Gratitude: July 2013

As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s July 2013. 

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Good stuff #reading #project365

I’m grateful for time to study Robin Black’s story, “Tableau Vivant.” An invigorating discussion of the story. Instruction and encouragement. Brunch at a delightful cafe. Eyes that see.

I’m grateful that I decided to move the lamp closer so I could see at my gig yesterday. To have finished one of my small goals. Safe driving. Kind clients. Finding Andy’s surprise–he cleaned our deck for me. The paisley outdoor rug.

I’m grateful for Twitter. The activists in North Carolina standing up for women’s rights. Healthy cats. Quiet. Morning time to read and write. Coffee.

I’m grateful for our new vacuum cleaner (WOW!). The paring knife. Paper towels. Trash bags. Swiffer dusters. Freedom.

I’m grateful for Joan Didion. Waking up at 5:30am. Having the house finally clean. Wine on the deck with a family friend. A spontaneous dinner invite. Photos from a sacred place.

I’m grateful for walnuts in my cereal. That Ruby climbed onto my lap and took a nap. Getting a dreaded chore out of the way. A late afternoon outing with Andy & our guest. Seth Rogen and his new movie. A quick walk at dusk.

I’m grateful for when Gene Hackman says, “Innocent of what?” Making it to Los Feliz without worrying I’d be late. Finding a parking lot on a street called “Melbourne”. Carrot loaf. Mint sprigs. Authors.

I’m grateful for independent bookstores. Alarm clocks. Jaws of life. Parents. Uniformed people who made my mom feel more comfortable during a frightening time. Whatever car windows are made of so they don’t usually shatter.

I’m grateful for morning hours to write. Rilke’s letters. A highlighter. Recovering from: oh my god, I just inked highlighter in my used vintage Rilke from college – what was I thinking? Writing despite a being in a bad mood. Taking time for a walk.

I’m grateful for the 4:30am wake up alarm. Focusing on the draft for six hours before noon. Imagery to follow. An hour or two to regroup before an afternoon gig. More basil. Strawberries.

I’m grateful for finally accomplishing something important on the application list. Eleven hours of sleep. Holding a fantasy of being able to be immersed in a life of writing. Catching up at a client’s. File folders. Salsa.

I’m grateful for safe driving. For putting in a days work with a busy client. Grace. Intelligence. Kindness. Black coffee.

I’m grateful for being able to mimic one of Geninne’s gorgeous bird drawings. Water colors. A day off. Ink. Glue. Breath.

I’m grateful for chalking up an unproductive day to settling for decaf. You Tube clips of decades old news broadcasts. Reading several more short stories. Jhumpa Lahiri. Teachers. A walk in sunlight.

I’m grateful to have 4 hours to write before I have to go anywhere. For the colored glass embedded into the sidewalks of downtown LA. Street cleaners. Having turned left when I normally turn right. Vaulted ceilings. Windows.

I’m grateful for another 4 hours of writing. Having mostly wrapped up draft five. Therapy. Making it to Westwood in time for dinner. The Hammer Museum. Hearing an inspiring reading.

I’m grateful for time to write before my morning meeting. Incredibly helpful feedback. Seeing my stories grow in ways I could have never imagined. Persistence. Patience. More persistence.

I’m grateful for comfortable places to work. Getting some tasks crossed off the list. That Project Gratitude was shared on Twitter (so sweet!). To watch the ways social media is changing life. A relaxing dinner break. Bonfires on the beach.

I’m grateful for a safe drive to Manhattan beach at dawn. The dead cat in the road appearing not to have suffered (not that I would know). A productive meeting. Lunch with girlfriends. Listening to amazing stories. Being able to play with software for a living.

I’m grateful for hours to pause. Sleep. The way Ellie’s napping on my computer case. Water. Happy hour specials. Lots of decent restaurants within walking distance.

I’m grateful to have spent a day writing. Having draft three of a story completed. Green ink. Moleskine journals. Walking shoes. Healthy cats.

I’m grateful to be able to come back to this later to fill in Monday through Wednesday’s lists. For the freedom to not go back and fill in the lists after all.

I’m grateful that the computer died on Thursday instead of Wednesday or Friday. It was just one thing. Being able to say to myself, “You’re uncomfortable right now. That’s okay.” Stace and the spare machine she had available for me to use. My trusty IT guy and the fact that he had availability in his schedule. My parents’ generosity in funding a replacement.

I’m grateful for the additional people who generously jumped in to help work out my computer trouble. The way it feels to be nearly finished with two works of fiction. A working car. Working legs and lungs. Working through a work puzzle with a second set of eyes. Work.

I’m grateful for brunch with Andy. That Culver City got a little quaint over the years. Sidewalk cafes. Val Kilmer. A deep bass voice that reminds me of when my dad sings. Dad.

I’m grateful for Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins. Author tweets–so kind! Stories that make me clasp my open mouth with surprise and dread. Stories. Honey. Toast.

I’m grateful for five hours to write and finish another draft. A quick character kill to hopefully solve my blocks to moving the plot forward. The new feeling of hoping into a scene and watching the characters. The way it’s like the inverse of reading. Orange ink. Software.

I’m grateful for falling into reading a new book and falling in love with it instantly. All the times I don’t fall–from ledges and stairs and balconies. The chatter of happy people. Being able to leave the chatter of happy people. Breezes from windows. Being able to close windows.

I’m grateful for being able to make a memorial gift. The hope that he remains more than just a shared mental representation. Calming thoughts in spaces of emotional pollution (i.e., the bank where unhappy customers use loud voices). Schedule revisions. A new computer from my parents at a time when it was really needed. Incredibly helpful IT support (blog post on this forthcoming).

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