Happy Thanksgiving to All, and What I’m Thankful For

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Here’s the list you’ve undoubtedly been waiting for, and even if you haven’t it comes from my heart. In approximately reverse order of importance, the ten things I am most thankful for this past year:

10. Candy corn, which is why I picked this turkey image–looks like candy corn, don’t you think?

9. OK, seriously, food and shelter and clothing, and if they’re #9 on a list of 10, you know what an entirely privileged person I am. In my defense, #’s 1-8 are all human beings.

8. Everyone at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Special shout-outs to Jen Dodgson and Tanner Curl because they are always nice to me. And special thanks to The Loft for sponsoring….

7. …Gail Rosenblum of the Star Tribune in a free Saturday event earlier this month. She spoke for an hour or so about magazine and newspaper writing, and because I’m such a newbie I learned a lot. (If you click here, you’ll also see a very good Thanksgiving essay she wrote recently, “Recipe for a Feud-Free Gathering.” Although depending when I post this on Thanksgiving it may be too late for you and yours.) Ben Percy was there, too, and made me laugh with the only two departments he’d like to see in book stores, “Books that suck” and “Books that don’t suck.” Also  his reminder of the fiction writer’s greatest calling: “Thrill me.” Yes.

6. My editors at Tiger Oak Publications who have shown great patience with me these last six months or so as I have been paid to write. A novelty, but I could get used to it.

5. My agent who last wrote to me three days ago (OK, not spontaneously but in response to a Debbie-downer of an email I sent her). She said, and I quote: Don’t be discouraged. Hang in there, and congrats about the nomination…

4. …for a Pushcart Prize by the fine people at Connotation Press, Karen Stefano especially. I just now watched/listened to the trailer for her story collection, The Secret Games of Words, and, well…tears. The stories are remarkable. You should buy the book. And my book too–oh, but I don’t have one yet. See #5.

3.  My big, extended family, especially my sisters and my mother, and all of my friends.

2. My children and their S.O.’s, who I am not with as I write this but will, I hope, be with when you read this.

1. My husband who has made it all possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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