Giving Thanks

 

Exit polling done during last week’s election shows widespread discouragement and dissatisfaction. And yes, I understand that the economic heyday of the past hasn’t returned. But there’s still much to be grateful for. This is one of the things for which I fault our leaders. Politicians paint a dismal picture of anything and everything as it suits their own goals. As we approach Thanksgiving, though, let’s consider the glass half full. Here are a few ways I do this.

I have a title!

Blueprints

Book titles arrive different ways. Some crop up at the get-go, even before I start writing a book. Others come when my publisher reads the opening of the book and a word or phrase pops up that is perfect. Others take longer to find.

My preference? I like having a title early on. It helps me focus.

Let’s Talk Eggs

iStock_000033837950Small Do you eat ‘em? Not so long ago, we were told to limit our intake. Too much cholesterol, they said! Not healthy, they said! But now, recent studies are showing that the cholesterol in eggs isn’t all bad.

Take a look at this article.  Interesting, huh? Clearly, you should eat eggs in moderation, just like you do any other food. Three for breakfast, three for lunch, and three for dinner might not be so good. But one or two a day? That may be okay.

Mockingbirds

Just finished my next book! I’ve been working on this baby for more than a year, and that doesn’t count the months before I started the actual writing, when I focused on research. This book – no title yet – demanded a lot of research. I had to learn about the tools a carpenter would keep in her truck, the type of projects she would do, which ones she would like and which ones not, what her hands would look like at the end of the day. I had to learn about an architect’s road to licensure, what her office would look like, and how she might approach a project. I had to learn how a locally-produced, home-renovation tv show might be taped, the prep work that would go into it, and the people who would be on the set. I’m clearly summarizing it for you, but you get my drift.

Novel salad

iStock_000014728405Small

There will be six of us for dinner Saturday night, including a couple of really good cooks, meaning that if I try to compete, I fail.  So what to serve?   I may write good books, but a gourmet cook I am not.

My gut tells me that it’s best to go with simple and fresh, which, this time of year in the Northeast, means a big multi-ingredient salad.  Fresh veggies and fruit, lettuce from the garden, sweet corn … they’re my key ingredients. Hey, don’t yawn. Salad may be healthy, but it doesn’t have to be boring.

My Maine Childhood

Maine lake camp

I’m a Maine-summer girl. Some of my earliest memories are from visiting my dad’s sister’s place on Lake Sebago or my mom’s father’s cooperage in Portland. Then my mother died, and I was sent away to camp.  If that sounds cruel, listen up.

Notice any changes?

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

The new, gorgeous, trade paperback edition of Sweet Salt Air is now on sale! It’s the second generation, so to speak, which means it’s been improved upon. The changes are subtle. You may not notice them unless you study both editions side by side. I’m telling you about the changes here, so that you’ll know this: I listen when you speak.

Are you a matchmaker?

Have you ever played matchmaker and fixed up at friend?  Ever been fixed up yourself, as in, agreed to a totally blind date on the say-so of someone else playing matchmaker?

Matchmaking fascinates me.  No, I’ve never done it – have never known two people who are available at the same time and might actually like each other – but I do love stories of weddings from fix-ups and the pride that the matchmaker feels.

What does art do for you?

My husband and I recently visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, to see an exhibit of Impressionist art.  I’ve always adored Impressionism, but I wasn’t prepared for what I found – and I’m not talking about the art itself, though that was breathtaking.  I’m talking about my reaction to it.

I was enchanted, warmed, and enriched.  I was awed by the skill of these artists.  But what I loved most, truly, was being swept away to another place and time.  With once glance, I was in the French countryside or on the coast.  I was taking shelter from a storm or watching a regatta.  I was standing in high grass in my ankle-length skirt, holding a parasol, breathing in the sweet salt air of the sea.

How many tweets make up a book?

 

texting all the time

What are people doing with their noses in smartphones all the time?  The writer in me wonders this a lot.  What are they reading?  Texts from friends?  Facebook posts?  Work email?  Is it possible, in this golden era of social media, that not being ‘social’ – as in, waiting in line at Starbucks without monitoring a device – is so uncomfortable for some people that they pretend to be communicating with the world to make themselves feel loved?