Thank You Very Much!

Welcome to November at YA Outside the Lines! 

This month we're all about gratitude and the things we are thankful for. As a mom, wife, author, pet-wrangler, and human being (though some would beg to differ), I have an awful lot to be grateful for. So much in fact, it's hard to edit the list down to a pithy few items. But I've taken a stab at it and here is what I've come up with....

The Top Ten Things I'm Grateful For:

10. Tea. Hot tea. As a certified tea-guzzler (black tea, primarily), I am always grateful for tea leaves and boiling water. I start each day with cup of tea, and by “cup” I mean a full pot. Additionally, I’m thankful for decaf tea so I’m not bouncing off the ceiling by 10 a.m. and a bathroom within sprinting distance. 

This opinion may not win me any friends among the coffee crowd, but seriously, you can have your French roasts and lattes and skinny half-caf thingamajigs, I’ll take my tea.  

9. Words like thingamajig. Where would we all be if we couldn’t use words like whatchamacallit and whosamading when we totally forget what something or someone is called? We need more nonsense words in this world, not less.

8.  Grammar nerds. Specifically, those who keep their counsel and don’t feel the need to point out my grammar faux pas, like my use of “less” above when the word should be “fewer.” Thank you!
7.  The TV shows The Good Place and Schitt’s Creek. How could I not be thankful for these shows, both of which make me so happy! Smart, fun and funny, great writing, surprising plot lines, and awesome characters who are far from stagnant. Plus, on The Good Place, there’s an all-knowing, powerful, sassy being named Janet.

6.  Other writers. Writers need other writers, as the saying goes, and I’m beyond grateful for my writer friends who help me, challenge me, and make me a better writer every day.

5.  My family. Haha, figured I better give them a shout-out here, unless I want to get stuck with the cold, end-piece of the tofurkey at Thanksgiving.

My family, for whom I'm most grateful
(even Aunt Linda, despite her fondness for giant hats)
4.  Writers who write young adult fiction. I’m thankful for all the stories you give us, crossing a wide spectrum of experiences--writers who confront head-on the tough and sometimes brutal experiences of teens and young adults, writers who explore the emotional and often turbulent teen and young adult psyche, and writers who write light-hearted just-for-fun teen adventures.

3.  Readers. ’Nuff said.

2.  Planet Earth. Some might say this should be #1 on my list, seeing as how we don’t really appreciate our Mother Earth and haven’t for a long, long time. 

We never call, never write, and never, ever clean up our mess and she’s getting mighty fed up about it. 

It’s going to take a lot to get back in her good graces, but one way to start is to maybe thank her for letting us crash with her rent free all this time.

1.  People. Kind people, respectful people, thankful people. People who need people. People who listen to others and people who reject the plethora of “isms” that plague our society. People who vote and people who help. Good people who’ll surely go to The Good Place. 

Happy Thanksgiving to my YAOTL family—thank you and much gratitude for showing up every month!

- Janet Raye Stevens 


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