November 26th, 2009

coyote

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

I love Thanksgiving. I love the excuse to gather people in a teeming locust-mass, turning life into a potluck adventure of giant birds and pumpkin pies. I love the way the house smells once the first bird gets underway, and the sound of chopping, and the random things folks do to innocent asparagus. Most of all, I love the fact that it's a day where people are expected to stop, look at their lives, and really see what they're thankful for. Not what they're supposed to be thankful for; what they are.

Two years ago today, I was still struggling to finish the book that would become Feed, and still wondering if I was being silly in my refusal to abandon my dreams of being a novelist. Now I have one book on the shelves and five more coming out. All four of the covers that I've seen so far have just been amazing. I have an agent I love (and who puts up with my crazy like a real trooper). I have two editors who make me better than I could ever be on my own. I have two publishers who support me. I have anthologies with my name on the table of contents. I am so thankful for all these things that there are barely words.

I am thankful to the unpaid coal miners who labor on the tropical island where my private reality show is filmed. They scold me when I'm heavy-handed, cut out my sloppy adjectives and wishy-washy modifiers, and generally make me strive to become a better writer. These are the people who sometimes get asked to flip around revisions on a short story six times in sixteen hours. I love them so.

I am thankful for the health and happiness of my cats. Losing Nyssa was even harder on Lilly than it was on me, because Lilly just didn't understand. The fact that she has been able to bond with Alice the way she has is just such a huge relief. Alice herself is a revelation every day, as she grows into all her puffy glory, and Lilly remains the cat I've been praying to have since I was seven years old. I'm so lucky to have them.

I am thankful for the reception that Rosemary and Rue has gotten out there in the big wide world. I had faith in my book, I loved my book, but there's nothing like getting that first positive review and realizing that your faith was at least a little justified. Thank you, thank you, to everyone who's read it, who's liked it, who's encouraged me, and who's said they're excited about the next one. It means everything to me.

Finally, I'm thankful for all of you. I don't know many of you very well, if at all, but that doesn't matter; knowing you exist, participate, read, and care? That makes all the effort worthwhile.

Thank you.