Michaeline: Happy Thanksgiving!

Hearty Thanksgiving Greeting 19th century girl in a dress and apron, harvesting very large pumpkins.

Thanksgiving — and writing time — can be whenever you say it is. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

So, today I’m at a community center about an hour away from my home, helping to prepare (and then eat!) a Thanksgiving feast. I’m not the boss; my friend M is in charge of that, and has everything totally organized, from laminated stuffing recipes to the table design chart.

In Japan, Thankgiving Day (US) and Labor Thanksgiving Day are nearly the same time, but they don’t often coincide — and even if we are lucky enough to have them fall on the same day, we have to work on Friday. So, a big Thanksgiving feast is in the cards, but a recovery day is not.

Even when everything is perfect, it’s not. So, we are doing it on a Saturday, near the holiday. About 60 or 60 people come — there are old folks chatting at the tables and little kids crawling around under the tables. . It’s a great chance to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a whole year, and they always have news I haven’t heard. This year, we’ve had four marriages in our group. One year, it was the Year of the Babies, with four babes in arms, passed around so parents could partake of the turkey.

Let me just bludgeon you over the head with a moral for a minute: even when things are perfect, they often are not. Writing is a lot like that, isn’t it? We have grand expectations about how it SHOULD go, but sometimes my best writing takes place when I had no expectations at all.

Like a good feast, writing takes planning. You’ve got to have writing materials, and it helps a lot to have a period of time set aside.

But like a good feast, it doesn’t have to take place at the optimum time — whatever that fantasy describes. It can take place three days early or two days late. It’s still good.

I’m wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving, no matter where you are on the time-space continuum or what you celebrate. There’s a good chance that the time is now.

Michaeline: Prep Work

Two women with plates of red Thanksgiving food. (Maybe apples)

The literary feast takes time and love to prepare properly. It should neither be rushed, nor left to boil away on the backburner. Give thanks to our muses, and let’s get back to work! (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

This week is Thanksgiving in the US. The Canadians are already done and possibly have finished digesting their Thanksgiving feast, and I know the Japanese don’t tend to celebrate Labor Thanksgiving Day with food. It seems to be more about napping. But the Americans are going to be busy with prep work.

The bird should be in the fridge already, slowly thawing. The shopping should be done. Cranberry sauce can be done up three days in advance to allow for the flavors to meld, and pies are tastier when they are at least a day old. Thanksgiving Day will be a blitz of baking, boiling, mashing and mixing, but the smart cooks will be doing what they can now.

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