My Venture into Young Adult Literature

I’ve mentioned before that my next book to be published will be the young adult novel that began as my NaNoWriMo project.  While I didn’t complete it for the month of November, I have almost reached the end of the first draft and I have even secured ISBNs for both the paperback and the eBook.

Y’all, I am really excited about this book.

I’ve decided to release it on April 21.  I even have a cover designed, though I probably won’t be releasing it or even the title of the book for at least a month.  I don’t want to make a big deal out of it and then have everyone forget about it by the time the book actually comes out.

I made the decision to write this book, and to go forward with publishing it for a number of reasons.  For one thing, it’s probably the most fun thing I’ve ever written and I really, really think that fans of the young adult genre will enjoy it.  I know several readers have enjoyed Cemetery Tours, but I do feel like it’s something of a niche.  People love a good ghost story around Halloween, but once winter rolls around, readers have moved on.  I’m incredibly enthusiastic about this new book/series because it’s one that readers can enjoy year-round.  I still love Cemetery Tours and I have every plan to continue the series.  The third book, I’m thinking, will be released August or September 2015.  However, I don’t want to be a one-series author.  I want to be like Meg Cabot, who has dozens of books and several series to her name.  I write ghost stories, but I also write YA and chick lit and mythology and so on.

Until the new books are released, however, I’m going to keep doing my best to keep promoting Cemetery Tours.  It is featured now on Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=w4NOngEACAAJ&dq=cemetery+tours&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DHiPVOjcA8ibNqaSgpAG&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA

And on BookDaily.com: http://www.bookdaily.com/book/4142184/cemetery-tours

Friendly reminder also that there are TEN DAYS left to enter my Christmas GoodReads Giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/117688-between-worlds

Finally, I do have a Pinterest board going for my new Young Adult book.  I really can’t tell you how excited I am about it.  https://www.pinterest.com/windtrailpub/a-young-adult-novel/  

I’m also in the midst of planning out new events for 2015.  All good things, y’all!  All good things.

It’s Christmastime in the City

Hi, friends!

I hope you all are getting into the holiday spirit.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.13.07 PM

I’ve been enjoying this time with family and friends (especially my sister, who is home from college) and working hard to make sure my new manuscript is finished by the new year! I think it’s going to happen.  I’m having way too much fun with it.  This book is pretty much the life my teenage self wanted to live.  I feel like I’m making her very proud.  Hopefully, readers will enjoy it just as much!

Other than that, I’ve been trying to savor and make the most of this special time of year.  Midnight is, too.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.13.34 PM

She particularly likes this time of year because it reminds her of her youth as a street cat, when she used to climb trees and live life on the edge.  Nine years later, she still wreaks havoc on the Christmas tree.  Don’t let the innocent look fool you.  She is a menace to all holiday trees.

I also forgot to share with you the best White Elephant Christmas gift of all time.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.13.22 PM

Everyone, meet Audrey and Seymour, the Christmas Venus Fly Traps!  I went into that White Elephant gift exchange thinking that I would be regifting whatever useless item I ended up with, but oh my goodness, I love my Fly Traps!  How cool are they?  Seriously?

And with that, I will leave you to the rest of your day.  I hope it’s splendid.

Merry Christmas!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.12.55 PM

December Goals

It’s the final month of 2014.  It’s a time for wrapping things up, but it’s also a time to think about new beginnings.  As a matter of fact, in the Episcopal Church, Advent is the beginning of the New Year.  We’re just kind of rebels that way.

Anyway, I have a lot of goals for this new month. And I know it’s going to be a busy month, so I should probably get a head start on all of them!

My first December goal is to finish at least one of my works in progress.  I genuinely believe I can finish the first draft of the Chick Lit YA book that I began working on for NaNoWriMo.  It’s just been so easy to write and it’s a whole lot of fun.  I’m thinking (or at least hoping) that I might be able to get it out fairly quickly.

