A HotList of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving! As you’re reading this, I’m hanging out with my family. I’ve done a lot of thinking this year about gratitude and what I’m grateful for, but I know you’re wanting to hang out with your families as well. Or maybe you’re hanging out by yourself. I did that for years, and I do not feel like any less a member of my family for having done that.


These are five things I’m grateful for today.

  1. I’m grateful for my family. They take a lot of BS from me, poor guys. But no one’s ever made me laugh harder than my family. No one’s had my back like my family. No one can make just hanging out on the couch a joy like my family. And no matter how crazy things get, I would never trade my family for anyone else’s. And things get pretty crazy. Just so you know.
  2. I’m grateful for my cats. I’m kind of cheating here. My cats are part of my family. I’ve got three, with their own little quirks and personalities. One of them is a prissy little Southern lady. One of them is an opinionated little bad girl. The third used to live in the parking lot of my old apartment complex, until she decided to live with me. Adopting an animal is a pretty powerful emotional experience, but there’s nothing quite like having an animal choose you. I’m so grateful for each of them and their silly behavior and all their little sounds.
  3. I’m grateful for my day job. I talk smack about the day job all the time, but I really am grateful for it. At the outset, it is not Job From Hell, which was going to destroy me if things hadn’t ended so badly. The new day job keeps the lights on and food in everyone’s bowl until the writing can take over for it. Then the day job gives me the time to allow the writing to start taking over. I can’t ask for more than that.
  4. I’m grateful for my senses. Not long ago, I was in a state of ecstasy over something I was eating, and it occurred to me that I have never specifically been grateful for the fact that all my senses function well. As an erotica writer, I’m constantly have to feed and test my senses, looking for new scents and tastes and sights and sounds – and then looking for ways to describe them. But it’s not just for work – I love the way things taste. I love staring at things of beauty – the hot, shirtless men; muscle cars; the clean lines of paintings and buildings; the amazing mélange of colors that come together for sunrise and sunset. I love music from Aerosmith to Mozart, and the louder the better, and I can’t imagine what smells better than my favorite vanilla-scented soap, unless it’s coq au vin or mint chocolates or whatever makes the Cavemen smell so spectacular. And let’s not even get into my sense of touch. 😉 So if I haven’t said so before, I’m committed now to being grateful every day for my senses.
  5. I’m grateful for the writing. I was captured by a story idea while I was at Romanticon (and when am I going to stop talking about that? How about around next Romanticon?), and I was talking to my mom about it. I spend so much time around writers that I hadn’t imagined for a long time that not everyone is suddenly struck by story ideas in the middle of something else. I told another good friend of mine that when I was a little girl, I thought I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be. I thought I wanted to be everything – and then later, like in law school, I realized that I was actually making up stories about what someone in those various jobs might do. If one week, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, my imagination seized that idea and put together an Emergency 51 style plot line with a doctor that looked me, driving that ambulance with my best friend and partner to rescue people before their wrecked cars exploded. Another week, I thought I wanted to be an astronaut, and my imagination turned that into a day-to-day job on a space station, befriending offworlders and having adventures. I wanted to make up all those stories. It just took me years to figure that out. I’m grateful to have it all figured out now.

Right now, I’m probably grateful for a good book and a nap. How about you?

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