One book leads to another...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

One Day That Is Ours



It’s November (already!) and what a great month to be a writer! Any NaNoWriMo participants on board today? If so, I applaud you! It’s also National Memoir Writing Month and Picture Book Month. Yesterday was National Author’s Day, and today is the first Wednesday of the month when IWSG members convene through blogging, Facebook and Twitter to talk about whatever is on our writing minds and agendas. See what we’re all talking about here.

It’s also National Book Awards Month and Paul Beatty just last week became the very first American author to ever win the Man Booker Prize for his satirical novel The Sellout. Woot!  Another first award to an American was the Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. After a two week silence he has at last accepted the award, saying the honor had left him speechless. And Stephen King has (of course) won another Edgar award this year for his short story called (spoiler alert) Obits

In honor of Plan your Epitaph Day, I go only as far as searching for funny ones. Here are a few I found:






There’s one more celebrated day this month that I’d be willing to starve all year for. But first, can you imagine flying across the nation with high expectations of Thanksgiving dinner swirling in your mind as the anticipation of homemade pumpkin pie has you anxiously checking the time till your plane lands – only to find yourself a passenger on the only unsolved skyjacking in American history!  Nicknamed ‘D.B. Cooper’ (for lack of any other information) for whatever reason chose Thanksgiving eve 1971 to successfully carry out the skyjacking and was never seen again. He does, however, share a nod (albeit somewhat dubious) every year on November 24th.

The IWSG Question of the Month is “What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?”  

My take: I think the only thing better than getting lost in a good book is finding yourself while writing one.

Beaver Moon
The Lunar Society, which included Erasmus Darwin, James Watt and Josiah Wedgewood, took its name from the practice of holding monthly meetings on the Monday nearest to the full moon. Members referred to themselves as the Lunatics.  spiritedenterprise.com


Have any experiences in your life ever made their way into one your stories? Could you write your own epitaph? What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? How would you describe a marshmallow to someone who’s never heard of such a thing?


“There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American” ~ Ayn Rand

30 comments:

  1. Love your response to the IWSG monthly question!

    I learned a lot while reading your post. For example, I had no idea that there had been a "skyjacking" on Thanksgiving. And umm … Plan Your Epitaph Day? What a day! I could see how this post could get depressing really fast…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mandy!

      Thanks, it was the first thing that came to mind but there are so many cool aspects of writing;-)

      Ha! That's why I only look for funny ones.

      I tried (unsuccessfully) to comment on your post, so I'll respond here and hope you see it -
      Anais Nin wrote "We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect." That's all we need to do. There will always be readers, and those with whom to share - something for everyone, you know?
      The Pressfield book, while seeming to offer good points; beginning, middle and end does not sound at all inspiring. Read what makes you feel like writing ;-)

      Delete
  2. Hi Diedre - yes a fun post for this month - there's a lot going on ... and I need to check up on Paul Beatty - actually I guess I'll find out from the Week on Friday. I do not wish to plan my epitaph .. plenty of other plans first - take care and all the best - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary!

      Indeed, a great month ;-)

      I could never bring myself to attempt an epitaph. But I did once write a 'Dear John,' letter to my garbage disposal ;-)

      Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Hi, Diedre!

    I am happy to see you again after your longer than usual absence from blogging. I sense that there's a lot going on behind the scenes in your life and that you have been uber busy. I hope you are well and in good spirits.

    D.B. Cooper is one of the characters in Prison Break, a great television series that Mrs. Shady and I have been binge watching on Netflix. I highly recommend it. I well remember when the infamous skyjacking took place because I was a TV news anchor in the fall of '71 and reported the story. It remained one of the hottest news items for weeks on end.

    I agree with Mandy 'n' Justin. Your answer to the question of the month is highly quotable. SDMM was established in 2008 to record and preserve my experiences as a teenager in the 60s. I'm sure if the candidates for president were given the task of writing each other's epitaphs they would simply read: "Here lies..." :) My favorite T-giving dessert is pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

    Thank you for the entertainment, education and inspiration, dear friend Diedre!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shady!

      Good to see you too, my friend! Yes, you might say my day job has incurred an avalanche of good, bad and incredibly interesting events. With perseverance and a little luck I may still be able to hang onto all my marbles;-)

      Prison Break sounds fantastic! That you reported the news of Cooper as an anchor is awesome - I bet it was exciting to be a reporter at that time.

      Eight years of SDMM? What an accomplishment! Congratulations;-)

      I am such a nut for pumpkin pie that I always order two, though most of my family prefers apple. I won't even eat turkey throughout the year so that it tastes all the better on Thanksgiving!

      Delete
  4. "I think the only thing better than getting lost in a good book is finding yourself while writing one." That is truly beautiful. Gosh, you're so wise. I have to agree. That is the best thing that could ever happen to a writer.

    It's great hearing about the writers who won those awards, but when I hear about Stephen King winning another award, it sort of irks me. I feel like authors like him and Nora Roberts should let other authors have the chance of winning. They keep winning awards, and part of me feels as though it's not quite fair anymore. Maybe I'm alone in this thinking, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lady Chrys!

      Good thing you're not here to have seen me sputter from the kindness of your words. Thank you ever so much. I said the first thing that came to me.

