Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Annual "Thankful For" Countdown




Today sentimental people all across the world reflect. Hear those motors running. In a these tough and bitter times, some may find this difficult. But personally, I just had the best Christmas of my life. No, I didn’t get that shiny new Maxima I’ve been sweatin’ forever. I didn’t get the “miracle printer” I wish someone brilliant (HELLO, I’m talking to you, Bill Gates) would develop so my sanity could return—I forget what it looks like. I didn’t finish my WIP, which will be the first full-length novel I’ve finished in over a year.

As my family of five (six if you count my mama’s faithful hound, Murphy) gathered at my parents’ house Christmas Eve for our traditional sleepover, everything felt absolutely perfect. I don’t know why. Somewhere between my hubby’s second drink and my sister and I locking ourselves in her room to wrap presents last-minute, as always, I thought, “There’s nowhere else in the entire world I’d rather be.” It’d been a stressful couple of months and I, of course, didn’t hit the stores until a very short week in advance. But every ounce of stress and woe lifted off my shoulders and, I believe, everyone else’s because we were together and it was Christmas and though my sister will be rocketing off to college next fall, I think we all knew we’d always be together for Christmas and happy just for that.

Soooo…now that my sappy *sniffle* soliloquy is over (no wisecracks, please), onto my “Thankful For” countdown of 2008:

This year I’m Thankful For…

10. Those On My Naughty List. Yeah, this one’s a new one. It occurred to me sometime in the last, I don’t know, questionable three months that without the people who routinely irk me (and, I admit, the flipside—those I can’t seem to help vexing), I wouldn’t have developed Ivy. Ivy is the flaming Irish ravenous coffee drinker I try to keep out of my posts. She’s a snarky, red-faced minx who has a deep, slanted affection for John McClane and villains—any villain (The Joker, in particular) and is at the height of her game during PMS when my dear hubby has been known to deftly vanish from sight. What’s so great about her? Way back when, I had no armor. There was nothing to shield me when that idiot in my C.P. English class said something crude and, later, when the rejection letters began piling in by the truckloads. What changed? Ivy was born sometime between December 2004 and April 2007. She festered in the dark, dank depths until one day she reared her ugly head and fought back with a vengeance and for the first time in my life, I stood up for myself. Without Ivy, I’d have stopped writing a long time ago and be curled up in the corner of my closet sniveling. At the risk of coming off as a schizophrenic and scaring off all my readers, couldn’t have done it without ya, be-yotch!


9. My new legal (it really shouldn’t be...) addictive substance (see December 24th post)

8. Blockbusters. This year reaffirmed my love of great movies, starting with National Treasure: Book of Secrets and progressing onto Iron Man and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Wall-E brought me to tears (stop laughing—we’ve already established that I’m a major mush) while The Dark Knight wowed me beyond anything I’d imagined...even after the hype. Hellboy 2 made me laugh and Daniel Craig *purr* returned in Quantum of Solace, thank you God! Ivy stirs whenever I reflect on the suspension of the 6th Harry Potter’s release. (Eight more months?!?! Stupid Warner Bros. *pouts*) Nonetheless, it was a year for movies and I certainly wasn’t the only one inspired.



7. The Brothers. Wrath. Rhage. Z. Butch. Vishous. Phury. And—my third favorite hero of all time—John Matthew. *sigh* JM—I’ll be here on my hands until your story hits the shelves. J.R. Ward—thank you, thank you, thank you!!!



6. Romance Writers. The numbers are in—what publishing industry’s numbers didn’t flounder in the last dismal months? You guessed it. The readers have once again decided. In these hard times, romance gives those who need it most a remarkable and cherished escape. Here’s to you, all of you, for giving light and hope to a dreary world. Toast that cyber bubbly!



5. Logan. Wow. Just grab the tissues and watch— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl0HLn118pM



4. Mums. These were given to Jake and me as a housewarming gift from two wonderful new friends from GCC. With Ivy and an isolation streak, I don’t make friends easily so thank you so very much for taking this little birdie under your wings. You’ve made me all the more thankful for GCC and the organization of RWA as a whole. Sending good writerly vibes your way and yes’s across the board in 2009! :)



3. Our New House. I don’t know if I mentioned this here, but this summer Jake and I were forced to find new living space. He was working out of town at the time and I traveled with him because he was gone a week at a time and we both have problems with separation anxiety. Strange, I know—two stubborn arses, been together four and a half years now…. It’s a wonder we can still stand the sight of each other. Anyhoo, we had the weekends only to look for a new place and with the three rambunctious labs in tow that was difficult. Giving them up was never an option either of us considered. We found a place at the last minute. Quite frankly, we were lucky to get it. The weekend of July 4th his family helped us move in. I will always remember the first night. Our power had been turned on that morning. We had our king mattress sprawled across the living room with a little lamp on the floor and a movie ready to play on my laptop between us. We looked at each other as we tucked in and just burst into joyful fits of laughter. Our first house! Weeeeeee! We are truly blessed.

2. Those Voices In My Head. Thank you for keeping me awake at night. Thank you for interrupting me at my day job and making me scribble furiously on random scraps of paper at the risk of being fired. Thank you for staying with me long enough to write your stories. Thank you for staying with me long enough after I finish your stories to bug me when I’m supposed to be writing about somebody else. This goes to you, Todd and Celestia, and you, Mark and Valentina. This goes to you, too, Stella and Judd, and even you, Briar and Cole. It goes to all you villains and secondary characters. And it goes to the newbies who entertain me endlessly, Thad and Simone. Thanks for sharing, peeps. And though it’s getting noisy and crowded up there, to many more!
*a collective groan from above*
—Oh, shut up!

1. Love. Yeah, that hearts-on-fire hoopla I write about. Only it’s not hoopla, as some ignorant cynics would have the general public believe. (Wahaha, the readers have chosen!) My life is overflowing with love—love of family, love of friends, puppy love… I even love my computer Keats—down to his last, teeny circuit. I’m also, of course, addressing the kind of love I used to dream about at night—the kind I found in that first romance novel. The kind that lasts forever. Jacob, if we haven’t been through it all, bring it on. I know now more than ever that nothing is big, bad, or tough enough to come between us. Here’s to going into a new year stronger than ever, honey love!

Now…back to work…

1 comment:

Wendi said...

What a great list, Amber! :)