Monday, November 23, 2020

An Attitude of Gratitude

The great Turkey Festival and Food Frenzy Season is upon us--albeit in a smaller portion. This year, in deference to a virus that loves a crowd, we'll be keeping it small with our "bubble" family. As I reflect on the meaning of this holiday in this lull before the storm, I thought it would be good to make a list of everything that I am grateful for this year not only as a wife and mother, but also as a romance writer.

As I sit down with a cup of coffee, fall is blowing into Maryland, stripping red, yellow, and orange leaves off the trees. I am so very grateful for all in my life today—even the trials and tribulations that forced me to leave my comfort zones and grow. We cannot know what life will bring us. We can only know our path upon looking back. And along that path, are many helpers to whom I give thanks. The following is a list of people who have enabled me to become an award-winning author and who never doubted my efforts—although I often did.

First and foremost, I’m grateful for my family and the support they provide for me in my professional and writing endeavors. When I was given the opportunity to direct the graduate program of my dreams, my husband and son cheered me on, knowing that I love teaching and mentoring young professionals. They also realized I would need to carve time out of my family life to continue my fiction writing. To this end, my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and even my grandson, have supported me with enthusiasm and without reservation.  

Second, I continue to be enormously obliged to my subject matter and sensitivity experts, and alpha, beta and gamma readers who have forced me to rethink characters and motivation, as well as smacked me with reality checks on factual and physical matters in my works. They reminded me at every turn that representation matters and that it is important to know about real people when I write my characters. Without careful readers, I know my writing would be less polished.

Third, I’m deeply indebted for the time and efforts from my editor and friend for the past ten years, Amanda Barnett. She has been my midwife, coaching me through the delivery of my book babies.

Fourth, I am beholden to the larger community of writers and bloggers who support me with social media, blog visits, and shout outs on every forum known to man. I can’t keep up with all the platforms and am learning new ones each day. Thanks for having my back!

Finally, my books and stories would be meaningless without my readers. Every time a reader tells me that a book has moved her or him, I am humbled and honored. My deepest thanks to those who not only read, but also take the time to give me feedback in comments and reviews. Writers live for those moments.

I wish you comfort food, loving families, and warm friendships. May your plates be full, your cups overflow, and your hearts be bursting with love and joy!

Sharon Buchbinder