Last week I gave thanks for the bumps on my road to publication. Thanks for those obstacles in my way, hell bent on challenging the notion I can become an author some day. I said I was grateful for a thankful heart which sees hardships for what they truly are...a chance to reaffirm a dream I'm trying to make into a reality.
With Thanksgiving only three days away, I think it's time to also say a prayer of thanks for the people who have joined me on this journey and who have blessed me with their friendship, their loving support, and their words of wisdom as I continue to grow as a writer. To all those kindred spirits who have achieved their personal writing goals this year, I cheerfully do the happy dance in their honor. To those merry cheerleaders who lifted me up when I doubted myself, you don't know how thankful I am for the strength of your support during the times I needed it the most.
But to a few very special people who have gone far beyond the casual camaraderie to help mentor and impart their own brand of kindness, they will always have a special place in my heart:
Susanna Leonard Hill...the first author to say a kind word to me. Susanna has done everything from providing incredibly insightful critiques of my manuscripts to providing words of advice when I'm struggling with understanding this path I'm on. I don't think she fully understands how much I admire her both as a writer and as an individual.
Beth Stilborn ...the first person in this writing community to make me feel truly welcomed. We met online through PiBoIdMo and I have sought Beth's counsel many times over the years on both personal and professional matters. She has a sweet, loving spirit and I'm honored to call her my friend.
Tara Lazar...the amazing founder of PiBoIdMo. If it wasn't for her drive to create an event for picture book writers, I quite literally wouldn't be writing this post. I met Tara during PiBo two years ago and my very first blog post back in December of 2011 was to thank her for making my dream of becoming an author just a little bit more real. I admire her courage and determination to stay true to herself and to uphold the integrity of the written word.
Julie Hedlund...dynamic leader of the 12 X 12 forum for picture book writers. Before I met Julie, I had attempted to query one editor after almost three years of writing. It was a horrible query letter which of course was promptly rejected and it wasn't until I joined as a GOLD member of her 12 X 12 forum that I gained the confidence to send my manuscripts out into the world. She and I have had many conversations about the life of a writer and I consider her a good friend and wise mentor.
Writers are known for having a way with words but right now all I can say is thank you ladies for being a friend to me. Most people never find out they've made a difference in someone else's life. Now the whole world will know how you all made a tremendous difference in mine and what better time to express my thanks than at Thanksgiving?
(Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold)