Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

November 22, 2018

Carrot Ranch is under the influence of tryptophan and will take a brief vacation until all the turkey has been consumed — midnight turkey, turkey for breakfast, reheated turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey soup.

Avoid the Black Friday madness. Wherever you live, support local businesses and artists (writers included). #OptGreen instead and get outside (especially helpful for digesting all that turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie). One of our writers, Anne Goodwin, is having a Facebook Book Launch for Becoming Someone on Black Friday. Join her if you FB.

Remind all your friends and family that Kindle app is free and can turn any phone, tablet, laptop or computer into an e-reader. This gift-giving season, no matter the holidays you celebrate, consider giving the gift of digital books. It’s easy to select the “buy for others” button and customize a gift message.

Seriously, everyone is on their phone. Turn phones into e-readers! And I’m going to say something radical — forget the whole “review an author’s book” nonsense. Buy their books! Buy their books for your library. Buy their books for gifts. Buy them digitally and share widely. Start with the books in the right-hand column — those our very own authors. Find more books from our community here and gift ideas here.

Support literacy in your community. Support your libraries. Support literary art.

If you are local to the Keweenaw or can fly in constant snowstorms, find me at Booth 19 by the Christmas tree on Saturday (Nov. 24)! I’ll be signing and selling copies of The Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 and writing spontaneous 99-word stories for 99 cents.

We will not have a Flash Fiction Challenge this week or a winner announcement. Challenges will resume November 29, and Sherri Matthews will announce the winners for Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist on November 30.

How I would love to gather you all up at one table and serve you a fine feast. Imagine the discussions and laughs we would have! Although not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, I think we all can honor what it is we feel thankful for in our lives. Top on my list is all of you in this community at Carrot Ranch. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. denmaniacs4

    Look, we Canadians have already eaten Tofurky or the real thing in October. But have a good time and buy local (except for maybe writers like yours truly and others aligned with the Carrot Ranch.)Whatever you do, be kind, be fair, and look, if you happen to know the song, Joe Hill, have some fun and sing the song with my revised lyrics…a gift from Canada, from me to the world…DON TRUMP-The Ballad (to the tune of…and maybe I need to apologize for this, Joe Hill, lyrics written by Al Hayes and set to song by Earl Robinson)
    I dreamed I saw Don Trump last night
    Not wise as you or me,
    Says I but Don, please use your head
    I never think, says he
    I never think, says he.

    In Phoenix, Don, says I to him,
    Him ranting in the night
    You blather on like a crazy man
    Says Don, I’m always right,
    Says Don, I’m always right.

    The fake news bosses slammed you, Don
    They slammed you, Don, says I.
    Takes more than truth to shut me down
    Says Don, I like to lie
    Says Don, I like to lie.

    And bulging there as big as sin
    And sneering with his lips,
    Don says, what they have overlooked,
    I am my own eclipse,
    I am my own eclipse.

    Don Trump don’t care, he says to me
    Don Trump, his brain is fried,
    Where freedom loving alt rights go,
    Don Trump is by their side,
    Don Trump is by their side

    From Mar-a-Lago to L.A.
    In every Golfers clump,
    Wherever there’s a golden prize,
    Says he, you’ll find Don Trump,
    Says he, you’ll find Don Trump.

    I dreamed I saw Don Trump last night
    Not wise as you or me,
    Says I but Don, please use your head
    I never think, says he
    I never think, says he.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I am so sorry for your nightmare, sorry, OUR nightmare.
      By the way, I heard some sawing and hammering to the north… how’s that wall coming?

      • denmaniacs4

        As far as our “wall” goes, it remains mostly theoretical…a wall of angst and humour, mixed with an awkward fascination that Trump in all his ineptness and rant could even be elected dogcatcher (and I in no way demean this venerable job) let alone President.

      • Charli Mills

        A wall of humor and angst! Ha!

    • Annecdotist

      Thanks, I love Joe Hill (sung by Paul Robeson of course) and great that it should get a revival for these dark days. I wondered if I could persuade our choir leader to include it in next year’s programme.

