The topic this month is COMFORT FOODS. Wow, that’s a huge topic for this mermaid – I have so many. But hey, let’s get started!
There are some comfort foods I never tire of. Foods that bring me back to the child state. For me, cinnamon toast is my first comfort food, but it has to be made the right way. You see, the house I grew up in sported a double oven with a gas broiler, and Mom never made toast in the toaster.
Bread slices were buttered and laid under the gas flame, and we watched through the glass as the butter foamed and sizzled and the bread browned on the edges. For “special,” we sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on the buttered bread. The result was a sweet, crunchy, caramelized, taste of heaven.
And, though some of my comfort foods are true “memory” foods (chocolate pudding, lemon pie), others are foods I decided were my “new” comfort foods as I adulted through time, by ten, twenty, or even forty years. Such as…
In my twenties: graham crackers with peanut butter. Making my own popovers on a Sunday morning
Thirties: Toasted English muffins with sharp cheddar cheese melted during a second toasting. Learning to make rice pudding from the Southern Living Cookbook (hubby swears he’s never had better). Also, their banana bread recipe is killer. Also, scones from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book (more butter than is healthy, but who cares? It’s scones!). Also, my recipe for Half-a-Pound Cake. Yummmm….
Forties: Hot chocolate before bed. Or, on sleepless nights, plain warm milk. For Christmas, the joy of making and eating pizzelles. So tedious. So delicious!
Fifties: Hot tea. It’s amazing how a cup of hot tea fixes you up. The “younger me” always doctored my tea with sugar and milk. This afternoon, two months before my sixtieth birthday, I drank a cup of hot tea. Just the tea, no fussy sugar packets or dollops of milk. Just tea. Its heat and deep flavor warmed me up, calmed me down, and set me straight for the rest of the work day. If that’s comfort, I’ll take it!
And that’s a short list (I promise! It’s shorter than it could have been) of Comfort Foods in my corner of the lagoon. Did your idea of comfort foods change as you grew up? Kindly post your thoughts on your favorites in a reply below!
Why? Maybe I’m just blown away by the mega-words flowing from our mermaids’ talented fingers during the Month of Nano. Or, maybe it’s the new titles falling from the
sky keyboards in the lagoon this year (too many to list here!) Maybe it’s Pintip, who will emcee the 2018 Golden Heart Awards at RWA in Denver!
And those Nano totals? YOW. Denny, Kim, Carlene, Alethea, Pintip. You finny sisters are my inspiration.
If I could just stop doing this in my own writing:
Eventually I’ll get to do something like this:
This is not getting us to the topic today, however!
We’re talking Comfort Food in this post, and a big shout-out to those of us who will be in the kitchen. Not me, friends. My only job on Thursday is to bring brownies to the home of my friend Colleen – who is also going twenty-first century with her Turkey Day feast. She ordered it from DeCicco’s in Yorktown, NY, and my plate will be heaped with those trouble-free dishes. No sweat here, we’re kicking the roasting pan to the curb!
I think this is the third year I haven’t made a Thanksgiving dinner, and I admit – there are a few things I miss. Things I learned from Mom, recipes I love to make, share and eat. Smell and taste are tremendous memory triggers. When I make these dishes, she’s a little closer – in spite of the years since she sat at the kitchen table with the newspaper while the timer ticked away. Here are two of my favorite recipes for the Thanksgiving table:
Sweet Potato Casserole
You haven’t lived until you’ve had mine: fresh sweet potatoes (or, in my house, yams) are peeled, sectioned and microwaved until tender (but not mushy). Wield your vintage potato masher until the (yams) are broken down, but retain character (lumps)(chunks). Blend in a carton of evaporated milk. Add some melted butter. A teaspoon of vanilla. Break up some walnuts or pecans into the mix, if you like the texture and flavor. A teaspoon of cinnamon! And lots of brown sugar. Don’t be shy, toss in a handful or so. Turn it out into a buttered casserole dish and give it 30 minutes or so in the oven at 350°. Yum.