My next goal is to put together a Jones Family History Scrapbook in time for our semi-annual holiday get-together.  I’ve been doing a lot of research into both sides of my family tree.  At first, I thought my dad’s side was more interesting than my mom’s, but that’s only because he had a lot more to find at the beginning.  It turns out on my mom’s side there are Sons of the American Revolution, Lords, Ladies, Kings, Queens, and Native Americans.  I thought that was SO cool, especially because I’ve lived my entire life thinking that I was fully European.  But as it turns out, my 9th great-grandmother was a member of Powhatan tribe.  It’s all so fascinating to me, so Im really looking forward to sharing it with my family.  Thankfully, I don’t think any of them actually read this blog, so it should be a surprise. I’ve also stared an Ancestry board on Pinterest to kind of sort of help me keep track of everybody.

https://www.pinterest.com/jackiesmith114/ancestry/

Third goal is to clean out and donate all the stuff I no longer use.  This is actually kind of a never ending goal as every time I get rid of stuff, more stuff seems to appear out of nowhere to take its place.  I still haven’t quite worked out the physics of this phenomenon, but I am constantly trying to overcome it.  I’d love to be a person who exists with as few material goods as possible.  I really don’t like clutter and I don’t like spending money on stuff that I don’t need and rarely use. Unfortunately, I’m also a very sentimental person and I have a hard time giving away gifts or things that meant a lot to me or someone I love.

Fourth goal is, as always, to keep spreading the word about Cemetery Tours and hopefully get some holiday book sales!  Ghosts are great for Christmas!  Doesn’t everyone know this? Hey, only three days in and already 137 have signed up to enter my new Giveaway! If that isn’t an awesome Christmas present, I don’t know what is!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/117688-between-worlds 

What are some of your holiday/end of the year goals?

December Tidings

Well, here we are!  I can’t believe we’re already to December.  I hope all of my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, full of family, food, and all around good times.  I hope all of my non-American friends had a just as splendid weekend with just as much food, family, and good times.

To start the holiday season off, I’m happy to announce the Cemetery Tours Christmas GoodReads Giveaway!  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/117688-between-worlds

Much like the first event, I will be giving away TWO signed copies of BOTH of my books in celebration of the holidays!  I know what you’re thinking.  Ghosts are for Halloween, not Christmas!  Well I think a man named Ebenezer Scrooge would disagree with you!  If ghosts at Christmas are good enough for Charles Dickens, then they’re good enough for you too.

Also, as it is officially December, NaNoWriMo is officially over.  I’d like to offer my sincerest congratulations to those who made 50,000 words!  Sadly, I am not one of them, but I kind of realized I wasn’t going to be around mid-November.  There was just way too much going on!  However, I am so very happy that I participated in NaNoWriMo, because it got me writing a new book that, before, I hadn’t even considered.  Now, I’m 32,000 words in and I’m hoping to finish sometime this month!  It’s so much fun and I’m still really loving it.  Of course, Cemetery Tours 3 is still in the works as well!  I’m so excited, because I’ve had several reviewers mention that they can’t wait for the third one!  I hope it lives up to their expectations!

It’s funny.  I always tried to keep my expectations for life and for my writing career moderately low.  At least, I pretend that they’re low.  That’s because every day, you hear things like, “You’ll never make money writing,” or “This will never be a full-time career.”  I don’t want to seem naive or ignorant, so I go along with it.  But the truth is I want it to be my career.  I want this to be my living.  Yes, it’s a long shot, but this is the only life I’m going to get.  I might as well try.

Anyway, I wish you all a very happy December!  Keep reading, keep writing!

Cool Things

So, I’ve been so preoccupied with my trip to Lubbock and seeing my sister’s first professional production (it was AWESOME by the way) that I haven’t really been keeping y’all up to date with a lot of the really cool things that have been happening lately.

So first, a few pictures from the trip.  Lubbock wasn’t quite as awful to me this time around, but I did suffer some nasty hay fever and my friend totally burned the back of my hand with a fresh-out-of-the-oven baking sheet.  Thanks, Rachel.

Seeing my sister, though, was absolutely the best!

IMG_0139

We caught up on a lot of important issues, like final exams, The Hunger Games, and the new One Direction music video.

There were also several Christmas decorations around, which I loved.

IMG_0163 IMG_0165

There was also tea and and an awesome Lubbock sunset.

IMG_0211 IMG_0212

Then I hopped on a plane and flew home.  I had a great time, but now that it’s over, I’m so excited for Thanksgiving week, I can’t even tell you!

