loved gathering people around our table.

When a family offers this to someone who mentions that they are without family for the holiday, it is usually responded to with a very polite no. People don't want to barge into another person's traditions. They won't get that joke that your father keeps making in reference to holidays past. They don't know to stay away from the oyster dressing that somehow still gets made every year.

That's why ours is only about them and we let them know that this isn't us adding another chair to the table, this is about filling the empty plate that we've already made for them. I love it when people are brave enough to come even though they don't know us very well and have no clue who else will join. They get plenty of pie and always have a great time.

This year was a very abnormal Thanksgiving for us. My husband and I recently moved out east, away from family and friends for a chance at some new opportunities. We didn't have enough funds or time off from work to return for the holidays. This year we were the strange ones out with nowhere to go and so Thanksgiving was spent with just the two of us.

Of course we got those very kind family invites. But we wanted to try it alone. Both of us are rather private people who usually avoid large groups. This year, we got to see the holiday from a different perspective. It was interesting to have a Thanksgiving without everyone else. Both good and bad surprises awaited us.

No huge prep work went into the meal, it was mostly boxed just-add-water or canned. For turkey we picked up a preroasted piece from the grocery store. Surprisingly the meal was very good. Not homemade stuffing with fresh mashed potatoes good, but considering what we had to work with, it was really nice. We didn't have to worry about when it would be done or if everyone had shown up yet. A half an hour after we decided to eat, it was ready to go and it took only a few minutes to decide what to watch afterward.

We missed being with everyone and I can't remember ever having a bad Thanksgiving with family but it was also nice spend the holiday with just the two of us. We only did what we wanted to do, which excluded a lot of the traditions that we are used to.

Of course we missed everyone and although I'm not a huge sports fan it was odd not to hear it in the background.

This isn't a habit that we want to make. I miss the family Thanksgivings. I miss hosting our little 'Island of Misfit Toys' Thanksgiving for our friends. Sometimes though, it takes the absence of something to remind you how important it has always been! Maybe now I'll even appreciate the green bean casserole, though it isn't likely.

No matter how you spent it, I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving! What about that odd one out though? Can anyone else share their own strange stories about a Thanksgiving that wasn't quite like the others?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Changing World of Publishing

This is a great article that shows how much publishing is changing. One thing that it doesn't mention is the new rise of e-publishing and how that might fit into the dynamic.

How do you expect to buy your next book? In e-book form, through a book store, or ordered online and sent to your home?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inspiration from the smallest of places.

Today it comes from a pomegranate seed.

I have to admit that I'm biased towards pomegranates. They are my favorite fruit and no fall season is complete until I have spent at least five minutes picking up each piece at the grocery store trying to decide which is the perfect first pomegranate for the year. One year I ate three a week for over two months. My poor fingers were stained by the fruit until nearly Christmas when they had finally gone out of season.

As an avid admirer of odd historical and mythological information I've latched onto the many stories told about the fruit. After Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and brought into the underworld it was her consumption of six (or three, the number varies) individual pomegranate seeds that doomed her to spend half of every year below the earth as his wife.

The word pomegranate occurs at least fifteen times in the bible. It was believed by some that the juice left stains as a reminder of Christ's blood and sacrifice. Others believe that the original fruit in the garden of Eden was not an apple but a pomegranate instead. They are also prominent in the beliefs of other cultures including Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

So why did they inspire me today? To eat an entire pomegranate without bursting any of the seeds before they reach your mouth takes care, practice, and an attention to detail. You can't go hacking into it with a knife or a spoon and expect perfection. So they inspired me to go back through what I had recently written and decide if I had done the same with my novel. I hadn't, tomorrow will have to be an editing day it seems. On a happier note, it was a wonderful pomegranate and large enough that I've saved the other half for tomorrow, to make up for the dreary bit of editing to do.



NaNoWriMo Goal for today's date-18,337

Still behind but much closer than last week!

Friday, November 5, 2010


The challenge, frustration and fun.

Since most of my present readers are not writers I thought it would be a great time to introduce NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and was first started in 1999. The idea is that writers and want-to-be-writers set aside time from midnight November 1st to 11:59 PM November 30th for a daunting challenge. One story, 50,000 words. It is much harder than you might think.

To make it easier they stress that this is not about making a perfect story or even an edited story. The website boasts 'No Plot? No Problem!' This is about diving in and just getting something new written.

The first year only 21 people picked up the challenge. Ten years later, it grew to over 170,000 and over 2.4 billion words were written by the participants. This only counts the ones that signed up on the official website, something that I did not do. Then again, last year I didn't finish either.

This year Kris and I have decided to join the official group for the first time. I will be starting on a brand new sequel to my first novel and Kris is writing a new detective story. Both projects have been on the back burner due to us working through edits on earlier stories. We'll get back to those later, but for now it is refreshing to have something fresh to start.

Watching from the outside last year, it was impressive how supportive the other writers are. Everyone 'wins' this contest by simply writing 50,000 words on one story. Any genre counts, even fan fiction. People band together in coffee shops, internet chat rooms, and anywhere that they can find a fellow writer to help each other cross to the finish line. During the month of November blogs that have stayed silent for months will start up again with new frustrations or inspirations that the challenge brings. Writing is a very solo experience for many of us but NaNoWriMo acts against that. For one short month we are all together.

Wish both of us luck and I'll keep you posted on our progress!



NaNoWriMo Goal for today's date-8,335 words

We're a bit behind already!