Friends, tomorrow is my favorite holidays–a celebration of food, family, and fun. It is also an opportunity for me to count my blessings. Here are a few of the blessings in my writing life I am grateful for–a short list before I prep the pie crust for the dessert making marathon with the nieces tomorrow.

I am grateful to my blogmates here, on Wicked Cozy Authors, aond on Killer Characters. What a wonderful way to connect with other writers,and readers.

I am grateful for my agent, and for the publishers I am working with. Being a published author is a dream come true–I will never not be grateful for my ticket on this ride.

I am grateful for Scrivener.

I am grateful for Paula Munier’s Plot Perfect. Third time I’ve used it. I reread it every time, buy my pack of index cards, and dive in.

I am grateful for my community of writers, most of whom I know through Sisters in Crime.

I am grateful for the piles and piles  (and piles) of books on my To Be Read pile, and on my Kindle.

Happy Thanksgiving friends who celebrate. For others, make a pie anyway.


Julie Hennrikus writes as J.A. Hennrikus, and Julianne Holmes.

The Thanksgiving Reader

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share with you the Thanksgiving Reader, posted by Seth Godin, to be shared around our Thanksgiving tables this year, and for years to come. It’s a beautiful compilation of stories, quotes, and art.

Earlier this week, my colleagues here at Live to Write—Write to Live shared their take on being grateful and giving thanks. (Here’s a link to Lisa’s post and to Julie’s post.)

Today I’d like to share with you two quotes from the Thanksgiving Reader that resonated with me the most:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.

It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. “

–Melody Beattie


“I think that we can’t go around measuring our goodness by what we don’t do—by what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. I think we’ve got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.

–Robert Nelson Jacobs

I’d also like to take a moment to say I’m truly grateful for this community here at Live to Write—Write to Live. I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you are working or at home, alone or with a crowd, cooking or eating leftovers, surrounded by loved ones or missing them today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, family physician, and life coach. I’m also planning to win NaNo in a few days. I’m a little behind, but not as much as in years past at this time! If you like, you can join me at Rodger’s Memorial Library in Hudson, NH, for a Write-In on Saturday, November 28th. For more information, click here. It’s a chance to use the power of the group to power through those last few (thousand!) words on the way to 50,000. Hope to see you there!






The Act of Gratitude

Gratitude The Reason for the Season Not just nice to have, it's necessayDid you all read Lisa’s post on Monday? She and I are on the same wave length this week. Holidays are both wonderful, and stress soup. I want to focus on why gratitude isn’t just nice, it’s necessary.

Even in the most trying of times, there is something to be grateful for. Finding and focusing on that one thing can provide much needed peace, even for a moment.

Gratitude keeps us humble. Implicit in gratitude searches is being willing to say “thank you” in acknowledgment.

Gratitude is more attractive than entitlement. Enough said.

Wishing all of you, dear readers, a wonderful, gratitude filled Thanksgiving.


Julie Hennrikus, J.A. Hennrikus, and Julianne Holmes are all grateful for a lot this fall.




Happy Thanksgiving!

My son and I were talking about Thanksgiving the other day and I was trying to explain the holiday to him. I mentioned that it’s a day when we all think about what we’re grateful for. I gave him the 5-year –old version of my definition, but I thought I’d share the most useful definition of gratitude I’ve come across with you, the writing community here at Live to Write-Write to Live, a community I am so grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Definition of Gratitude*

First, gratitude is the acknowledgement of goodness in one’s life.

Second, gratitude is the recognition that the source(s) of the goodness lies at least partially outside the self.

Using this definition, gratitude is more than an attitude, more than a feeling. It requires a willingness to recognize that:

  • One has been the beneficiary of someone’s kindness,
  • The benefactor has intentionally provided a benefit, and
  • The benefit has value in the eyes of the beneficiary.


*adapted from Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert Emmons.


Some Gratitude Resources


Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert A. Emmons, PhD

The Psychology of Gratitude, by Robert A Emmons

Gratitude: A Way of Life, by Louise L. Hay

Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude, by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Gratitude: A Journal, by Catherine Price

Forgive For Good, by Dr. Frederic Luskin

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown

Guided Meditation CD

Becoming The New Human: Creating Change Through The Power of Our Emotions, Audio CD of Guided Meditations by Evelyn Rysdyk and Allie Knowlton


Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, family physician, mother, and stepmother. I am so grateful to this community for it’s support and encouragement. Thank you!

Gratitude and goals

It’s still January, and I’m still pulling my 2013 goals together. But I have quite a few writing-related ones that I’d like to share.

