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Sin: [in hammock, drinking a frozen margarita] What? We’re blogging today? But it’s Thanksgiving. I thought we were taking the day off now that we’ve pulled into port. Has anyone told you you’re a workaholic, Hell?
Hellion: [flipping the hammock, though Sin, like a cat, lands on her feet without spilling a drop. Freaking ninja.] Thanksgiving is tomorrow. You’ll have time aplenty to fill up on green bean casserole and mashed potatoes.
Sin: [bouncing] Mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes. [points to the shirt she’s wearing] I had a t-shirt made to celebrate how much I love mashed potatoes. [a baby pink hoodie with hot pink writing that says: Team Mashed Potatoes]
Terri: [exchanging looks with Marnee and Hellion] What happened to Team Edward?
Sin: [lifts her hoodie and flashes the shirt beneath] Oh, he’s here, see?
Marnee: You know it just wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving if someone wasn’t flashing, would it?
Hellion: Indeed not. [clapping to get attention] All right. This is an impromptu “What are we thankful for?” blog, so Marnee why don’t you go….
Sin: Why does Marnee always get to go first?
Hellion: Because everyone already knows what you’re thankful for.
Terri: That Twilight came out three weeks earlier than planned?
Marnee: That you got to see the movie about fourteen times since it came out last weekend?
Lisa: That she’s going to see it another fourteen times this weekend?
Terri, Marnee, Sin, Hellion: [squeeing] LISA! You dropped by!
Lisa: You didn’t think I’d let you do Thanksgiving without me, would you? I have a list of what I’m thankful for. And someone better save me some mashed potatoes.
Sin: [still bouncing] Mashed potatoes! Mashed potatoes! Mashed potatoes!
Hellion: Thank God, you’re back, Lisa. You always do raise the class level of the ship. [ignoring affronted look from Terri; Sin still humming about mashed potatoes] I mean, Marnee does her level best, but one lone pirate to raise the other three? The math odds are just better with you on board. You know how 2 to 3 is better than 1 to 3…
Terri: [droll tone] Really, Hellion, is math your forte? Quick, English major, what’s two plus two?
Hellion: I don’t….
Sin: [snickers] She might as well switch her major to math…I mean, who didn’t know the Kiss Me Kate reference? Oh, yeah, the English major.
Marnee: [speaking over] I’m thankful the Captain has a sense of humor…
Hellion: [frosty Snape look] Do I? That’s news to me.
Terri: [sotto voice] And me.
Sin: [snickering with Lisa]
Marnee: And isn’t one to hold grudges when we get cheeky….
[All other crew members burst out laughing except Hellion, who sniffs and tugs at her jacket sleeves]
Hellion: Yes. Let’s all be thankful for my impeccable sense of humor and lack of grudge holding. Enough of this. All right, what are you thankful for, Terri?
Marnee: I thought…[sees Hellion’s look and smiles at Terri] Yes, Terri, what are you thankful for?
Terri: I’m thankful for oral sex…
Hellion: Damn, that was on my list.
Sin: And mine.
Marnee: And mine.
Lisa: Dude, you know it’s on mine.
Hellion: Could we try for something a little more Thanksgiving-y?
Sin: I bet that was fun to say. How much rum have you had, Hellie? Three, four pints?
Terri: You’re not asking the English major to count again, are you?
[pandemonium fighting ensues]
Lisa: [blowing whistle, getting everyone’s attention, though all look sheepish] Thank you. Geez, the first thing I’m thankful for is that nobody has changed on this ship. You’re still the same fun, rollicking crew as you ever were.
Terri: I’m thankful Marnee got her edits done so one of us looks like a working pirate.
Marnee: I’m thankful Terri pitched my book…and I’m thankful….
Hellion: [interrupting and striding forward to pace in front of them] I’m sorry, between all this banter, I’ve compose a musical parody that expresses everything the RWR is thankful for this year. [passing out music sheets to a flummoxed crew] Okay, from the top, band! One, two,…
Lisa: But we haven’t practiced….
