Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Thanksgiving”

Timely Trials


November is a conundrum, being a month that offers a mixture of pleasantries and of trauma.

First off, how can one hour wreak absolute havoc? The bonus of getting extra sleep when setting the clock back one hour quickly becomes a bad trade off since my body clock doesn’t easily adjust.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t need to set an alarm clock. No matter when I go to bed I wake up at 5 am. Sleeping in is an ideal, not a reality. DST now creates the dilemma of the time read on my bedside table blaring “4 am” in red LED numerals. Gah.

It takes until spring, about the time we spring forward, that my body clock reconciles the hour difference.

Another November trial is PTC—Parent Teacher Conferences. Our district provides two nights (after working a full day) where teachers are available to parents. As much as I enjoy meeting parents, it’s a tough schedule, especially since that hour sleep deprivation is amplified by a week. I hope parents don’t think their student’s teacher is a zombie because after a week of disturbed sleep cycle I am definitely feeling zombi-ish.

Fortunately, the long two days trades out nicely as it applies to two days off which coincides with Thanksgiving week. Having a week off after PTC while dealing with DST having graded a stack of SPRPs (Senior Project Research Papers) is definitely appreciated.

And I do enjoy thanksgiving. No holiday shopping hype. No endless rounds of obligatory events to attend. No gifts to stress about. Nope. Food, friends, family. Now, that’s what I call a grand holiday.

One another aspect of November that is irksome is the night factor. Having the sunset earlier and earlier each night means driving home in the dark which initiates the feeling I’m working the swing swift in the coal mines. After working inside all day stepping outside into the light is a necessity. Good thing D3 is inexpensive and I thank whomever for inventing the Happy Light.

perpetuating a perceived reality

November also begins the season which features that four letter word, and its presence stays among us much too long in the area of which I call home. Shiver, shudder, and grumble.

So—November is a bit of a trial, yet knowing there is a pumpkin pie waiting for me at the end of the month makes losing sleep, grading papers, working two twelve hour days, and dealing with that which shall not be named, a bit easier to swallow.

Doodle-Doo, A Contest for You


image:mikeallegra.com

The above is Mike Allegra and he is a children’s writer.  Yes, he is a wild and crazy guy.  Kind of Steve Martin and kind of Billy Crystal– entertaining ,witty and the author of :

 Which is about how one lady, namely Sarah Hale, got Thanksgiving on the calendar as a national holiday.  Even if you aren’t into picture books, you should stop by and say “hi” to Mike. For one, he is very friendly and will say “hi” back.  For another, he tells great stories–they are hilarious more times than not.  And the best reason is right now he is offering a free personal doodle for some lucky winner.  Check out the details here.

for YOU

NaNo oh oh


November is such an incredibly packed month:

  • post first quarter grades
  • plan second quarter lessons
  • parent teacher conferences
  • vote when applicable
  • Thanksgiving
  • No Shave November

oh oh somewhere in there is NaNoWriMo

If I were truly a dedicated NaNoian this should have been my first NaNo post. Well, not wanting to be too crazy this year, I’ve decided not to NaNo in 2013. I have previously NaNoed and have the completion certificate hanging on the wall. I even have bounced the manuscript out to a couple of editors and agents.

This year, however, instead of something new I shall continue with my vow of completion commitment. No more new starts until finishing half-started projects–umm, those of merit.  Some projects should keep on hibernating for both our sakes.

Yes, I am intent on finishing the middle grade historical novel I’ve been working on for the last ten years. I know, that’s an awfully long time, especially when in just a month’s time I cranked out a YA novel a couple of years. Contemporary fiction , I’ve discovered, is so much easier than writing  middle reader historical fiction. researching for a historical novel is one big onion of peel and write. As soon as I peel back one layer of information another layer is revealed.  Yes, peeling historical onions do make me cry. Getting facts straight, setting up proper verisimilitude, along with creating catchy characters, scintillating setting, and convincing complications, conflict, and climax is tough stuff. At least for me. I’m determined to finish this odyssey of a pioneer tale I started, especially when I’ve had an agent express interest.

Sooo, Na No not now, but thanks for the invite. This year my RSVP box is checked “next year, perhaps.”

Trying the Tryptophan Diet


www.snopes.com

http://www.snopes.com (Photo credit: biggraham)

Post turkey day and after storing the leftovers in the fridg no one better better say, “Is there anything to eat?” I am learning that less is more as we get older.  By making less to eat at Thanksgiving there is more satisfaction and much more contentment.  It’s tradition to make my apple-custard pie and pumpkin pie. Who is the one eating it? Moi. The scale is snickering at how much weight I have regained since Wednesday.  Phooey.  The tryptophan diet isn’t for me, after all.

You see turkey contains tryptophan, which is what makes us sleepy after the big T-Day meal.  However, according to www.snopes.com that isn’t entirely true.  I was hoping if I ate enough turkey I would fall into a long, deep sleep and when I woke up the pie, mashed potato casserole, stuffing and all the other holiday caloric wonderments would be consumed so I wouldn’t eat them. However, I have learned that pumpkin pie is healthy for you.  Good.  Now, I don’t feel so guilty for having it for breakfast.  Wait–doesn’t healthy mean low calorie?

On a more positive note of gain is my NaNo novel.  I am now at 44,000 words with a week to go.  I think I’m going to make it.  Vera needs to get serious and start her own NaNo novel instead of procrastinating and watching movies with Simone.

I so enjoyed having Friday off; it’s like having a double Saturday.  Instead of Black Friday shopping I picked up two more books at the library and a stack of movies.  No lesson planning tonight.  Just my tryptophan hangover and a relaxing evening ahead.

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pumpkin_Pie.jpg Scrumptious and good for you! Pumpkin pie is loaded with a healthful phytonutrient called beta-carotene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Guinea) Pigging Out on Turkey Day


English: Saying grace before carving the turke...

English: Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m alone with my pie baking and other preparations for T-day.  I’ve cleaned the house, rearranged furniture, and managed to plunk down another NaNoWriMo post.  My MEPA has proven his value once again by doing the honors of entertaining the tribe so I can cook, bake, and relax a tad before celebrating our favorite holiday with our loved ones.  I really need to see about giving him a bonus.  For now he works for Bit-a-Honey and an ocassional dinner out.  I’ve got a good thing going for sure.

My NaNo protag is babysitting the neighbor’s guinea pig over the long weekend.  Vera is not sure what her family is doing for Thanksgiving.  It’s usually at her Grandmother’s, but she’s sure something is up.  I really don’t know what’s going on either.  Somehow I type and the story begins spilling out.  I don’t always know what direction it’s going to go in.  NaNo-ing is a very different way to write: don’t plot, don’t plan, just write.  We’ll all find out tomorrow what Vera ended up doing for T-day.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving–my favorite holiday, all in all.  I think I like it better than my birthday, and that’s saying something.

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