It’s that time of year – church services, parties, family dinners, shopping … running around trying to find gifts for those closest to you.
For me, that’s difficult for a few reasons. First, no matter how creative my fiction may be – my gift-picking gene is stunted. Second, those difficult people on my list are difficult because they will like anything, which makes me want to work harder to get them something awesome. And last … these people deserve more than presents.
So this blog post is perfectly timed. Here are my gifts.
For Patti – my muse. I cannot imagine writing without you, without the ability to work through what-ifs with you. My books are better because you challenge me to think deeper and critically.
For Sherry – my Pollyanna. You keep the joy of this wild and wacky ride in the forefront of my mind, and you keep me on track. And we both think “ninnyhammer” is the best adjective we’ve heard all year.
For Cheryl – my dreamer. By nature, I expect the worst – that way I’m pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen. You are my shot of hope when I need it.
For Carol – my critic (in the best way). You make me a stronger, more thoughtful writer. Your questions make my plots better, and your skill inspires me every day.
For Melinda – my one-woman fan club. Sometimes I think I come up with new plots just to see you eyes light up.
For Greg – there aren’t words, or at least enough of them. For putting tires on my car so I could get to my first conference, for hauling me to the airport at the crack of dawn, for handing out my business cards at work and learning how to find my book on Amazon – I love you. There are very few men who could discuss history, medicine, weaponry, plot twists, and male behavior – all before 9 a.m.
Writers are a solitary breed. Even when we’re in a crowd, we’re probably thinking of a plot or listening to dialogue instead of participating in the conversation. We’re either shut up in our office or staring at our computer with single-minded intensity. But we need those connections to other people. Whether they listen to our plots, help us spin them, or kick us in the behind and tell us to talk about something else for a few minutes – we need people.
These are my people. I’ve had an incredible year in my writing career, and next year is shaping up to be pretty good too. I couldn’t have done it without this group. I’m not sure it would have been possible without them. And I don’t think I tell them that enough. (But don’t worry, there are still things under the tree.)
What about you? Whether you write, knit, run, garden … who are your people? Who keeps you going?
And Merry Christmas!