Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, please share your favorite traditions. I'll go first.

We cook like fiends and make all the traditional trimmings--turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole (you must have several casseroles in the Midwest--it's the law). We also have Monica rolls (named after my young niece who inhales these tasty yeast rolls), mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberries. Dessert includes pumpkin pie and pecan pie. I'm gaining weight just looking at this menu.

We always give thanks for our brave military, their families, and for our own friends, family and bounty of food. We wish for everyone's health, happiness and safety. This year will be particularly hard due to the tragic loss of my niece but we must go on for her little sister and other family members. I know I keep talking about this but it's foremost in my mind.

As far as shopping, I avoid Black Friday like the plague. Two different years, I made the mistake of shopping the day after Thanksgiving, and it got me out of a festive mood quicker than anything. First of all, I am not going to get up at 5 a.m. to hit a store and save $25. Secondly, I'm not going to get in a snarl of traffic, wait in long lines, and fight over the last most popular gift in the store. Instead, I usually decorate that Friday and shop via the Internet or magazines.

How about you? What are your Thanksgiving traditions and what's on your menu? Please share.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Word Choices

Do we have a preoccupation with death? Since the tragic murder of my niece, Shana, I'm hypersensitive to words like "kill," "murder," "dead," or "death." And I've noticed many cliches and speech patterns where we use these words daily such as:

That project is dead in the water.
Don't kill the messenger.
He's dead wrong.
That's overkill.
The kiss of death.
Don't be a killjoy.
The saying: You can kill two birds with one stone.
The song, "Killing Me Softly" (with his words...)
You're killing me. (As in making me laugh too hard.)

There's ongoing discussion about movies and video games romanticizing death. Maybe we should take a look at the written word and our speech patterns. What do you think? Can you think of other examples?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Signing Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I'll be at Hickory Hills Country Club's holiday open house signing IT ALL CHANGED IN AN INSTANT, More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Fellow children's writer Brenda Brinkley will join me.

I plan to donate the proceeds to the memorial fund for my niece, Shana. Here's hoping some holiday shoppers will be intrigued by the six-word memoir book which contains sixes by many celebrities, famous authors and obscure authors like me.