It seems to be the time when we take stock of all that we are grateful for. My gratitude list is long, and I can hardly mention everything here, but a few thank yous always need said:
1. Rose for riding along side of me for 30 years. She encourages me, challenges me, and never lets me get away being anything but my best--and still stays around for more. I am a better human being for her presence in my life.
2. The dogs, Brodi and Sunny, and the cat, Nigel. They keep me company, protect me, badger me to get off my ass and walk them, even when it's freezing cold, like today, and beg for ice cream on a nightly basis. They are great companions, and make me laugh daily. I always feel watched over in their presence.
3. My publishing clients who come to me year after year, day after day, for work that I love doing. We depend on each other in a chaotic, constantly changing environment, and do the best work we can. I hope to think that my indexes provide a service to readers all over the world, and answer their questions when they need them the most. I am thrilled to get to do work that I enjoy, that challenges me, constantly educates me, and allows me to live my life on my own terms.
4. Everyone in my fiction world. My editor, who I have been with since the middle of The Scorpion Trail (Josiah Wolfe #2), and makes my books and writing better. She always catches something I missed that I should have caught. My agent, who came into my life after I professionally published my first short story, "The Promotion," and never, never, never gives up on me, or my stories. My novels wouldn't be on the shelves without either of these hard-working women, making it impossible for readers to find my books. My fans and readers are amazing, and I am thrilled when I hear from them, meet them, and learn that they love Josiah and my characters as much, or more, than I do. There is nothing more humbling than to know that someone enjoys my writing.
5. My friends and family, who sometimes think I have fallen into a deep hole, because they haven't seen me, or heard from me, in a while. Writers are the worst at communicating sometimes. Please accept my apologies for not being around more often. I'm usually time-traveling. But you already knew that.
6. And finally, at least for this list, my health. It's been a challenging year, and I've had to find new ways to work and live--Rose, too. And it's working for us both, at the moment. We are healing and functional, and I can't ask for anything more than that.
I have an abundance of riches, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't realize how lucky I am. My hope for you is that you have the same on this holiday, and every day.