Among the many things for which I am grateful to God:
- Marcher Lord Hinterlands. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be able to write in the full knowledge that I can write whatever I want and see it professionally edited and published in a timely manner. One has to have repeatedly put up with the vagaries of mainstream publishing to fully appreciate this.
- Kirk and JartStar. Yesterday I received the QM:AMD dustjacket from the former and a high-res image of the QM:GK cover from the latter. Spectacular on both accounts. I’ve seen so many writers try to grin and bear it, try to pretend that they LOVE LOVE LOVE the dreadful cover that the publisher’s crack team of stock photography contorters have produced, that it is a true luxury to know that the cover is all but guaranteed to be the best part of the book.
- John Scalzi, Andrew Marston, and the various anklebiters. When motivation is lacking, they are always there for me, an endless pool upon which to draw. It may sound strange but I’ve realized that they are, in their Platonic Form, my collective muse. But perhaps it’s not so strange; most male athletes respond better to curses, insults, and derision from their coaches than flattery and praise.
- My football team and my continued good health. I’m the second-oldest man on the team, but I was selected to start more than half the games this year. Not too bad for someone who thought he was finished due to injury six years ago.
- My partner in game development. Markku has worked himself nearly to the bone and we’re not finished yet. But First Sword is going to be really good, perhaps even great with a bit of luck and a tailwind.
- The reviewers of my novels. Many writers and publishers have marveled at how many reviews my books get in comparison with their sales. Every novelist has his fans, but a higher proportion of mine are sufficiently motivated to take the time to tell others what they think, and better yet, to do so in an intelligent way that shows they are no mere fanboys and fangirls.
- The readers of this blog. I blog out of compulsion, not out of the desire for fame or fortune. (NB: I’m no St. Francis; the latter is why I design games.) So, in one sense it doesn’t matter if anyone reads VP or not. But I was re-reading the debates with both Nate and Dominic yesterday, and it is very clear that the product of the interaction with the readers is superior to what I can produce alone.
So give thanks today. And be cognizant of to whom you are giving thanks. For without God, not only would there be nothing for which to give thanks, there would be no consciousness to be thankful.