Thanksgiving in the U.S. bugs me.  I love the idea of taking time to recognize and appreciate the things we have, but the holiday has some troubling history and associations.  I winced when Jackson came home from Kindergarten wearing a paper bag “Indian vest” and headband.  Of course, he’s also convinced the Pilgrims’ feast included Crescent Rolls, because that’s what we had with our meal.  We’ll work with him and his sister on their history.

This has been a rough month.  My wife had her seventh knee surgery on Friday, so I’ve been going non-stop as caretaker and mostly-single parent for about a week now.  Work has been rather hellish; I’m sometimes taking more than 100 e-mails and phone calls a day.  The writing … well, it’s been a lot harder to make the time I need to get everything done (which is why I’m falling behind yet again on blog comments and e-mail and such).  Add in two conventions in three weeks, along with several other signings and appearances, and I’ve been burnt out pretty good.

This is where I really appreciate the reminder to step back and recognize the good.  It’s too easy to get caught up in the stress and the frustration.  I’ve got a wonderful family, even if the kids have been a little overtired and cranky today.  I’ve got a steady job, one which lets me support my family (not to mention providing benefits to pay for those seven knee surgeries).  As for the writing, it is stressful … but it’s also the best job in the world.  I may not be able to make a living at it (not in this country, at any rate), but I’ve been remarkably successful, and I love it.

So yes, I’ve got an awful lot to be grateful for, and I am.  Despite the stress of the past weeks, life is pretty darn good.  And of course, on top of everything else I’ve got going, I have a wonderful online community of friends, colleagues, random passers-by, and fans.

Especially fans who do wonderful art like this.  Thanks, Richi!  And thanks to everyone who’s read and enjoyed the books and stories.  Heck, thanks to those who didn’t enjoy them, too — I appreciate you giving them a try.

Happy turkey day to those celebrating.  And to everyone else, have a happy Thursday!