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The Roundabout Blog

5 Conversation Starters for Your Holiday Table (that don’t involve politics, religion, or sex) -- A Writer’s Contribution to the Feast

Are you one of the creative forces in your family? Uncle Vince is one of ours. A humorist, actor, and artist, he shares his latest creations each Thanksgiving. It’s become part of the tradition.

Here are some tasty “starters” to get conversations going when you gather with friends and family.

1. Stuffing with your possum?

Americans will consume about 46 million turkeys this Thanksgiving. If turkey wasn’t abundant in pre-colonial times, what other animal might have become the Thanksgiving staple? Can you imagine paper fold-out centerpieces of beaver, deer, or rabbits—in appropriate period pilgrim costumes? How would Bobby Flay or Guy Fieri suggest that you shake up the meal with a new preparation of … possum?

2. W.W.M.B.D.?

If recent claims that Marco Polo visited Alaska in the 13th century prove true (http://bit.ly/1vO8Umf), what would a Thanksgiving meal have looked like hosted by native people there? What would Marco have brought to the feast? “What would Mario Batali do?”

3. I’m going to write a book!

“Hey folks, I’m thinking of indie-publishing my own novel. It’s a re-imagining of [insert a popular book or movie franchise here] set in pilgrim times. Who should play the Native American vampire princess? Who will make the best zombie explorer and love interest?” Will you be on Team Bartholomew or Team Ebenezer?

4. “Pilgrim Principles 101”

“I’m writing a business book based on lessons from the first pilgrims. Chapter One: Pilgrim Bankruptcy and Planning for Your Future. Does anyone have a connection to Warren Buffet? He should write my foreword.”

5. Buy my book in 2015?

“I’m really going to do it this year. I’m going to indie-publish my business book/novel/children’s book. How many of you will join my booster crew to help with feedback and share social medial when I start the multi-month process of publishing?”

This is where it gets serious. If you’re going to take your book to market in the next year, you’re going to need the help and support of your family, friends, colleagues, and social media pals to have the best chance to reach your targeted readers and audiences.

Researching your options over this long weekend is easy. Turn to Redbrush’s publishing guide, “The Compass,” to get your bearings (http://bit.ly/1vOat4c). Need help getting over the writer’s block that’s kept you from taking the polar plunge? Check out this post about melting that block away: http://bit.ly/1ybWC5u.

Enjoy a safe holiday, time with loved ones, a good book, and some creative conversations.