Giving Thanks

on November 27, 2008

Okay, not an original title, but heck, I’ve been on multiple deadlines and right now all my creative energy is going to my WIP.

Have you noticed the depressing blogs and posts over the last few weeks? Sure, we know why. The economy is in the pits and the book business is struggling. Borders is on the verge of bankruptcy, a publisher put a temporary freeze on the acquisition of books (they were overextended as it was, according to reports) and Random House froze pensions. This is a crazy time and because of the uncertainty of the economy, the volatile markets, the low-margin publishing business, and the great unknown, people are nervous. The retailers are bracing for a slow Christmas season and Black Friday is looking kind of gray right now.

But as we all know, the economy goes up and down just like book trends. This will pass. While the big question is what will happen once we reach the upswing, we can be confident in knowing that we have no control over it. What we have control over is in fact very little, but what we can be thankful for is great.

I’m thankful for many things, first and foremost my family. We have a home, we have food, we have our health. We are safe. I am thankful my husband is beginning to understand and tolerate the quirkiness of marrying a writer, and my kids are patient when I forget it’s dinnertime or make spaghetti for the third night in a row.

I am thankful for America and our soldiers who defend freedom and through extension, uphold our Constitution. I am thankful for the right to speak on this blog, the right to go to church, the right to meet with friends and discuss controversial topics without fear of being imprisoned or silenced.

I am thankful for my friends. There are so many I have been blessed with, including some who have in many ways become sisters I never had. I am privileged to be part of this great group of crime-writing women of all genre stripes here at Murder She Writes.

I am thankful for my agent who believes in me, who supports my decisions, and who tells me when I’m right . . . and when I’m wrong. I am thankful for my editor who shows me my story flaws but lets me fix them my own way. I am thankful for my publisher who has supported my books from the beginning. I could not have asked for a better team. I am thankful because I know that talent is only one part of the equation; luck is out of our control.

I am thankful for my mother for showing me her love of books and letting me have my own love affair with stories. I am thankful for Stephen King and his generosity, who wrote back a 13 year old fan and gave words of wisdom I remember daily: Writers write.

I can’t possibly remember all that I am and should be thankful for. But there’s some things I am particularly thankful for . . .

. . . rain, coffee, cats, computers, music, rainbows, oceans, wine, laughter . . .

I’ve been thinking lately of people who have been an influence in my life, that I may not have recognized at the time and probably never thanked. People often give of themselves without expecting anything in return, and sometimes we forget to thank them. There are authors I’ve read who greatly influenced me, movies that have inspired me, people I’ve met who have made me a better human being, mentors who have selflessly guided me. Most of us have had a teacher who made a huge difference in our lives, even if we didn’t know it then. We all have a favorite teacher (Mr. Aragon, fourth grade) and a despised teacher (fifth grade) and a lot of a mediocre, good, and okay teachers.

There were three high school teachers who I liked but never thought they had any influence over who I became. I’ve come to realize that without them in my educational life, I don’t think I would have turned out quite the same. Dwight Perkins, my junior year American History teacher who taught me to see all sides of an issue; Bob Jones, my freshman and senior English teacher, and my creative writing teacher for two years, who introduced me to more books than I can remember and shared his love of stories to the point that I was willing to go on any literary journey with him, no questions asked; and especially Russ Kubiak, my sophomore English teacher, who never let me slack off. It’s amazing when I think back to my high school years, I rarely think about my peers, but I always remember these teachers.


Who’s someone you never thanked that you want to thank for doing or saying something that changed or affected you in a way you’ve never forgotten?

Have a blessed and thankful day.