Of course, all of this preparation is for Thanksgiving, or, as retailers across America call it, Black Friday Eve. It's a time to prepare a feast for 20 for a party of four, overeat, over-drink, loosen several buttons on your jeans, yell at opposing football teams, yell at opposing parade floats, and yell at the neighbor putting up their Christmas decorations before you've even carved the darn turkey. All the while you try to find something to be thankful about before you fall into a tryptophan-induced coma. However, being one of the most hectic holidays, right up there with Arbor Day, the ritual giving of thanks can be forgotten.
It certainly is at my house. After constant replays of the "I'm bored", "He started", and "I hate you" arguments, the massacring of the turkey, and the hours-long cleanup, the urge to be thankful wanes. Thus, to make sure I perform my due diligence for this federal holiday, here's what I have to be thankful for.
First is my family, for without them I wouldn't be the man I am now -- slightly unhinged with a standing reservation for a rubber room. Honestly, I'm thankful they have respected my wishes and remained patient during my critique group meetings, writers conferences, and countless hours spent at the library completing one writing project or another. A sloppy, wet kiss and giant bear hug goes out to my wife, who has pushed me, sometimes literally, to get a writing project done.
Next kudos go out to Colorado. With so much that happened this year my new home state needed to keep a stiff upper lip. I'd like to thank all of those folks who kept it strong -- the firefighters who battled the High Park and Waldo Canyon Fires, the first responders who came to the rescue of the Aurora Theater shooting victims, and the law enforcement officials who captured the teen who kidnapped and murdered Jessica Ridgeway. Everyone involved kept us calm and collected so we wouldn't run screaming from the state in a panic.
On the creative side, I want to thank my brain for producing so many good ideas it's hard to get them all down on paper. Don't worry, I'll finish them up someday. In addition, I want to thank all the agents who, at a minimum, read the query to my manuscript and provided a rejection notice. I especially want to thank Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency for expressing interest in my work at the Northern Colorado Writers conference and sending me the most uplifting rejection letter I have ever received. I still read it to get me motivated.
Speaking about Northern Colorado Writers, I need to thank founder Kerrie Flanagan for providing an outlet for writers like myself to communicate with others via live, person-to-person interaction. Yes, the concept sounds scary at the outset, but this personal conversation thing really works! A huge amount of thanks goes out to the members of my writing critique group. Without their honesty I wouldn't have completed my fiction manuscript or published my first ePub work, let alone cried as much as I did. By the way, thanks to everyone who purchased Cat on a Leash from Smashwords.com. For those who haven't purchased it yet, I'll thank you at a later date.
Finally, I want to thank all of you for coming by this blog. Though I haven't been able to publish as much over the last month or so, your continued visits to the site brighten my day and inspire me to put more out there. You're a great bunch of folks, and I hope you stick around.
All right, you can leave. Go and eat your turkey, loosen your belt, and root for your favorite footballer team on the picture box. Just make sure you give thanks to something during the commercials or in-between bites.