Sin: Karaoke! I love karaoke! Almost as much as mashed potatoes…
Terri: And Edward.
Sin: Of course, and Edward…
Hellion: Three…to the tune of “12 Days of Christmas”… Today on Turkey Day, I’m most thankful for you see, one completed manuscript for publishers to see…
Crew: [joining in dubiously] And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, two editors bidding and one completed manuscript for publishers to see.
Marnee: This isn’t too bad really…and I am thankful for completing my manuscript. And completing the edits…and my husband is thankful I’m showering again…
Crew: And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, three contest wins, two editors bidding and one completed manuscript for publishers to see.
Sin: Where’s the mashed potatoes? I don’t see them listed on this paper…
Crew: And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, four agent requests, three contest wins, two editors bidding and one completed manuscript for publishers to see.
Terri: [glancing ahead at the list] I think the lack of mashed potatoes is the least of the concerns.
Crew: And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, FIVE KEGS OF RUM, four agent requests, three contest wins, two editors bidding and one completed manuscript for publishers to see.
Lisa: Anyone thought of giving the Captain a vacation in a nice mental facility for Christmas?
Marnee: I have
Terri: Me, too
Sin: It’s in the works.
Crew: And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, six CPs critiquing, FIVE KEGS OF RUM, four agent requests, three contest wins, two editors bidding and one completed manuscript for publishers to see.
Terri: Actually, I’m rather impressed. So far she hasn’t referenced Captain Jack or Pirates of the Caribbean…
Lisa: [dismally] Or Ranger. Isn’t anyone thankful for Ranger anymore?
Sin: [high fives Lisa] Oh, girlfriend, you know I’m all about Ranger and the mighty batstick.
Lisa: [nodding, grinning] Ah, the batstick.
Crew: And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, eight months till Harry Potter 6… [Marnee, Terri, Lisa, & Sin stutter to halt and shift paperwork, confused]
Sin: Where’s seven?
Terri: Honestly do I need to keep reminding you who we’re talking about here?
Lisa: [shaking head] She really can’t add, can she?
Marnee: Not a column.
Hellion: [oblivious]… three contest wins, two editors bidding and one completed manuscript for publishers to see.
Crew: And today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, 21 uber-awesome guest authors, eight months till Harry Potter….
Lisa: [shaking head] How is she coming up with these numbers? Are they just completely random?
Sin: No, we’ve had 21 uber-awesome guests this year. [counting on fingers] Anna Campbell, Dee S. Knight, Leslie Langtry, Pamela Clare (who’s coming back next week by the way), Colleen Gleason, Anna West, Colette Gale, Lacey Alexander, Kimberly Killion, Dana Morton, Toni Blake, Aunt Cindy…
Terri: [holding up a gorgeous blue and green covered novel] You mean, Loucinda McGary, author of The Wild Sight, in stores now or available for order at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble?
Sin: Yes, Vana, and we’ve also had Megan Kelly and Angie Fox and Teresa Medeiros and Candace Camp and Sabrina Jefferies and Christie Craig and Faye Hughes and Mindy Klasky and Eloisa James. Am I missing anyone?
Terri: Wait, where are we now?
[Crew turns to Hellion, who’s still singing as if nothing is amiss]
Hellion: Today on Turkey day, we’re most thankful for you see, 28 Twilight viewings…
Crew: 21 uber-awesome guest authors, eight months to Harry Potter….
Sin: [bouncing around and between crew members] Edward, Edward, Edward…
Terri: [cutting off the song in mid-FIVE KEGS OF RUM] Stop, stop, stop. I think we should go back to the original plan of everyone saying what they’re most thankful for. Show of hands who agree. [four other hands go up, Marnee has up both hands. Everyone looks at her.]
Marnee: Oh, right, like we can’t cheat on this ship…
Terri: All right, then it’s unanimous. Captain, you go first. What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Hellion: [cat with the canary look] Oral sex.
Terri: You forgot, “And that my father doesn’t read my own blog.” We’re moving on before you get all blubbery and emotional. I know it’s in you.
