At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. - Albert Schweitzer
Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, for counting our blessings, and for singing: "We gather together." As a chosen profession, writing has the reputation of being a lonely, solitary pursuit. I find nothing father from the truth. This Thanksgiving week, I am grateful for the wonderful friends, the wonderful community of writers who surround me and light the flame within me.
I am grateful for my poet high school English teacher Bruce Boston, who first saw and gently blew on the creative spark he saw in my work. I am grateful for Gary Braunbeck and TIm Waggoner, who write horror for a living, but encouraged the gentle humor in my fledgling short stories during my first writing workshop. I am grateful for Charlie Finlay and Paul Melko and Tobias Buckell who modeled what it means to be an emerging professional writer and taught me that it takes more than craft to succeed; that persistence in the face of rejection is part of the apprenticeship. I am grateful for Mike Resnick, who is the most awarded sci-fi author ever, and still takes the time to encourage newbies. I am thankful for Abby, who is always up for a cup of coffee, a scone, and a morning write-in; for Bob, who gave me the tip for my first published short story; for Heidi who has read so much of my work and opened my eyes to self-publishing. I am grateful for Linda Gerber and Cinda Williams Chima, my very professional friends, who've always coached me along the steps they have already taken. I am grateful to people I have never met in person, Gio and Jodi and Crash and all the others who have become critique partners on the SFF Online Writing Workshop as well as supportive friends. I am grateful for new and aspiring writers like Glenn and Meredith and Tracy, who look to me for advice and make me feel that I have learned something over the years.
We gather together to tell you our stories.
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Liz Coley writes young adult novels and science fiction/fantasy short stories for anthologies and magazines.
Her novel Pretty Girl-13 from HarperCollins Katherine Tegen Books will be debuting in 2013. There are secrets you can't even tell yourself.