Most of us have heard the adage from scripture, “for everything there is a season.” This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we respond when our lives call is to something higher. Three years ago, I was driving home from work and I started hearing dialogue for a play in my mind. I ignored it, because I am a theater critic, a project manager, an editor, a marketer– a lot of things that aren’t a playwright. But, the call to write for the stage wouldn’t leave me alone. So, with the world being wrecked by a pandemic, my friend and I got a grant to produce an evening of virtual plays and I wrote one of them.
I did it because I am a storyteller, and when you tell stories you need a lot of media at your disposal to do so. Some stories can’t be articles, blog posts or press releases. They need to be three dimensional. Even in this season of loss, my life called me higher. As you read through this week’s list, I hope that you’ll also take a moment to think about the ways in which your own life might be calling you higher. Most importantly, I hope you answer.
- TO WATCH: At the end of July, God gave me an idea. I’ve been a theater critic for the last 10 years, and in an act of hope, or desperation, or something, I got the idea to commission six Atlanta-based playwrights to pen original 15-minute plays that reflect on how our relationship with technology has evolved over the last 20 years. Thanks to a grant from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the result is “Interface: An Evening of New Virtual Plays.” My college friend and fellow theater nerd Bridgette Burton took the helm of executing this onscreen/onstage experiment. Each play takes place at a different point in the last 20 years, except the play I wrote, which is set in the future. We perform live Dec. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., and I hope you’ll take a look.
- TO EAT: Turkeys and hams are so big and everyone is always wondering what to do with the leftovers. One of the best things I’ve seen is this smoked gouda and truffle quesadilla with your left over turkey or ham as the protein. Add a little spinach to up the nutrients. The whole thing is gooey and decadent.
- TO DRINK: Tis the season for egg nog, and I am one of those people who drinks it. Grab a carton of Southern Comfort egg nog from your local grocer and mix it up with some Richland Rum Coastal Virgin Rum. Add a couple of ice cubes and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Thank me later.
- TO PLAY: My favorite album to kickoff the Christmas season is Christina Aguilera’s My Kind of Christmas. The album, which she released in 2000 features Aguilera belting covers of Christmas classics, such as “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” and “Merry Christmas, Baby.” She also sprinkles in a few original songs. It gets me in the spirit every time.
- TO READ: I had the pleasure of interviewing actress Aunjanue Ellis for the Bitter Southerner. Ellis recently played Hippolyta in the HBO series “Lovecraft Country.” This was on the heels of her Emmy nomination for the Netflix series “When They See Us” and performance in the Oscar-winning film “If Beale Street Could Talk.” We talked about Mississippi, the Black church, activism and finding her voice as a writer. It’s an inspiring read.
- *BONUS* TO SHOP: I have never had the patience for puzzles as a kid, but maybe it’s because Puzzle Huddle wasn’t around. This company makes adorable puzzles featuring Black kids being cool. Their puzzles range from 15-200 pieces, and depict Black chefs, inventors, artists and more. They make the perfect gift for young kids or you can do one and frame these pretty illustrations for yourself.