Are You a Neal Page or a Del Griffith?

Enjoying the 1987 John Hughes classic Trains, Planes and Automobiles is a tradition in my house on Thanksgiving week. Uptight Neal Page (Steve Martin) is trying to get home to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving. The worst happens when his flight is rerouted to Kansas and he is forced to travel with chatty shower curtain salesman, Del Griffith (John Candy). Things go from bad to worse after the duo is robbed while sharing an awkward (but funny) night in a motel.

I belly laugh during this movie every year! Having spent over fifteen years traveling for work, I recognize both characters from my own experiences. If I’m being honest, I relate with control freak Neal. I’ve learned to travel light. The more stuff you bring, the more stuff you must carry through airports. BUT – I think all of us would like to be a little more like Del. He has a jovial charm and a kind heart.

So which kind of Holiday Traveler are you?

Your suitcase and belongings are:

A – Minimal, tidy, and individually wrapped like string cheese

B – Thrown into your bag like last week’s laundry

During the flight to your holiday destination, you:

A – Put your headphones on, lean back and pretend to be asleep like an antisocial hermit

B – Wake up headphones hermit and ask him all about his life whilst you are eating the sandwich you bought at the airport

After One Night’s Stay, your Hotel/ Motel Room looks like:

A – Nobody slept in the bed or unpacked their things. Housekeeping wonders if you’re a spy

B – A crime scene! All your stuff is scattered across every square inch of flat surface


If you chose mostly “A’s” then you are a Neal Page. Welcome to the Club, friend!

If you chose mostly “B’s” then you are a Del Griffith. I may not want to travel with you, but I want to be your friend!

If you ended up with an even “A” and “B” result, then Gobble, Gobble. Take it again because something went wrong!


Top Five Reasons Indie Authors Have to Be Grateful

Thanksgiving, Give ThanksThe Publishing Industry is a harsh place to build your dreams – especially if you’re an Independent Author. Writing the book is a lonely business. Pouring over all those red marks of grammar death from the editor is painful. Marketing the book once published is a nerve-wracking affair. Ask any Indie Author, and they will tell you all the heartaches are worth it. Why? We are creating our art.

In this season of thanksgiving, I wanted to reflect and remind Creatives about the good things.

Top Five Things Indie Authors Are Grateful for This Season

  1. Technology: Thank you, Internet! Technology has revolutionized the way we read with ebook and audio formats
  2. Book Distributors: Amazon, Ingram, Smashwords, and others have made it possible for more authors to publish their own work to a global audience
  3. Independent Bookstores: No offense to big book chains like Barnes and Noble, but I want to give a special shout out to my local indie bookstores. They love supporting local authors. These wonderful folks host book signings and other author events to connect local authors with the community
  4. Goodreads and other book sites: These sites offer opportunities for authors to connect virtually with their readers. And for readers to connect with other readers
  5. READERS: We are grateful to all those readers who support Indie Authors by buying and reading our books, leaving reviews and spreading the word

May your celebrations be full of food, fun, and family. Happy Thanksgiving


Being Thankful for the Now

Our lives are busy. We hustle to make a buck. Strive to climb the career ladder faster than our parents once did. And those dreams won’t chase themselves. One misstep and they may escape into the clouds, out of our reach.

This week as we’re hurrying to cook our Turkey with all the trimmings, it may be time to stop for one hot second. Pour a glass of wine and just sit still. Observe your life. What is the one positive constant you can count on to get you through the crazy days? Hold on to whatever it is. Keep it close to your heart. Know all the negative litter filling your life doesn’t matter.

From Me and Mine to You and Yours…Happy Thanksgiving

@Karen Roach – Stock.Adobe.Com

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving


On this day of abundance, I want to give my surplus of joy to those who are struggling.

On this day of giving, I want to send my wishes of peace and comfort to those who have known terror.

On this day of fellowship, I want to offer my support to those who stand in the storm of uncertainty.

Humanity will endure, because Hope endures.


Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a free advanced copy

November 11th thru December 4th

The Lords of Valdeon Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wishing You a Wonderful Thanksgiving Week



Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go…or to a beach in Mexico. One of my friends is taking his family there this week. I was not invited. That’s cool. We’re good…sniff.  All kidding aside, there is no place I’d rather be than in Colorado during the holidays. Skiing in the mountains. Festivals and performing arts in town. We know how to have fun here.

Whether you’re traveling to visit the special folks in your life OR you’re hanging out at home, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be Safe!

Coming in December

Each Fall I put out a newsletter promoting new releases by my talented author friends. I’m running very late this year (hanging head in shame). Join my friends and I next month here on the blog. There will be books from several different genres. Each of them are excellent stocking stuffers for those book lovers in your life.


C.R. Richards

Gluten Free Thanksgiving: This Pie Crust Tastes Like Feet

I hate pumpkin pie. Always have. Sure there are GF pie crusts out there, but it’s still pumpkin pie. Why not try something new with pumpkin this year? Here are two recipes I’ve tried and loved.

Pumpkin Mousse (Credit goes to Dave Lieberman and Food Network. Note: I added the GF and Organic bits)

1 (15 ounce) can of organic pumpkin

3 cups organic heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (You can get honest to goodness GF/organic spice from Whole Foods or Sprouts)

1 tablespoon Vanilla (Vanilla extract is not gluten free. There is a substitute in the baking supply section of Whole Foods or Sprouts)

Ginger Snaps for garnish – You can get GF Ginger Snaps, but I don’t bother. The Mousse is awesome without them.

Combine pumpkin, 1 cup cream, sugar and spice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool Fully.

Whip remaining heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks and fold into cooled pumpkin mixture. Pour into a serving dish and crumble the cookies over the top before serving.


Diabetic Friendly Orange-Pumpkin Custards (Credit goes to Diabetic Living – Thanksgiving Favorites Edition)

2 Tbsp Orange Juice

1 tsp GF vanilla

1/4 cup raisins (I use golden raisins)

1 (15 ounce) can organic pumpkin

2/3 cup evaporated fat-free milk

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup egg beaters

1 tsp organic/GF pumpkin pie spice *see comments above

1/3 cup rolled GF oats *You can find these at the organic foods store

2 tbsp packed brown sugar

2 tsp melted butter

Heat orange juice and vanilla until hot (do not boil). Add raisins. Cool. Preheat oven to 375 and prepare custard dishes (or ramekins) with cooking spray. Place dishes in shallow baking pan. Combine canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar and egg beaters in mixing bowl. Stir in raisin mix. Spoon into dishes.

Combine rolled oats and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir in butter. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture in dishes. Bake 30 minutes or until knife in center comes out clean. Serve warm.