      No, my friend, you're not alone. I think a lot of us feel as if we're in a town with "No Vacancy" signs everywhere. But you know, if I had to write to 'win' something I don't think I could write at all - that's not why I do it. However, that's not to say a little notice wouldn't be welcome;-)

      Thanks again, dear Chrys. For you to take time from your impressive schedule is truly heartening.

      Delete
  5. Yes, I've used life experience in some of my novels. Don't think I'd want to write my own epitaph, yet! I LOVE homemade pumpkin pie, and apple pie too. I'd say about a marshmallow that it's white, squooshy-soft, and very sweet! And, though Ayn Rand wrote it, our neighbor to the north does have a Thanksgiving day also! In October!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa!

      What a terrific description of a marshmallow! Just when I didn't think anyone would attempt it ;-)

      I have heard of the Canadian Thanksgiving but don't know the story behind it. Now I'll have to find out ;-)

      Thanks for coming by, Lisa!

      Delete
  6. I'd be beyond disappointed to look forward to Thanksgiving dinner, and then not get it, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leandra!

      Ha! Me too, but I'd be ever so glad to live through that ordeal ;-)

      Delete
  7. Great post, I love the quote that refers to finding yourself in writing a book. That is so true. I did not know I had opinions about so many things until I started writing. I am one of those people who get along with everyone and opinions are not good to have to do that. lol. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann!

      You've touched on a powerful point, as there is certainly freedom through writing;-)

      Delete
  8. I think all of our experiences make it into our stories whether we mean them to do so or not. I was just reflecting over one of my recent short stories and it appears in the fine lines, I accidentally shared common themes to both my past and my fathers. It's so interesting how I didn't mean to from the get go. Happy writing! Yay for thanksgiving and family :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Erika!

      Isn't it amazing how often little pebbles of thought become diamonds on the page?

      Happy writing to you as well!

      Delete
  9. I do sneak in bits and pieces of my life into my stories, but not too much. I don't want to use them all up or become too dependent on them. My favorite Thanksgiving dessert? My mom's cherry pie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tamara!

      You'll never run out of bits and pieces as long as you live and feel and imagine ;-) I think there are bits of us in all we write.
      Cherry pie? I haven't thought of that in ages - now you have me thinking...and salivating!:-)

      Delete
  10. America did good this year.
    Dig Mel Blanc's tombstone.
    And people will wonder what happened to DB Cooper for years...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex!

      We sure did, me too, and I still do!:-)

      Delete
  11. I always forget the D.B. Cooper thing happened at Thanksgiving! At least he was a polite hijacker, if there can be such a thing! He let all the regular passengers off, then just jumped out. It's amazing how many hijackings happened back then. I can't figure out why it took them so long to put measures in place to stop them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie!

      That's right, he was a gentleman ;-)
      And wily as well; managing to retrieve the handwritten note he'd initially handed the attendant. Skyjacking did seem quite popular in those days. I think the delay in preventative measures was due to equipment and production constraints.
      Now if they could just figure out where he went ;-)

      Delete
  12. I remember reading about DB Cooper, quite the story. How can someone just disappear? There have been several events in my life where I used the situation, or the person in one of my stories. Anything as trivial as annoying girls bothering a guy they like to dreams I've had. Even a few of my characters are initially drawn from real life characters. Though by the time of the completed story, nothing is truly very similar to the actual person.
    How about this epitaph - Jeffrey Scott, 'Even when I was wrong, I was write.'
    Well, it's a work in progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeffrey!

      I absolutely love your epitaph!

      Isn't it wonderful that life itself offers such inspiration? I'm pretty sure everything I write is sprinkled with bits of me, though the story belongs to the characters who abscond with my ideas ;-)

      Delete
  13. When I was in college one of the assignments in a poetry writing class I took was writing my own epitaph. It was not pithy, it was somewhat lugubrious, and far too long to fit on a normal sized tombstone.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arlee!

      Lugubrious? You? I've never had that impression of you, though I'd have trouble describing you in only a few words myself! It's part of what makes you so special ;-)
      According to Ripley's, the longest epitaph in granite is 147 words long! You can check it out here: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/40993

      Delete
    2. Now my epitaph doesn't seem so long. I went back in my archives when I remembered that I had quoted my college poetry class epitaph in my own post about epitaphs that can be found here:
      https://tossingitout.blogspot.com/2010/02/some-laughs-and-epitaphs.html

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    3. Oh Lee! I had to catch my breath!
      It ended all too soon. Such a brilliant combination of enchantment and despair artfully tucked in the space of a teardrop!
      Oddly enough, if I had to have a tombstone I would insist on no date of death as I would hope any remembrances would be of my life, and not my death. Just me, I guess ;-)

      Delete
  14. Great post, Diedre. I wish we Brits had Thanksgiving - love Turkey and pie :) I recently wrote an epitaph for one of my characters. I love doing exercises like that to get the creativity going. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicola!

      Then you could have turkey and pie all year long if you like! I just hold off for the special day of family, friends and food.

      I too, enjoy fun exercises. A 'Dear John,' letter to my garbage disposal comes readily to mind ;-)

      Thanks for coming by, Nicola!

      Delete

Any thoughts? Join the conversation, comments welcome here!