    • jeanne229

      Brilliant. Right up there with two parodies I just saw on FB this morning (a Canadian Simon and Garfunkel take and a Queen Bohemian Rhapsody version.) Thanks for the creative take on our national disgrace!

      • Annecdotist

        Jeanne, Lovely to catch you back here again. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Charli Mills

      Not Tofurky! I’m sorry that one crossed the border, my friend. I’ll have to share with you and your fellows a recipe for a walnut loaf — a better alternative. A real alternative, not like “alternative” facts. Bill, thank you for your wit and song and forgiving us Americans for the turkey in office. We have both officially closed out on the thanks in our hemisphere. I accept your reminder to be kind and we’ll give thanks continually and spread the loving kindness ’round the world.

      • denmaniacs4

        I once had a walnuty loaf recipe…it was in the Vancouver Sun which in its heyday had a cooking column…pre-internet. My partner hated the recipe because it tasted too much like meatloaf…the very reason I loved it. Of course, ketch-up crosses taste bud boundaries and brings the world together…

  2. Norah

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Charli, and enjoy the well-deserved break. I’d love to pay you 99 cents for a 99 word story. How many stories would you have to write to make a living out of it? Have fun!

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Norah! Ha — not much of a living, more of a novelty. I had fun writing spontaneous flash and then some heavy hitters arrived to remind me that the role of story-teller is often a sacred one.

      • Norah

        Oh well, that’s just their opinion. It’s true, but it doesn’t always have to be so. There’s no rule that says so. The stories are ‘sacred’ to the individual storyteller. They come from the heart, from an inner space that connects us all, just as your 99 word flash stories did, or do.

  3. Ritu

    Happy Thanksgiving Charli to you and all our writer friends! I am so grateful to have met you (virtually) it has enriched my life in ways I can’t even explain ????????????

    • Charli Mills

      I give thanks for the same virtual enrichment of my life, too! Thank you, Ritu! <3

      • Ritu


  4. calmkate

    Happy Thanksgiving Charli and all those up north who feast on poor tommy turkey 🙂

    What about the Fractured Fairy Tales or did I miss that?

    • Annecdotist

      Kate, I believe it’s coming in a couple of weeks.

      • calmkate

        ah that’s a relief … it was the best fun to write so I am really looking forward to reading them all, everyone will be a winner for that one 🙂
        thanks Anne!

      • Annecdotist

        I think so, there were some super entries.

    • Charli Mills

      Poor tommy in my tummy! But I do make a mean turkey-free walnut loaf, too! Thanks, Kate (and thanks to Anne for answering your question in my absence). We resume winner announcements tomorrow (Friday 11/30). You can look under the Rodeo tab for winners as they are announced, too.

      • calmkate

        thanks Charli, glad you had a good one … poor Tommy 🙁
        I’m open to care packages if you want me to taste test that walnut loaf 😉

    • Norah

      Hi Kate,
      Anne and Charli are right. Fairy Tale winners and entries will be posted on the 7th. 🙂
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the contest.

      • calmkate

        totally can’t wait to read this lot 🙂

      • Norah

        Not long now. They are wonderful stories.

      • calmkate

        oh yes but this is dragging out … 🙁

      • Norah


      • calmkate

        today is the day … but ours starts well before others around the world 😉

      • Norah

        It does. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! It adds to your anticipation, Kate to wait until the Yanks catch up to the Aussies!

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Heads Up

    “Hey, pick yer head up Kid. It’s only a week.”
    “My head is down ‘cause I’m fixin’ ta say Grace an’ say all I’m thankful fer.”
    “Oh. Thet ain’t how I do it.”
    “How do you give Thanks?”
    “Jist do. Think it an’ say it an’ feel it ever day. I thank all critters, ‘specially my horse; I thank the folks ‘at give me a laugh or somethin’ ta think on. I thank the sky above an’ the ground unnerneath.”
    “I git it. Yer dang thankful. Pal… Thanks. I’m thankful fer you an’ ever’one here at Carrot Ranch.”

