THANKSGIVING DAY IS HERE

images_006I got up early to see the weather and saw only tents lined up around shopping center stores. I do not own a tent, would not know how to put one together, but the thought occurred — rent one out. Bet there would have been plenty of takers for the same ad.

This got me to thinking about “Black Friday,” and I did some research, as the photo suggests, except I used a keyboard and the Web. Here is a little history. The term, “Black Friday,” started back in the 1960’s as a kickoff to the Christmas Shopping Season. Sure, most of us know this, but black also refers to the stores moving from the “red” to the “black.” For some of you accountants out there, remember the balance sheets, income statements, and the old red and black pens? Red indicates a loss and black a profit.

Another thing I found out ….the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924, announcing the Friday after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start to a big holiday shopping season. Back in the 1960’s, police in Philadelphia had to put up with congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians, a “Black Friday” for them. And way, way back in 1869, the stock market collapsed and stocks fell, set off by gold spectators.

All of this information is paraphrased from THE HISTORY OF BLACK FRIDAY on-line. This will have to be revised as they mention retailers opening up on Black Friday at 5 am to crowds waiting. Now, you’d better have Thanksgiving BREAKFAST as the stores open even on this treasured day.

Guess you could say, I am not a shopper. An article on television news, stated the shopping experience(s) give the shopper an endorphin high. The bustle of crowds, the rustle of paper, and the number of bags you can carry, get shoppers in a good mood. I enjoy purchasing presents for my friends, but at odd hours, less shoppers, time to think, and look at the special gift for a special friend.

Tonight, in Atlanta, is the lighting of Macy’s Christmas tree. The rain will hold off, the cold weather will not, but when crowds gather for entertainment and fireworks, kids and adults forget the cold and feel only the excitement.

May all your favorite football teams win; may the turkey be there for that last sandwich; may you and your family share a special time; may you know I wanted to remember all of you readers and share a few moments on this Thanksgiving Day, 2013.

Happy Eating. Happy Snacking.

WHERE’S THANKSGIVING?

Two friendsThis question has plagued me since Halloween. Yes, Halloween. I was in a small store and aisle after aisle had lantern, pumpkins, witch’s wands, scary masks all over. Each shelf stacked with costumes, candy, and bags to hold all the treasures from Hallow Night. Then, in another aisle, all the red and green of Christmas. Trees, ornaments, special Santa Clause figures, the big sound of HO! HO! HO! I searched and searched for a Pilgrim, a turkey, the fall colors of dried leaves. Nothing. The one thing I did find–announcements of Black Friday Sales.

My friends and I, along with the two in the picture, think of Thanksgiving as a special time and a special day. The kitchen warm with scrupulous smells slipping out of the oven door. The aroma of cinnamon spice in sweet potatoes and pumpkin pies. People congregated around the kitchen counter. Kids running through the house. More people arriving, and the television emitting yells and groans of football games

The big table, in the dining room area, set with the good plates and glasses. The silverware shined and wrapped in cloth napkins. Families impatient for the big turkey to fill the middle of the table or toward the end, where a chosen member would be the one to make the first slice. All the hard work of preparing the meal forgotten with the first bite, and happy, relaxed family members enjoying each others company. Kids graduated from the card table to the ‘big’ table as they grew in age and manners.

More football followed by manly snores filling the den. The women taking their time to clean up and leaving enough out for sandwiches and snacks. No one mentioned racing to the stores for shopping. The long day remembered in a special way for everyone. A day to be thankful for each other, the happy, healthy children, and the blessings of the day and the year ahead. There are times when being  with family is next to impossible. A phone call keeps everyone close and friends are the blessings of a family extension.

This year, look around your table at all your blessings: family, friends, and even strangers. Share your Thanksgiving memories to others and listen to their memories. We need to be thankful all year-long, but sometimes life gets in the way. This is one day we can STOP…LOOK…LISTEN.

Where’s Thanksgiving? In your heart, and remember to listen to your heartbeats each and every night. This way, you have Thanksgiving all year-long.

