It's November. What that means is that it's time for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org), during which I have the best-laid plans of writing 1,667 words per day in order to finish a 50,000-word novel by November 30.
Two and a half weeks in, I've had two 1,667-word days, some three or four thousand word days ... and a whole lot of big-fat-zero-word days. I've also got two apartments full of moving boxes. I'm ten thousand words behind, I'm tired, I'm crabby, and I'm lucky to remember to put on socks and shoes before leaving the apartment.
So I'm walking -- quickly -- home from the library when I hear a voice nearby:
"Where's your coat, girl?"
I snap out of my plot-gap-induced depression long enough to register that there is a man standing next to me, wearing a worn-looking jacket, ripped jeans, and a scuffed-up pair of shoes.
Plenty of answers flash through my mind:
"At home, because I'm a crazy writer who can't think about word counts and weather at the same time."
"Lost, along with my momentum and possibly my talent."
"See? I can't even make myself behave sensibly, let alone my characters."
I go with, "I left it at home."
And then this man starts to unzip his own jacket, which is already too light for the dropping temperature. "Here, darlin', take mine."
I refuse, with thanks, and reassure him that I'm not far from home. Then I walk away, feeling very different than I did just a moment ago.
I am thankful, every day, for my crazy job writing stuff down. I'm thankful for the opportunity to get paid for playing with words. I'm also thankful for my warm coat, even if sometimes I forget to wear it, and the cozy, safe apartments I'm moving out of and into.
Today, mostly I'm thankful for that man, and for people like him. Sometimes I forget how wonderful human beings can be, and I'm so grateful to be reminded.