Monday, November 25, 2019

A Writer's Thanksgiving

This Writer’s List of Thanks

Like many people, I take a little time off this Thursday to gather with family, feed myself into a stupor, and give thanks for things in my life that sometimes go overlooked. Though this is a longstanding tradition, in some ways it is very new. I am still trying to get used to the ideal amount of eating at the Thanksgiving table, but I imagine I will be very much coming off a calorie high on Friday. (I also will not be posting Friday – we all need some time to recover.) So, to kick off the holiday season, I am dedicating this post to those things which I am thankful for as a writer.

I am truly thankful for not working on Friday. As a writer, this might seem like an unnecessary mention, but it really means something. During my decades in the financial sector, the Friday after Thanksgiving was very much a work day. Sure; plenty of people would take a vacation day, but our department still needed someone there to take calls and stare at the open field of empty offices and cubicles. I’d step in every time, saving a vacation day for later and making a lonely trip to the city. After twenty years of working on the quietest Friday of the year, I moved to writing and no longer have to face that. For that I am thankful.

There must also be a quick mention for a simple joy – this is more from the editor’s side. I am thankful for weird words that always give people pause, particularly common words with odd singular forms. Most people forget that data is plural; the singular is datum. And while we all know what confetti is, the singular (one piece of paper thrown in celebration) can be either confetto or confettus. Try celebrating someone’s good news with one little confetto-worth of excitement. (There is some argument whether one spaghetti noodle is a spaghettus, but that’s for another discussion.)

On a more serious note, I am thankful for the family support I have received when I turned toward writing. When someone says, “I am going to be a writer,” they are usually met with a passive, “That’s nice,” response, as if the announcement is about a new hobby, like jogging. So imagine when someone says they have decided to go professional with their jogging. That response can vary wildly, but it’s rarely supportive. However, my friends and family backed me one-hundred percent. How about that for something to be thankful for?

Getting back to the family part, as a writer I am quite thankful for having relatives with such exaggerated traits and qualities that they just inspire creativity. Every writer will hopefully sit down for Thursday dinner with a Rogue’s Gallery of family members, each worthy of at least a short story if not the inspiration for a series of off-beat comedies. Writing about them is a personal decision. Having them around is constant inspiration, and for that I am thankful.

And I must close with one last thanks for those who inspired me in my journey but sadly passed away this year. This has been a rough twelve months with far more funerals than weddings, but this brings out the magic of writing. The art of the written word is a way of immortalizing parts of people’s lives. They remain everlasting in the words we shape into stories we share. For all of those in my life who have crossed the river, they still exist in my writing. That is my way of showing just how thankful I am for having known them.

To all my readers, Happy Thanksgiving. The next post will be the Monday after Thanksgiving, assuming I have recovered.

2 comments:

  1. I am thankful you joined our group, Jim. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and make sure you recover by Wednesday!

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    1. And I am thankful you didn't lock the door when you saw me coming. Happy Thanksgiving!

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