Table of Contents

    Musing: Giving Thanks

    For those of us in the United States, Thursday is Thanksgiving Day—time to focus on our blessings and express our gratitude.

    Of course, it’s come to mean so many other things to different people.

    It’s the “official” start of the Christmas season, though, unofficially, the beginning was weeks ago. For us, it’s the day we put up Christmas decorations. I don’t care much for the shopping, but I love the festive lights and displays.

    It’s a day for families to gather and enjoy a traditional shrimp dinner. Oh, wait, that’s just me. Growing up, I ate many of my Thanksgiving meals on Shem Creek just outside of Charleston, so, yes, shrimp and grits sounds about perfect for the holiday. I’ll leave the turkey and ham for the rest of you.

    And it’s certainly a day for the football aficionados. I’m not one of those, but I certainly hope you have a great time if that’s your goal.

    However you spend the day, please take at least a few moments and focus on that original meaning—giving thanks.

    One of the most beneficial habits I’ve developed is taking a few minutes each day to focus on gratitude. It started as a part of my daily journaling, a simple pause in the evening to reflect and highlight something that went well.

    It’s human nature to remember the bad. Regret for the mistake made. Anger for the disrespectful person encountered. Frustration over world events. Social media and our fragmented society accentuate the negative. The good things can often get overwhelmed by the negativity.

    For me, the antidote has been a purposeful moment of positive reflection. With a little focus, I think of the new song that made my toe tap, the joke that elicited a laugh, the greeting from a stranger that induced a smile, or a dog’s antics that warmed my heart. That purposeful moment to record such a moment in my journal helped me.

    We’ve expanded on that daily gratitude tradition. Each evening, as we prepare dinner or sit down in a restaurant or relax with a glass of wine in the backyard, we take a moment to express our gratitude aloud for something that day. It’s turned into a toast, a clinking of glasses to salute each other’s positive thought, a shared moment of thanks.

    The habit has become so ingrained that we both insist on it, regardless of what else is happening around us. A bright spot no matter how rough the day.

    In that spirit, let me take a moment to say thank you, Dear Reader. When I started posting stories and anecdotes in the pre-Facebook days (UseNet and ListServs), I never expected people to read, comment, or engage. It was never meant to be anything more than a little creative release after a long day in a dreary corporate office.

    As those stories attracted more and more readers, I never dared to think of writing and publishing novels. And even if I did, how many people would spend actual money for them?

    Yet, here I sit with three published novels, each selling thousands of copies, and a fourth coming soon (cover reveal next month!).

    For that opportunity, I am grateful. In the spirit of the approaching holiday, let me say it loudly and clearly.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Take a moment this week to look someone in the eye, call them, or write them a letter and say thank you. Share that gratitude. Yes, it will make them feel good, but it will do the same for you as well.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Enjoyed the Story? Try a Short Story

    Secrets, passions, and a reunion that changes everything

    Benjamin Walsh sees his wife, Nicole, walking down a city street. With her busy schedule at work, he doesn’t know how she found time to get away, but tries to catch up to say hello.

    To his surprise, she greets an old friend of hers, Eduardo Rivera. Eduardo left town two decades earlier to pursue a theatrical career in New York. What is he doing back?

    Benjamin is shocked when Eduardo and Nicole embrace. They disappear through a door together. With understanding of what is happening, Benjamin realizes he has only one choice.

    Publication Date: February 6, 2024

    Format: E-book (EPUB, MOBI, PDF)

    Pages: 38

    Price: Pay what you want (Minimum 99¢ to cover processing costs)

    Gratuitous Dog Photo: Busy Little Prince

    A long Royal to-do list

    His Royal Highness Little Prince Typhoon Phooey must have a hectic calendar today based on his serious look and hectic pace. Siblings to pester. Humans to annoy. Paper to be shredded. Such is the life of a busy Little Prince.

    On The Website This Week

    I’ve been quite slack in my fiction reading. I’ve devoured a number of craft and technical books the last few months and have started but not finished a number of novels. Thankfully, I finally broke my dry spell, so I added Black Out by Lisa Unger to my Books Read list.

    Spectacular Vernacular Word of the Week: Sometimes the etymology of a word makes me laugh. This is one of those moments. Pumpernickel.

    U.S. Thanksgiving is this week. Will cranberry sauce be on your table? Read what my readers think about it.

    From one holiday “favorite” to another. Take this month’s survey on fruitcake.

    Until Next Monday

    Have a great week and be thankful for the good things that happen.

    See you next Monday.

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    1. JEAN BURKHARDT on November 21, 2022 at 6:52 am

      What an inspiring post today. I always try to thank people for helping me and that happens a lot lately while shopping. It’s surprising all the young people who offer-makes my heart happy. AS a child the Christmas season always started on Black Friday. NO decorations anywhere in the stores before that. BUT we change with the times. Thanks again for the reminder of being kind during this season and ALWAYS!!!!

      LOVE the little Prince and ALL he has to accomplish during his day!!

    2. HokiePack on November 21, 2022 at 8:42 am

      Thank you for sharing the Herd with us. It is a bright spot in my day and usually one of the first things I read! It makes me chuckle & guarantees a smile on my face.

      Ty is sporting that tail ! Mischief awaits ??

      Happy Thanksgiving ???

    3. Cindy H on November 21, 2022 at 10:20 am

      Thank you for your writing & sharing The Herd & your world. I enjoy reading the posts, the musing & your novels.

    4. Juno's mom on November 21, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      I think we’re all thankful for you and the Herd. Dogs, humor… what better way to start a day.

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