Welcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!
Thanksgiving is this Thursday, here in the USA. The history twist that brought about this day in the first place aside, it’s not merely a day when we stuff ourselves so full of food we can’t move. It’s a day to be thankful. So on that note, I’d like to list all the things that I’m thankful for.
What does this have to do with writing? Plenty. If we’re in a thankful frame of mind, it’s easier to focus on the positive things in our lives, including the energy and the focus needed to write.
First and foremost, I’m thankful for my faith. I don’t talk about it on Facebook because up until this year, I’ve kept a fairly low profile when discussing politics or religion. Sorta broke that rule about a dozen times a day as the election drew closer, so I might as well break it all the way.
I consider myself a Christian because I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, but don’t let that fool you. I was raised Catholic, and from the time they first taught us in school that anyone not Catholic was going to hell, I had a major issue with such rhetoric. Oh yes I did. There I was, at eight years old, raising my hand to ask Sister Mary Whatever-Her-Name-Was why my best friend at the time, Tracy, whose family wasn’t Catholic but who were still good people, wouldn’t be in heaven. Man. Was I ever in trouble over that one.
But of course, being the stubborn Sicilian Scorpio I am, I didn’t let them stop me from believing that we are all God’s creatures, and He loves each and every one of us. So you won’t find me spouting right wing evangelical rhetoric. The hypocrisy in that hype makes my skin crawl. And, as far as I’m concerned, your faith is between you and your deity or deities of choice, and is none of anyone else’s business. As for the afterlife, well, I guess we’ll each find out one day, right? In the meantime, we’re here to live our lives on this planet, and to try to do good with them while we’re here.
So… onto the next thing I’m thankful for. My husband and daughter. They keep me sane in an insane world, and remind me of who I am. I’m not only Ravenna Tate. I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, and an aunt. I’m a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, a niece, and a great-niece. I’m connected to people through blood or marriage ties around the country, and around the globe. We all are. It’s important. Love ’em or loathe ’em, family is still family.
I’m thankful for my gifts. We all have them. The trick is to figure out what to do with them. Earlier this year, when I was forced into a new role at work that I was less than thrilled with, I quickly realized how much it afforded me the opportunity to use my gifts. While I do miss the extra writing time I had, the role has proven to be more rewarding than I ever imagined it would be during those first few weeks.
I’m thankful for my writing career. It’s not what I had imagined it would be. It’s not what I still hope it could be. I couldn’t buy food, let alone live, off my royalties. I can’t seem to write that ONE book that leads to the cascade that rockets me into super-stardom. Every day I think about writing something more mainstream and submitting it to agents, but the more time that passes, the less brave I become about doing so.
However… I happen to be with the BEST digital publisher out there – Evernight Publishing. I know they’re the best because I left once, tried others, and came back. I’m not stupid. I know a great thing when I see one. I have the freedom to explore the darker, quirkier side of my writing. The staff is top-notch, professional, and responsive to the needs of their authors. My readers are loyal, and they’re also my FRIENDS.
My fellow authors are phenomenal to work with. We’re a supportive bunch. Any diva-like nonsense or cutthroat competition is quickly weeded out because we as a group simply don’t allow it. That’s not what this is all about.
I’m thankful for my health. Sure, my arthritis is getting worse every day. Some days my hands are so stiff and numb I wonder how I can type at all. I go down the stairs in my house sideways because it hurts my knees too much to go down them facing forward. When I rise from my desk at work to walk down the aisle to the printer, I have to take baby steps at first until the knees decide to work at all.
But I can still walk. I can hear, I can see, and I can speak. I can still type. My brain still functions. My memory is as sharp as ever. And I have more story ideas than I will have time to write in this lifetime. If I had to sprint down the stairs or run away from danger, I could. And the older I get, the less I find those silly fears I’ve had all my life bother me. It’s as if I’m finally outgrowing them as I realize how fleeting our lives actually are.
And last but certainly not least, I’m thankful for the beauty and majesty of this planet. Gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, the stars and the moon, the colors of the changing seasons, the green grass, and the pure white snow. The cheerful song of a bird in the morning, and the constant song of an insect during the night. These things are easy to take for granted because we see and hear them every day.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving this month, or celebrate a version of it in another country during a different month, I hope you don’t mind that I took this time to share my thankfulness with you.
Until next week, Happy Writing!!