Hellion: I’m not done! I’m grateful for my crew, those on and off this ship, and without whose support none of this would be nearly as fun…or meaningful. I’m grateful to my critique partners (thank you, Dee and Sin! You guys completely rock!). I’m grateful for DVDs so I can watch POTC every other day without warping it; and I’m grateful for the roof over my head and the job that pays the bills and…
Sin: Hellie, I love you but you’re a blog-hog. You’re being cut off. I’m grateful for Edward. And that Harry Potter got bumped until next July. Even if I have to hear Hellie whine about it every other day at the gym.
Lisa: And I’m grateful for Ranger! There, it needed to be said. I can’t believe it was left off. What’s wrong with you people? I take a temporary leave of absence and suddenly Ranger is stricken from the lists….
Sin: Ranger, Ranger, Ranger. Oops, I mean, Edward, Edward, Edward…
Marnee: Do I get a turn yet? I’m grateful for finishing my edits! Have I mentioned that yet?
Terri: Not much, only 14 or 15,000 times…
Lisa: Not that we blame you. Where are you in your book, Terri?
Terri: Who invited her back, anyway? [gives Lisa the evil eye] I doubt I can top Marn for mushy-ness but I'll try. I'm thankful for my Little Pirate whose put up with a very cranky (read: frustrated) mommy pirate lately. Bless her heart. I'm grateful for my fellow wenches who never fail to make me smile and make me want to be a better (worse?) pirate. For this fantastic online community in which I live these days and all the amazing women, published authors and as-yet-unpubbed alike, who inspire me, motivate me, support me, and listen to me whine incessantly. And for oral sex. NEXT!
Hellion: Frustrated? That’s a tame word for under-laid, isn’t it? I mean haven’t we all had to put up with your cranky-a….
Terri: I swear, you have sex more than once a year and you act smug about it. You’ve written the book on cranky.
Hellion: You’re just jealous I published before you.
Terri: I’m fine not having my name associated with Bed Rage: Tales of an Under-Laid Pirate Queen.
Hellion: You smell funny.
Marnee: What part of next do the two of you not understand? No one cares Hellion got laid this year.
Lisa: Can I go next? I have to be somewhere, and if I wait until the Captain and Bo’sun stop bickering, it’ll be next week before I can go. [Marnee waves a hand.] Great. [says in a rush as if anticipating being interrupted yet again] I’m thankful for my life, my friends and family, Chad’s giggle, my job and working with the greatest co-workers I could ever ask for.
Marnee: I do love my little pirate’s giggle, too.
Sin: Mattycakes giggles. But it’s usually right before he says ‘pull my finger’ so really it’s not quite as charming….
Marnee: [marking on a clipboard] Okay, we’ve covered the Captain, the Bo’sun, Lisa…how about you, Sin? Anything else you’re thankful for this year?
Sin: I’m thankful I didn’t have to hide as many bodies this year as I did last year. And my mother thought those anger management lessons she bought me at Christmas didn’t pay off. [scoffs] I’m also grateful Hellion offered me her 160 acres of farmland to hide the body of that strumpet….
Hellion: [clearing throat] You’re more than welcome, Sin, why don’t we keep that between us, shall we?
Marnee: [makes a checkmark on her list] All right, I think then I can go now, right? Good. I’m thankful I finished my manuscript this year….
Terri: [sotto voice] 15,001.
Marnee: And for getting my edits completed. I’m thankful for my critique partners and readers who have helped me polish my manuscript—and for doing so on such short notice for agent requests and contests. You guys have been great. The pirates for being so fun and charming as they can only be—and great cheerleaders. For my husband who’s been my best cheerleader and supporter; and my little pirate, who thinks I’m a great mommy when I let him be entertained by the boob tube so I can get my edits done. I owe him another noisy car, I think. I’m also thankful for my family and friends…and well, everyone…here and the Eloisa BB has the best group of comrades the internet could ever dream up. Thanks for being so great!
All Together: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. What are you thankful for?