Friday, 21 November 2008

Ta, Cheers, Danke, Gracias, Merci, Arigatou...

Thanks for all the congrats last week. Against all received wisdom I’ve plunged into the editing already and it’s not going too badly. I’ll only say it very quietly, but I’m actually enjoying it.

To this week’s 'Coffee Morning'…I should be straight with you and confess that because of the time difference I’m enjoying a wee snifter of Pinot Noir (the Champagne is long gone), so if you’re feeling decadent, do grab a glass and join in.

One of the great things about being a transplant over here in the good ol’ USA is that I have a whole new bunch of holidays to celebrate. Never mind that most of them seem to celebrate kicking British arse in some way or another. It’s a little early (or a little late if you’re Canadian?), but this week I’d like to say a big ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to everyone regardless of where you currently lay your hat. Personally, I prefer my turkeys alive and kicking, but let’s ignore the politics, let’s just think of this as one big harvest festival of loveliness and gorge ourselves on counting our blessings. Sound good?

So this week: when it comes to your writing, what are you thankful for? Let’s have five things, or more if you like. I’ll get us started.

1 Thanks to the hateful teacher at primary school who used to sit us down once a week and make us write a long essay about a random topic. It was bloody hard but it always got me thinking and it introduced me to the concept of reward through hard work. And it totally rocked when my essay got picked to be read out in class.

2 I’m thankful to my gran who read Eloise and Hiawatha and Dr Seuss to me when I was a babe, thus sowing the seeds for my love of language, drama and offbeat humour.

3 Big shout out to the British taxpayer who funded my three year drama training. Ok, so I’m not acting anymore, but it taught me oodles about character, plot, dialogue and storytelling and helps me every day to be a better writer.

4 I’m eternally grateful to Gary Kindall and Michael Shrayer, who invented the PC and word processor respectively. (Yes, I had to look that up). I would be utterly lost if I had to write long hand or even use a typewriter. {SHUDDER}

5 Finally, thanks to Novel Racers for being a constant source of encouragement, inspiration, education and entertainment! Keep on racing!

Can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Have a happy holiday!


Debs said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

I'll certainly have a glass, but shall save it for later, as have only just had my first cup of tea for the day.

I'm certainly grateful fo the PC/wordprocessor inventors, the thought of having to use carbon paper for an entire novel etc, makes me shudder.

Also to the Novel Racers, this has been my first year as a NR and apart from learning an enormous amount about the art of writing, I've make some fab blog friends too. But as for my five thanks, here goes:

1. My English teacher (sadly murdered by his two sons twenty years ago), he was the first person who made me think that I could experiment with words and maybe come up with something interesting.

2. Various members of my family, who are sure that I can do this, but then that's what families are for, I suppose.

3. For the RNA and other bloggers, who are so helpful, and especially supportive when your writing/submissions don't go exactly as you'd planned.

4. Google, for making it so easy to set up a blog (for technodopes like me).

5. To my Tutor on my writing course for being so encouraging and correcting all my mistakes.

Have a great weekend.

liz fenwick said...

Happy Turkey Day - this remeinds even though I am not home but staying with sil I should be doing the turkey thing for the boys to remind that half of them is yank. Eldest will start pinning for pumkin pie if I even suggest that Thanksgiving is so close!

In my writing I have so many peopple to thank.

1. my parents who have always believed in my ability and are still cheering me on.
2. my husband who believes and supports me continuously and the kids too
3. the RNA whose writers have been so generous with time and encouragement and through whom I have met so many editors and agents
4. my english teach in my freshman year of high school who pushed me further down this path
5. the novel racers who gave me my own community to feel truley at home with
6. to the agents and editors who have rejected my me. One for making me fight and learn to try and reach what I want and now for the words of encouragement and the pushes in the right direction
7. this is for me the most important, controversal and total non-pc. God for the skills and the gifts that have allowed me to pursue this mad course

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

1. Several teachers who encouraged and challenged me to write, including Marion, Stuart, John, Chris and my dad.
2. My mum, for making me learn to touch-type after I left school; I wasn't entirely keen at the time, but I've been so thankful to her ever since.
3. Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the Internet and making it possible for me to do most of my research without leaving my desk, as well as to belong to:
4. The Novel Racers and the other online groups who provide so much support and stimulation.
5. I'm thankful that I have no children (every bit as controversial and non-PC as Liz I think!), partly because I never wanted any in the first place as I don't have a single maternal cell in me, but mainly because it means I have much more time to write than most people. I don't know how all you parents manage to do any writing at all, and my hats are off to you.

