Deb Joanne Gives Thanks for the Little Things

You likely all know by now that I’m Canadian, (eh) which means I had my Thanksgiving last month.  So I’ve already been through the “I’m thankful for my family and friends and for where I live and my book deal and all my blessings, yadda, yadda, yadda” stuff.  So I thought I’d do a little twist on the Things I’m Thankful for theme and give a shout out to the little, seemingly insignificant things that I am yet thankful for, especially as a writer.

  1. First, I am thankful for holidays. *blissful sigh*For those of you who follow us Debs daily (and I’m very thankful for you all VERY MUCH), you may have noticed I was scarce last

    week.  That’s because I was on a cruise with my husband.   I had such a wonderful time at sea, and for that I am VERY THANKFUL1.  I heartily believe that vacations are necessary for purging and rebooting the brain.  I snorkeled and read a lot and even watched a bunch of movies, including CRAZY STUPID LOVE2 and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.  I didn’t write for a week, even though I am at a pivotal spot in a manuscript I’m working on.  I had hoped to finish the first draft before leaving on holidays, but that didn’t happen.  Even so, I returned from my time away RARING TO GO and ready to jump back into my project.  I even sorted out a bunch of tricky plot points while I was away, which is a great bonus.

  2. I’m also so thankful for computers so I don’t have to type on an old-school typewriter, or *gasp* write longhand.  There are still people out there who write this way. Some people call them romantics or purists.  I call them nuts3.
  3. I’m thankful for another essential item in most every writer’s toolkit: coffee.  ‘nuff said, right?
  4. The find/replace functions in Word get a lot of use from me (another reason why I appreciate my computer so much—I can’t imagine manually finding words in pages of printed manuscript sheets).  I use find/replace if I need to change a character’s name (like when I name two people in a book Andy) or when I need to find all the extraneous words like ‘that’ and ‘just’ or when I need to replace my double spaces after a period with a single.  I will never break this habit, so I just deal with it after the fact.
  5. I’m thankful for sleep. No, really.  I woke up one morning with the title for SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE4 in my head.  About a year later, I wrote the book.  And, well, you all know how that turned out.  I also woke up one morning about a year ago, having dreamed that I wrote a particularly bizarre book, complete with several ridiculous plot points.  And you know what? I wrote that book and totally love it, despite how weird and off the wall it is.  I hope to sell it someday (I’ll keep you posted).
  6. I am very thankful for Post-it notes.  I think most writers feel blessed to have these little things in our lives. If you saw the picture of my office, you know about my love affair with these indispensable little things.  Thank you, Art Fry.
  7. I’m thankful for puppy’s chew toys, so I can get some good chunks of writing done. This may seem really trivial, but a bored puppy is a very distracting puppy, and despite long hikes and seemingly very tiring sessions of ball-play, puppy’s energy is restored after only short power naps.
  8. Romance novels.  I’m serious. I’ve never been a lover of the classics or great literature (whatever that means, but usually it’s the stuff people study in university courses), but I do love reading.  I’m an escapist reader and depend on stories to entertain me and take me outside my life and just make me feel good. Romances, and most recently, historical romances, give me that little break I need in life.  This helps me focus and regroup, because like holidays, everyone needs little breaks now and then.

I could probably go on and on, because let’s face it, I’m thankful for a lot of things, both big and small, but I’d rather hear about your little things.  What small conveniences or foods or whatever are you thankful for?  Writing-related or otherwise?


1. I also didn’t fall down and cut my legs open this time, bleeding so much that I filled up a sock with my own blood, to where my husband thought it was funny to stage-whisper about the shark that did it and how delicious I must have tasted.  Okay, admission time—I actually did fall down on this trip, but it was on a slippery deck and I just bruised my knee a little, so I’ll call that a vast improvement over last year, and for that, I’m thankful, too. 

The result of last year’s fall.

2. I am also thankful for Ryan Gosling. That is, I was, until I just Googled him and found out that he shares my birthday, except he’s a decade younger than me. I’m pretty sure that makes me a cougar, so never mind. I guess I’m thankful for Steve Carell, who is an appropriate 8 years older.

3. If you are one of these people, I don’t mean to offend, I just don’t get it. Feel free to enlighten me—honestly—I’d love to hear about why/how you do this.

4. Now available for pre-order at your favorite online retailer.


16 Replies to “Deb Joanne Gives Thanks for the Little Things”

  1. Glad you had such a grand holiday, and that you didn’t spoil it bleeding into your socks this time. 🙂

    I’m thankful for a lot of the same little things you are, especially computers. As much as I love looking at (and, okay, fondling) old-fashioned typewriters, the convenience of writing on a computer trumps all.

  2. Thanks, Linda. It was a grand holiday – the kind that reduces you to a happy zombie. All good.

    And I hear you about looking at and fondling old-fashioned typewriters – there really is something romantic about them, but I’m very sure the novelty of using one would last until the first typo, which would be about paragraph one.

