Friday, November 23, 2007

Making a Literary Life Friday: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. It isn't really about the turkey and cranberry and pie. It's about taking the time to reflect on how fortunate you are, how blessed your life is. The members of the Writers' Group have a good deal to be thankful for this November 23, and much to look forward to in the coming months.

Happy Thanksgiving to you. May you be grateful for what you have, and positive about all that lies ahead.

There are glass balls and rubber balls, and they're bouncing all around us. The glass balls are what counts, truly counts: family, dogs, friends. The rubber balls, well, they're nuisances, inconveniences - ever have a bird poop on your head? I give thanks for those precious glass balls suspended in the air around me.

It's usually late afternoon when I find myself in the kitchen, making dinner for my children. They whirl around me -- the kids, their same-age cousins across the street, Babe the puppy, my kitties -- and I can usually count on the phone ringing, too, a friend wanting to chat. But before it does, there I am standing at the sink, looking out over the backyard, maybe there's a flock of turkeys wandering through or a coyote skittering near the brush or a lone doe rooting for acorns, and I am thankful. Thankful that I don't have to put my children to bed with hunger pangs, thankful we're not living in a cardboard box by the highway underpass, thankful we're not winding our way through Boston's narrow streets to make yet another oncologist's appointment. My greatest blessing in life is to have been surrounded by truly remarkable people, people who share their lives with me, if only in passing. To each of you reading this, especially the women of my Writers' Group, thank you.

This year has been one for learning many small lessons; applying them is always the trick, of course! I am truly thankful for everything I have been given -- and earned -- and am trying to live more in the moment with each piece of it so as not to miss a thing. Thank you to all of you for sharing your experiences, thoughts and support!

While I am humbled by my good fortune in making my literary life--my books, my writers' group and this community-- it is in the bountiful blessings of family life that I am most grateful. All I can say is thank you all!

Conferences: There are some good ones coming up, but check the application deadline because they're looming.

Writers in Paradise includes some amazing writers such as Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), Laura Lippman (What the Dead Know), and Ann Hood (The Knitting Circle). This is one some of us may be applying to next year.

New York City Pitch and Shop is just a couple of weeks away. If you're interested in having work critiqued by some of the key people in publishing, this is for you. There are no workshops on craft, rather this is for the writer who is ready for the next step.

And it's never too early to plan your trip to Boston. Don't forget Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace. This is for emerging writers at all levels. Whether you're just starting out or you have a finished manuscript and agent, the Muse is a great place to come network and learn. You won't want to miss Jonathan Franzen.


Sustenance Scout said...

Hope you're all enjoying a fun holiday weekend with those you love! I've been on a posting roll today, ending on a sweet note that includes a Writers' Group quote. Enjoy! K.

Lisa Marnell said...


Wonderful to have you stop by. Have a relaxing weekend.

Leigh Russell said...

Doubt if I'll ever make it to Boston, but it's great to see you're still out there, writing and writing about writing. I hope you don't mind if I keep dropping by, now I'm back on the blog. (I took a couple of weeks off to deal with my editor's comments!! - see my blog if you can bear to read more...!!)

Dot said...

Dear Ladies of the Writer's Group Blog,
I enjoy your blog as it is not only informative, but is truly inspirational and interesting.

My writer's group and yours have crossed paths at various writing related events and I wanted to take this time to, 1.Congratulate Lynn on the success of Negotiation Generation. I work at Borders Express and we had to special order it. We continually sell out and have had to reorder many times over.
2. Congratulations to Amy and Lynne on your publishing successes for your fiction work!! I look forward to reading them and attending your booksignings.

Hannah and Lisa, may you also enjoy publishing successes.

Dottie Grant Cohen

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Leigh, yes, editing is its own journey, isn't it? Good luck with it all. Just 5 more months and your book will be out.

Dot, you're so thoughtful to let us know how well Lynne's book is doing. Of course I remember you. And thanks for the good wishes on our upcoming books. Hope to see you at Grub South tommorrow night!


Anonymous said...

Hey, what a great blog. Love the Gregory Maguire interview too. I'll be adding this to my list of favorite blogs. Keep it coming.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Hi, Wayne, thanks for stopping by and adding us to your blog roll. Isn't the Gregory Maguire interview fantastic? Not only is he a brilliant and generous writer, but this was Lisa's first foray into journalism and she handled like a seasoned pro.