I've been writing things with no intention of sharing them with the world for over 25 years. I have shelveSSSS of things only I am allowed to read. Doesn't feel like a long time because 25 years goes by fast when you're lost in other worlds, blowing up stuff, and saving the future. Taking that step from being a writer in the safety of my own world, and finally sharing a few stories with the rest of the world was terrifying on so many levels.

Yet I did.

I apparently traumatized, shocked, yet captivated a few.

Regardless, I felt the support of my writing family, my family, and my friends, as they assured me it was okay to be weird and quite frankly, I've always been weird. I was going for magical, but I guess the two are relatives so I might find myself there soon.

Publishing Speculative Fiction is also a big leap to take when everyone is used to reading your news reports and government grants. Thanks to all the support this past year and the encouragement over the years I actually did it. And in the moment it didn't feel like a big step, just the scary next one. Perhaps I was ready after all.

Still, I can't even begin to express my appreciation for the incredible reviews, support, publishers, editors, designers, and friendships I've made in this journey. So much goes into making a book but preparing it for the world is a different story. (all puns intended)

And I know I would have never done it without my husband's blind belief in me and the motivation he endlessly provides. Or my kids just being so awesome about it (it being me writing, all the time). I have the coolest family. And yes, I am bragging because they are worth bragging about.

So much time, energy, and passion goes into everything we write, so my gratitude is especially deep to all the artists out there who inspire me, because musicians, painters, sculptures, cover artists, writers... all of them have a dedication I aspire to live up to.

This is a journey like no other I've embarked on and I have no idea where it will take me or how long it will last, but it's very interesting and I'm so thankful I found the courage to finally do it. And I'm thankful for every choice I made from publishers to critique partners because each one helped me better my craft. I look at it as a learning experience, and I hope I always will.

What are you thankful for this year?