Happy early Thanksgiving, readers! In honor of the season, I’m going to take this opportunity to be sappy and sentimental and list five things that I’m particularly thankful for as an author.
1: The opportunity to have written and published a book at all. I thank God for orchestrating events such that I was able to take that wonderful Independent Study class in college (the one in which I wrote an initial draft of The Quest of the Unaligned), and for helping me make connections with the right people to get the manuscript looked at by BorderStone Press. So many people never have the time or official motivation (i.e. college grades) to finish the stories in their heads, and those who do often can’t find a venue in which to publish them. I often still can’t believe that my book is actually in print, and actually selling copies in a real bookstore. Every time I realize it anew, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I am able to say that I’m a published author.
2: A computer upon which to type. As an avid re-writer, I am grateful for the ability to change words, move around sentences, backspace, insert words, and most especially, hit the undo button. (I do wish life came with Ctrl-Z!) While I will occasionally jot down ideas on paper, I have never been able to write entire paragraphs, much less scenes, by hand. First, my brain goes too quickly for my hand to be able to keep up, and I get irritated and the words stop flowing. Second, the first thing my brain spits out on paper is rarely, if ever, the right thing for it to spit out. Whenever I try to write on paper, I find myself going through more eraser than pencil lead. All around, computers and keyboards are an amazing invention that I continue to be thankful for every day.
3: A laptop computer. In addition to being thankful for being able to type my posts and stories, I am exceedingly glad that I’m not tied at a desk as I do it. I’ve gotten large chunks of my work done in airports and airplanes, on buses, outside on the porch, inside on the couch, and many other places besides. Having a laptop computer that I can carry around has increased my productivity by an incredible amount, which has resulted in more words on pages, as well as better words on pages. And I think we can all be thankful about that last bit!
4: Good editors, proofreaders, and writing friends. From my co-idea-tosser who explained to me how elemental magic should work, to the wonderful friends in college who told me which characters in my books were annoying and should be rewritten (most of them, at one point or another), what scenes I should expand or take out (for instance, the flood in Brightvale was a later addition), and what grammatical mistakes and typos I’d made (far too many!), I am grateful to all the people who put their time and effort into making The Quest of the Unaligned and my other works of fiction so much better than they would have been otherwise.
5: YOU! That is, everyone who reads my blog, my books, and interacts with me through social media. Thank you for making it so much fun to be an author – I love writing things that make you smile, that make you gasp, that make you cry (though hopefully not for too long!) and that stick in your mind for a while after you’ve read them. Thank you for your amazing Amazon reviews, your friendly Facebook comments, your encouragement in person and online, and your sticking with me on my writer-student-researcher journey over the past year. Thank you, in sum, for being such awesome readers. May you be blessed this season with peace and light, and may you have a very happy Thanksgiving!