For those of you who don’t live in Canada, let me explain that we celebrate Thanksgiving — a harvest festival– on the second Monday of October. It’s a great time to give thanks as the garden crops are safely stored, the apple and pear trees and begging to be picked and pumpkins brighten the farmer’s fields with their stunning orange. Not only that, but the trees are turning colour. It is a most beautiful time of the year. Who wouldn’t give thanks.
Traditionally, we celebrate with a big turkey dinner with friends and relatives. We eat too much, enjoy pumpkin pie with whipped cream and then go back and snare a few more bites. I’m writing this post while still feasting on left over turkey. I love turkey sandwiches.
Of course, the whole point of the day is to remind us to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives. Here is my list of writerly gratitudes.
- Great books. This year I’ve found myself lost in a story over and over again. I’m so grateful to those authors who churn out a compelling tale that takes me beyond myself.
- Writer friends. We’re a strange breed, we writers. We live in our heads most of the time. We’re always wondering “what if . . .?” It’s good to have company in the wilderness.
- The internet. For all it’s flaws and dangers — and there are many– the internet allows me to look up facts in a few minutes rather than the hours needed to go to a library and find the proper reference book. It also allows me to stay in touch with all those writer friends, from Australia to my own back door.
- Libraries. My own library has reorganized itself, much to my chagrin, to be a “happening place” with a very meagre supply of actual books. I hope that is an anomaly. I love walking into a well stocked library and browsing the stacks. Who knows what gem will appear?
- Authors who share. As well as reading many great books from excellent authors, I’ve been able to attend workshops from first rate teachers. I can read blogs daily, weekly, or on occasion from people who understand both the craft and business of books. I can send an e-mail to someone I’ve never met and get a helpful reply. Authors truly are terrific. As a side note, Margaret Atwood has just won her second Booker Prize for Literature. She is donating her share to the Canadian Indigenous charity, Indspire, one she has previously helped with her late friend and First Nations leader, Chief Harry St. Denis.
- All those scribes from every time and place who “wrote it down” so that succeeding generations will know the facts and the stories and the details of everyday life that the historians might leave out.
Happy post Thanksgiving to everyone. May your shelves be filled with lovely books and your mind spin out stories to transform the world.
P.S. Feel free to share your own writerly thanksgivings in the comments section.