I did, indeed, go to Grandmother's house most often for Thanksgiving. I remember my freshman year in college (Brown University, in Providence)---I was 17---taking a train to New York and from there a train to Harrisburg, where someone picked me up for the 15-mile trip to the smaller town in Pennsylvania where my grandparents lived. My parents lived in Washington DC and had driven up from there, and my sister made her way down from Penn State, where she was a senior.
Goodness, why am I blathering on with such dull nostalgia? Holdiays bring that on, I think, when we start remembering holidays from the past.
Today I am the grandmother, but people are not heading over the river and through the woods to my house...instead I am heading to Maine tomorrow, bearing desserts which I will make today. (recipes from a GREAT new cookbook: THE ESSENTIAL NY TIMES COOKBOOK, by Amanda Hesser)
But first, before I start cooking, I am answering today's email, and just finished up with one to a teacher who had sent me sample writings from a 13-year-old. He, the teacher, wanted me to advise her on routes to possible publication. I'm going to copy, in part, what I sent to both the student and the teacher, because I know there are a lot of young poeple out there eager to become "Authors" which to my mind is not the same as becoming a "Writer"---
Mr. XXXX suggested that because of your interest and gift for writing, perhaps I could advise you about possible routes to publication. But I am not going to do that because I believe very strongly that it would be much too soon. At your age the important thing is to read and read and read, and write and write and write...all kinds of things in both realms. You have a long time to enjoy the pleasure of experimenting with words and language and story. Maybe eventually you will choose to enter the world of professional writing and publication.,..but that is a very different thing; it is the world of business and has nothing to do, really, with mastery of the written word. Writing is a very personal and private thing, as you already know. It is best to keep it in that realm until you are older because it is a realm where you can savor the joy of the solitary experience, and in which you will have time to learn a great deal. Successful professional writing requires mastery of certain skills, of course, but those are easy for an interested student like yourself to acquire; more importantly, it requires life experience, a broad knowledge of literature, and keen observation of human behavior...those are things that can’t be rushed.