Gratitude: September 2014

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 September 2014.

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I’m grateful for a three day weekend with Andy.

I’m grateful for safe driving to & from Claremont. A leisurely and loving brunch with a good family friend. Seeing one of her sweet children after too long. Pink blossoms in trees. Finding Benjamin Percy’s collection of stories Refresh Refresh for three dollars at the bookshop benefitting the Prison Library Project.

I’m grateful for an afternoon to focus on this story rewrite. Our lovely home.

I’m grateful for the way the bartender and the off-duty waitress parted the sea of stools to make way for the regular plodding along with his walker. The stoic expressions on their faces. Compression knee socks. Caretakers. Another glimpse at the pink sky over the Pacific Ocean.

I’m grateful for the people who read and share these lists. Their kind words. Laughter with friends on a workday. The four o’clock departure. A night of writing.

I’m grateful for a morning to sleep in. Our mini Walking Dead marathon.

I’m grateful for all sorts of internet research. The big stack of books in front of me.

I’m grateful for all my dear friends who were born this month.

I’m grateful for a short hiatus from my new “third job”. Andy’s help with it.

I’m grateful for my kitchen scale. My good old Weight Watchers cardboard slider.

I’m grateful for the short stories of Suzanne Rivecca.

I’m grateful for the extra time with my writing class, two weeks in a row. Seeing their stories develop week after week. Their input. Feeling inspired to keep rewriting. Learning by doing.

I’m grateful to have classes to look forward through the next 20 weeks.

I’m grateful for tiny shoes on dogs to keep their feet from burning during walks downtown. That I found a space to sit at the counter for flatbread pizza and yummy ale. The sweet off-duty drag queen and the way she complained about the heat. “It feels like Vegas out there!”

I’m grateful my parents are enjoying another luxurious cruise with their siblings.

I’m grateful for the incredibly hardworking woman I work with. The experience of being a part of her company.

I’m grateful for cool air through the bedroom window. Jon Stewart. Andy’s laughter. And then, breakfast in bed! Salt on my bagel. The anticipation of seeing a new-old friend today. Hearing several hard working authors talk about their lives and creative processes.

I’m grateful to have a few more days to enjoy being forty four. Wonderful birthday memories from years past: buying a sapphire ring for myself at thirty,  seeing the grand canyon as I turned forty, the Eiffel Tower at forty four.

I’m grateful that this birthday all I really want to do is read stories, write stories, work on my publication submissions. Entering a new age with Andy as my partner and family.

I’m grateful for the incredibly detailed memory book of Paris Andy wrote and compiled for me. His exceptional talent with words. A romantic dinner at Nook Bistro. Laughing with him. That he enjoys talking with me about writing for hours.

I’m grateful for satisfying closure to a six-week revision workshop. Supportive texts from my oldest writing friend. Getting to read another of her stories. Ted Solotaroff’s essay “Writing in the Cold” .

I’m grateful for memories of last year in Paris. Seeing that sweet limping dog, day-glo shoes, flocking EMTs, the fast bicyclist.

I’m grateful to my peers who had stories ready. Workshops booked through mid-March. Excellent teachers. Works-in-progress. Writing colleagues, new friends.

I’m grateful to T for finding my ring in her desk wastepaper bin. That she’s the kind of person who I could ask to look there. Unlikely treasures.

I’m grateful for the vibrant literary community in Los Angeles. That New England Review had a reading here out west.  Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park. El Prado in Echo Park. Echo Park. Another chance to hear Lou Mathews read.

I’m grateful for dinner with a new friend before the start of Fall Quarter. Making new memories in the old haunts. Making art. Making it out of that maze of a parking garage. Making it home safely.

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