November 18, 2011

Guess Who’s Coming To My Thanksgiving Dinner

As you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, think about this: If you could invite five people to Thanksgiving dinner who have influenced you as a writer, who would they be and why would you choose them as your dinner guests?

Here’s my list:

1. God. I can’t picture what God might look like sitting at the dinner table. Can you? He is the One who most greatly influenced me as a writer. Through Him, I have landed some terrific writing assignments that made me dig deep into His Word and build faith, not only in Him, but also in my writing skills. God would sit at the head of my table so that I could honor Him and soak up whatever wise words He chose to share with me.

2. Mom. My mother read to me from the day I was born and instilled in me a great love for words. She often took me to the library to check out picture books, and then when I was older, we enjoyed reading and discussing chapter books together. Mom wrote poetry, and she encouraged me to write and offered valuable critique. I’m grateful that she lived long enough to see my first book in print. I’d love to have her at my Thanksgiving table so I could receive one of her big, warm hugs and hear her say again, “I’m so proud of you.”

3. David Grayson, also known as Ray Stannard Baker. His books are not well known, but I have fallen in love with his series of books about rural living in America. I enjoy his folksy writing style and his rich descriptions of life at the turn of the 20th Century. About Thanksgiving, Grayson said:

“Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.”

I would welcome him at my dinner table to discuss his writing style and hear more of his adventures living the simple life.

4. Erma Bombeck. I want a little humor at my Thanksgiving table, and who better to provide it than Erma Bombeck? Erma and I share a dry sense of humor, and I’ve learned from her writing that humor, well placed and gentle, can lighten a topic that readers might otherwise find dull, dry or even disturbing. What fun it would be to watch her draw out God’s sense of humor. Can you imagine: “Hey God, don’t be shy asking for more. I came from a house where gravy was a beverage.”

5. Mrs. Hazelton. Jean Hazelton was my high school English teacher and the first teacher to notice that I had some writing talent. I felt embarrassed when she read to the class a humorous essay I wrote about an orchestra concert. Afterward, she told me that I should consider a career in journalism. I didn’t follow her advice, but now, years later, I wish that I had. It took me a while to realize that Mrs. Hazelton knew what she was talking about. I’d like to have her as my dinner guest so that I could thank her and she could say, “Jeannie, I told you so!”

So there you have it, my five favored guests. Now it’s your turn. Whom would you invite to Thanksgiving dinner?


Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful list! I would enjoy inviting Jesus. I would also love to have my Mom and sister Wendy, as both passed away in 2010. I would like to have my Mom's parents too, Grandma and Grandpa.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

quietspirit said...

I would invite
1.)God and thank Him for all He has done for me.
2.)The apostle Paul and thank him for what he has taught me through his writings.
3.)Corrie Ten Boom and listen to her tell of God's love and grace.
4.)John the Revelator and thank him for making me think about how we can be more mindful of God and Jesus in our lives.
5.) William Barclay and thank him for making certain Biblical points clearer for me.