Filled with Turkey, Pie and Gratitude

With just a few weeks to go until my house is wonderfully overflowing with family, the smell of turkey cooking, and the sweet scent of strawberry-banana-cream pie, I’ve been thinking much about all I am grateful for. I think about Molly, the main character from FINDING PERFECT, and how grateful I am that she stuck in my head long enough that I couldn’t NOT write about her.  I think about Olive, the mc from my work-in-progress and how lucky I am that she, too, has proven to be stubborn and persistent. That’s what writing is really about, right? The character, the story nugget, the crystal of a place or idea that feels so real that it just can’t be ignored. I am grateful for those moments that find their way into my brain just long enough to take hold.

But, the list of things I am grateful for happily doesn’t stop with the characters and the stories that I get to bring to life.

I am grateful for my amazing husband of 25 years, and my 2 incredible sons. Grateful for family on both coasts. To me, family is truly what it’s all about!

I am grateful for the people in my life who taught me to never stop dreaming, to never give up, to never stop asking, Why not me?

I am grateful for my girlfriends who are like the sisters I never had.

I am grateful for my EMLA family. Who knew signing with my amazing agent Trish was a package deal complete with the Erin Murphy’s Dogs and an entire writing community of talented, supportive and all-around awesome people?

I am grateful for the gifts of those no longer with me. My mom who taught me how to love unconditionally and color outside the lines. My father in law who taught me to be fearless. My Gram, who taught me strength comes at any height (she was 4”10 at her tallest) and any age (she died a month ago, just shy of 102).


I am grateful for Angie Chen, my awesome editor, and all the talented people at FSG who are making FINDING PERFECT come to life.

I am grateful for Twizzlers, my happy dance, my little Lu, and being able to write every day.


So, as I sit with those I love watching football on Thanksgiving, I will be filled with more than just pie and turkey. I will be filled with so much gratitude.




Elly Swartz loves writing for children, and not long after she began writing, she got a sign that, indeed, this was the right path for her. She opened a piece of Bazooka Joe gum and wrapped around the sugary, pink delight was a fortune that read, “You have the ability to become outstanding in literature.”  She keeps her fortune tacked next to her desk in her office.

Elly’s debut middle grade novel, FINDING PERFECT, is coming out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, on October 18, 2016. FINDING PERFECT is a middle grade story about a twelve-year-old girl named Molly, friendship, family, betrayal, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. She happily lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband, two tall and loving, twenty-something sons and one-year-old beagle named Lucy.

You can visit Elly on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.


Filed under Happiness, Thankfulness, Writing, Writing and Life

24 responses to “Filled with Turkey, Pie and Gratitude

  1. Thanks for sharing so many special things you’re grateful for. Wishing you great success in your writing career.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such lovely things to be thankful for, Elly. I’m looking forward to meeting your book girls but I’m just as happy about all these other wonderfuls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Thanks, Mylisa. Me, too. Grateful for my writing world and beyond. This time of year, mixed with all that’s happening around the world, felt like taking stock on all that truly matters, was in order.


  3. Another plus: the full feeling from gratitude lasts longer than (and doesn’t give you indigestion like) turkey and dessert. 🙂 Best wishes to you on your next novel and beyond!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Janet Fox

    This is so sweet, Elly. Hugs to you, too, on the passing of your Gram.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna Janell Bowman

    What lovely sentiments, Elly. It is easy to get so caught up in the busyness of life that we forget to slow down and thank all who support us. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Life is busy, Donna, but also happily full of wonderment and love. With all that is happening in the world around us, seemed to be the right moment to just embrace all the good stuff.


  6. Wonderful post, Elly. Glad you took that Bazooka bubble gum fortune to heart! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I related to your Bazooka fortune b/c I have my horoscope for this year taped to the bottom of my computer: “The perfect opportunity will arise to apply yourself. You have skills. Now you just need to relax (WHO? ME?) and let your talent take over.” You are welcome to share this,Elly, even if you are not a Libra!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is wonderful Elly. I’m always ALWAYS happy to be reminded of what I am grateful for. Today I am grateful for your post, among other things! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mariagianferrari

    Thank you for sharing, Elly! So many things to be grateful for, and it’s important to remember that, especially with all of the bad and sad things happening in the world these days. And I so love that photo with your Gram! She’s adorable! So sorry that you just lost her :(. I had a petite Nonna under 5′ too, and she lived to be 93 :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Maybe my gram and your noona are together, reading somewhere : ) Agreed, with all that is going on in our world, it’s so important to hug and love and cherish all that is good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope we get to connect in person one of these days!


  10. mariagianferrari

    We could have a doggy play-date 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a lovely post! I am grateful you kept writing, too – because FINDING PERFECT is an amazing story! I can’t wait to buy and read it! I’m grateful for your friendship, for our commitment to YES, and I hope to see you SOON! Miss you! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Thanks, Debbi. I, too, am grateful for all of those things : ) Miss you huge and can’t wait to reconnect when you are back on the east coast.


  12. darceyrosenblatt

    Not to be too repetitive – but lovely post. I too am grateful for my EMLA family and sharing the debut path with such a great group! Thanks Elly – Enjoy your weekend and your holiday!


  13. Your wonderful list made me smile, Elly. Making a grateful list is such a positive exercise.


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