Okay, finally on to the other cool updates.

First of all, I got to meet one of the most iconic writers of our time and a fellow Texan, Anne Rice!

1972267_10204331477820713_7043072142144442066_n

My friend and fellow writer (soon-to-be published author) Savannah graciously accompanied me and we had a lot of fun browsing old books, enjoying White Rock Coffee, and of course, fangirling over writing.  We really lucked out too, because I didn’t realize we needed a ticket to meet Anne Rice.  A very kind and thoughtful man overheard our conversation, walked right up to us, and gave me an extra ticket!  What a cool guy!

Ms. Rice, in case you were wondering, was very polite and soft-spoken.  She signed my copies of The Vampire Chronicles and Prince Lestat, which I am very much looking forward to reading.  Then, I gave her a copy of Cemetery Tours.  I’m not sure if that was a gutsy move, or a very presumptuous one, but I wanted to give it to her A) because I admire her work and B) as a way of saying thank you.  I have no idea if she’ll read it or not, but she was very gracious.

The next cool thing to happen is I finally ordered a dragon from Donna’s Dragons!

This is Simon the NaNo Dragon.

10805772_10204324166157926_4009296445753402323_n

For those who don’t know, Donna is an independent artist who makes polymer clay dragon statues.  Ever since I stumbled across her on Facebook, I’ve been in love with her dragons!  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/DonnasDragons

Cool thing number three is that Cemetery Tours is featured in Pose Magazine’s December Issue as Book of the Month!  I am so humbled and honored and I want to send a huge thank you out to editor Tiffany Jones for including my book in this month’s issue!

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 2.29.32 PM

You can find the issue here: http://www.joomag.com/en/newsstand/pose-magazine-december-2014-pose-magazine/0457396001416541990

Another really, really cool thing is that I recently joined Ancestry.com.  I’ve always been curious about my ancestors and where I come from.  I have found a lot of Yankees, Sons of the American Revolution, Swiss people, and Scots.  It just so happens, however, that one of those Scots is Robert the Bruce.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.02.44 PM

This is a picture of Robert the Bruce I took at Stirling Castle in Scotland a few years back. I had no idea at the time that he is, in fact, my 22nd Great Grandfather.

It turns out my dad is a direct descendent of Kings Robert I (the Bruce), II, and III of Scotland.  This is a really cool thing for me, not only because of how much I love Scotland (I love it a whole lot) and Robert the Bruce is remembered as being one of its greatest heroes, but because growing up, I wanted nothing more in life than to be a Princess.  Well, maybe I just have a minuscule fraction of Robert’s DNA swimming around in my veins, but you know what?  It still counts.  Childhood dream is officially a reality.

Finally, and perhaps this isn’t as cool as all of that, but after taking a few days off, I went back and reread my NaNoWriMo project.  Y’all, I really love it.  I love Cemetery Tours also and I’m still so excited and proud of it and the third one is definitely coming next year, but I am really enjoying this new book.  I can’t wait to finish it and get it out there.  Granted, I’m not sure the same crowd that liked Cemetery Tours will be as into this new one as I am, but that’s okay.  There are a lot of readers out there.  And I love you all.

Enjoy your weekend!  Mine is rainy and cold, but that’s okay, because I have warm pajamas and a kitty.

So… How was YOUR Christmas?

The day after Christmas.

I only had one glass of wine yesterday, but I definitely have a Christmas hangover.  Way too much food, fun, and laughter.  Not that that’s a bad thing.

The holiday festivities began with our annual Christmas Eve trip to Santa’s Village.  Santa’s Village is a fun little thing that the Public Library does every year.  They set up a bunch of little fun houses for kids to go in and get cookies, Christmas ornaments, write letters to Santa, etc…  My sister and I have outgrown the actual houses, but it’s still fun to walk around and look at lights.

Funny story real quick… One year, my sister and I took our little cousins around.  Our oldest cousin was probably about nine or so.  Anyway, we took her and her little sister into Mrs. Claus’ house, where she was handing out Christmas cookies.  As expected, she smiled, wished us a Merry Christmas, and handed each of my cousins a sugar cookie.  Upon receiving her cookie, my cousin looks her straight in the eye and says, “Thank you.  I’m just getting over strep throat.”