If I make them public, I’ll be more accountable to accomplishing them. They are are doable, I haven’t figured out a WIG (wildly improbably goal) like Diane has, but I’ll get there.

For now, my writing goals include:

  • Query at least 12 magazines (regional and national) for articles
  • Continue writing for my favorite regional magazine, NH ToDo
  • Post at least every other week on this blog
  • Double my business writing (white papers, case studies, ghost blogging, etc.)
  • Participate in an every-other-week critique group for my fiction
  • Submit to at least 6 short story contests
  • Submit to at least 6 anthologies
  • Create e-books for writers and small businesses
  • Journal daily

As you can see, not every point is specific (yet), but I’m getting there.

I also plan to read 1 non-fiction book per month – business related or for personal development.

I have more goals, but I’m still figuring them out.

The title of this post include gratitude, and I just want to say thank you to you for reading. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a part of my writing life with you and hope you find snippets of inspiration that you can adapt into your own writing life.

A freelance writing life is absolutely possible if you want it enough.

Lisa J Jackson writerLisa J. Jackson is a New England-region journalist and a year-round chocolate and iced coffee lover. She loves working with words, and helping others with their own. As Lisa Haselton, she writes fiction, co-blogs about mystery-related writing topics at Pen, Ink, and Crimes, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is a chat moderator at The Writer’s Chatroom. Connect with her on LinkedInFacebook, or Twitter

Giving Thanks

On Thanksgiving Day, on any day, each of us at NHWN can’t help but feel thankful to be living a writer’s life. Today we share our thoughts with you. We’d love to hear from you. Why are you thankful to be living a writer’s life?

Photograph/© Susan W. Nye, 2010


Jamie Lee Wallace I am thankful for the way my writing helps me connect with others. For most of my life, I was a “private writer” – capturing my words only on the pages of personal journals. It wasn’t until I discovered the world of online writing that I took a chance and shared my writing with an audience. That first encounter with “readers” changed my beliefs about what was possible for me. I read comments about how my words had helped someone gain understanding, change their perspective, or feel less alone and my confidence grew. From simple blogging, my writing journey has led me to all manner of new opportunities, experiences, and friends. And I am grateful for each and every one.

Head shot of Lee LaughlinI am thankful to work in a field that is filled with people who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise.  People who genuinely care about helping others who want to stretch their wings or improve their writing.  Like any field there are egocentrics and blow hards, but my experience has been more with those who are kind and give of themselves freely and I am so grateful for that support.


Lisa Jackson, editorLisa Jackson: I’m thankful for living a writer’s life because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. To be living my dream, well, it’s satisfying on numerous levels. To make a living doing what I love instead of what may pays the best keeps the stress down and the smiles plentiful. I’m thankful to be able to work in my home office instead of for a corporation that assigns me a small, generic cubicle with no view. I’m thankful to be able to make my own schedule, and to work out of cafes, and to meet other writers on our own terms. I can’t imagine a better life than a writer’s. Pouring words onto a page for others to read at any time is always exciting.

Susan Nye: I am thankful for the simple joy that comes from weaving words together. I love it when words flow and create a rhythm to enhance, not just tell a story. A lot of my work is memoir based. Whether it’s teenage melodrama or learning to ride a bike, when the words work, it’s like I’m there again. I can smell the damp summer air, feel the dew that turns my sleek do into bad hair minutes before the dance. I can feel the tingle of excitement, accomplishment and satisfaction that comes with that first ride without training wheels.

Even better, I’m thankful when the story touches a reader and reminds him or her of a similar angst or thrill. A few years ago I wrote a short essay about my mother and her friends. From my then-ten-year old niece to strangers on the street, many readers have told me how much it meant to them and reminded them of either their mothers or themselves or both.

Wendy Thomas: I have always wanted to be a storyteller and I am nothing short of eternally grateful that I have the opportunity to be one. Nothing and I mean nothing makes me feel more valued than when a reader tells me my stories have moved her, or brought tears to her eyes, or have inspired her to take action. I tell stories to share my experiences, understand this thing called life, teach others, and as a legacy to pass onto my children. Through a gift I’ve been given, I’m allowed to give to others. How could I not be grateful for that?

J.A. HennrikusJulie Hennrikus: Recently someone commented on one of my Facebook posts and said that my posts about writing and theater were always passionate. I am grateful that I embrace these passions. I am grateful that I have found communities that support these passions, and share them. I am grateful for my fellow bloggers and their support and encouragement. I am grateful that I continue to find joy in writing, and that I want to get better. I am very blessed in many ways, and grateful for all of them. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!