Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Unusual Things to be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving Holidays to you!

We here at the Alley are so blessed by your readership. Although many of you are shy to comment or maybe you've enjoyed a post but didn't have time to share or have a specific thought to comment with, we see you here. God's richest blessings on you.

Today, I thought we could talk about the unusual things to be thankful for. 

Sure it's easy to thank God for our children, the weather, our food, etc. But what about the unusual things. 

Let's see, what can we put on this list.

Crits with lots of red writing. Sigh. I get those more than the raving positive comments at the end of the doc. I am, however, thankful for the color on my paper because I learn, I see the issue in my work, I change, I write better . . . until the critters find a new issue GACK! Breathe. I can be thankful again, learn yet another concept, see my error, change, and write better again.

Contest responses in the first round. No. no. Please. I really didn't want an email from the contest category administrator yet, at least wait another two months. Actually, I was hoping for the golden call about that time. 

The email was sweetly written, sorry....blah blah blah. I usually open the email later that evening, with a cup of hot chocolate, hoping my entry was really good but my score just missed the cut. Two days later, when I have matured, I read the judges comments.

Now comes the thankful part. I really am glad to have the score sheets. Specific areas of writing earn their own points. I can find out if I scored high on the hook, but bombed style or setting. Sometimes a judge will include a critted version. Sure, because of the subjectivity of the business three judges can score completely different. I can compare the three and learn what needs to be perfected. And if I keep learning and trying and submitting, someday, I might get the call like I did this year for the Phoenix Rattler Writing Contest :)

NaNoWriMo in November. In the season of crazy, NaNo gives you the opportunity to go insane. I am thankful because I had this fabulous idea for a story swirling in my head, consuming my thought time, but I had editing, requests, and obligations which required my full attention. The new idea had to wait until January, maybe February before I would have time to devote to it. Seriously, this is was not the time. 

But . . . this year, I signed up. NaNo has become my vent. An opportunity to get that first draft out of my head with no obligations to edit at this time. It moved those ideas that pop into my head when I was in the middle of something onto a page and cleared my mind to focus on the other tasks I needed to do. Insane ended up working for me.

Frantically busy days. No way will you get any writing done on a day where the to do list outweighs the available time. This is a day to keep one of those mini spiral writing pads and a pen with you. This is the time when new, fresh ideas will form, soaked with sight, sounds, feelings, tastes, and new learning. Don't waste these added blessings, whip that spiral out of your back pocket, take notes, and later add them to the perfect character/setting in your book. It will make you feel better, I promise:)

Suggested frantic day observations worth taking notes:

*the cheerleader or grannie type cashier leaving the register to run after the customer who forgot a bag, 

*the fresh scent of a traffic jam, and musical blarings of horns, engines, and screeching fan belts bleeding over your favorite song on the radio. 

*the missing ingredient in dinner flavor 

*the unexpected guest's lovely appearance, and yours when you answered the door with curlers, no make-up, and fuzzy slippers

*the voice of the marketer who called-yet again, this time when the oatmeal boiled over 

*the vibrant colors of your child's drawing on the surface of the living room wall which you noticed right before your mother-in-law arrived. 

*the new things you found while searching for your missing keys during the last twenty minutes 

*the force needed to scrape frost off the car when you're ten minutes late for the special appointment. 

This list could go on for pages!

Oh the blessings we have in disguised packages. 

Have some fun. Giggle. 
Add an unusual thing to be thankful for.
(Including prepositions at the end of a sentence:) )

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This blog post is by Mary Vee

Mary lives in Montana with her husband and loves to hear from her three college kids. She writes contemporary Christian fiction with a focus on the homeless population and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website
Step into Someone Else's World

Ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Fun post, Mary. I love your attitude about being thankful for hard critique. Wonderful thoughts.

My unusual item of thanksgiving: the Potty Training project that's, ahem, not going so well. With my first child I was the irritating mother whose 2.5 yr old trained in 3 days. This time round I think I'll be lucky to have him trained by the time he goes to school. (Ha! Exaggerating a little. At least I hope so.) But I'm thankful because now I have much more empathy for other Mums who've really struggled with this process. It's exhausting. And nothing refreshes the spirit like commiserating with someone else who's been there and really does understand. :-)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh YES, Karen, We cal all give a hearty amen to that one!! The good news is when the process is over, life is good.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Unusual thing to be thankful for?

That my sense of smell is not as good as it used to be.
(this is good during NaNo)

ha ha ha

Unknown said...

Hmmmm, unusual thing to be thankful for.....the sometimes testy attitudes of my kids that keeps me depending on Jesus for wisdom in training them up (before I kill them, or at least raise my voice at them). The two weeks of noise last month that resulted ina beautiful deck in our back yard. 60+ degree temperatures in November, when I was ready to welcome the cold. I am thankful, really. I'm just ready for winter. :)

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

Joanne Sher said...

Ohhh fun! LOED this post.

Unusual things to be thankful for? How about the blown head gasket on my car? It helped - no, FORCED, me to focus on the many, many blessings I have - otherwise, I would have bit some serious heads off. And we can't have that, can we?

Perspective is amazing, eh?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Loved this post, Mary! I am trying to find the blessing in the recent $500 car repair this week. Maybe in that the loss of power steering didn't happen on the freeway, but happened within 2 blocks of my destination?

LOL...Debra!!!! Are you not taking showers like you should during NaNo???? Or not cleaning??? lol...loved your answer!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Jeanne, I like your answer! And Joanne, I agree, perspective IS amazing. I'm thankful for that, too! I'm also thankful for too much to do. I've been inundated with projects these past few months and I'm nowhere near finished, but it's helped me balance my time better and I'm able to spend more time with family.