Ah, November. Usually my favorite month. Thanksgiving, my wedding anniversary, cool weather. But thus far it has been so busy I haven’t been able to slow down and enjoy it. On the 1st, my husband Don had a minor operation on his esophagus. He had something called a “Zinker’s diverticula” which was excised. It went well and we’re home now. I slept on a recliner in his hospital room while he was there. It was like sleeping on a speed bump in the middle of the road. He’s on liquids for a week and mush for another couple of weeks. For those of you Dear Readers who have not been following hubby’s continuing health saga, this is, like, the umpteenth operation or procedure requiring hospitalization that he has had to endure over the past nine years. Check out my entries on this blog for early 2009 and early 2012 if you want to drag through the whole sad story again.
Otherwise, I’m in the midst of facilitating a ten-week writing workshop with a bunch of retired professors from the Emeritus College at Arizona State University. This has been an experience, I must say. I’ve taught many a workshop and short course in my time, but mostly they have been for beginners, aspiring writers, or even for experienced authors who are looking to refresh their skills
These emeritus professors are quite the group. The youngest is probably between sixty and sixty-five, and the oldest is at least eighty. They are all scientists–physicists, mathematicians, an astrophysicist, and a geologist. They are all authors of multiple books, essays, studies, articles. These are people who know their way around a piece of scholarly writing. I feared at first that I’d have to deal with some big egos, and in truth none of these people suffer from low self-esteem (for good reason). Yet all of them want to learn how to write effective fiction and are eager to hear what I have to say. And they all want homework at the end of each class!
The workshop ends mid-November. The professors have shared several stories and exercises by now, and really, all of them are quite good. They know their grammar and spelling, they all have an impressive vocabulary, and they all know how to take criticism. I’m wondering if I would be having such a positive experience if the class were full of retired English and literature professors. (I’m not wondering too hard. The answer is not on your life.)
My new book, Return of the Raven Mocker, will be out in a mere two months, and I fear I have not yet done much to set up a promotional program. I’d love to travel back to the Homeland (Oklahoma) sometime next year, but I don’t know when it will be. Early in the year would be best, but I may have to wait until September for the Rose State Writers’ Conference. We shall see.
This month’s recipe is my grandmother Lois Bourland’s molasses pie. If you are looking for something different, and easy to add to your Thanksgiving table this year, look no further than this wonderful old American country pie. Click here, or on Recipes above. Once you get to the recipes page, scroll on down for many other Thanksgiving possibilities, including recipes for an entire old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner.