Tuesday, November 24, 2015


In two days, Americans all over the world will be celebrating Thanksgiving—a time to gather together with family and friends to acknowledge and give thanks for our great good fortune. This celebration is founded in the tradition of bountiful harvest festivals in earliest societies and formalized within the world’s many faiths to give thanks to their respective Devine Being for the blessings we receive.

We all have people and events in our lives for which we are thankful.

Americans, generally, have an optimistic attitude and a positive vision for ourselves and for our country. Even faced with threats from within and without, we believe we will prevail as a nation.

The writers who contribute to this blog are of that ilk, positive, optimistic, forward-thinking: however you want to label the attitude that leads us to write the happy or hopeful ending, despite the state of the world.

Call us unrealistic but, as so many before us have taught us, “Attitude is Everything.” And the “Power of Positive Thinking” is undeniably more successful than the doom and gloom that has destroyed so many people and nations before us.

Can I be less brave than the characters I create? In my novels, whether I write under my real name or my pen name, Lily Dewaruile, my characters have three goals: to defeat evil, to find a place they can call home and, because I write Romance, find the love for which they are willing to face evil at the cost of losing everything else.

Their bravery is measured by how willing they are to be bold in the face of evil despite their fear of losing their lives or their chance of losing the home they have won, not by their cavalier heroism from a position of strength.

Can I be less brave than all the men and women who have faced evil in the past to ensure that I can call my country home?

This year, I have had the privilege of attending the swearing in of new citizens to the United States. Each of the many thousands who swore an oath to their new country was required to learn basic facts about the way their new country is governed. How many of us can correctly answer any of the 100 questions that new citizens must?

Because we are free, we are at liberty to be complacent about matters that, in too many other countries, mean life or death. Do we have to recite passages from the Constitution or die? Must we kowtow to tyrants or die? Do we have to adhere to any religion or creed or die?  Are we forced to share the opinions of our leaders or die?  

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I was born an American and that members of my family have chosen to take the oath of citizenship of this great and beautiful country.

At all of the swearing in ceremonies I attended this year, one of the new citizens has sung The Star-Spangled Banner and a recording of Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA was played. I share this link (skip the ad!) because I am proud to be an American and I will “gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.”

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


  1. "Attitude is Everything" - love that line, Leigh. I, too, am proud and grateful that I was born in this country. We may not be perfect, but most of us try.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. "Attitude is Everything" is the title of a great book about...attitude! I recommend it without reservation. Thank you for your comment, Sandy, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.