(What, after 50,000+ words in a month, you want more?)
NOTE: If this seems familiar, it’s because I posted something similar in 2010. Funny – circumstances changed between posts, but what I wrote then still applies to my life now, three years later (even the part about the Saints!). Thank You, Lord, for bringing me back to this place.
In the United States, today is Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate our blessings and tell God thanks for giving them to us.
This year, even though part of the family is on the road, we’re keeping the tradition of having our biggest meal of the year. In our house that means the kitchen becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet with two meats and far too many side dishes for five people. It’s the only time of year we fix enough food at one time to eat the leftovers for a whole week.
This year when I bow my head over the family banquet, I’ll be giving thanks for many things: a steady paycheck and a decent car to transport me there; an intact family whose members actually like each other; good friends and a loving church family; a roof over my head, stable health, having a winning football team to cheer for (Geaux Saints!); and most of all, my life in Christ which, even after 25 years, is filled with peace and joy in the midst of life’s trials.
In 1996, my Thanksgiving was very different. I was far from family and home, having gone to South America with my employer, his wife and their granddaughter only 16 days before the holiday. We were without a turkey or cranberry sauce, and I was living somewhere other than Mississippi for the first time in conscious memory. I was homesick for my family and feeling lost in a new culture. My faith that God knew what He was doing in moving me there kept me going, but fighting off self-pity was a daily struggle.
Until we got the office set up I was tutoring the boss’s granddaughter, so to teach her and remind myself about gratitude, I asked her to tell me the things she was thankful to have. I took her thoughts and a few of my own, blended them into a poem, and read it as a prayer when we gathered for our Thanksgiving Day dinner. The main dish wasn’t turkey, and my parents were several thousand miles away, but that poem-prayer helped me have a good holiday with my surrogate family.
Here’s what I wrote – feel free to use or adapt it for your family gathering if you like it:
NaNoWriMo has begun. And once again, a story showed up on the doorstep of my imagination. There’s nothing like flying (or in this case, writing) by the seat of one’s pants to fuel the creative spirit.
For the next month, I’ll be alternating between the daytime world of an insurance agency and the evening epiphanies of unfettered imagination. What comes of it, if all goes well, will be the first draft of a novel I’ve been wanting to write for a couple of years now. It’s all about a lady named after a burger joint. Here’s an excerpt:
Ever fall in love with the idea of being in love? Worst cliché of all time, I know. Didn’t stop it from happening to me, though.
I’m a child of the 1970s – the era of women’s liberation, equal pay for equal work, the “you can have it all” superwoman mentality. And still, somewhere inside of me lives this hyperimaginative little girl who wants to be Cinderella at the ball, sweeping Prince Charming off his feet and into a stroll down a rose petal strewn aisle.
I can see it now: he’s all dapper in a formal tux, crown just slightly askew, nervous and excited and grinning like he inhaled a whole tank of nitrous oxide. Me? I’m in the most amazing blinged out bridal gown any Swarovski crystal obsessed designer could possibly imagine. I’m wearing a crown of my own, with a beautiful long white veil attached, and in my hands is an enormous bouquet of white roses and some as yet undetermined purple flower. I’m trying to steady my nerves with the slow walk of the bridal march, but what I really want to do is toss the bouquet into the nearest pew of single women and dash down the aisle, fling my arms around his neck and kiss the daylights out of those gorgeous lips…
Stay tuned for more about Krystal and her misadventures on the road to love.
Lots going on in the coming weeks:
All this while trying to make changes in my eating and exercise habits to manage my diabetes and improve my cholesterol levels. Whew! I’m getting tired just typing about it.
How about you? What do you have coming up as 2013 nears its end?
It’s Bih-lux-ee, not Bih-lox-ee, people! No one from the Mississippi Gulf Coast pronounces Biloxi as though there were smoked salmon in the middle of it.
End of rant for today…
Wish I could finish that sentence, but no one left a comment, so there’s no name to draw. Maybe when I get Helene’s Hope launched, we’ll try this again.
I’ve been pleased to see a few notices in my inbox lately saying this blog has some new followers. I’m wondering, though, if y’all have some expectations or ideas about what you’d like to read – and how often.
So, here’s the deal: if you leave a comment about how often you’d like to see me post and what you’d like to read, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of Chantal’s Call (or coupons to download both it and Brigitte’s Battle if you prefer e-books). The deadline for leaving a comment is midnight Central time on Sunday, July 7. I’ll announce the winner the next day and we’ll make arrangements for delivery of your prize.
One last guideline: if your comment lands in my spam folder, it will be automatically disqualified. So, keep it relevant to this post, and don’t load it with anything that will make Akismet flag it, okay?
Let the commenting begin…
P.S. – While the Likes are appreciated, they don’t count as comments. So, please drop me a line.
I just realized how behind schedule I am.
In re-reading a guest post I wrote on another blog a while back, I found that I’d pledged to have Helene’s Hope, Book 3 in my Women of Atherton series, out in March. Oops. Totally forgot I’d set that deadline for myself.
I could run down a litany of reasons/excuses, but I’ll save us all some time and eye rolling. Simple fact is, the book wasn’t ready in March. It isn’t ready now.
However, I have an incentive to get it finished in the next couple of months. I’ve been asked to speak at a luncheon in August. I’d like to launch the book that week; the story it tells is one of – well, as the title says – hope.
So, my apologies for letting life get in the way of my writing, and here’s a new pledge: I’ll do my level best to get Helene’s Hope out by August 17, 2013.
Change – a puff of wind
or a hurricane blowing
me away from shore
to a distant land unmapped,
filled with adventure – or loss?
(c) 2013 Traci Bonney
Chantal’s Call is the Indie Book of the Day! What a highlight for my midweek, and what a wonderful honor for my debut novel.