No matter what is happening, I try to stay thankful. Speaking of Thanksgiving … or was I just dreaming of turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy … I have much to be grateful for during the pandemic, even though my mother-in-law’s memorial service must be postponed again—something to do with a sick church employee so the church is quarantined until it can be sanitized. BTW: she did not die of the virus.

As my husband and I drove home from our son’s house yesterday we raved over the delicious lunch our son had served us. I wonder why food is a catalyst to so much happiness. Good food, anyway. After a large meal we remarked that we yearned for something sweet. But our son had no dessert. Fortunately, I’d eaten my chocolate in the morning. Dark chocolate has been proven to have many benefits, when eaten in moderation.

“All things in moderation,” my father used to say. But until doing a little research, never did I dream dark chocolate was considered so nutritious. Best news I’ve heard all week! I had long heard that chocolate can reduce the chance of depression. No wonder I am always in such a good mood. And doctors say it is good for your heart function. Yippee!

Turkey is also a very nutritious food and is supposed to help with sleep, thanks to its tryptophan. Maybe. The jury is still out.

Oops, I realize I’m getting off track here. I had planned to concentrate on being thankful during turbulent times. Although I am a fiction author, I suffer through hardships like everyone else. We have lost several family members this year, including my brother and dear mother-in-law. Okay, I tell myself, hold on to those feelings and use them in your writing. Which I often do when a character is down in the dumps or worse.

This morning as my husband sat reading Stage Fright, he said, “This is really good,” which pleased me no end. I asked him if he thought he knew what was going to happen next, then told him he didn’t. I know, not very nice, but I so enjoy adding the unexpected to my writing. If you have read Stage Fright you know what I mean. Even more so if you have read From Rome with Love.

What is bringing me joy right now? Watching a hummingbird out the window and
admiring the white winter blooming camellias that grow alongside our house. Plus
knowing my neighbor doesn’t mind if I invite myself over for tea with ten minutes warning.

And the trees changing color. Splendid on a sunny cold day. And you, dear reader!

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