|My nephew Jake|
Tennessee Christmas MC
Last night we held our annual Lowry Family Gathering, better known as Tennessee Christmas. Since none of my three brothers or my sister lives in Tennessee, the name has no significance other than what we’ve given it. Everyone knows it’s an evening full of laughs and storytelling, and there was no shortage of either last night. We had two “first-timers” and we were missing one.
My sister-in-law, Sally Manning, died October 29 after a twelve-year battle with breast cancer. I kept looking for her smile and found it in the faces of the adult children she left behind. The last two years were difficult for Sal. Knowing she is no longer in pain eases the suffering for those who love and miss her.
My frail, 86 year-old-mother who suffers from dementia, looked beautiful and smiled a lot even though she didn’t recognize her children. She gave everyone a Christmas card with a $10 bill inside. With 13 grandchildren (along with 6 spouses/soon-to-be spouses) & 11 great-grands, those $10 bills add up.
The younger generations span 3 decades and have commandeered the event and put their own spin on the evening. They have kept many of the old traditions, but they’ve added new touches and new rules to the game. One thing is certain. The cousins don’t argue over “what’s fair” like their parents did.
In the coming year, we could lose another family member, but there’s a good chance we’ll add one or two more. At least one wedding is in the works. Another baby, nah, I don’t think so, but with this crew anything is possible.
While listening to the stories, I was reminded of why I write. Growing up, it was the only way I had of telling my stories in a large family full of storytellers. I also recognized the themes in my books: family and belonging. We write what we know, don’t we?
There was no talk of knee injuries or missing toe nails. I come from a family of athletes so that’s part of doing what we do. You get hurt, you get up and go on. It is that can-do spirit that has seen all of us through some pretty difficult situations, but we are a family of faith-filled folks and we celebrate this time of year with heartfelt thanks for the blessed birth of our Lord and Savior.
I hope each of you is blessed with a joyful season and the coming year brings all that you’ve imagined. And now I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Happy writing & running, Kathy
~*~If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- Top 10 Tasks to Get Your Blog Ready for Prime Time http://t.co/znjtLEl7 @JFbookman RT @elizabethscraig
- Don't Give Up Hope When Progress Is Hard to See http://ow.ly/gjXQT @JodyHedlund
- 2013: The Year of the Online Writer http://ow.ly/gjXV2 via @copyblogger "The writer truly can run his or her own show."
- Getting it done — how to write your first novel http://ow.ly/gjY0Q "Hardest 15 mins in writing are the 15 mins before you start writing"
- Idol for YA Romance Writers: New Macmillan Imprint http://ow.ly/gjYjH Participation from the audience will be the major focus
- Three Agents, Changing By Porter Anderson http://ow.ly/gjYsj There’s going to be so much self-publishing you’ll have to invent publishing
- 10 tips for choosing a title http://t.co/Zc0koVUV @duolit @Wiseink @elizabethscraig
- 6 Warning Signs That Your Blog Is Deflating http://ow.ly/gk8fa via @problogger
- 3 Essential Tips to Growing Sales and Service, One Tweet at a Time http://ow.ly/gk8oh Do you have a vanity search alert? Via @problogger
- Mark Coker's 2013 Book Publishing Industry Predictions - Indie Ebook Authors Take Charge http://ow.ly/gk8yv
- Free Books: Just Give it Away? http://ow.ly/gk8As via @selfpubreview "The ebook has altered the way we read, distribute and market books"
- Kobo Becoming a Player for Self-Published Ebook Authors http://ow.ly/gk8G4 via Lindsay Buroker
- Writers Live Everywhere http://ow.ly/gk8Mg via Galleycat Where's the best place to be a writer? LA or NYC?
- The Wrong War Over eBooks: Publishers Vs. Libraries http://ow.ly/gk8UW "For publishers, the library will be the showroom of the future."