Fiona said...

1. Thanks to Nover Racers of course.

2. Thanks to RNA for being so UNhelpful that they actually encouraged me more.

3. Thanks to my English teacher who stopped my being beaten and locked in a cuboard at school and praised my writing.

4. Thanks to my writing friends for their support, advice and being funny.

5. Thanks to Enid Bylton for her unpolitical correctness and reading under the blankets.

6. I know but it has to be said - thank you KAYJAY for two thought provoking coffee mornings.

Helen said...

1. The quiet and understated support of my family.
2. My husband for enabling me to pursue this path.
3. Weirdly for the illness I had after my first child. I wrote my way out of the illness and if I'd never had it who knows if I would have been inspired enough to start writing. (Note to the powers-that-be though - I've had it once, it worked, I've got the muse, no need to put me through that again. Thanks.)
4. Kate Harrison and The Novel Racers. Obviously.
5. Keris at Trashionista for giving me my first break.

(On a separate note, I will hopefully be at coffee next Friday, but it will be my last one for a few weeks. I go into hospital at the beginning of December to have my baby. As soon as I get out I'll be straight onto the computer with my news.)

Graeme K Talboys said...

1 - I had a succession of wonderful teachers, but most notably Messrs Ireland, Euston, and Silk who instilled and kept alive in me a love of books and writing.

2 - To which I must add my family, my mother in particular, who have always appreciated the value of books and taken an interest in my work.

3 - College - three years of Drama and Theatre Arts for reasons already stated above by KayJay (not to mention the wine, women, and song).

4 - All those writers who put up with my letters over the years and patiently discussed writing in general and their work in particular.

5 - My ME and fibromyalgia whic forced me out of work and gave me the chance to sit and write.

6 - Barbara who has given me unflagging support in health and sickness and who is a proof reader par excellence.

7 - All the friends I have made online here in NR, at the OU, and elsewhere. The fact that you can reach to anywhere in the world and discuss things with other folk who understand what you are talking about when, for example, you have spent an hour not knowing whether it should be 'toward' or 'towards'... That is a real blessing.

8 - Charlie Cornelius. She may not make me rich or famous, but she has become like a daughter to me.

There are many more, but I might go into Oscar winning speech mode and start blubbing.

Flowerpot said...

Get thinking hat on quick -
1. The many writing friends I have acquired over the years - Novel Racers being one and Nancy who is my constant critic and checks all my work for me (this is reciprocal I hasten to add!)

2. My husband for believing in me and boosting me when I feel really desolate about everything.

3. The LSJ course I did which really turned my journalism round and made me realise how much I love using that side of my brain. It has also meant my fiction is improving.

4. My Mollie, for ensuring that I get out and away from the computer, come rain or shine, and walk her. For the constant amusement and ready love that she provides. To say nothing of sanity.

5. For my photographer friend who dared give it a go, and as a result we are working together (and getting paid!). For also being a wonderful and patient teacher when it comes to complex Computer Stuff.

Phew! Happy Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanksgiving already? One of my wyves is American.

Ha! I've just noticed my book is on the widget :) Thank you!

KAREN said...

Blimey to Debs's English teacher comment :o(

I, too, am eternally grateful for the invention of the Word processor, and for learning to type fast as a secretary!

I'm thankful for a husband who indulges my writing whims.

I'm glad we didn't have a TV growing up, which sparked a love affair with reading.

I'll have to thank Molly-dog one day, for providing me all those walks that gave me Ideas :o)

Great post!

Lazy Perfectionista said...

Great topic KayJay!

1. Anyone who ever wrote a book, published or otherwise, for the inspiration that it can be done

2. My husband, family and friends who didn't laugh when I told them what I wanted to do, and actually asked for more when I gave them samples of my work

3. Google and Wikipedia - I can't imagine life without them

4. Steve Jobs - I looooooove my MacBook

5. Coffee - I can't imagine writing without it.

Lucy Diamond said...

Awww... this is a feel-good set of comments if ever there was one!
I'm grateful to:

1) my husband (still not used to calling him that) who has always been so so supportive and brainstorms bizarre ideas for children's books with me when I need help!

2) my kids, on whom I try out all my children's books (and they don't mince their words when it comes to criticism, believe me) - and for giving me loads of ideas and inspiration, and just for being fabulous and lovely.

3) my agents who are both really dynamic and supportive, and who work really hard on my behalf

4) everyone at my publishers, who turn my mistake-ridden mss into gorgeous strokable books, hoorah!