    • Annecdotist

      Well said, perfectly encapsulating the sentiment as always. Thank you.

    • Charli Mills

      Love the wisdom of these two in interaction — “Think it an’ say it an’ feel it ever day.” Yup! I’m thankful for your yarning, D.!

    • Norah

      Yep. Totally agree. Thank you.

  6. Annecdotist

    Wishing you and your family a lovely day, Charli. And that’s certainly news to me about turkey and tryptophan – I wonder if there’s a vegetarian version.
    Thanks for all your hard work in building such a great writing community at the Ranch – you had a strong vision and you got there!
    Although Thanksgiving itself isn’t a thing for many of us, I think we can all benefit from taking stock of what we have to be grateful for. That’s what I hope my launch event will be about tomorrow when I’ll be paying it back for children who’d never expect to hold a book in their hands. Thanks for plugging it again.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Anne! And yes — there’s a turkey-free version of turkey! I have made it for vegan, vegetarian, and even fruitarian friends. Wicked to say it’s also a lovely side to turkey and gravy!

      You had a robust launch, Anne and I think you are just beginning to build momentum for your book. “Becoming Someone” is a theme that is strongly resonating with many (including Michell Obama).

      Thank you for being a pillar of this community and for not thinking me too bonkers for building it! <3

      • Annecdotist

        Ah, Charli, although sceptical about 99-word stories initially, I admired your determination right from the start. Although I couldn’t see where you were taking us, I was happy to drift along in your slipstream.
        As for my book, I wouldn’t mind at all if it were linked to Ms Obama’s!

      • Charli Mills

        Well, thank you for coming along on the ride, Anne. I wasn’t sure where we were going either! 😀

    • Norah

      I agree with your sentiments, Anne, and congratulate you on a fabulous party for the launch of ‘Becoming Someone’.

  7. robertawrites235681907

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Charli. I will be glad when I get through the next two weeks and go on holiday for one month. It has been a tough year. I am looking forward to lots more writing contests over the next few weeks before the year ends.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Robbie! I’m hoping it will be smooth sailing for you, here on out. You’ve managed a tough year with tenacity and grace. And look how wonderfully creative your output has been! <3

      • robertawrites235681907

        Thank you, Charli, I think I have learned a lot this year and you have helped me a great deal.

      • Charli Mills

        We all grow best in good gardens! <3

  8. Jules

    Many, many moons ago (like in the late 1960’s man) at a Teen Arts festival somewhere there was a little girl who sat at a table and said give me an idea or a subject and I’ll write you a poem… for free. And she never stopped… writing, creating and imagining a better place to find a home for ‘literary art’ though she didn’t know at the time that such a thing existed.

    She never stopped being thankful for the support of encouraging teachers, and now being part of a wonderful community of writers and artists to learn from and share with, and buy from!

    Cheers Charli, and everyone! ~ from that little girl ~ Jules

    • Charli Mills

      Hey, man, that little girl from the ’60s inspires me and her will to write keeps mine going, too. You are a beautiful and joyful artist, Jules and it’s a privilege to have you be our shining Jewel on the Page here at Buckaroo Nation. I just want to see that little girl keep writing! Cheers! <3

      • Jules

        I believe I am more like a fractured opal… still beautiful, but with some odd directions 😉 I write and create because I breath. This year I have continued to write poetry (most often two pieces) daily – and various flash fiction to prompts. That my joy could extend the light to anyone else in their shadows or add to their bright light is really just part of the dream and an honor of belonging.

        So thanks to you my friend, Charli and everyone from around the globe who continues to be a part of the reality of the Literary Art Movement!

      • Charli Mills

        Jules, what a beautiful fractured opal you are! I think we refract light from the broken spaces in between. Keep the literary art moving! I truly believe in its power to connect minds and move hearts.

    • Norah

      That gorgeous little girl with a big heart has grown into a wonderful woman with an even bigger heart. It’s so lovely to have met you here at the Ranch, Jules. I’m thankful for that.

