Thanksgiving Misgivings

I don't mean to be a downer, but I have some issues with the holiday we're about to celebrate.

On the positive side, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for family and friends to gather together, whether traveling great distances or driving just across town.

Thanksgiving inspires many to donate to food drives, help out at soup kitchens, or reach out to those who are alone on the holiday. It promotes gratitude and appreciation for the positive things in our lives.

Yet, there are darker aspects of this holiday:

The Season of Giving

Stella sat on the floor, her back propped against the leather couch, a sea of color spread around her. Rolls of wrapping paper were stacked to the left, scissors and tape to the right. Papery department store bags stood tall, their curved handles defying gravity, while glossy plastic bags slumped in slippery piles by their sides.

Stella's gaze roved slowly over the array of colorful bags, trying to remember what was inside each one. Carols played from through the phone at her side, muffling the sound of snoring coming from the bedroom down the hall.

5 Tips to Meet Your Writing Deadlines

There's a rhythm to writing. A vibe. A flow. An energy. Sometimes you are in the zone: effort gives way to ease and the words pour from your fingers onto the page. But then there are the other days. The times when stringing together a single sentence feels like scaling a sheer wall of slate.

Unfortunately, deadlines don't wait for inspiration to strike. When you are being paid to deliver, you have to work within your limits and make the most of the time you have available. Here are five tips that may help you out:

Popular Movies, Unusable Phrases

Movies often produce iconic moments with memorable lines. Many of these movie quotes are meant to be catchphrases. "May the force be with you." "Run, Forrest, run!" "To infinity... and beyond!" They become a rallying cry for fans, and you wouldn't use them in your own writing unless you were trying to reference the film franchise.

But then there are other iconic movie lines. The innocuous phrases that you may have easily used in everyday writing before the movie came along. The phrases that you still catch yourself writing, before realizing that they're now too much of a distraction.

What We Take For Granted, But Cannot Live Without

We live in a fast-paced society, where long hours and rapid results are rewarded. We appreciate the results of our efforts, the money to buy food, clothes, cars, homes, or vacations. But what about the rewards we overlook?

Do we truly appreciate those things in our lives that we cannot live without? How do we know?