Nov. 24, 2013
I have a confession to make. I am a scatterbrain. Well, not always, but lately. Life has been so full of, well, life, that I forgot to plan for this scheduled blog post until yesterday. Eeks! Then came the panic. What should I write about? I posed the question to my hubby and thirteen-year-old son at a local sandwich shop. There was a volley of reflective and silly suggestions.
Hubby “Write about how writing is a lot like Kiddo’s experience with football. How insecurity and nervousness can make you focus yourself into being an invaluable player.”
Kiddo “Trucks. Write about trucks.”
Hubby “Or how the key to you nailing that first book is that you never gave up.”
Kiddo “No, trucks. How the Ford F-250 is the best in Texas and EMLA.”
Kiddo “Onions. No, peppers. I hate onions and peppers. Write about onions and peppers. And trucks.”
What was the question again?
On second thought, maybe my scatterbrain-ness isn’t such a mystery after all. But, rather than discussions about trucks, onions, football, or more trucks, let’s talk gratitude, shall we? It is Thanksgiving week after all.
I have a great deal to be thankful for. 2013 has been good to my writing career: “The call” finally came for my first trade book; I finally broke into the educational market with two book deals; I have been welcomed into an agency full of remarkable new friends; I’m tackling revisions for an interested editor on a beloved project; And, there might be a bit of unrelated good news under wraps for the moment, too. That’s a bigger bucket of success than I could have imagined in years past.
I am grateful for every step forward. All writers inhabit that dusty sweat camp of words, where we rely on hope to fuel our stories. I always imagine the writer’s landscape as scenes from Louis Sachar’s HOLES, where Stanley and his unfortunate fellow “campers” are charged with digging for presumed treasure. That pretty much sums it up for us, doesn’t it? When one hole offers nothing but dust in our mouths and eyes, we move on to the next hole, er story, until we find IT. Until we are in the right place at the right time. Usually, we are arm-linked with fellow writers. In Stanley’s case, his lifeline actually was a truck. And onions. Hmm…there’s an odd coincidence.
This week, I am grateful indeed:
I am grateful for my family’s health and happiness.
I am grateful for the blessings of an imagination, and a sense of curiosity.
I am grateful for the authors and books and mentors that came before me. They are my teachers.
I am grateful for the time and means to chase a career that has no guarantees.
I am grateful for the piles of rejections, for they are my stepping stones.
I am grateful for friends and family who support my dreams.
I am even grateful for those who have doubted me, for their doubt fueled my determination.
I am grateful for my Austin SCBWI family, my EMLA family, and my critique partners.
I am grateful for an agent who encourages me and watches my back.
I am grateful for editors who are toughees on the outside, but softees on the inside, especially the ones who give me a chance.
I am grateful for readers who are willing to unplug and turn the pages. And librarians who are always our champions.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. May your bellies be full, your spirits be high, and your opportunities be endless.
Now, please tell us what you are especially grateful for this year.