I almost didn’t write this post. What I called, this time last year, an “annual tradition,” wasn’t actually annual, per se, since I wrote one in 2009 then skipped 2010. But here it is, Thanksgiving week again already and another opportunity to thank my lucky stars for . . . what?

And that’s why I almost didn’t write this post. When I read through last year’s entry, I thought, hmm, yeah, that “secret project” happened, that one didn’t, this ended up not working out, that other thing was better than expected. But on first blush nothing in 2012 immediately jumped to mind as something to be thankful for.

So I thought, hey, just start writing—make a list, and that’s pretty much what I’m doing right now.

Health and happiness: That seems to be a recurring theme. Issues with depression have been sorted out. I could stand to loose a couple pounds (if “a couple”=100) but otherwise I’m in perfect health. The kids are doing swell in school. Daughter off to college and getting her feet under her there. Financial aid process went through fine and her tuition is paid for the year. That’s good. Thanks to everyone at the college and elsewhere who helped in that.

That’s really a big one, by the way. If you can say that you’re happy and healthy, and so are your kids, the rest is just window dressing.

What else? What’s changed for me in 2012 that’s thankful-worthy?

Thanks to Peter Archer & Jennifer Lawler at Adams Media for helping me get this world-altering tome out this year!

I started teaching, and I’m incredibly thankful to everyone at Bellevue College and two classes worth of amazingly creative students who made those first two courses so great. I learned more from them than they learned from me, and I do and will continue to improve the course structure and exercises, etc. as I build my skills in that venue. I’ve got two courses upcoming in the Winter 2013 term: Worldbuilding and a one-day crash course on Living Dialog that’ll build from the blog post of the same name. I’m thankful for an opportunity to plug those. If you’re in the Seattle area those classes are open to all and registration is open.

I’ve talked about getting out of the house more, expanding my horizons, and so on, and these classes at Bellevue College, and events like Write on the Sound and the Writer’s Digest Conference West have really been a Godsend. I was invited to a gathering at the college for the part-time faculty and while listening to one of the speakers, I felt compelled to write this in my notes:

I am in a completely different place, with completely different people.

I’m really truly thankful for that, and for the ability to recognize its power. I’m a habit person. I very quickly, very easily, and very thoroughly get stuck in ruts. This year I finally took pro-active steps to shake my life up a little—my work life, anyway—and I’m so glad I did. So I’ll thank myself for that: Thanks, Phil.

No problem, Phil. Enjoy.

But also thanks to everybody who’s invited me to stuff, accepted my request to be a part of stuff, and generally arranged for there to be stuff that I can be invited to or request to be a part of.

I’m thankful for the amazing work that’s come my way this year. I’ve been involved in some terrific projects. Thank you to everyone at Brilliance Audio, to Nina Hess at Wizards of the Coast, and to Marc Miller of Far Future Enterprises in particular. Thanks to everyone involved in the Fathomless Abyss project. We’re gettin’ there, guys!

Thanks to Darrin Drader and the Monumental Works Group and R.T. Kaelin for letting me be a part of two charity anthologies that have got me writing short stories again.

And thanks to everyone who’s come out in support of my passion project: National Buy a Book Day. Please follow this link and donate anything you can spare to help us get this organization up and running with some great programs before the next National Buy a Book Day, on September 7, 2013.

Thank you, off-shore weather patterns, for a brief glimpse of the sun this morning after yesterday’s monsoon. I will not allow myself to fall victim to Seasonal Affective Disorder, no matter how much you try, Pacific Northwest.

And I’m very thankful to everyone who helped make The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction the number one book on the subject. When (not if) your best-selling novel is published, remember me in the acknowledgements! (Hey, I can be thankful and still ask for stuff!)

And like I said last year, thank you, for clicking over here to Fantasy Author’s Handbook. Thank you for your comments and questions, and being part of my little online community.

Please have a happy and safe holiday weekend, wherever you are!


—Philip Athans



About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, (https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/) is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
This entry was posted in Books, conventions, creative team, Dungeons & Dragons, E-Books, National Buy a Book Day, Publishing Business, Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels, Science Fiction Story, SF and Fantasy Authors, The Fathomless Abyss, transmedia, Writing, Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR, 2012

  1. Shawn says:

    I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving, Phil! No matter how hard life is, I think everybody has something to be thankful for and if they don’t then they’re just not trying hard enough.

    By the way, I just want you to know that I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blog award. Thanks for posting! Keep it up!


  2. Pingback: WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR, 2013 | Fantasy Author's Handbook

  3. Pingback: DO I REALLY HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER CHRISTMAS POST? | Fantasy Author's Handbook

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