November 2023

on November 28, 2023

Dear Friends and Readers,

It’s hard to believe, Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year I decided no cooking—the truth is I miss Eudora so much that I can’t even think about a turkey on the counter and no big red bone hound to steal it. Instead, I went out to lunch with a dozen friends and we had a high old time.

photo: my petsI’m not really a fan of turkey or ham or anything else with a face. But I do love the sides at Thanksgiving. And I sure do miss Ms. Velma Brown’s cooking. I visited Ms. Velma in Sparrow Hills Care Facility last week with Mandy. I know Ms. Velma misses little Jackson, her son’s dog that stayed with her a lot, so I took sweet and gentle Pearl to visit. We started talking cooking and my mouth was watering! Sweet potato fluff and cornbread dressing. There is no need for anything else at all, in my opinion. Unless maybe it is a slice of my niece’s delicious cheesecake! That’s plenty of good eating.

Ms. Velma shared her wonderful recipes with Mandy and me while we remembered the days when we were all younger and full of energy. No one can cook like Ms. Velma! But I have to say, the options at the Riverview Renaissance were delicious and it was good to laugh and cut up with friends. I used to go to the Jazz brunch at the Riverview with my brother David and his wife Gail and Debby Pruett. The good old days. That was back when eating like that didn’t cling to my waist for the rest of eternity. We had some good times there.

In the world of books, I wanted to tell everyone about Mandy’s magazine, If you are a writer, Mandy has a submission page for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc. If you have an idea for an interview with a publishing person (author, editor, etc.) contact her at And be sure and subscribe to the magazine. It’s free. And read the submission guidelines. I get in a lot of trouble because sometimes I forget to do that!

We finally got a little rain, and it was desperately needed. I’m greatly affected by gray weather, but it was worth it! And I learned on the news that Ft. Lauderdale was the US city with the most rain this year. Mobile is at a deficit.

I’m currently writing this book.
Stay tuned!

I’m working on the 2024 Christmas bones book—BLUE CHRISTMAS BONES. It’s set in Tupelo, MS during an Elvis impersonator festival. Tupelo actually does host a festival like this, but it is in June. For purposes of the book, I “relocated” the festival to December. Poetic license! And I am having a blast writing the book. I do love me some Elvis.

Mandy and I are writing a book together. We’ve finally got our feet under us on this one. It took a lot of talking and configuring, but we have it now—I hope. It’s about two women (with a secret from the past) who are best friends. When both are hit with disappointment and rejection, they team up to write a thriller together. One moves onto the other’s farm. At first, all is well. Until the handsome farm hand is hired. Then all hell breaks loose. It is going to be a feminist, comedy, thriller. Ha ha ha.

I’m genuinely enjoying this co-writing thing. I have been so lucky to have book contracts for so long, but I also admit that writing is very solitary, lonely work. I have lived in my head so much! I love writing and the process, but it is really fun to share it with another good writer. So keep your fingers crossed that we have some pages to show in a couple of months. Writing it is one thing. Selling it is something else again!

I’m off to the grocery store to buy things to cook for the dogs. I’m babysitting three dogs right now, along with my six (and the 14 cats!) so I need more groceries. The good news is that the barn is stocked with hay, the horses are getting a thick winter coat (eventually it WILL be winter, right?) and I have all my sweatshirts clean and ready to wear. The tropical depression that was in the Caribbean is gone (really! A tropical storm the week of Thanksgiving!). Cold weather is coming. Let’s just hope it isn’t as extreme as the summer heat/drought was.

Here’s a little tune to entertain. When I was in 6th grade I started taking guitar lessons (for a very short period). When the recital came up, I was set to play “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie. But I wanted to play “The House of the Rising Sun.” Ha ha ha. Who do you think won that contest! Enjoy! No one does it like The Animals.

Adios from Carolyn and the Critters!


P.S. Don’t forget to peruse The Zinnia Shop at my website if you’re looking for gift ideas. There are autographed books of mine and all profits go to my nonprofit. You can e-mail for order inquiries.