Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving: What the Deadly Daughters are thankful for this year
When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was more or less about the food. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to enjoy taking stock of all the things I’m thankful for. Here are three that are particular to this year for me:
1. The Internet, for making it so much easier to keep in touch with my friends, who live on almost every continent and span many religions, races, and ethnic groups. We’ve shared baby pictures (and prenatal sonograms!) and grandchild videos across thousands of miles and been able to give and receive emotional support through all the ups and downs, including wars and natural disasters.
2. My beautiful city, New York, still brimming with life and spirit(you may call it “attitude”) ten years after 911.
3. The gift of music and the magic of a good collaboration: this year I spent hundreds of happy and harmonious (in every sense) hours co-producing a CD of my songs with an old friend in his recording studio, a lifelong dream come true. I’d say I can’t wait for the finished product, except that I’m enjoying the process so much I’ll be sorry when it ends.
1. I know it's corny, but I am ever thankful for my husband, the long-suffering one, the most understanding one in the world without whom I would not have slogged through the years and years of rejections and finally made my goal of being a published author.
2. Having inside me somewhere the ability to weave interesting stories out of whole cloth, a whispered word, or a picture of something in a book. Where does the Muse come from? Who cares! Just keep it coming.
3. I, too, appreciate the internet and the bounty it has to offer. Research is a snap because you can find the book and the library or archive its in, contact that archive, and connect with great people half a world away. It's a miracle!
4. And I love our Thanksgiving holiday camping and cooking the "man turkey" on a huge spit over the fire.
The older I get, the more thankful I feel; perhaps that's just the natural way of things. I find myself feeling grateful for my legs every time I take a walk, and for other things I might once have taken for granted, like the ability to breathe deeply and the chance to see the autumn colors.
I'm grateful for my intellect and for the ability to communicate my thoughts both verbally and in writing (and I feel this every time I watch my mother struggle with her aphasia).
I'm grateful for my sons and the fact that they've grown up to be intelligent and independent--and of course this gratitude becomes greater each day because I know that they will not always live here with me.
I'm grateful for my job and for my students, and for the sense of humor I inherited from my family. Like Jeri, I'm grateful for my husband, and for the memories we've made together.
I could go on all day, but here's one last one: I'm grateful for books and the wonderful stories that people tell, and for my ability to access them and read them!
It's been one strange year, hasn't it? And it's not even over yet. For me it's been a kind of half-full/half-empty experience.
I broke my ankle in Ireland early in the year--but I'm grateful for the unexpected insights the event gave me into "real" Irish life, which I can use in a book. I'm also grateful that the ankle healed well and is back to 99% normal (and I can even dance!).
I'm grateful that my readers like my work enough to convince my publisher to both extend contracts and offer a new one, so that I can continue to do what I love and even get paid for it.
I'm grateful to be part of what promises to be a revolution in the publishing world, as both writers and publishers struggle to make the transition from print books to ebooks. It may be a while until the dust settles, but I continue to believe that what matters is that we get our words out there for people to enjoy, no matter what the format.
I'm grateful that our daughter is still living with us and working fulltime (at a bookstore!). While of course I hope that she will move on and create a life of her own, filled with work that satisfies her and people whose company she enjoys, I'm happy to have her around now. I'm also glad that somehow we managed to instill a solid work ethic in her (she's even saving money!).
Like Julia, I'm thrilled that my favorite writers continue to produce new books that bring joy to me and their other fans. And thanks to the Internet, we can access publications that have long since fallen out of print and out of sight.
For more than a year, I've been profoundly grateful for the hunk of steel and plastic that now serves as my right knee. It's a nuisance at airport screening stations, but getting a full security pat-down in view of hundreds of other travelers is a small price to pay for the absence of pain.
Given the turmoil in publishing, I'm grateful that I still have a print publisher and an editor who appreciates my writing. I'm always grateful when a reader takes the time and trouble to let me know she or he enjoyed one of my books.
On a larger scale, I'm grateful that at least some of our troops are coming home from a war zone without the threat of a quick redeployment hanging over them.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers from Poe's Deadly Daughters!