I tend to get gushy this time of year. Become a bit over-thankful for the life I have. But I have a great life. I really do. Healthy family, comfortable lifestyle, loving husband. These all play key roles in my life. Some are because of good plain luck (great genes), and some because of good sense (married the best guy ever). But having said that, it's the passions in life that I'm most thankful for.
I love being a creative person...to be able to look at something and feel joy just because I can see it. To tackle most anything because I know there is a creative solution lurking behind every daunting task. To never be bored because there is always some creative project waiting to be mastered. (Note turkey cake picture: My next creative endeavor!)
Not a whole lot scares me...except driving our big monster RV at night up windy Sierra mountain roads. Never done it mind you because it's just too scary. And besides, Neil handles the big rig just fine and looks pretty cute doing so.
I've always been creative. As a kid, I drew. Constantly. Spent hours at my desk with my typewriter tablet drawing scenes from the books I most recently read. I loved it. During geography class at Stonepark Junior High, I dreamed up William, best known as my protagonist's best friend in Greenwood Girls. I loved the idea of a girl having a boy's name. It wasn't my idea. My then next door neighbor named her second daughter, Laura William Burke. William must have been a family surname, but I thought it was meant to be a regular middle name like my Joan, or my sister's Jane. I was intoxicated with the possibilities. I revised many names in my Greenwood Academy Books to reflect this new trend.
Lately, I've been passionate about writing. There is nothing that gives me more joy than seeing my progress in the seemingly never-ending journey of writing a novel. It's hard and quite possibly the hardest creative task I'll ever do. There are times when I feel like a fool.
To stop all this book writing nonsense and get back to doing what I'm good at. But then I think what I'm good at is seeing what I can be good at. Basically, I love trying.
I'm thankful that I tried and that I finished the novel (and a thousand pages of revisions).
I'm thankful that agents and editors take the time to blog, visit conferences and generally impart as much knowledge as they can to help fledging novelists like me break in.
I'm thankful that there are organizations like SCBWI that take you under their wing and offer guidance through conferences, retreats and critiques.
I'm thankful that children's book writers are quite possibly the most giving group on earth. Well, that may be a bit grandiose, but I'm on a roll.
I'm thankful that my husband quietly supports my freaky writing goals especially when he feels that I'm inept at articulating things like where I put his power screwdriver or the insurance papers.
I say all this because I'm at an stage in my writing career where I feel doubt creeping in. The little voice that says "work harder or give up." Since I can't give up, I need to work harder and in order to work harder, I have to rely on all those people whom I'm thankful for.
And while I think about all this thankful stuff, I think I'll go make a turkey cake.