This week most of us are rushing around as we prepare for the holiday of Thanksgiving, and consequently, we’re probably not doing much physical writing. What we are doing is preparing for the influx of family and friends, shopping for our holiday dinner or (not me!) hunkering over store ads as we plan our after Thanksgiving assault on the stores—like generals preparing for a land and sea invasion.
We may not be putting words on the page, but holidays are rife with writing possibilities. I personally like to watch and listen to the swirl of humanity around me as I go about my preparations. If we pay attention, we’ll find writing ideas more plentiful this time of year—while we wait in line, on the roads, in the stores, but especially in our homes. There’s nothing like family thrown together in one spot to provide a little drama and a lot of writing fodder.
The tradition of Thanksgiving is steeped in the spirit of friendship, fellowship, and sharing, not to mention gratitude, and for that reason I try to take a little time to stop and reflect on my blessings. I hope you’ll indulge me as I do that now, but rather than listing the old standards (family, friends, health), I thought it would be more interesting (and fun) to list my writing blessings.
So here they are:
- My Writing Buddies. Before McD I wrote alone—completely utter alone. Now, I’m part of a wonderful community of talented writers. I can never adequately express my gratitude for the advice, help, ideas, support and just plain friendship of Elizabeth, Jilly, Jeanne, Justine, Kay, Michille, Micki, Nancy, and Tiffany. To me, the community we’ve formed personifies the traditions of Thanksgiving: Friendship, Fellowship, and Sharing. It’s truly an honor to spend time with you ladies. Thank you.
- The Ability to Write. The frustration and pain of writing can easily obscure the fact that the ability to write well is a gift. Few experiences rival the sensation of getting lost in the writing experience. It’s pure joy to discover a new facet to a character you thought you knew well, or to create a scene that suddenly develops a life of its own and drags us in an unexpected direction. Turning a blank page into one with new words is a rush. I’m grateful for the creative gifts that allow me to experience that rush on a regular basis.
- Readers. Reading is another gift for which I’m eternally grateful. I’m also thankful to all of the readers out there. Without readers, writers would look a little silly (not to mention crazy) talking to themselves. A personal thank you to everyone who has joined the Eight Ladies this year as we’ve shared our writing journeys. We appreciate you!
- The Genius & Generosity of Jennifer Crusie. Words can’t express my deep gratitude to Jenny, so I’ll just say “Thank you.”
- My Characters. Delving into the lives of Cheyenne, Reed, Hawk, and River is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon (or morning). More importantly, immersing myself in their world has seen me through some rocky times. Their story continues to enrich my life as it evolves and grows. I look forward to the day when I can pass their story along to my readers.
- My Office. Yeah this one might be weird, but I love everything about it. The pale peach of the walls, my corner desk, my hand-built cherry bookcases, my Mac, and my books! Unlike many writers, I have a dedicated room for my office and it’s my personal refuge from the world. It’s a luxury, and one for which I’m thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!