Random Gratitude

In thinking about this month's theme, I pondered all the things for which I give thanks.  There's always the usual - family, friends, good health, and so on.  And, I am definitely grateful for these blessings and a whole lot more.  But for this post, I decided to focus on several things that I am not always mindful of that have impacted my life as a writer, and for these things I am very grateful.

I'm grateful for Read Alouds.  Not only did my experience listening to teachers read aloud to me, when I was a student, influence me as an author; but the Read Alouds I shared with my elementary and middle school students, when I was a teacher, laid an invaluable foundation for understanding story and language in a unique and creative way.  Both were an emotional experience which shaped my future writing.

I'm grateful for my writing friends.  Over the many years it took me to reach the exciting day that I finally became a published author (It took 18 years!), the other writers I met at classes, conferences, and SCBWI meetings became my writing family.  They listened, taught, encouraged, laughed, cried, and celebrated with me on my very, long, sometimes overwhelmingly frustrating journey.  I don't think I could have kept going without them.

I'm grateful for my characters whose voices fill my head with their stories.  As I listen, they tell me more and more and more.  Their voices grow into the novels that middle grade readers enjoy, and those characters are the reason readers are drawn into my books.

The last two things I'm grateful for are basic tools of the trade.  First, I'm thankful for wood pencils with super, sharp points and really, good erasers.  I love the way they feel in my hand.  I love the way I have to push hard to make them glide on the page, and I love the way those erasers give me permission to make lots of mistakes.  

Second, I'm grateful for the wide-ruled, spiral notebooks that provide plenty of space for me to messily write down my ideas in an unorganized, sloppy way as I desperately work to get my pencil to catch up with my imagination.  Sometimes I write on the wide-ruled lines; sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I write in sequence, one page after another; sometimes I don't.  But no matter my method or my mood, my spiral notebooks captures it all.

So, today, these random things are what I am pondering.  Things I often don't even think about being thankful for.  Things for which I am very grateful.

Happy Reading & Writing,

Nancy J. Cavanaugh



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