12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 9

OrullianMy birthday (the big 4-0!) has added an extra patina of sentimentality and reflection to this holiday.

In honor of this milestone—punctuated by finally unlocking the “author” achievement—I’ve assembled my own 12 days of Christmas* Thankfulness.

Day 1: Cathy Taylor
Day 2: Sue LaGow
Day 3: Ryan Hylland
Day 4: Jackie Phillips

Day 5: Szaba and Von
Day 6: Shanon Lyon
Day 7: Kerry Colburn
Day 8: Debbie Reber
Day 9: Peter Orullian

Day 10: Christa Charter
Day 11: Steam Crow
Day 12: 1986 State Fair Judging Panel

These people dropped the breadcrumbs that led me straight to this publishing adventure. Thank you, all, for your part in this Hero’s Journey.

* Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the 12 days before Christmas. Per the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s the 12 days leading up to the Epiphany (January 6) “observed as a time of merrymaking.”

Peter Book Signing


Peter was my boss back in the Xbox days. Every morning I’d go in at 9:00am, and he’d already clocked four hours of writing time—not for Xbox, but for his books.

Peter was the first successfully published author I’d ever known. Until then, like many people, I had a romanticized view of what it meant to be an author. For 99.9% of them, it’s not jet-set publishing tours and appearances on Good Morning America. It’s hard work for little or no money. But it’s also the personal reward of sharing the stories inside of you with the world. If that reward drives you to get up at 4:00am to write, you might be author.

Thank you, Peter, for your double dose of reality and inspiration. You gave me clarity on why I wanted to write and what it would take to get there.


I look forward to seeing where the journey goes from here and all the amazing people I’ll have the pleasure to encounter in the next 40 years…


Banner photo inspired by Sarah Witherby’s 12 Days, Flickr Creative Commons.

4 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 9

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