Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today is my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. It's about sharing, and although giving is a form of sharing, Thanksgiving doesn't seem so commercial. (However, if I hear one more Black Friday commercial in Broadway's best musical form, I might scream.) I love cooking this meal, love sharing it with family and friends. We started yesterday. Bill cleaned. I made two pumpkin pies and an apple pie. (Finally found someone who still sells Spy apples -- best for making pies!) I also made two dozen dinner rolls, for this, I tried a new 'quick' recipe. They turned out pretty good. I'll give the kids half of them to take home. They're already wrapped up. I finished off making pumpkin bread, but I screwed that up by putting in some dried apple. Great taste but didn't bake right; so I'll try again next year.

We got up relatively early and finished cleaning. (One thing about entertaining -- at least the house gets cleaned!) I put the turkey in the roaster and the dressing in the crockpot. That's another new recipe I tried, and it turned out very good. Oops! Just burned the potatoes, How did that happen? I just checked them! I guess we'll have to have instant, and I'm using a dressed-up canned gravy this year. The soup pot is already simmering for the turkey bones. The only family coming today are here, the last guest just called and they're sick. So food is warming, the candles already lit, dinner is at 3:00, gave one pie away, the kitchen is clean until after dinner, I've had neither breakfast or lunch, so I'm ready to eat!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Memorable Characters

No matter how many stories I read or write, a few characters never leave my soul. Matter of fact, they sometimes seem to haunt me. I first read Elizabeth Bennet's (yes, another Pride and Prejudice fan) in tenth grade, but I've revisited her often, like twenty-plus re-readings and I never miss a movie. The new books carrying her story, or her sisters' stories, forward and other plot and setting machinations, do not interest me as much. Other readers, I know, don't care about her so much, but I'm certain they have one character who they always remember or one who plays a part in their imagination, dreams, or subconscious; for many it might be Harry Potter stars in this role.

Many other characters haunt my subconscious, popping out at the strangest moments, but usually when I'm taking a long walk. It's not only good characters, either, for I often find coercive, mean and twisted characters, who

se behavior I found reprehensible in a story, pop into my mind. Other times a character from an otherwise unremarkable story is so strong they break ground and plant themselves in my imagination.

What is this? Some sort of psychological archetype trick of the mind? If that is the case, I'm sure everyone has different characters hopping around in their cerebral cortex but isn't it rather interesting who shows up?

The trick, of course, for writers is to make sure those characters don't show up in one of their own books. Which is another interesting phenomenon, because often my book characters show up in my brain long before they do a book.

How about other readers? Do you have similar occurrences?