I’m taking time to reflect on the good people and good fortune that enhance my creative life.
I am grateful for:
- Having had parents who loved books and theater and a grandfather who was a poet. I was raised on Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes and taken to plays before I was in first grade. Language was valued in my family. My mother advised me not to cuss because it made me look as if I had a limited vocabulary—a far greater sin than saying a dirty word. My father was a late adopter of all things electronic and claimed to be a member in good standing of the Lead Pencil Society, which made him as good a letter writer as he was a conversationalist, full of wit and good stories.
- Discovering Sisters in Crime when I was just getting started on my first book. I bought How I Write by Janet Evanovich, even though I may be the only person alive who doesn’t like her Stephanie Plum series. I told myself: “She’s successful. I could learn from her.” She mentioned SinC in the book, and I joined, and through them I have found many of the people I’m grateful for, listed below.
- My first critique partner, an editor and writer. She was supportive of the potential she saw in my early efforts that didn’t turn into a polished book until I’d worked on it for over for three years. She edited it and all my other books, and has taught me about the craft of writing in the process.
- My current and former critique partners, who can tell me when something works or falls flat, offer insight into my plots and characters, and not only help me create better work, but reassure me that I’m not alone in caring about it.
- Readers. Without them I’m an actor in an empty theater. Having my characters live in someone’s mind and heart means a lot to me.
- Readers who review. They don’t have to do it. It takes time to organize thoughts and post them on a review site. They help other readers think about my work and often help them decide to buy the books.
- Tara at Draft2Digital customer service. She’s cheerfully solved many little problems for me, and she remembers me. I’m not just some author with a question. I’m a person.
- My job. Most writers need a day job, and I am blessed to have one that gives me summers off to write. When I’m grading papers until nine at night I tend to forget that—but I am grateful.
- My whole life. From the annoying people who inspired antagonist characters, to the losses and loves and joys that enable me to tell stories with a heart.
2 thoughts on “Lucky Me!”
Happy Thanksgiving, Amber and thank you so much for sharing this. Your life sounds rich and full and it’s nice to openly express gratitude. We come from a similar background; my parents were lovers of books, the arts and music. I was raised on all of the above at a very young age, and I miss them both.
Thank you for introducing me to Sisters in Crime, and like you, I don’t care for the Stephanie Plum series although Janet Evanivch is very popular. I think the series is too similar to Lisa Scottoline who writes about Italians in Philadelphia solving crimes and she does so with a bit of exaggeration; JE does the same ( bounty hunter in Trenton of Polish descent)—too similar and because I live close to both Philadelphia and Trenton, something jus5t does not work.
You are fortunate to have wonderful critics and your writing is amazing. I am very fortunate to have had the same work experience as you and more happy to have finally retired (but I work full time for ETS from home).
Have a lovely Thanksgiving Day and I have to say that you are a wonderful writer.