Top Ten Tuesday: Free Turkey

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to connect with bloggers who love the books you do.


Today’s theme is a Thanksgiving freebie. (For those unfamiliar with American Thanksgiving dinners, turkey is traditional.  Hence, my Free Turkey title.) I choose to do Top Ten Things I’m Grateful For — with the caveat that they must have some literary connection, no matter how slight.

  • Writers I’ve gotten to know online

SFR BrigadeOne of the best things about the Internet is that you can get to know people from around the world. That includes authors. I’m very grateful that they make themselves available to readers.

Have you gotten to know any writers online?

  • The Martian

Confession time: I’ve seen the movie but not read the book. Nonetheless, I extremely grateful for any science fiction movie whose message is other than “science is bad, science is dangerous.”

That’s what much non-genre SF comes down to. Science opens Pandora’s Box.  You can’t trust it, or genetically modified foods, or chemistry, or technology.  Anything not man-made is inherently bad. People with iPhones and high-speed Internet often love the anti-science message. But The Martian, for all its faults (primarily wooden characters with the depth of a piece of cellophane), glorifies what science can accomplish. Bravo!

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment of The Martian’s characters?

  • My dog, Twiggles

Smaller Judi-Twiggles at Hoffman Park d 10-01-14We got our previous dog not from a shelter, but from Hell. Just kidding, Laddie! Seriously, though, that little Maltese was a barky, bitey, bundle of love who passed away last year.  But our new dog, Twiggles, is actually friendly.  Visitors can enter my house without getting barked at or bitten. What a concept!

What’s the literary connection, you ask? I’ve written Twiggles into my most recent manuscript, entitled Newborn, which is almost ready to start the rejection circuit.

Do you have a pet you’re thankful for?


Instead of the latest hot releases, I’m more likely to read a book published ten, twenty, or a hundred years ago. Two good sources of older books are the library and used bookstores … but neither provide any income for hardworking authors. And I think it’s vitally important to support writers (being one myself!).

Amazon makes all sorts of books available that I’d have a devil of a time finding any other way. Thank, you Amazon.

What’s your favorite source of books?

  • Two Thanksgiving Days this year

Bookstores - contestdThree of my four children have relocated to Canada, which celebrates Thanksgiving in October, around Columbus Day. That makes sense if you think about it; the holiday started as a harvest festival, and crops are harvested early in Canada.

This year, sons 1 and 3 took off the October Thanksgiving week to visit Portland, a city we all love.  My wife and I went to Portland and celebrated Thanksgiving with them — definitely something to be grateful for. And while I was there, I stocked up on books at Powell’s Books, the USA’s largest independent bookstore.

What’s your favorite city to visit?

  • NaNoWriMo

nano2I’m grateful for the selfless folks who created and run National Novel Writing Month. If you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it’s when thousands of people around the world each try to 50,000 words in the month of November.  When I first heard about it, I thought there was no way I could write than many words in a month.  Then I tried it and discovered that I could. So thank you, folks at NaNoWriMo!

Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo? Ever tried to write a book?

 Be sure to check out other posts about Top Ten Tuesday.



  1. I think you were very accurate about the Martian. My TTT

  2. Your dog is adorable, great post! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday

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