Blessed be! Ordinarily, today would be a Twin Thursday, but I rather lost my head this week. I wouldn’t have even known what day it was were it not for my wife, who helpfully chirped at me that, “Isn’t it Thursday? Shouldn’t you be blogging?” So, sorry for the lateness and my lack of forethought.

Being that it’s also Thanksgiving, I thought I’d spend today giving a shoutout to the five people in my life that I’m most thankful for when it comes specifically to my craft.

  1. My wife, Mary. Whether I’m puttering on a story or forgetting what day it is, she always has my back and an encouraging word. Or a rebuke if I need it. Or both. She keeps me working when I’d rather bury my head. She’s also my unfailing research bug, doubly helpful since I’m working on historical fantasy right now.
  2. My critique partner, Jesse. There’s not a thing I’ve written that she hasn’t seen, and she’s been my sounding board for years. When I’m feeling lost in a story or stuck in the mire of “Do I have to?”, she helps get me back on track. She’s my go-to for technical issues and problems of craft as well as my sounding board for concepts.
  3. My writing kiddo and blog sister, Rachel. On top of being one of my best friends, Rachel is my very first writing kiddo. They say the best way to learn is to teach, so for the last few years, Rachel and I have been working on both her stories and mine. Her questions and astute observations often leave me looking at my work from a different angle.
  4. The Stonecoast MFA staff, faculty, and students. By the time I completed undergrad, I was wrung out on writing. I hated it. The Stonecoast program reignited my love of storytelling and gave me the tools and confidence to do it well.
  5. The agents who rejected my work. This one may sound strange, but hear me out. When I first started querying with my very first manuscript, it wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. Even my second completed story was nowhere near mature enough to be on the shelf, and I wasn’t seasoned enough as a writer to even know it. I can look back on those days now and know that, even though it felt like the world was ending at the time, it really was the right decision for both me and my stories.

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