Fun Tidbits and Facts

November Newsletter Fun Tidbits and Facts

Things Heard at Meeting

“You feel pretty creepy when you get down to what it is.”

“He took some liberties”

“I threw a horse biscuit at a girl once.”

“It would be easier if I could be Dr. Suess!

“You’re not writing any of this down, are you?”


Mission Statement – The mission of Critique Café Chatter is to spotlight the talents and writing efforts of the members of Critique Café Fort Stockton Area Writers Group. Contributing members of this newsletter hope to reach out to others within the community who enjoy creative writing and the literary arts. In the spirit of our sponsor H. Edward Petsch Arts and Music Memorial Fund, we are striving to stimu- late the arts within the Fort Stockton, TX area.


November Newsletter: What Not to serve West Texans on Thanksgiving

What Not to serve West Texans on Thanksgiving By Glenda Bonham

Item #1 and the most important-Do not try to serve ‘Tofurkey’. We don’t want tofu anything, on an average day. Even starving hurricane victims in Texas won’t touch the goods on tofu shelves. That fact has been proven on live TV before.

Don’t put mussels, clams, or oysters in our dressing. We’re land locked desert folks, not beach combers. Thanksgiving is reserved for a variety of dressings made with cornbread. Don’t try to trick us with box dressing, either. If you can’t make homemade dressing, or if you are just too lazy to try, go buy a decent cornbread dressing from a restaurant or a caterer. There is no excuse for serving bad dressing on Thanksgiving. The family might forgive, but we will never forget bad dressing.

Don’t mess around with the mashed potatoes. It’s not a day to get creative and dump garlic, mayo, chives, or horseradish in the mashed potatoes. It’s a day for less-is-best. Just for heaven’s sake, don’t try to trick us with instant mashed potatoes, either. West Texans have an antenna that can smell the difference between real potatoes and the goo from a box from 20 paces.

Never serve less than two varieties of cranberries. Older folks never had the opportunity to eat anything but the jelly flavor from a can. We want it to maintain that can shape when it glops onto a serving dish. You, younger folk enjoy your wholesome fresh-cooked cranberries, and the rest of us will admire it when we pass it to someone else.

Don’t serve dry roasted green beans. We didn’t come to Thanksgiving dinner to eat by any fad diet plan. Keep your dry veggie salad in a separate bowl. We want green beans that backstroke in bacon, butter, onions, and plenty of black pepper. If you didn’t sneeze when you added the black pepper, the beans aren’t fit for the table.

Now, it’s time to talk gravy. Real gravy made of broth, drippings, and milk. Don’t even think about the slime in a package-that’s not gravy; that’s machine oil.

Do not make a reference to the pie as a ‘pee-can’. It makes the mental image of the interior of a smelly Port-a-Potty come to mind. That image will make the pie taste funny. Just set the pie on the table without any comment and back away. It’s not as if the family won’t recognize it.

And on the topic of pie- If you serve pumpkin make sure you have four times the amount of whipping cream you would expect to need. We want to submerge a single slice of pumpkin pie in whipping cream like Captain Nemo diving the Nautilus to the bottom of the sea.

I’m glad we had this little talk. We’ll see you on Thanksgiving Day. Until then- no pressure; no pressure at all.

Your Thanksgiving dinner guests


November Newsletter: Veterans Day

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 3.02.47 PMVeterans Day is observed every year on November 11th. Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day, which was proclaimed in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson. Armistice is when warring parties agree to stop fighting; Armistice Day recognizes the end of World War One when hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11 A.M, 1918 (11th hour, of the 11th, of the 11th month).

Unlike Memorial Day which pays respect to the war dead, Veterans Day is dedicated to the living men and women who have served in the military, as well as to the fallen.

Veterans contribute to American society in many ways; not just during their time in active duty. Throughout our history, military service members have put on their uniforms to protect the values and liberties that this nation was built on. But that doesn’t stop once the uniform comes off and their time in active duty has ended. Veterans take the lessons they have learned and the experiences they’ve gained and continue their service to our nation by strengthening our communities. They become our nation’s leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs. Veterans are the most active volunteers working to improve communities across our country. Service goes beyond the uniform. This Veteran’s Day, we honor the men and women who have worn their uniform who continue to serve our country.

Glenda Bonham


November Newsletter: An excerpt from Sir Germy Marries By Stacey McGee

An excerpt from Sir Germy Marries By Stacey McGee


Once upon a time, far away, there lived a princess. Her name was Princess Leela. One day while Princess Leela was taking a walk in her garden, she saw a man throwing dirty tissues all over the place. The princess knew that dirty tissues would spread harmful microbes.

“Pick those up,” she yelled in her icky sweet voice.

“You want them picked up, you pick them up,” the guy replied.

“I’m going to tell Daddy!” Princess Leela flew toward the castle, crying.

“Oh, brother,” the guy muttered. He continued down the street, throwing dirty tissues.

Princess Leela found her daddy, King George the 23rd, in his study. “Daddy, a really ugly man was going down the street, throwing dirty tissues everywhere. And he wouldn’t pick them up when I told him to.”

“Oh no! It’s Sir Germy,” cried the king.

Just then, Sir Germy jumped through the window. He grabbed the princess and jumped back out the window carrying the princess away.

“After him,” cried the king, but no one heard him. He ran out of the room and found Rob, Princess Leela’s boyfriend. He told Rob that Sir Germy had kidnapped Leela.

Rob dressed in shiny armor and jumped on a horse as white as chalk. The king jumped on a horse as black as a witch’s hat.

“Don’t you want armor, Sir?” asked Rob.

“And cover up my beautiful silk clothing? Never!” replied the king.

For the rest of the story, see the new edition of The Best of Critique Café, available on November 18th. Also available at Fort Stockton Public Library for a donation to the H. Edward Petsch Memorial.

Book Review

November Newsletter: Joy Express

Joy Express
by Jody Bailey Day

Critique Café member Jody Bailey Day is set to launch a new book on November 8th. Joy Express is the third offering in the Washout Express Series. The series is inspirational fiction and follows the journey of two thirty-somethings, Bailey and Scott, as they overcome many obstacles to finally arrive at the alter.

“This one is different,” states her publisher, Pelican Ventures. “There is some tragedy in this one, as in the others, but it’s ramped up a notch in Joy Express. As always, in Jody Day’s books, faith brings the situation to a satisfying conclusion. Not necessarily tied up in a nice neat bow, but the reader is left knowing there’s something, rather Someone, to hold on to in times of trial.”

Day will celebrate the launch of her new book alongside the launch of Critique Café’s new anthology at the Fort Stockton Public Library on Monday night, Nov. 18th.

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An early review: “Reading anything that Jody Bailey Daywrites is like coming home—and like home, there are fusses and fights, and a lot of suspense and drama built into Joy Express, but faith winds through it. It draws you to toast your hands over the warmth, and hug yourself with the blazing joy she brings to everything she writes. I don’t often read faith-based fiction, as writers can sometimes get heavy- handed. You can tell by this book that Day writes like she lives, with the warm fire of faith in every word. I have read everything she writes, and wait eagerly for her next. Every. Single. Time.”

Lisa C. Hannon
Author, “She’s Thinking Out Loud”