I miss my homemade cranberry sauce more than anything. You’ll want just three ingredients: a bag of cranberries from the store, a cup of white sugar, and 3/4 cup orange juice. Dump the berries into a colander and rinse, then pick them over to find the icky ones. Toss those out. Now, in a medium saucepan (2 quart or so), blend the orange juice and sugar. Set over medium high heat, and wait for some drama. When the sugar/juice starts to boil, toss in the cranberries. Stir, then settle back and wait for the mixture to boil again. Boil for FIVE MINUTES. Set a timer, woman, and watch that your heat is high enough to boil and low enough to keep from boiling over! The fun is hearing the cranberries pop and crack as they cook. Move the pan to a cold burner when the timer dings and stir it for a few minutes. Set it aside to cool completely. A pretty crystal dish will show off the jewel color of your creation.
Other family favorites include dressing (not stuffing), made with herb bread baked in our bread machine, and a rice pudding recipe from the Southern Living Cookbook (Mom never made that one, but the cookbook was a Christmas gift soon after I married, and I treasure it – p. 77, Best Banana Bread Ever).
Some dishes became standards over the years as times changed and my own children grew up. Cup Salad (five ingredients: open, dump, stir, chill) replaced the Ambrosia (tediously hand-sectioned oranges and coconut) Mom made for my father. A church cookbook I bought on a North Carolina beach vacation yielded a recipe that became a favorite each year at our transplanted New York table: a strange mix of lemon and lime Jello, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, chopped walnuts, and canned pineapple tidbits. When I set it on the table the first year, the assembled company recoiled at first. After their first tastes, however, they decided it was too delicious to have the plain-Jane name, “jello salad.” A raucous Turkey-day debate finally re-named it: Martian Salad.
And so it goes. Every generation finds its way to a new variation on the meet/greet/eat/drop theme of the day. In our own home, Andrews standards (creamed onions, creamed potatoes, turnips) never made it to the table. Hosford (maiden name) traditions like mince pie and green bean casserole were also set aside in favor of the new tastes and habits of our generation and our children’s.
One theme that remains, solid and unchanged, is the yearning for connection. Travelers make their way cross-country, clog highways or simply cross town to seek family and friends. New families form for the day, when distance and budget prevents travel. In another town, a church sets a table for “anyone who lacks a family today.”
This is why I’m grateful. In spite of the past year’s trials, I have friends who are eager to see me, and my brownies. My children will call home. One will probably celebrate with friends and his father; another is moving into a new home, and sitting down with her sweetheart’s family.
That connection, that love, those memories. They keep us grounded.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this week, and blessings to you who set a place for “one more.”
Hi! Susan Mermaid here! First, a moment of truth: it’s been a couple of years since my last post for my beloved Mermaids in our always-sunny lagoon. I’m making time today, though, to slip on my fins again and take a dip in these balmy waters. Isn’t it wonderful the Mermaids chose such a lovely tropical hangout for their blog?
Our topic today: What are you watching this summer?
I’ve been binging on one particular show since June (well, after ANNE WITH AN ‘E’ finished). Every chance I have (and there are plenty of chances with three months of vacation), I queue up another episode. It’s not the wrestling (GLOW) or the wars between royals (GoT), or even seductive mystery sleuth (VERONICA MARS).
There are lots of horses in this program (no, not a documentary series…). Lots and lots of horses.
A brief digression here: I loved horses when I was younger. What little girl didn’t crave her very own Breyer horse, her own flock of plastic ponies to train and groom and stable? I did. My family, however, being poor as mice, didn’t have $$$ for horses, either real or pretend. My friend, Maureen, did, however. We both “owned” our favorites in her “stable,” and our horses romped across her bedroom floor many afternoons. We might take a break to play a card game (War was a favorite), but mostly it was horses.
When we tired of the perfectly sculpted plastic bay or appaloosa, we took our horsey game to the next level. We snuck into the barn on the estate at the end of the street, where a lone horse was boarded. We looked and petted and fed it carrots from Maureen’s mother’s fridge. Once in a while, the owner was present. And, very rarely, only once or twice, she let us ride her horse. Bareback, with only a halter, we rambled across the fields behind our subdivision. I’ve never been more scared, or excited. I definitely was not saying ‘no.’
What a thrill! One at a time, we climbed the fence so we could scramble on top of this beast (my mother’s words running in the back of my mind: don’t go playing around up at that barn! And stay away from that horse!). Holding the rein, I steered the animal this way and that, knowing my legs were too short and barely strong enough to hold on. I didn’t know what I was doing. Mostly, I sat. Perhaps the young woman who owned the horse was giving it verbal cues and all I had to do was concentrate on not falling off. I never told. And, if my mother knew (she probably did), she never let on.
