On this Thanksgiving Eve, I want to wish you and yours the happiest of celebrations.
Over the past few years, I’ve made an effort to be thankful not just on the 4th Thursday of November, but every single day. I’ve kept gratitude journals for a long time, and I believe this practice is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I don’t get around to writing down my blessings every day, but most of the time, I do. I list 10 things I’m grateful for, and I’ve added a twist, inspired by author Melody Beattie: I include things I might interpret as inconvenient or even ‘bad’ at the time. Why? Because the God I worship knows what He’s doing, and many, many of these incidents turn out to be the best blessings of all, once some time has passed and I have more perspective.
For instance, years (and years) ago, I really thought I’d sold my first novel, FLETCHER’S WOMAN, to a certain publisher. There were phone calls, etc. I sent the manuscript off with high hopes, and waited breathlessly for a reply. Well, I got one, and it was a big, fat NO. I mean, there wasn’t even a rejection slip! I was devastated, spent a whole day on the couch, like an invalid. (All I needed was a rose stem to hold in my teeth.) Luckily, the drama phase didn’t last long, but I was really disappointed.
Several months later, Linda Marrow, then an assistant editor at Pocket Books, called to say she’d liked the proposal for “Fletcher’s Woman” and would like to see the rest of the manuscript. Suffice it to say, I didn’t allow myself to get very excited. I didn’t want another emotional wipe-out. I sent the book off to New York and tried not to think about it, but, more importantly, I was hard at work on a brand new story by then. On February 14, 1983, editor Kate Duffy, then Linda’s boss, called. I had just come in from a meeting of Wendy’s Brownie troop–it was getting close to cookie-selling time, so all us moms got together for a pow-wow. Back then, nobody had call-waiting, let alone caller-ID, so I just said a rather rushed ‘hello’ and–well–Kate told me Pocket wanted to buy the book! I was thrilled, naturally. That first sale led to two decades of Pocket Books publishing my books.
Oh, and that other company? The one I didn’t get a rejection slip from? Let’s just say, I’m oh so grateful they DIDN’T buy my book.
I remember that experience every time something doesn’t go the way I’d hoped it would.
And that’s enough rambling for today. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’ll blog again on Friday.