Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things I'm Thankful For This Year

First, I'm so happy to annouce that I'll be speaking to a graduate class at FSU next Tuesday. I'll be sharing my story of freelancing and novel writing with the students and hopefully can answer a few questions about what I've experienced. I'm nervous, but excited! :)

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

The Serious

Parents: My parents have been amazing throughout this entire ordeal. When I told them in April that I was going to put off grad school to seriously pursue writing they were right behind me.

Friends: I've lost and gained friends this year. I've let go of friends who dragged me down. I lost touch with a few friends and reconnected with others. MySpace connected me to a friend I hadn't talked to in 5+ years and it's wonderful to have her back in my life. I've also made many new friends and I'm glad to have you all in my life!

Health: I went through rough patches years ago, as did others in my family, and I'm glad everyone is doing well this year.

Direction & drive: I'm not afraid to stand up and say, "yes, I'm a writer!" Before, it felt like a cartoon I saw in The Writer. The person tells a stranger he's a writer and the stranger says, "Okay, but what do you do for money." No, the starving artist philosophy is gone. I'm happily working my a** off and can't wait to make writing goals for next year.

Happiness: Confession: I never wanted to work in an office. Ever. I love making my own schedules, being my own boss and making decisions for myself. Being a freelancer and an author gives me the room to do all of that. I'm grateful.

Supporters: Past professors, local librarians, my agent and editor have been all amazing sources of knowledge and support.

Knowledge: I've dubbed this year "Novel Writing Bootcamp" because I've learned more this year about writing, publishing and editing than I ever thought I could learn. And there's still so much more!

The Silly

"Ugly Betty." With lines such as, "Oh my God, it's Perfect Spice!" It doesn't get much better than that.

Craig Wilson's column in The USA Today. Funny, heartfelt and always entertaining.

The movie Mean Girls which I've watched at least a dozen times to channel my inner brat when writing evil girl scenes.

My cat, Jazz, for serving as a lap warmer when I'm typing away at 6am.

Coffee Mate. Seriously, yum.

My pink Motorola. When I didn't have a case for it, I kept it in a sock. Don't laugh--it's too cute to get scratched.

Meg Cabot's Diary. For making me laugh and inspire me to keep working hard.

IncrediMail notifiers. I get waaay too excited when I see a kangaroo with mail bouncing onto my screen.

So, what are you thankful for?

PS- This Sunday, November 25, is Extreme Home Makeover's 100th makeover in MN. The company my dad works for participated and it should be a fantastic show! Look for people in Eniva gear. I'll be posting pics of my family and me in our EMHE get up either tomorrow or Friday.


Anonymous said...

Jessica, our Thanksgiving in Canada was last month but I loved your post and wanted to tell you that I am thankful to have you as a friend. You're quite an inspiration to me.
-April :)

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Thank you, April! And the same to you! :)

Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl said...

These are wonderful things to be thankful for ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Writing the Cyber Highway

Barrie said...

What I'm thankful for (short list): my dh, my 4 kids, my sisters, my friends (on and offline), my health, my ipod, my hairdresser. And, of course, my book deal. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Danette Haworth said...

Hey, I just watched Mean Girls for the first time last night. Tina Fey nailed it!

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Hope you had great days, Michele and Barrie. :)

Danette, you're so right! I hope Tina writes another movie.

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