Years pass, and I don’t do much riding (twice, in college?). Horses were always fun to look at and think about, but oh – the money I would need! And, then:
HEARTLAND… The longest-running one-hour drama on Canadian television has ten (TEN!) seasons to feast on. They’re doing Season Eleven now! Laugh if you want, this is my binge jam for 2017.
Sure, the stalls always need cleaning, but that’s usually the fate of a secondary character (Hi, Mallory! Hi, Caleb!). It’s like Horse Central, without the manure. And, because it’s TV, our heroes, heroines, and supporting cast are never, ever dirty or unattractively coiffed. (Note: I watch rodeo TV when it’s on. Bull riding TV is almost as good as watching golf – high stakes for them, no stakes for me.)
I find myself marveling at the intricacies of Mallory’s hair. Her parents are always on the road for Dad’s country singing career, so who fixes her hair in the morning? How do her braids stay put with all that shoveling of manure? I never see the characters sweat. They might be feeling uppity which boy is taking them to the dance. Or, they might not have gotten up the courage to apply to vet school. But, when these folks have a problem to solve, they don’t just lie around and engage in fruitless mental gymnastics. Nope, they saddle up and ride out to look at the mountain scenery and Think It Over. Somehow, they nearly always manage to work it all out.
I like that approach. Don’t you?
My practical questions are many. What about the feeding of these equine heartthrobs? I looked it up (and every other question that occurs to me as I watch one episode after another.) A horse needs to eat 1 to 2 percent of its body weight every day in hay or forage. If the beastie is let out in a healthy field to forage, that’s one thing. Otherwise, it needs a quarter to a half bale of hay. Every. Single Day. And the poor horse-loving dopes on Heartland still need to consider additional feed (Grain? Pellets or cubes? Quick, let’s look that up, too!). Note to self: you’ve never seen them write a check to Maggie’s for all the supplies they pick up on their trips into town to Stock Up.
Scene-stealing vistas of the Canadian Rockies give me a break from all that equine riding, roping, and stall-cleaning activity (did I say the horses are pretty?). Amy and Ty are a shoo-in for Best Couple, Mallory wins for Cute While Annoying – or maybe it’s Lou. Jack is Best Dad – and he’s conquering his fear and flying to Paris to woo his beloved, Lisa, away from her evil ex-husband!
Other questions: Is Katie the cutest baby ever? Or not? And when will we see the house Miss Bell gave Lou and Peter? How will it be refurbished? Will Ashley ever show up again (hope not).
Yup. This show has lasso’d my heart. I’m on Season Five and doing all the watching I can before September 8, when my school librarian job starts again. Amy just made a Significant Discovery, and Tim is falling for Miranda! Excuse me, while I watch the rest of the episode.
Perhaps the problem of procrastination gives you shivers. Me, too – and I’m a world-class wait-till-later writer! I’m taking a moment here, though, to ponder this question – what is the value of procrastination, if any?
Some of you may know that I’ve set myself an informal deadline to finish a polish of 100 pages for submission by June 1. You should also know that I’m a) dealing with additional challenges and duties as the school year draws to a close, b) attended a graduation tonight (required for my job) which took away the three or four hours I’d intended to spend writing c) have a big wedding anniversary on Sunday (thank you! how kind), and 4) have a blog post due on Thursday, May 28.
Which explains part of why I’m writing the first (and probably the only) draft at 10:30 in the evening on May 27.
Ugh. This might explain why writers so often don’t finish a work. You see, it’s fun to think about writing, and to put some words down, and to say you’re writing a story. It’s not fun to re-read your draft, and realize you’ve got various strengths in it, and characters who are changing names/jobs/destinies as your ideas evolve.
Poor Bernard! He’s been Barney, and now he’s called Bernie a lot. And my hero, Anthony, has a last name I can’t remember. And last night I wrote a note to myself when I broke off for the night:
SEXY HOT TUB AND SORRY SWIMSUIT
DINNER – REVEAL TRUE DESTINY
REFLECT ON PROGRESS SO FAR
That, my friends, is three different scenes I want to park in this draft before I’m done. I’m on page 56.
What are the chances?
