Month: November 2014

Taking stock

If you’re friends with me on facebook, you already know that my plan this week is to cook. We have 20 members of the family coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Already we’ve made sauteed apples, cheese and potato pie, sweet potato casserole, roasted vegetables and turkey chili made with homemade raspberry chipotle sauce.

Yes, you read that correctly. This year, we’ll be serving turkey with a side of turkey. Tomorrow morning I’ll pick up a fresh 25-pound turkey and place it carefully in apple brine, where it will rest comfortably until Thursday. Then I’ll smoke the turkey over hickory and apple wood. And my wife will make her fabulous bread stuffing. There isn’t a quantity large enough.

But this is not a post about cooking. It’s about being thankful. And I am. Thankful. I could prepare a list, but somehow it always boils down to a few basics. Health and happiness. Family and friends. Perspective. (A couple of months ago my wife did something truly impressive. A friend started to comment how it would look good on her resume. Then, realizing that we are beyond an age where we worry much about our resume, he modified his remark. It would look good on her obituary). So, yes, I am especially thankful for perspective. And this year, I’m thankful for publishers, editors and writers. I am grateful for the support of the mystery community. And readers. I’ve often said, I may not have the most readers, but I have the best readers. And it’s true. But this year I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to hope for a slightly larger slice of the best readers.

Last year, we spent most of Thanksgiving in the emergency room and still managed to put turkey and trimmings on the table for 20. We’d like not to do that this year.

Wishing you and yours a happy and a healthy Thanksgiving.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

I had the pleasure and the privilege of speaking yesterday on an Authors Day Panel at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters.

monmouthauthorsdayIt is always interesting and a little bit dangerous when you let a group of authors converse in public about the craft and the business of writing. I met a few new-to-me authors and came home with a few suggestions regarding screenwriting. (Why would I need screenwriting suggestions I hear you asking. No reason. No reason at all, I respond. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

I discovered in an email regarding yesterday’s panel that I am “fast becoming the Bard of Monmouth.” I wonder whether that comes with a stipend.