Every Job Counts

My first paid job was herding turkeys. This is a real job. It involves shaking a gunny sack, in a line with other herders (probably your cousins), as you try to guide uncooperative birds to some place you want them to go. I haven't figured out a book about turkey herding. But I know the sound of thousands of birds in a coop, the texture of burlap between my fingers, smells so strong they singe your nostrils. These details and many other things from every job I've ever had have a way of showing up in my books.


The footwear slays

I get to wear whatever shoes I want when I write. These are the shoes I wear lately. They are comfy and warm. When one of my favorite writer friends visited my family, I could never find my shoes. They were always on her feet! She has her own pair now. They look exactly like mine. 

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At any given moment, I have a pile of amazing books on my nightstand written by people who have helped me along the way. Writing is solitary, but most writers don't become writers on their own. I have needed colleagues and found them and they are amazing. I have relied on a trusted friend who learned with me from the start, on powerful writers who  encouraged me when I didn't know anything, on generous people who organized training sessions and conferences where I began to learn, and on hard-working mentors whose help, skill and possibly magic have made all the difference. 


Co-workers are weird and possibly furry

This is Emmy. Every Tuesday at 1:00 PM from March through September, she sits at the window and howls along with the monthly tornado warning test. I also have a twenty year old cat. She is blind. She is too skinny. She scoops food into her mouth using her paw. She used to leap up on my desk while I worked, but now she is too old. These are the creatures I share my workday with. They are weird, and I love them.