A friend has just made the argument for controlled rest. In this, we allow our brains and creative spirits time to recharge. Hey, I’m up for that! Another book, another glass of wine – it’s all good.
I’m also thinking about this, because I’m a high school librarian. And I saw, this afternoon, a crowd of freshmen who’d ignored a Classics assignment until today. It’s due tomorrow. The library needed to close so this librarian could get into her academic gown. So, let’s also talk about what drive us to procrastinate, when we know we should be doing our work.
So here are the topics we are discussing today:
– Will Susan make her deadline?
– Are you a procrastinator, and do you think it makes your work better or worse?
– Did you spot the error Susan made in the first paragraph, which she decided was kind of cute and decided to leave as her own personal Easter egg for this entry?
Greetings on a lovely Tuesday morning! With all the rain behind us for the moment, I can calm down and think again about my fabulous weekend at WRWDC’s annual retreat, In the Company of Writers.
This is one of my favorite retreats. It’s small and relaxed, but still has the energy that comes from friends meeting for two full days to talk about writing and publishing, in every possible format.
What were my favorite parts of the retreat?
- The food. Seriously. It just kept coming – although the Saturday night desserts caused a near stampede. One poor waiter saw his tray of cheesecake slices vanished before he could get them to the serving table.
- The seminars – My favorites: Bella Andre’s Ten Tips to Indie Success, Elaine English on Copyright (yes, it really was interesting) and the Keynote speeches. I know I’m leaving something out, but everyone put on such a great presentation, and I couldn’t be everywhere at once!
- The bar. Yes. Seriously. We all were given a ticket for a free drink to start the weekend off. Need I say more?
- The Editor/Agent appointments – where we are ushered into a private room with our editors and have a chance to chat. I had a request!
Raffle baskets. This is a big deal with WRW – the drawings took nearly an hour on Sunday afternoon. I won two baskets!
- Camaraderie – Should I have listed this first? The dynamics of the retreat is that of meeting old friends, rekindling friendships, and making new friends. For me, it was my first retreat under my new pseudonym. On one level, I expected someone to tell me, “Who are you kidding? That’s not your name!” Didn’t happen.
Last, the Elvis Romance Jeopardy game. Imagine 100 women, many dressed in varying degrees of Elvis-ness. You had to be there. You really did.
Seriously. You had to be there.
I know, I know – the RWA National Conference is in July. So, why am I getting all het up about packing already?
Because the finalists for the Golden Heart and RITA awards are being announced on March 26th. And I am pretty sure there are some writers who, after jumping up and down, screaming, crying, calling everyone they know
and some they don’t, will suddenly have that dull, ugly lump of dread blooming in their innards: WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO WEAR?
Back in the day (1986, to be specific) this finalist/winner wore a chic white cocktail dress she found in a bridal shop, and some very nifty gold-and-black jewelry. The dress is long gone – thank goodness shoulder pads went out of style – but the necklace still lives in my jewelry box, a beloved and respected treasure. The medal has changed since I received mine, and the Modess rose is replaced with the organization’s pensive author.
Do folks still wear cocktail dresses when they final? I wouldn’t know, since that hasn’t been a blessing for me since re-activating my membership in 2009. What I do know is, you’d better get your Oscar vibe going as a finalist! You’ll be expected to be wearing some serious flash when you’re at the awards – and before! Still, let’s not forget: New York is a shopping capitol of the world (if not THE shopping capital). I know it’ll be late, late, late to be thinking of which dress to wear. But we can dream, can’t we? Which is why you want to browse this list before you land in the Big Apple.
New York Magazine lists the drool-worthy shopping destinations. I know you’re going to be super busy chasing down editors and agents and making appointments, and maybe you can fit in one more session (thank goodness for Starbucks!), but seriously: make time to hit just one of these icons. Personal favorites: Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany. Not like I go buying things there all the time, people. I mean, really? I can look, though. And you can, too! (Another FYI I heard from a cabbie: New Yorkers take cabs. Tourists walk. Don’t be shy, take a cab.)