I’m sure the look of sheer alarm and panic that poor Mrs. Claus sent me at that moment mirrored my own stunned expression.  It only took me about half a second to recover.  “Okay, then, thank you, Mrs. Claus!”  I said and quickly ushered my cousins out of her house.

After we met up with their father, my older cousin, he asked how it had gone and I told him the story.  He gives me this bewildered expression and goes, “No she isn’t!”

Anyway, that’s one of my favorite Santa’s Village stories.  This year’s trip wasn’t quite as eventful.

Image

Although, my sister almost did get run over by a reindeer.

Image

Image

ImageImage

Afterword, we went to Midnight Mass.  It’s a beautiful service.  We sang my favorite Christmas Carol, “A Stable Lamp is Lighted.”  However, being the High Church Episcopalians that we are, we had incense that not only stinks up the entire church, but also stinks up your hair and your clothes.  Seriously, that smell sticks with you.  I also happened to be acolyting, so I had to stand right behind the thurifer (or the guy who swings the incense).  At one point, I took a deep breath because we were singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” and I inhaled a mouthful of that holy smoke and started choking in front of the entire church.  Fortunately, Episcopalians are really into their Christmas music, so no one noticed.

After the service, we headed home to wait for Santa.

Image

Midnight was excited for Santa also, even though she knows climbing up on the table might land her on the naughty list.

After about three and a half viewings of A Christmas Story (“Agggggghhhhhh I can’t put my arms down aaaaghhhh!”), we finally headed to bed to wait for Christmas morning.

We had a lot of surprises waiting for us!

Image

For example, I got a whole elliptical!  I love it!  I only hope it isn’t my parents’ way of telling me I need to work out more.

I also got Monsters University and Allegiant, so I’m a pretty happy camper.

My sister on the other hand…

Image

She told my parents that she wanted checks for Christmas.  Well, they delivered.  (She actually got some really great presents.  This photo was just too funny to pass up).

After a morning of Christmasy goodness, we headed back to our friends the Kisers’ place (In case you don’t remember them, they’re the ones we spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas with… https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/its-the-holiday-season/).  I’m not even sure how the tradition began.  We’ve all just been friends forever.  The stories I could tell… maybe one day I’ll write a book.  The Annual Kiser-Smith Holiday Shindigs.

Mr. Kiser always has a fun new holiday toy for us to play with.  Last year, it was Robot Fighter Bugs.  I named mine Horatio.

Image

This year, it was Robot Fighter Spiders.  Remote controlled and slightly bigger and creepier, because they actually walk on creepy little robot legs.

Image

Just like any good Christmas gathering, there were Christmas cookies.

Image

However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that someone ate the head off of one of the gingerbread men and then put him back.  Morbid.  And a little gross.

We (the “kids”) took a Christmas walk to the park.

Image

December Skies in Texas are actually very beautiful.

We’re all adults, so naturally, we played on the swing set.

Image

This is Bobby, my brother for all intents and purposes.

While we were at the park, we met the absolute cutest little boy named Keegan.  He came right up to us, with his dad looking on, and began patting our friend Ashwin on the leg and saying, “Buddy… buddy.”  Then, he walked over to Bobby’s little sister, Jenny, and said, “What a mess!”  His dad explained that he’d had a lot of health problems, and that he really liked playing with big kids.  I got a high five from him.  So, so, so cute.   I hope he had the best Christmas ever.

After that, it started getting really cold, so we scurried back to the Kiser home, where we engaged in another holiday tradition: Mario Kart.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it.  I’m not very good at Mario Kart, but my sister is absolutely disgraceful.  This year, however…

Image

She came in third place!!!  It’s actually a Christmas Miracle!

I don’t know how to bring up the highlight of our Yuletide Celebration, so I’ll just say it.  There was a toilet.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Jenny got a toilet for Christmas.  It actually wasn’t the first Christmas toilet in the family.  Bobby got one when he and I were still in high school.  Let me tell you, he was not amused.  His mom (and the rest of us) thought it was hilarious, but he was so angry.  It was just about the funniest thing.  Now that we’re older though, we know how to appreciate the value of a good Christmas toilet.

Image

He’s over 21, I swear.