5) everyone who's bought one of my books (especially if they've emailed to tell me they enjoyed it!)

6) the novel racers and fellow bloggers OF COURSE. Nuff said.

7) Mr Glaves, who taught me in the 4th year juniors, the most inspiring teacher I've ever had.

Have a nice weekend everyone xx

Lazy Perfectionista said...

I also meant to add that feeling thankful for the Novel Racers goes without saying, but looking back I just realised I went without saying it! Oops!

Juliette M said...

Great topic KayJay :) I will defer on the wine and have it later. The sun's not quite over the yard arm but I will be if I start on the Pinot Noir at this time...

My thanks go to:

1. The teachers who inspired me: John Whincup, Alan Birbeck, Yolande Armstrong, Margaret Rhodes, Eileen Hilton, Wendy Lightowler, Rod Chambers, Johnny Tucker, and my dad, John McAlroy, the best English teacher I ever had.

2. My best friend Jen, who stands for no nonsense either in writing or in life, and who can always be relied upon for a blunt and honest opinion

3. My partner, the Ginger Guitarist, for his in-depth edits, random plot points and incredibly diverse ideas, plus immoral support

3. The Novel Racers, especially Caroline Smailes who has given me immense amounts of help and support, not to mention belief in my writing

4. Peggy Stead and Sarah Whittaker, two teachers who told me I would never amount to anything - hah!

5. My grandmother, Phyl, who gave me one of her old recipe books to write stories in, and encouraged me

6. The inventor of the internetwebz - and the writers of all my research books

Clare Sudders said...

1. Being brought up in a fmaily full of writers and a house full of books.

2. Having some kind of deep-seated aptitude for language and words in all their forms.

3. My very first novel being published. Had never written anything previously. Not sure I would have persevered witout that validation, which I suspect was very random and very good luck indeed. Tis an odd little book, not mainstream at all, just happened to land on the desk of a small indie publisher prepared to take a punt.

4. Having a gorgeous partner who also happens to be writer himself, and editor, and ex bookseller, and arts journalist, and has literature degree... very good at giving me feedback and publishing world insights and encouragement... once told me he'd be very annoyed if I ever gave it up... believes in me and my talent for what it is... lovely bloke.

5. Words! Language! Books! I am very thankful they exist.

Calistro said...

Oooh what a lovely feel-good topic! :o)

I'd like to thank:

1) The novel racers (without whom HoWG wouldn't have been written nearly so quickly), my other blogging writer friends, the SAFers - my short story group (I wouldn't still be writing short stories without you)

2) My parents for being so supportive and proud

3) My agent for falling in love with my book when I thought no one ever would

4) My editors (none of whom I've met yet) for doing the same

5) Enid Blyton - for igniting my imagination many moons ago

6) My various English teachers for getting me used to writing to prompts in a short time frame from a very early age. "There are 5 story titles on the board. You have an hour to write a story. Start NOW..."

7) Everyone I've ever met and things I seen/done for providing inspiration

8) The Cosmos - for answering my publishing plea! (now if you could just provide me with my ideal man...)

Why does that feel like a particularly peculiar Oscars-style acceptance speech?

Clare Sudders said...

English teacher murdered by sons! Blimey. And of course I am now all unseemlily intrigued...

Kate.Kingsley said...

Oooh, what a lovely topic ~ it’s nice to think of all the things that provide creative sustenance.

I am grateful for/to:

1) The Novel Racers, for support & encouragement
2) My husband for having total faith in me
3) My best friend for her encouragement, & for being an inspiration by being a successful hard-working writer in her own right
4) My English lit degree, for giving me a long-term library in my head, from which I can draw inspiration at will
5) That elusive little bit of my brain that occasionally comes up with something so wonderful that it makes all the doubts disappear.


sheepish said...

Happy Thanksgiving. What another great topic, I shall spend the next few months panicking about what topics to come up with when it's my turn!!!!!!

My biggest gratitude is to the blogworld and especially my fellow racers for all the encouragement they offer.

Then to the internet for research which living in France would be difficult to access.

And of course to family and friends for not laughing at the suggestion that I am writing a novel.

Annieye said...

1. My Great Auntie Rita (aka Daisy) for giving me the material for the trilogy (what a gal she was!)

2. My mum for Tuesday lunchtimes with 'baked potatoes and crust' and mushy peas which fuelled my creative side.

3. Mary Kelly and Betty Bullock (teachers)

4. Jane Wenham-Jones for writing 'Wannabe a Writer.'

5. Lane, Fiona, Kev, Denise, Caz, Mercedes, Linda, Helen ... without you all I'd still be a closet scribbler.

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Oooh, great topic. It's a bit like writing acknowledgements - which is something for all NRs who haven't yet been published to savour when it happens.