  3. Oh, ouch, Joanne! My calves are throbbing just looking at that picture!!

    I have so much to be thankful for, especially a healthy family and good friends. After our Halloween storm, I’m once again reminded how lucky I am to have heat and electricity. A very good friend of mine is leaving for Ethiopia on Saturday to look into building another school for Laura’s World (a non-profit started after the sudden death of a Merrimack, NH teenager, Laura Wolf so I’m also reminded how fortunate I am to have food, clean water and an education. The freedom to write what I want and the incredible opportunity to publish my story is the icing on the cake. Yes, I am very thankful.

    1. You sound very thankful, Gina. And I do think it’s a great thing to stop and think about all the wonderful things we are grateful for, at least once a year, if not more often. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This made me smile – glad you enjoyed your vacation!

    I am totally a “walk-away-er”. Sometimes the best solution is NOT to write, and the solution comes when you least expect it. Happy to hear that was the case for you!

    1. Well, if I made you smile, Eleanor, then I’m thankful for that, too! You’re right, sometimes it does take walking away to make things fall into place. I’m a bit of a workhorse, so I often forget that and want to work through, but am often surprised how things do work out when I am busy doing something else.

  5. Oh, that water looks scrumptious! So glad you got away.

    I’m preparing to have to be apart from my WIP for a few days and honestly, once I’m away, I’m fine, but the getting there leaves me edgy. Especially when I’m in the thick of the story and it’s going/flowing so well. But then, I’d much rather leave it for a few days when it IS going well then when it’s not…Either way, things can percolate when you have some distance–and I love when those tricky plot points get worked out that way.

    1. Exactly, Erika. Percolating isn’t just for coffee! I think many writers depend on the percolate time. I try to leave my drafts for a bit of percolate time, even though it means forcing myself to put it away and turn to something else.

  6. Hi Everyone I am here early this morning as I have a very busy day and as you know what kind of Monday would it be without Joanne’s Mom’s comments (just kidding you all may be thankful when I don’t make comments).
    So, here I go:
    1. I am thankful for the wonderful, talented, beautiful daughter I have (yeah I know I am her Mother what can I say)
    2. I am thankful for good health for my family and friends and for Joannes 97 year old Grandmother (my Mother) who we hope will be with us for Joannes signing’s,
    3. I am thankful for all my wonderful, talented, good looking grandchildren (bragging grandmother)
    4. I am thankful and enjoy the work I do helping people settled into homes.
    5. I am thankful for the weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s, engagement parties I do. (yes I am also a party planner so if you need help just call)
    6. I am thankful for my entertainment on Monday afternoon’s and Tuesday nights what would my week be without my mahj games and my Tuesday night dinners with my daughter.
    Okay I think you get the idea, oh no one more:
    6. I am thankful everyweek when I can go in and read about all the wonderful Deb’s and their writings keep up the good work Debs and hopefully one day we will all get to meet one another. Keep writing and have a great week.

    1. Aw Mom, I think we’re ALL thankful for you. Me most, of course, even though you make me blush about every week, but where would I be without you?
      See you tomorrow – I may even have brought you back a present.

  7. I’m extremely thankful to be living within commuting distance of New York City, where I can explore, work and play to my heart’s content. I’m thankful to be able to watch a Broadway show, to buy that red blazer I’ve lusted after, to keep buying books, to be able to Skype with my family and boyfriend, to attend Hillsong NYC. I’m thankful for my book blog and it’s community, for my family, friends and boyfriend.

  8. Okay, well of course I am thankful for ALL the traditional good things in my truly blessed life such as my amazing husband, my beautiful daughters, our good health, etc, etc…but hey, that’s no surprise to anyone I’m sure.
    However, on a much lighter note, I am also TRULY thankful for:
    1) SPANDEX (especially that wee bit they put in my denim jeans ’cause they make my bum look so much better…and honestly is life really worth living without at least one pair of really good fitting jeans?)
    2) the PVR (I think that’s the Canadian equivalent to TIVO?) … anyway, because now I can finally see a grownup tv show when it’s convenient for ME. Because the aforementioned two beautiful daughters of mine are also quite noisy and distracting at times. Plus there’s the ADDED bonus of fast forwarding through the commercials.
    3)and finally the brilliant person who once upon a time thought “hey, peanut butter and chocolate might taste good together” — GOOD CALL MY FRIEND, GOOD CALL INDEED.
    Anyway, those are my top 3…for this week.
    P.S. And how could I possibly NOT mention how thankful I am for your weekly Monday posts Joanne because they are so entertaining and put a smile on my face – what a great way to start the week!

    1. Aw thanks, Tammy. You’re so sweet to say so. But please, I hardly think you need Spandex.

      Thanks for the smile you just put on MY face. 🙂

  9. I’m thankful for friends who I’ve known since the third grade, and the fact that their parents are still just as awesome as they were when we were kids. 😉

    1. I am also thankful for friends I’ve known since the third grade, and for Facebook, which despite it’s sometimes suckiness, brought us back together (you were talking about me, weren’t you? 😉 )

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