Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude and Connections

Earlier this month, I was at an annual writers’ retreat, a highlight of my year. While there are always new attendees, many of us have been sharing this week at this place for several years. One of the cherished rituals is the “drawing of the cards,” in which Luna author Robin Owens offers us a deck of Cheryl Richardson Self-Care cards so we can choose one, or more, as a theme for the week.
I always close my eyes and draw, letting the Muse make my selection. The cards I got this year: Gratitude and Connection.
This is the month for Gratitude, of course, but the second card made me think specifically about all the connections for which I am thankful.

First, and foremost, my connection with readers. For each of you who has, or will, read my books, I am extremely grateful. I sincerely hope that something in the stories speaks to you and that in reading, you’ll be led closer to your own Happy Ending.
Second, my connections to other writers. Writing is a solitary business. Most days, I sit alone with the keyboard, flashing curser, and my doubts. This annual week on the beach sharing space with fellow travelers gives me hope and courage. (And assures me that I’m not the only one who lives in alternate worlds on a daily basis.) Harlequin Historical author Terri Brisbin was also there and we had a great visit, comparing notes on writing.
Third, my connection to history. If I did not write history, I would still read it. And if I did not write history, I don’t know what I would write. History inspires me, intrigues me, ignites my curiosity. Truth is, I don’t get any ideas that are NOT historical. In my stories, I can walk around in history, live vicariously, and convey the humanity that unites us across the centuries. And if I spark a reader to explore further based on one of my stories, nothing could be better.
Finally, I am grateful for my connection to the Muse, the mystery that all writers confront. Steven Pressfield, screenwriter, novelist, and non-fiction writer, says he prays to the Muse each day before beginning work. Any writer knows that, solitary a calling as we have, we are never really alone, at least, if we are lucky.
We have many, many connections to be grateful for.
How about you? What connections are you grateful for during this season of giving thanks?
p.s. Coming a week from today: the Second Annual Harlequin Historical Holiday Giveaway! More than three weeks of fun and prizes, including a Grand Prize Kindle Fire. Check back for details!


Na said...

As a reader, I think it's wonderful to connect with writers. I am most thankful for my family connections and close friends. We are small but close-knit but it's enough for me :)

Blythe Gifford said...

Family is our first and truest connection, isn't it? And so glad you enjoy connecting with writers. We love readers, too!