I’m Thankful For . . . (Writer’s Edition)

Right. I know it’s hokey and trite, but everyone else is doing “what I’m thankful for” things this week, so . . . here goes.

1.) Beta Readers. If you have good beta readers, you know there’s nothing better. They’re supportive, they’re honest, they make great comments, and usually, they’re right.

2.) My Characters. Let’s face it:  there’s no way to have a story without a character. Heck, I wrote a short story once about a Kleenex, of all things, but by gum, that Kleenex was a character! 🙂 But I mean the characters that choose us. The ones that appear out of nowhere, stories and conflicts tucked away in their suitcases, and make themselves at home. The ones you can’t shake, and don’t know what you’d do without.

3.) My Laptop. This is, by far, the hokiest of the hokey, but . . . I love my laptop. It’s a Dell Inspiron, 15″ screen, pink, with a black piano lacquer keyboard. It’s been my companion for seven years. It still runs Office 2003 . . . and I like it that way!

4.) The National Archives. For finally coming through with the HUGE case file I needed for my nonfiction book research! I just got the email today, three months after I first contacted them. It’s 2,500 pages, give or take, and they are keeping it for me at the site closest to me until I can go view it in person, in two weeks. Maybe sooner. 🙂

5.) On that note . . . Local History. Like a lot of small-town papers, mine, the Arkansas City Traveler, isn’t that great. But they do run this little “100 Years Ago Today” feature, which is where I found the case that hopefully will become my first nonfiction book. Those little nuggets of history were gifts, and I’ll never, ever forget that. It’s also the paper that keeps me laughing over things such as a local sheriff – and the D.A. – being arrested for possession of liquor and public drunkenness during Prohibition. Things that someday, will make Nicky’s story come alive.

6.) My Local Coffeehouse. Without which I would have to travel 1 hour to find the nearest Starbucks’. Not to mention free Wi-Fi, the greatest coffeehouse owner you could ask for, and some great conversations. It’s a great place to sit and write without interruption. You bury your head in your laptop and type away madly, and people do tend to leave you alone. 🙂

7.) Bits of Inspiration. Or, as I also have referred to them, “history’s orphans.” I can look at an object and think about its past, and sometimes even find a way to incorporate that into a story I’m writing. But the items have to find me first. And if they’re meant to, they do.

8.) Purple Pens. I used to edit in red, but I’ve moved to purple now. It’s a bit friendlier. Oddly, I even find myself writing fewer nasty comments to myself, and more comments that are constructive and funny. If you don’t have a purple pen, get one. You’ll love it. I promise. 🙂

There are other things I’m thankful for, but . . . when it comes to writing, these are definitely my Top Eight.

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