A Writer’s Thanks

books at a bookstoreNext week I’ll be on vacation, so today I’d like to express my Thanksgiving thoughts from a writer’s perspective and wish you a happy holiday season:

THANK YOU . . .

  • For wonderful wordsShakespeare made them up. So did Dr. Seuss.  But for most of us who tell stories, give speeches, or write to inform, words are our building blocks to success.  We rely on words like “bubble gum” or “candy hearts” to describe a special shade of pink.  We fall in love with words like “buccaneer” or “dragon” that so clearly ignite our imaginations and fill our hearts with adventure.
  • For history–That point in time which helps us see anew the lessons mankind has learned, and gives us a starting point to some of the best fiction around.  Have you read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer this year?  Perhaps Death as a Fine Art by David Morrell is more up your alley.
  • For the future–which is ours to make. We decide whose vision we’ll follow, what dreams we make true just by putting it down on paper (or in today’s world, up on our computer screen).  Fahrenheit 451 was a grim look into the future, but Star Trek  always ended on a happy note. Which future will you look to?  And isn’t it fun to see so many of the gadgets on Star Trek come into being with our own electronics today? I say, dream on, future writers.  We need you!
  • For genre or commercial fiction–many will bemoan the use of tropes and formulaic writing, but I wonder where a romance would be without the two main characters falling in love in the end?  Or how could we turn to mystery time and again if, in the end, the world isn’t made right, the bad guy caught?
  • For Strunk & White — Who gave us the ultimate rule book from which to argue our points of view on grammar and punctuation with the finesse of the finest lawyers arguing over the Constitution. I particularly like the rule, “Avoid the elaborate, the pretentious, the coy, and the cute. Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready, and able.”
  • And especially, thank you for Readers–Without you who generously give your time to read what us writers have written, the world would be a much darker place.  You soak up our words and transport yourself anywhere your imaginations will take you, fueled only by the meager words we writers jot down. You enter a contract with us that says in part, “You write what your mind sees, and I will imagine right along with you.  You entertain, and I will find entertainment within.  You educate and I will learn. You voice an opinion and I will form my own to agree or disagree with you. Most of all, you spend the time to write me a story, and I will read that story. We are friends.”

Thank you to my entire reading, writing, and publishing community. I’m grateful for this wonderful life you share with me.