Friday, November 18, 2011

Writers: What We’re Really Thankful For by Vicki Doudera

Please welcome guest blogger - Vicki Doudera  :)

The holiday when we feast on turkey and count our blessings is right around the corner. What do writers think about when we give thanks? Along with the intangibles like patience, talent, and persistence, here are ten things for which many of us are very grateful indeed.

Vicki and Terri at Crime Bake

1. Editors

They go to bat for our books, help us be better writers, and ask questions of our characters such as: Do you think Darby will marry Miles? (The very question Terri asked me this past weekend at Crime Bake, a writers and readers conference in Boston.)

2. Tea
Authors are the world’s number one consumers of tea. Okay, I made that up, but I know that for me, this flavored beverage is an important part of my writing process. It’s my “treat” when I’ve reached a little milestone (like my quota of pages) or my incentive if I’m somewhat stuck. I can’t tell you how many varieties I have – probably close to thirty – and depending on my mood, I pick my poison. I mean, flavor.

3. Electronic Reading Devices
Debate all you want about whether reading on a Kindle is the same as reading a hardcover – we’re just grateful that people have discovered yet another way to enjoy the stories we’re writing.

4. Dogs
Our canine companions get us out of our chairs, away from the screen, and into fresh air at least once a day. How many times have plot ideas popped into your head while you were walking your dog?

5. Supportive Friends & Family
Where would we be without them? From our mothers, who saved our very first poems, to our spouses, who read our first drafts, to our friends, who not only coax us on, but also plug our books to their friends and families.

6. Interesting Day Jobs
Writing is my career, but real estate is my profession. Luckily, it puts me smack into situations where drama naturally occurs. Can I mine that for my mysteries? Yes – and I’m appreciative.

7.  Expandable Waist Pants
For the days when tea doesn’t work and we chow down on chocolate instead.

8. Hard-drinking Writers
We’re thankful for the guys like Hemingway who guzzled booze by the boatload because it makes our daily glass of wine look paltry (and healthy) in contrast.

9. Woodstoves
Writing in the winter can be downright chilly, and I know I’m not the only writer who is thankful for her Vermont Castings Intrepid. I fire that baby up and keep it stoked while I write. Did I mention that my desk is only two feet away from its warming presence?

10. Readers
These can be Supportive Friends & Family (see number 5) but they can also be strangers upon whose kindness we truly depend. Hopefully, those of us who are writers also fit into this category.  Where would all of us be without readers? Fortunately, we don’t need to imagine that scenario.

Vicki Doudera
Happy Thanksgiving!

Vicki Doudera’s Darby Farr mysteries star a smart and savvy real estate agent solving crimes and making sales – even when deals go deadly. Her latest release, KILLER LISTING, “masterfully uses the backdrop of high-stakes realty as a great setting for a murder mystery.” (Bangor Daily News) Her debut novel, A HOUSE TO DIE FOR, was chosen by Suspense Magazine as a top read of 2010. Vicki is also the author of two non-fiction books and is a Realtor on the coast of Maine. Her next title, DEADLY OFFER, comes out in April of 2012. Find more about Vicki at


Kathleen Ernst said...

Great post, Vicki! I'd add my cat, who likes routine = me at computer. And I skip tea and usually go straight to chocolate. But we do indeed have a lot to be thankful for!

Vicki Doudera said...

Kathleen, don't think I didn't think of you feline afficionados, although my cats never seemed to care if I was writing (they did like it when I gardened.)

The lure of the cocoa bean is sooo tantalizing! First I try tea, then tea with Splenda, then whatever chocolate I can devour.