Now that you’ve had to stop off in some going-out-of-business dive somewhere off Broadway to buy a second suitcase, let’s not forget the ultimate Mecca of all that is good in the pursuit of loveliness: Sephora After all, you’ve been selected as a finalist – stop doubting me! I know you will. So, hie thee to this website when we are closer to your magnificent appearance in the GH/RITA pre-awards reception: http://www.sephora.com/stores/new-york-times-square
And make youself an appointment for a glamming up. Or just head over at some odd moment to admire the wonders of everything that is promised – to make you a sultry vixen or a stylish know-it-all or just… you, but better. And, just an FYI, makeup with SPF doesn’t photograph well, as all my RWA Atlanta photos include happy people and one ghost.
Finally, what do I *wear* at Nationals?
i would bring +
bright pencil skirt
pretty silk blouse
nice t-shirt graphic t-shirt
button down (chambray, cotton, whatever)
cocktail dress (2 of them)
neutral heels (or flats)
and whatever fun jewelry you have
then you could wear:
- day 1: bright pencil skirt, pretty silk blouse, scarf, neutral heels
- day 2: bright pencil skirt, nice t-shirt, linen blazer, neutral heels
- day 3: white jeans, button down, neutral heels
- bar: white jeans, pretty silk blouse, neutral heels or sandals
- party 1: cocktail dress 1, evening heels
- party 2/dinner: cocktail dress 2, evening heels
- bar: white jeans, pretty silk blouse, neutral heels or sandals
- playtime 1: white jeans, nice t-shirt, scarf, sandals
- playtime 2: bright pencil skirt, graphic t-shirt, sandals
- playtime 3: white jeans, button down, sandals
Happy birthday to me! Yes, Mermaids and friends, the calendar has rolled around another year, and I’m celebrating (cough) another notch on the old belt. I’m allowing myself to feel a tad of the jitters at seeing less years available on the calendar, so this is an important blog entry (much more important since a) it’s a makeup for the one I missed last week, and b) it’s gonna be a whole lot more important when I look back at it in twelve months).
What, you might ask, do I have to show for this not-quite mis-spent year?
Professional – my high school library work:
– A super effective display on First Amendment Rights, following the Charlie Hebdo killings. It was totally spontaneous, my own response to the cruel and undeserved death of the French cartoonists. My passionate response became a collection and display of the international response – in cartoons. I also collected examples of the offensive Charlie Hebdo drawings, and mounted a presentation on First Amendment rights I’d done in a graduate class. My work, hours and hours of it, sparked lots of conversations and new awareness among the students. Several teachers brought classes in to view the display – talk about a teachable moment!
– Pimping the school’s Overdrive e-book library: “Read For Fun Without Fear” is our slogan. Good grief, the kids are already overwhelmed by assigned reading! Why would I want to encourage reading for fun? Am I crazy?
– Yup. I’m crazy. Discussion closed.
– Meeting my half-brother for the very first time. Don’t bother with the details of how we took so long to find each other, we had a very good time!
– Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Anybody want to enjoy an evening picnic on the grounds of a historical Hudson Valley estate, and then step into the festival tent to see fresh-air interpretations of the Bard?
– Stepping up to my daughter’s challenge/gift and having my cartilage pierced – a shallow, years-long dream. Yes, it hurt. Lots.
– I began to rework my approach to writing. No more pantser work here – I’ve been finding my way through the Plot Whisperer and Michael Hague methodology. It’s really hard, but I know where I’m going. Most days. Sort of.
– Steady writing! Logged more days writing this year than ever (at least, I feel it’s more regular for this second shot a my writing career).
– The current WIP is standing at over 48,000 words. Yowza!
Finally, I heard Fr. James Martin, S.J.’s talk in a panel on “How Pope Francis Is Changing The Church.” How, you ask, is a discussion on the effect of one Argentine on a world of believers important in this desperate happy-dance year of mine?
Because the talk centered in part of the characteristics that make this man such a surprising leader of the Church: he is a free man, and so he is fearless.
The Jesuit spiritual training Francis received has taught him a level of detachment from the “stuff” of life. Being free of the attachments to opinions, ideas, pop culture, celebrity worship, all the monkey-brain misery that keeps us spinning our wheels and awake at night, he can be fearless. What does he have to lose?
Part of this is the power of Doubt. Allowing doubt into our mind isn’t the wrong-headed disaster we tend to believe. Grappling with doubt – allowing our minds to grapple with the idea of not following the carved-in-stone beliefs and rules – gives a person the gift of stronger belief.
I want to have that free and fearless approach to my writing. Maybe I won’t convince anyone I will finish the book. I can only try – what do I have to lose? Maybe I can’t move you to laughter, to applause, to tears. I can only try.