You can use it as a wine table.

ImageOr a gaming seat.

ImageAnd of course, you should never pass up the opportunity to take an Awkward Family Christmas Photo around the toilet.

The evening ended with a delightful chocolate cheesecake dessert.

Image

Good thing I got that elliptical, because I’m not letting this beauty go to waste!!!

Image

Dessert and more battle bugs.

I hope everyone had the most delightful and merry of Christmases!

Now onto 2014!

Image

Remembrances, Reunions, Goodbyes

I spent my first fifteen years of education in small private schools.  My middle school and high school were one in the same, with 300 students in six grades.  My class was the largest, at around 68 students when we graduated in 2006.  Since walking the stage, I’ve only seen a handful of my former classmates, though of course, thanks to Facebook, I’ve been able to at least see what everyone has been up to.  We have a little Class of 2006 group where we all share updates on our lives.   We were the kind of class who didn’t have bullies or cliques.  Yeah, we all had our own little groups within the group, but truthfully, for a small class of private schoolers, we got along really well and we still support each other.

Last week, one of those classmates was killed in a tragic accident.  I hadn’t seen Ross since our graduation day, nor had I really stayed in contact with him, but it was still a huge shock.  You read stories about young deaths online, and you think, “Oh, how sad.”  But deep down, you never think that it will happen to a family you actually know.  It doesn’t quite register that it’s a real death, a real loss.  Even tragedies like the Newtown shooting, while horrific and heartbreaking, seem more like something you’d read in a sad book than experience in reality.  I can’t imagine what that kind of pain feels like, and to be totally honest, I don’t want to.

This morning, I, along with several of our classmates and band mates (of which we were both members), attended his funeral.  I’ve never been to a funeral for a young person, which is a little strange, especially considering my first book is about ghosts and tragic deaths.  The thing is it’s really easy to write about tragedy and loss when it’s fiction and no one is actually hurting.  Experiencing it first hand is a completely different, and heartbreaking, experience.

Walking into the church was surreal.  At first, it appeared splendid and beautiful, decked out in wreathes of red, green, and gold, Advent candles, and a tall and beautiful Chrismon tree; a glorious temple waiting in joyful anticipation to celebrate the birth of our Lord.  It was so joyous that for a split second, I forgot that I was supposed to be at a funeral.  Then I noticed the simple brown casket, outlined in white satin, facing the alter, and looking terribly out of place in such a festive setting.

I don’t really want to go into details, because in the end, the details don’t really matter.  A young man lost his life, a mother lost her son, a sister lost her older brother, a young girl lost her soul mate.  And all so close to what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

After the service, we all gathered for a small reception and to pay our condolences.  It was touching to see how many teachers and students from our high school had made the time to attend.  As I said, several of us hadn’t spoken in years, but to be honest, it felt like no time had passed at all.  We all still had that bond, that mutual sense of camaraderie, respect, and friendship.  It’s amazing how close we all still are, not only to each other, but to our teachers as well.  I’ve always known I was lucky to have had the high school experience that I did, where we all genuinely cared for one another, and the teachers all treated us like we were their own, but it’s also easy to take the good things in life for granted.  It’s moments like these, the really tough ones, that remind me what true teachers, and true friends, really are.  We might not be as close as we once were, but I know if I ever needed anything, I could call on any one of those teachers or former classmates, and they would be there for me, as I would for them.

Near the end of the reception, Ross’s mother bravely stood in front of the room, thanked us for our prayers and outpouring of love, and implored us to remember the true meaning of Christmas; the love of God, our Savior, family, friends, and spending time together.  You won’t find Christmas at a mall or wrapped up beneath a tree.  You find Christmas in the love of those around you, in the moments you cherish, in laughter and joyful conversation, in driving around with friends drinking hot chocolate and looking at Christmas lights.

Remember to love, to embrace, and to be thankful this Christmas.  And, if you would, say a prayer for those who suffer, those who are lonely or sick, and for those whose holiday will be spent missing a beloved son, brother, and friend, whose young life ended far too soon.