1. My parents, for making sure books and reading were such a part of my childhood and still are part of my life today.

2. The many published novelists who encouraged me and gave me brilliant advice along the way, especially Chris Manby who really did make a difference with her encouragement and practical info. And my critique group members who continue to gee me up.

3. My first agent and first editor who had the faith in me in the first place and took a gamble.

4. My current agent and editor (and everyone I deal with at the agency and publisher) for being brilliant in different ways: my agent for being supportive and fun and yet not taking any nonsense from me, and my editor for lunches, gossip, championing AND being able to give editorial notes sensitively so I still feel that there's hope for the book I'm writing...

5. My mates for sticking with me through the bad times - and there have been some over the years - and seeing that I could make changes in my life to make myself happier, not least pursuing the writing dream.

6. The bloke for being my biggest supporter and very proud of me but also reminding me on a daily basis that there's a world out there beyond the one where my characters live.

7. My friends and colleagues in web-world, including the Novel Racers as a whole and the many individual bloggers whose work is so funny, poignant, moving or life-affirming.

Oh, I have a lovely warm glow now. (and sorry, had various errors in last post so had to delete it)

Wordtryst said...

Will have some of that pinot, thanks! Am thankful for:

- My mother who kept us well basted in books. Some of my earliest happy memories are of her picking us up from school and stopping at the Mirror store to buy picture books.

- Mrs. Crouch my GP teacher who complimented me on my 'great facility with language'. My first reader feedback!

- An old friend/lover who listened to my dreams and encouraged me to get started. We ended badly, but I'm eternally grateful to him, and to my sister, for believing in me.

- My agent who loves my work and who said: 'I've been in this business a long time and I know. You're a writer; it's what you do.' To someone with the shakiest of confidence, that's stratospheric praise and encouragement.

- KeVin K. who pointed me here, and to all the Racers for providing a sense of community, for sharing the roller-coaster, and not least of all, for all the cathartic smiles and laughter. Thank you!

- To Blogger/Live Journal etc for making it all possible, and the Internet for bringing me all the info I need.

- My son, just for being, and for providing computers, technical assistance and Internet access for all those years when this writing business must have seemed like pie in the sky to anyone looking on.

NoviceNovelist said...

Lovely topic - I'm a late poster! I feel quite enotional after reading all of the above - what a great community we have here.

I'm grateful for:
Loving something that you can do anywhere/anytime
My writing group who always make me feel that writing is a perfectly normal thing to be doing
All the people over the years who have encouraged me
My lovely husband who supports everything I do
Friends who don't write thinking I'm great becaue I do! That one keeps me going on those 'dark night of the soul' writing moments!

Off for a second latte - absolutely freezing her on this bleak sunday morning on the south coast of UK!

B.E. Sanderson said...

Seems like I'm forever apologizing for being late these days - so take this as a blanket apology until I get more time in my life. (Hoping once November is over, I'll be down to a less frantic schedule.)

Anyway, I'm thankful for 1) a husband who supports my choice of careers, 2) my computer, without which I'd be truly screwed, 3) my college English professor who told me my writing sucked, but that it had potential 4) having the finances to stay home and write instead of working a day job, and 5) the internet, without which I wouldn't be able to know all my writer friends - this would be a lonely life indeed without you.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate, and Happy Everyday otherwise. =o)

KayJay said...

I've got a rare ol' lump in me throat...thanks for all your lovely reasons to be thankful.

I also want to thank my husband for being utterly fab. I was going to thank him in the main post, but he deserves a whole post to himself, really. He's a star.

Anonymous said...

The Novel Racers are obviously included: number zero, if you like. Okay, here are the rest...

1. The last company I worked for: for making "my position" redundant, thereby giving my time to think and write.

2. My friends: for supporting my efforts and not taking the pi$$ (too much).

3. Jane Wenham-Jones: for writing "Wannabe a Writer", and many other reasons.

4. Other authors - too many to mention: for fuelling my interest in books and story-telling.

5. for furnishing me with excellent free software.

6. Scientists and technicians everywhere: for their unending curiosity and innovative spirit, giving us the life we have today. I'm sure there are criticisms to this, but on balance I think science and technology are good things.

7. My WaW writing friends: for great Sunday chats and generally being ace people. Have you noticed how the NR and WaW groups are starting to merge a bit? Wonderful.