Maybe Act Three will be a hell of a mess. It’s not even started, and I’ve spent nearly two weeks frozen in indecision. Perhaps, allowing myself to move forward in doubt, and then in faith, will unlock this clenched creative soul.
Heck, I won’t finish it by March 31st, my self-imposed deadline, at this rate. Embracing Doubt as my friend, though, could allow me to move forward.
I can only try. Isn’t that a marvelous birthday gift?
No, this is not a blog about clutter (sort of). I’ve been reading a lot about clutter this month, however – when I’m not reading yummy romance novels, that is (Jamie Beck’s Worth the Wait – so good!). It *is* the first of the year, though – and resolutions are made (and broken) every New Year. Mine is all about getting my house under control.
I’ve been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, and it is a fascinating read. And the best part of using her tips, is the number of bags that have already left the house. I can almost see myself gliding through a perfectly organized home. *brief pause* Okay, done with that mirage. But…
I remember a moment, years ago, at the beginning of my writing career, when my friend said to her mother, “Susan is one of those neat freaks. We have to pick everything up before we’re done playing.”
“She has a very small house,” her mother answered. “Small houses require a person to be very picky about being neat, or she will be overwhelmed in no time.”
And I patted myself on the back. I was a tidy person! I could clean the house, top to bottom, in a single day (it was a really small house). I took care of my family that way. And I wrote while my daughter napped. It wasn’t hard at all!
(Fast forward thirty years….)
Where did that woman go? Who is this aging writer, with Too Much Stuff in her clutches and Too Many Stories in her brain? My children are grown, I have a big(ger) house, and it’s a mess. I recently read an article about how creative people thrive in disorder and I wonder: how? I’m a creative person and, whenever I sit down to write, I find myself contemplating the clutter around me. I mentally shame myself for not leaping to my feet and cleaning it all up. Then, I tell myself, I could write in peace, loving the house I’m living in and having freedom to spin my glorious tales (which would immediately make every bestseller list known, and gain me a gazillion dollars).
Something tells me my fantasy is a lie. Clutter and
brain block are separate problems, and it’s blame-shifting to allow myself to delay writing because I’m bothered by the mess around me. I’m either going to write, or I’m not. (And, even as I write this, the devil on my shoulder whispers that cleaning up just the area in front of my would open the floodgates of creativity.)
What do you think? Have you ever been stopped dead by clutter? Or do you thrive in it? Do you enjoy settling down to a pristine, tastefully decorated desk? Do you color code your file folders? Or are you a whirlwind of disorder, obsessed with spinning your tales and too darned bad if the junk doesn’t get picked up – you have stories to write!
Maybe it’s a fantasy I have, that my house will be perfect one day. Maybe I need to write a story about the house that could be perfect. Wait – I already have that story in progress!
Where do *you* like to write the most, and what atmosphere makes you the most productive?
I must confess, this is not a Thanksgiving I will be happy to remember. Multiple instances of sad news from family and friends, the highways are already treacherous with distracted drivers, and the Ferguson grand jury results and resulting suffering are bad enough. A snowstorm forecast which will cancel all family journeys (three of us to Maryland, one to Rochester).
And, since I didn’t expect to be home for the holidays, I didn’t buy anything at all for the weekend! And yet, we console ourselves that there is plenty of food in the refrigerator (thank you again, Peapod!). I have Wednesday off to prepare (thank you, benevolent employer!). I have a loving family (please let Young Son and his sweetheart travel safely tomorrow, in spite of the snow). How will I make use of these five glorious days of leisure (three glorious days, since tomorrow and Thursday are devoted to falling over with cookingcookingcooking and eatingeatingeating)? I’m going to try to jumpstart my writing again. Princess Daisy has recently discovered the joy of dictation in writing her second tome. She even dictates into her Evernote application on the way to and from work! *Cue jealous rage*. Can I imitate her success? I am determined! I will succeed! You heard it here first: Thanksgiving 2014 will be a breakthrough weekend for this writer. We will master the skill of dictating our story! I’m apparently famous for the talent of excessive talking, I believe success is inevitable. DO YOU HAVE ANY WRITING GOALS FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND? OR DO YOU MERELY WANT TO EATEATEAT AND TURKEYCOMA?