  9. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    What great advice regarding spending, Ms. Mills. My advice to all of us who are wondering what to do without a prompt is to use the time and wander around the Ranch, explore the tabs you have been working on. Yeah, most of us won’t be getting up to the upper UP to booth 19, but I can say that the next best thing is the “Prompt the Buckaroo” offering on the Support LA page. What a great value! And bookmarks are great stocking stuffers. I despise shopping but don’t mind spending and giving; where better than here at the Ranch?

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for all your support of the Ranch! I hope your bookmarks arrived. Sorry, I couldn’t ft the slab of bacon in the envelope for Kid. But I’ll fix plenty when in Vermont. I’ll be securing those dates and that venue after the holidays and making the announcement. I appreciate you pointing out the bookmarks! Great stocking stuffers, indeed!

    • Norah

      I didn’t see the bookmarks. 🙁

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        On the Support Literary Art page. One stop shopping there.

      • Norah

        Gotcha! Thanks. I’ve made the same mistake before. I only look at things that drop down. I forget that the static menu header also opens.

  10. pensitivity101

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Di!

  11. oneletterup

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy your blogging vacation Charli 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, oneletterup! I finished all the turkey and my novel draft. 😀

  12. JoHawkTheWriter

    Happy Thanksgiving. I will be avoiding the Black Friday insanity by spending my time writing. Hope you have a wonderful blogging vacation. ????????

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, JoHawk! And good move — I hope Black Friday Writing was a good day! I got in lots of words, too. 🙂

  13. jeanne229

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Charli, and to all the buckaroos. I’ve been silent all year but popping into the ranch now and then. You continue to inspire me! And love the suggestions here for shopping locally and buying the book! Taking it to heart this year. De-commercializing the season (or at least “localizing” it) starts at home. And while I am all for putting my phone down, I am thankful for the Internet that has brought us together. Hugs to you!

    • Charli Mills

      Good to see you at the Ranch, Jeanne! I was just meandering the hills out back, rekindling my writing mojo. Yes! let’s localize and literize the season! Hugs! <3

  14. Molly Stevens - Shallow Reflections

    Happy Thanksgiving, Charli! Thank you for all you do to promote literary art. You are an inspiration!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Molly! I picture a world where Chester wonders what we’re all up to! 😉

  15. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Happy Thanksgiving Charli. Great idea to give ebooks to people as gifts. I don’t know that I agree about not reviewing as well as I think reviews are quite important in this market, but yes – no point reviewing if the book is not being read. Enjoy your short break and thanks for signing the Anthology and keeping it alive.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Irene! Ah, we’ll have to open up a community discussion on reviews one day. I’m all for supporting book authors and if reviews lead to purchases, why not just make the purchases and share the books. The Anthology is such a great book and reading from it always gets people to buy. They become instant believers in the power of 99 words. One woman came back and bought another and then two days later contacted me to buy more!

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        Will email you with an idea.I agree the anthology is a great book and for an anthology it has sold very well – thanks to your skilful marketing but once bought it is loved.

  16. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving Charli. Enjoy the Turkey!

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Marje! My enjoyment concluded with turkey and wild soup. 😉

      • Charli Mills

        Ha! Wild rice! The rice was so wild, it ran away from my sentence.

  17. Lisa L.

    Carrot Ranchers at one table? What a feast of words and friendship that would be! Looking forward to resuming activities…

    • Charli Mills

      I’m dreaming about it, Lisa! We are officially back at the campfire. Let the story swapping commence!

  18. Miranda Griffin

    Experienced my first thanksgiving when I lived in New Mexico for a year. A great celebration bringing people together. Great post. Thanks

    • Charli Mills

      New Mexico is an amazing place, and a southwestern Thanksgiving would be unforgettable. What a great place to experience one!

      • Miranda Griffin

        It was great! I need to go back soon!

      • Charli Mills

        Whenever I miss the Southwest, I pick up a Tony Hillerman book and read.

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