Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thanksgiving Meme

Saw this meme today on Market My Words and decided to play.

(I know, this doesn't really count as a blog post in the traditional sense of blogging about the topic your blog supposedly features. Of course I mention this because I'm feeling a tad guilty about ignoring the blogosphere lately. Then again, as guilt is such THE timelessly classic holiday-time emotion — not to mention very common among writers — I think the meme fits right in! Besides, I will get back to blogging about children's writing and freelancing and freelancing and children's writing soon enough for my two readers.)

1. How will you spend Thanksgiving this year?
I'll be home with my (not-so-)fresh-from-a-biz-trip husband and happy-to-be-in-the-three-pack greyhound. No traveling, no guests. It will be low key and involve little else besides food prep, background jazz, a long neighborhood walk, some quiet conversation, family phone calls, and eating.

2. Will you be cooking, or are you just an eater?
Cooking, always cooking. Then eating.

3. Do you watch the parade or football?
We try to watch some of the parade.

4. What's your favorite float?
I can't think of one that I need to see, but I can do without any floats featuring singing Disney kids. (Is that Scroogey?)

5. Dark meat or white meat?

6. What is your favorite dish besides the turkey?
Everything else, and I'm not kidding.

7. Homemade cranberry sauce or sauce from the can?
Homemade. I make either a jalapeno cranberry sauce, a chipotle cranberry sauce, or a citrusy cranberry sauce.

8. Do you decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day?
We do celebrate Christmas at our house, and it's the only holiday for which we decorate. After Thanksgiving dinner (and during cleanup), we begin the process of trying to power through our out-of-control collection of holiday music. Sometimes we'll have enough time to start fetching decorations from the basement closet. If not, though, we'll haul them to the living room on Friday and attempt to distribute all during the coming weekend(s). We regularly fail to carry out the original plan.

9. What are some special holiday traditions?
The whole day I've described is traditional, and special, to us.

10. Pumpkin pie or pecan?
Pumpkin or sweet potato if I'm making it (although this year I'm doing a pumpkin-banana mousse tart); I'll always choose pecan if my mom's hosting.

11. What's your favorite thing to do with the leftovers?
If we've cooked for just us, we'll have two more full dinners (my favorite thing) before using the remaining fixins (my other favorite thing) in sandwiches, "bubble and squeak," soups, and so on.

12. How long do you spend eating your Thanksgiving meal?
A long time. We'll eat and then linger over the wine to stall on the cleanup. Coffee and dessert are served after everything has been put away.

13. Are you worried about putting on weight this Thanksgiving?

14. What do you normally eat at Thanksgiving?
A light, healthy, breakfast. Easy appetizers (antipasto-type stuff) and a cocktail at 2 o'clock or so. The main meal, which we serve in the early evening, includes turkey, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, a sweet-and-savory sweet potato dish (no marshmallows here), cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts w/garlic and capers, sausage stuffing, dinner rolls, ice water w/lemon, and wine. Pie and coffee a few hours later. Too much?

15. What will you be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Health and hope.

16. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
I fondly remember our extended family gatherings on both sides of the family. On my dad's side, we celebrated Christmas on Thanksgiving because his parents fled Iowa for their Florida digs as soon as possible after turkey sandwiches. My favorite memory — as it relates to an experience I can draw upon when creating child characters (see how I'm making this "count" just a little?) — is the Thanksgiving-Christmas gift exchange circa 1976. My dearly loved grandmother gave me a Quick Curl Barbie . . . and it took ALL my concentration to both offer a sincere-sounding thank-you during the family show-and-tell and to keep myself from bursting into tears. You see, I fancied myself All Grown Up (I was E.LEV.IN, for cryin' out loud!), and I just about couldn't bear thinking that anyone saw me as childish enough to play with Barbie. It's one of those long-ago scenes I can recall with exacting, slow-mo detail. And I love it!

17 & 18. Will you be waking up early to hit the sales?/Are you planning on going shopping the day after Thanksgiving?
No way. No shopping that day.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Ah, Hemingway Always Has Something to Say

"It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write.
Let them think you were born that way."
—Ernest Hemingway

I have mixed feelings about this one.

On the one hand, I think I was born to write. (Not that I was born a great writer, mind you, just that writing is something I was born needing to do.) Then again, I feel like I'm always fighting that perception that writing doesn't take practice . . . or continued study . . . or work.

Can't argue with Hemingway's sentiment, though. Makes me laugh.

Any thoughts out there?