Christmastime is Here

The holidays are busy.  But a good kind of busy!  I’ve spent a lot of time with my friends and sister, been to several different malls (to enjoy the Christmasy atmosphere… too poor to shop!), and eaten a LOT of Christmasy treats (fudge is my favorite).  I haven’t had a whole lot of time to read or to write or to update the old blog, though.  So, until I have the time to write out a long and heartfelt entry, I thought I’d share some Yuletide photographs that I’ve taken around town.  Merry Christmas!

ImageImageImageImage

ImageImageImageImage

ImageImageImageImage  

ImageImageImageImageImage

 

ImageImageImageImage

How Not To Let Marketing Ruin Your Life

I used to believe that formatting my manuscript for Kindle was the worst part of life as a independent author.  While it’s undoubtedly the most frustrating, it’s far from my absolute least favorite part about this path I’ve chosen.  No, my least favorite part is trying to get people to read and buy my book.

(Yes, this is all stemming from the fact that I have a promotional deal going on right now.  No, this is not a scheme to get you to buy it).

I hate telling people what to do.  I hate asking for favors.  I much prefer to keep to myself, do everything for myself, and let other people do whatever the heck they want as long as no one gets hurt.  Unfortunately, marketing is all about self-promotion and asking other people to do stuff.

“Buy my book!  Read my book!  Rate my book on Goodreads!  Review my book on Amazon!  Please, please, please, please, PLEASE?!”

At first, everyone is really excited and eager to help you out because hey, you’re really cool!  You wrote a book!  But then you reach the three month mark and the newness and excitement starts to die down.  That’s fine.  I don’t need bells and whistles.  However, I do still need sales.  All the people I know and love have already bought a copy, so I reach out via social media.  But it’s really hard to convince people to buy your book, especially when you’re an indie author!  Why?

A) You have about a million other Indie authors promoting their books too.

B) Come on, of course the author thinks it’s going to be good!  I myself rarely buy books just because the author asks me to.  I’ve  bought a few, like one about Scotland, but that’s because I really love Scotland.  I’ll also download any book that’s free.  But my interest still needs to be sparked.  Just telling people to buy your book isn’t enough.

December has been a really slow sales month for me, and I won’t lie, it’s been a little discouraging.  Does that mean I’m going to throw in the towel?  Of course not.  But I have noticed that my obsession over marketing and trying to get the book out there more has started to interfere with my life, and that is not okay, especially so close to Christmas!  The happiest time of the year!  Well, when there’s not any ice, that is.

Instead of making fudge and going Christmas light watching and singing carols, all I think about is, “Okay… how do I sell X amount of books by this date?”  And that is not what I want!  I want to enjoy life!  I want to enjoy the holidays!  Yes, it’s important to stay focused, keep working, keep writing, and keep trying to get the word out there as much as I can, but it’s also vital to bear in mind what’s really important in life; family, friends, running barefoot through a pile of leaves, playing in sprinklers, love, laughter… All that is infinitely more important than worrying about how much money my book is going to make me this month.  I’m still going to keep writing and put out the sequel and my next trilogy regardless.

This whole indie author thing isn’t easy, but I do believe, wholeheartedly that it’s worth it.  I consider myself lucky to have found something I’m passionate about.  I love writing, and I’d love it even if I wasn’t trying to make a career out of it.  I write for fun in my spare time. It’s funny, because I’ve always heard that getting paid for something has the potential to take the joy out of it.  It’s weird, but it’s kind of true.  I love writing for fun and I loved writing Cemetery Tours.  Yeah, getting paid for it is great, but I much prefer the process of writing than the process of selling.  As does any author, probably.

On  totally unrelated topic, it’s still cold and icy here.  I actually drove to Target today (without hitting any poles!  Yay!), and I learned that when you drive with two inches of ice on top of your car, the ice tends to break and then slip ‘n slide right off your car and crash right into the street, startling not only you, but also the poor innocent drivers around you.  I live in Texas.  I don’t think these kind of things through.  I’m not sure I even own an ice scraper.  I ended up chipping away the giant slab of ice frozen around my antenna like a giant record away with a tin of gingerbread that I’ve had in my car since Thanksgiving.  Classy, I know.

Anyway, this article might actually be one of the most accurate things I’ve ever read in my life:

http://yestotexas.com/10-reasons-texans-hate-cold-weather/

Stay warm, everybody!