Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2 1/2 Things Worth Driving 28 Hours For

(bad grammarly title & all)

How was your Thanksgiving?

Ours? Six people squashed in a minivan for 14 hours each way to visit the relatives. Realizing two hours in that the cigarette lighter doesn’t work so we can’t plug in the computer or the portable dvd player (it has the battery life of a peanut).

28 hours, 4 children, no discernable means of entertainment. Let that sink in for a minute. Was it worth it to spend 72 hours with the people we love? Definitely.

Here are two and a half reasons why:

#1 Best Thanksgiving Speech Ever

You’ve heard them, so have I - the speeches about being thankful, maybe something about pilgrims, loving your family, blah, blah, blah. If the talking goes on too long we wonder if we’ll drown from salivating over the food piled before us. Well, this year was a little different. My amazing chef bro-in-law had lovingly brined and smoked a massive turkey. It's crisp-juicy presence drew us near, but before we dug in, we learned that my little nephew had something to say.


He stood up and proceeded to give a Thanksgiving speech - from the turkey’s point of view. Why are we murdering turkeys, ripping wives from their husbands, and leaving poor orphaned turkey children running around the countryside cold and homeless? The speech came complete with visual aids done in crayon. I was left dumbfounded, staring at my plate. Should I contribute to the PTSD turkey fund? Should I go vegan? Meanwhile my nephew had heaped his plate high and was munching guiltlessly away – on turkey.

It was awesome.

#2 Black Friday Shopping on Thursday

It’s a ritual I married into. Thou shalt go Black Friday shopping with the girls. This year’s rush started Thursday at 9pm hovering protectively over a pile of $5 Walmart boy pajammies for an entire hour until the sale actually started. I texted my sister (who has yet to be indoctrinated into the practice) a blow by blow as the night progressed. Midnight: Target. 4am: craft store. The best part? The two hour waits in between the ten minutes of store madness, standing out in the freezing cold, laughing and chatting and teeth-chattering with my sister-in-laws.

# 1/2 The Confession

Not so many people know I write. Okay, almost no one does – did. My dear husband suggested I let my teen nieces (who love to read and write stories) take a look at my YA novel. A critique by my target audience? It seemed like a good idea right up until my dh pried the manuscript out of my cold, dead-from-fear hands and gave it to them.

This is what it felt like:

It’s great for kids to write. It’s great for teens. But me? A grown up? That manuscript was the trash can lid around my neck. No denying who’s a little wacko now (okay, that was probably never really in question).

This is what I expected to hear: Who, who left that mess of words on these pages? You Tank, uh, Sue? You’re supposed to be the adult here. You’re supposed to know better than to leave metaphors and similes strewn around like yesterday’s garbage. You’re lucky we don’t laugh you out of here and all 14 hours back to your house.

But what I got was ‘When can you send more?’ and ‘I couldn’t put it down.’ And I don’t think they were just saying it. At least I hope not.

Maybe sticking your neck out isn’t so bad.

Unless you’re a turkey.

~ Susan


  1. Sounds like a fun Thanksgiving. Love your nephew's speech, priceless.

    I think anytime readers ask for more, they aren't just being nice. It's like in cooking. When they just say "That was good" you never know if they are just being nice, but when they go back for seconds, you know they liked it. :)

  2. I think sharing your writing to your family (especially in-laws) is a huge step in making your dreams become reality. It's like how when you write a goal down it becomes more real, and the goal is more likely to happen.

    Everything I've read of yours, from first 13s to this blog post, have been awesome, interesting and full of the kind of voice I can't get enough of. I'm not surprised that they loved it.

  3. I second Sheena - not surprised they loved it, given what I've seen of your writing, and I think coming out of the closet is part of owning your identity as a writer. And I have to second MaryAnn, too. I don't think people ask for more unless they really like it. I know I never do unless I mean it.

    Sounds like a really fun Thanksgiving! Congratulations on taking that step and getting some positive feedback. That's so exciting :D


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