Writerly Settling ,Exploring, and Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 28, 2013
The Otto Family - (Photo by Olivia Brey of Oh! Photography)
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! I was tickled pink to find out I was writing the blog for such a fantastic day; so thank you WOW! for this opportunity! Before I get down to business, I want to tell you a bit about Thanksgiving on our farm. The turkey is stuffed with my mother-in-law's recipe that includes pork raised right here. We have two meats each year and our ham is also raised right here. The potatoes were grown just a few yards from the front door (right next to the clothesline) and the milk in those potatoes is raw from the bulk tank and the eggs in the corn casserole are only hours old. I am thankful for everything that has been provided for us and most of all I am thankful for the family that fills the rooms of our house making It a home.

I was busy preparing for tomorrow’s celebration and as I stood chopping celery and onions, our older children (5 and 6) were discussing the play they participated in at school earlier in the day. The teacher had separated the classes into groups to demonstrate the history of Thanksgiving. My son (5) was in the group of Explorers and my daughter (6) was a Settler. It was exciting to hear the discussion of who did what and their banter inspired today’s post; another thing I am most thankful for – so enjoy!

As writers, we have an opportunity to do our own settling and exploring. It is quite different from the pilgrims during the harvest of 1621…or is it? The Puritans were preparing for winter; they were busy gathering anything they could find, including supplies and food. The Explorers were learning about their new surroundings in Cape Cod and were trying to familiarize themselves with the native plants and animals. Writers are generally found behind a computer as opposed to out in the woods, but aren’t we still gathering information and ideas as well as tools of the trade? Don’t we familiarize ourselves with what is hot and what is not in the writerly world?

I feel I am constantly settling and exploring; asking for feedback and ideas while reading the work of others as I attempt to improve my own story. I want to know what has worked for other authors and what has not. It is my hope to learn from their experience to make my own pilgrimage a success. I mean no disrespect when comparing my writing journey to that of the pilgrims. A pilgrim by definition is someone who travels to a sacred place for religious reasons. I am not physically going anywhere, but my mind and heart travel each time I write and as the words flow to the paper, I feel calm and peaceful. That said, writing is definitely a pilgrimage for me.

Today as I sit down with family and friends and we bow our heads to pray I will be thinking of each of you who I am also thankful for. Thank you to the publishers who have patiently explained things to me. Thank you to my writers group for your encouragement, the laughter, and the awesome snacks! Thank you to the writers who allow me to read and review your works. Thank you to the bloggers who participate enthusiastically in the WOW! Blog Tours. Thank you to Angela and Jodi at WOW! for taking a chance on me. Thank you to each person who reads, comments, and encourages me and others along the way. Thank you to my husband who is my biggest fan. You are all part of my pilgrimage and I couldn’t imagine settling and exploring without you by my side.

If you took the time to read this today, please leave a comment and answer one or all of these questions:

1)      What is a favorite Thanksgiving tradition for you and your family?

2)      How does reading or writing play a role in your life’s journey?

3)      What or Whom are you thankful for today?

Get Involved! (Remember what I said about being thankful for bloggers?) If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com.

Crystal is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 6, Andre 5, Breccan 9 weeks), three dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at: http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/


Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--My favorite tradition on this holiday is this: everyone at the table takes a turn telling what they're most thankful for.

Reading novels helps me absorb--like a sponge--the craft of experienced writers. Writing helps me sort out my life--I'm living life twice (as Donald Murray/Graves said).

I'm thankful for my family, my friends, and my writing critique group (who are also my friends).

Happy Thanksgiving, Crystal.

Crystal Otto said...


I absolutely LOVE that tradition - what a great idea! You'll have to let us know if there are any surprises this year (I always think it's fun when you find out about an engagement, new baby, new house, etc... gathered around the Thanksgiving table). So keep us posted!

I'm so thankful for women like yourself who have welcomed me to WOW!


Margo Dill said...

I decided we are starting a new tradition in my house today. :) After dinner, no one is napping. No one is watching TV--we are going to play games--one that each person picks. Of course, that means that we are starting with My Little Pony Memory Game. . .but that's okay. I'm thankful that I have someone in my life who loves My Little Pony. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

OzarksUSA said...

I am most thankful for my wonderful husband and the food on my table. Happy Thanksgiving!

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