My 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.”
1986 State Fair Judging Panel
Okay, this is a funny one to include, but it’s true!
When I moved to rural Ohio in fourth grade, my parents enrolled me in 4-H to keep me busy (as parents like to do) and to help me meet some new friends.
Not being the livestock type, I set my sights on the creative writing course. Months later, I had my first self-written and -illustrated book ready for submission. To my delight, it won at the local fair, then the regional, and even the Ohio State Fair.
Thank you, judging panel, for that fist bump of acknowledgement that made a light go off in my little girl head. A light that said: WRITE AND KEEP WRITING.
And to the parents reading this, take heart that those afterschool activities and summer camps could pay off. Choose wisely.
I look forward to seeing where the journey goes from here and the influencers I’ll have the pleasure to encounter in the next 40 years…
Banner photo inspired by Sarah Witherby’s 12 Days, Flickr Creative Commons.