Many blessings to all the readers, followers, and everyone new.

Patricia

PATIENCE IN HIDING

Great ImageWe all need, no crave a little patience at times. Do you find your patience hiding from you? Of course, and it is never in the same place. You start on one thing and jump to another. Your toes tap without going anywhere. You need to get a grip on yourself, calm down, and take a deep breath. Why do we get in a position like this? Let’s take a stroll through different paths and see if one fits.

PRESSURE:  Do we realize how many times we put this heavy load upon our own self? We need to be in control of every situation, every second. We cannot relax and let someone else take over, if only for a day. That would be disaster in the making.

IMPATIENCE:  Sometimes, we jump in ahead of the game without listening to the rules. What if the rules have changed. We are now uneasy, fretful, even sweating a little. We try to turn this haste on our part to someone else. Why? Because someone depended upon our ability, and we screwed up.

DISCONTENT:  Do you find yourself dissatisfied, disappointed, unfulfilled, resentful, crabby, and the list goes on. Sit back, feet on the floor, and stare up at the ceiling. Focus. What comes into your mind? Work. Writing, Money, Worry. Loss, and this can be from a friend moving away, a death in the family, a child heading to college, or whatever else you find staring back at you from the ceiling. There, you have named this discontented creature and can find ways to move forward.

PERSEVERANCE:  No matter what the patience problems is, we all have the stamina to continue forward. We just have to dig a little deeper with a bulldog tenacity. We must hang tight and let go. Such an odd saying, but when you dissect these words, we all need a little keep trying and trying thrown at us. We all have the ability to be a little stubborn. This may be the time to dig in your heels and show someone else a little patience.

LENIENCY:  Yes, leniency to yourself and to others. Maybe, another word might fit you better, so try tolerance. All of us have the ability to shine in one way or another. We just do not shine in the same ways. The more you can understand about another person, or even a position, the better you become at understanding yourself. Where did your sense of humor go? The best gift we have is to be able to laugh at ourselves.

A little look backward, forward, and in the moment can relieve some of the impatience we encounter. Most of the time, it is not from someone or something, it is ourselves wanting out of the hole we created. Grab a pretend “key” and unlock the shackles you put on. WHEW!! Feel the patience return and be certain not to ask where it was hiding, you already know.

We have today. Make it a beautiful day and do not hurry. Be Patient.

USE YOUR VOICE

images_063What? I am a writer. There is no singing in my head, unless on the radio. It is my fingers that do the work as they tap on the keyboard.

NO. Your voice is how you write. The attitude you give your characters. They must come alive and give their attitudes to your readers. Some days, their attitude is fantastic, upbeat, positive. Sometimes their attitude stinks. They seem to stay on edge, waiting for something to happen. They are nasty and ugly. Does this sound familiar? Since we are our characters’ voice, we have our good days and our bad days.

Voice is what your reader hears after you give your character a physical description. Does the voice fit the character? Could you pick your character out in a crowd? Your character takes on a living personality by all the actions you let your character show. The voice must fit these actions.

Give yourself a test. Read a page or two of your current work in progress. Do you feel moved by your characters? Now, go to a newspaper or magazine article. Do you hear or feel the voice? No. The writer or journalist must keep their voice quiet. They must present an impersonal objectivity of their work or article.

Aren’t we writers lucky? We get to make our work personal. Our stories show the emotions of each character on good and bad days. This is your voice and it is you, the writer, making each character sound genuine. When you force a voice, you make the character seem false and can turn the reader away.

Keep passion in your voice as you show your characters in so many different situations. They will love you for this. Then you can relax, enjoy the scenery, and who knows, see a different side of your characters.

HAPPY WRITING.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

images_025Have you ever been outside looking in without a door to enter? You can see the party in full swing, the banners on the walls, the food on the buffet, and you can’t get there. All you can do is watch.

