As many days as possible, I list at least one (sometimes up to six) distinct thing(s) for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s July 2014.
I’m grateful for time to socialize with new friends, each a talented and dedicated writer. Tofu Tika Masala. Dark bars with plenty of seating and unobtrusive volume. Stories.
I’m grateful to have gotten a long overdue peer critique finished. Being able to walk for miles. Time with my dear hairdresser. A new haircut. Finding what we wanted for 30% off. New cat food flavors for the kittens. That the bicyclist I saw get hit by a car didn’t break any bones.
I’m grateful to for the time to spend in Santa Fe with family.
I’m grateful to have read a chapter book with little M. The chance to hear how well she reads. Hearing her interview Siri. Her inventive questions (Siri, do you have a family?).
I’m grateful for the chance to have seen Ed Larson, his paintings and his studio on Canyon Road again. Lunch dates at El Farol with my true love. Hearing Nina Simone in the dining room there.
I’m grateful we drove through the hail storm without incident. That it wasn’t even raining when we reached downtown.
I’m grateful to have seen the wire outside our kitchen window slightly bouncing, followed by the squirrel running past. That the squirrel didn’t fall. (Andy, “Squirrels don’t fall.”)
I’m grateful for a short meeting with S at exactly the right time. Reminders to slow down and be diligent.
I’m grateful to have been able to attend the workshop led by Bret Anthony Johnston. His incredibly helpful talk on writing. The dream to take a real class with him someday, even though the likelihood of my becoming an undergrad at Harvard is nil. PEN Center USA for hosting great literary events in Los Angeles.
I’m grateful to have seen Colette Sartor’s story excerpts performed at her New Short Fiction Series show. That so many of my former and future classmates were there. Finding a writing community I feel great about. Being able to attend the show w/ E. New friends from Twitter.
I’m grateful for a few almonds with my coffee. My coffee. The view of sky each morning. The sound of Ruby’s voice wanting to play. Ellie’s furry contentment.
I’m grateful for time to read 100 pages in a day. The inclination to make it a habit.
I’m grateful for windows. Breezes flowing into the bedroom, kitchen, dining room. Discussions of 3rd person POV, persona narrator vs. protagonist, bright lines, and access to sample stories. Having a home library I can rush up to to consult Nabokov, Lee and Carver. Unsweetened almond milk. Ellie’s voice.
I’m grateful for hours to walk miles, under the 405, past buildings I rarely see from foot. Being trusted and consulted on business matters. Coming to an agreement with Andy. New York plans. Solid and sane support from afar. Admitting blame, compartmentalizing, moving on. And also, all cathartic uses of the word, “cunt.”
I’m grateful for the song “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”. Bob Dylan.
I’m grateful to feel healed, finally able to walk through the shopping mall without pressure on my sternum threatening tears. Work I enjoy. Good news from a friend and the delight of having been helpful to her. Lunch dates. Savoring “Waterwalkers,” yet another short story by Bret Anthony Johnston. Looking forward to an outing with my writing colleagues.
I’m grateful for the spontaneous decision to have a pedicure instead of dying my white roots dark. The invitation from an amazingly skilled writing teacher to take her latest private workshop. Dinner with some new friends. Invigorating conversations that last for hours about point-of-view, character development and the structure of specific works of writing. Hearing Ron Carlson offer wise words about the writing life. A safe taxi ride home.
I’m grateful to Andy for feeding the girls so I could sleep in. The girls. Sleeping in. A pleasant walk to Westwood. That my car hadn’t been towed. Clean sheets.