Maybe your characters feel the same way. You write a scene and nothing seems to happen. Your female character loves events meant for guys; but she is all female. The other females do not want her around. The males are skeptical of her motives. So she stands outside looking in, but not for long.

What if your character is a male? A ‘not-so-jock’ among all the big jocks. His expertise is in cooking. Yet,when a big party comes along, who gets asked to volunteer for eats? Yeah, the guy with broad shoulders, slim hips, and great hands gets inside, but still he is on the outside.

Your characters do not fit their image or picture. This is great. Yes, great. As a writer, you have the opportunity to capture their uniqueness. The male character goes on to become one of the top-notch chefs and the female character a notorious judge in the judicial system.  Now, who is on the outside looking in? You can write them into so many different scenarios, all unexpected, until they meet and see a little of themselves in each other.

Think of all the pit-falls they can encounter. Do they fit together or battle each moment they are in the same room. What if the “judge” is on the bench when the “chef” is accused of poisoning the food? What if the”chef” uses one of his knives to save the “judge?”

All of us, find ourselves in some position of on the outside looking in. Maybe from childhood or just the past week. Be aware of your thoughts. Where did my notebook go? We see so many daily activities and shove them back. We hear so many neat words, positive and negative, and shrug our shoulders. We are our characters every day and sometimes we do want to be inside and cannot find the door. Use your characters to create these happenings.

Remember, we always want something. We want our characters to do the same. So, show them the way to push the door open. Now, they are on the Inside Looking Out, and ……?

This is a story about life. We strive for something, just out of our reach. What is wrong with this? Nothing. Why not go for the ending, where music fills the air, wine flows freely, and the good times roll?

If we take our characters on this ride, we, as writers, get to go too.

Happy Writing.

DREAMS AND WRITING

An IdeaDreams are the unconsciousness streams in our brain trying to get through to the conscious mind. Dreams are full of odd sights, creative places, people, and are always trying to show us something. As writers, we struggle for new ideas, creative places, and different characters. Stop and listen to your dreams. Better yet, watch your dreams and become part of your dreams.

Some say they never dream. Yeah, right. We all dream, but may not remember any dream at all. This is the ‘never’ dream period. What about the dreams that disappear for a long spell, and then hit like the biggest firework display ever? This is one of the great advantages of a writer. When the ‘show’ starts, the words and pictures fall from all directions. They hit the writer from top to bottom, side to side, and fingers cannot hit the keys fast enough to put everything on paper. Strange words appear in no sequence. All the writer can do is write and forget everything else. Watch for scenes, feelings, and the enormous expansion of words. Dreams have a way of expanding our avenue(s) of thinking and reasoning. Dreams will fulfill the person or page with what they want at that time. This is where the writer creates.

How about dreams with no faces? I’m certain some of you have had these dreams. Maybe their backs are turned away from the dreamer. Is this on purpose, or part of the phenomenon of dreams. Have you ever wakened in a panic when these dreams occur? You are unable to scream, do not know where you are or why. Yet, you can go back to sleep and pick up where the dream left off. As a writer, get your pen and dig in. These are traits for your character(s) you could not have known, unless you dreamed.

Another part of dreams and writing is the laughing dream. You wake up laughing so hard, tears run down your face and your stomach hurts. Maybe the writer needs to heed and remember laughter may not be part of the writing. A murder, a death, a loss, a crime scene is not a laughable entry, but our character(s) may have to laugh to move forward.

Dreams enhance the writer in escapes from reality. When this happens, your character(s) can do anything they way. Sexual fantasies, never quite achieved, can be experienced. As a writer, you can accomplish much from dream escapes. You only have to visit your dreams and let your fingers/pens do the rest. You have plenty of room to utilize all the dream escapes you need.

Dreams can show the writer new roads to take and unlimited possibilities. You can trip into new genres and test the waters with your dreams. Dreams are intuitive and when the writer in you re;leases all pretense, who knows what can happen. Only your writing and dreams can push you into the unknown, and who knows about……..

DREAMS AND WRITING.