Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, October 08, 2009


by Julie Coulter Bellon

Since Canadian Thanksgiving is on Monday and I’ve been getting my turkey and pumpkin pie ready, I was also thinking about things I’m grateful for. As a writer, I’m grateful for a lot of things. For instance:

I'm grateful for a computer and a delete key. I’m grateful I don’t have to write with quill and parchment. Or a typewriter with correction tape or white out for that matter. I mean, I took out an entire point of view in my work in progress and if I’d had to go back through every page with white out or whatever, I would be insane and I would need a gallon or more. Or I’d just have to start over. Computers probably saved a lot of trees and I probably wouldn’t have written more than a book or two every decade since my editing process without a computer and a delete key would be incredibly frustrating. I also love track changes so I can see immediately what my editor changed and I can change stuff myself and email it back without having to spend forever at the post office mailing everything. Email is awesome. Track changes are awesome. My computer is awesome (most of the time, except for today when Blogger hates me and this blog looks weird and I can't seem to fix it. Oh well.)

I’m grateful for the internet so I can do research from the comfort of my own home and I don’t have to spend hours in the library searching among the stacks. Although, I think Facebook is of the devil since I am tempted to spend way too much time there talking to old friends I’ve reconnected with and playing Bejeweled Blitz. I can’t help myself! Every day I say to myself that I’ll only check my mail and play a game or two and before I know it half an hour is gone. Especially when I’m playing that dumb, addicting game. It’s just a whirlpool of wasted time sucked away and I need to be more disciplined since my computer time is limited. But I am glad to be able to do research, walk away to feed the baby, and come back to it.

I’m grateful that I can email my poor friends/test readers across the continent who have gone through drafts of my manuscripts with nary a complaint. Could you imagine if I had to mail my stuff to people? I would have to put aside money every month for postage alone. And this way I can send my manuscripts to my friends at home in Canada, my editor friends back east, or anyone else who is game to read, with just a stroke of a key.

I’m grateful for the other contributors on this blog that write books to inspire me, make me laugh and give me the creeps. It makes me want to reach higher and be better in my own writing. I’m also grateful to our loyal readers who are so wonderful in their own right.

I'm grateful for Flylady who taught me the basics of balance and routine. I can keep my house tidy, get rid of clutter, and make sure dinner is planned and taken care of so I can feel like I am good wife and mom and still keep writing without any guilt that I should be doing something else.

I’m grateful for Barney the dinosaur. He gives me an uninterrupted half an hour of writing every day, since my youngest child discovered him. Although I admit to humming some of the songs while I write sometimes, which can be funny/annoying when I realize what I’m doing. (Now the Barney theme is running through my head. Great.)

Most of all I’m grateful to be a writer. I look at the books I’ve published so far and I feel a sense of accomplishment. Each book represents a slice of my life when I wrote it and it’s something real and tangible that I can hold. It’s also something I’ve worked hard at and want to improve on, and it gives me a goal and sense of purpose. We’ve been asked to develop our talents, but sometimes half the battle is finding them and feeling comfortable with them. Writing is all about the journey and while it can be horribly frustrating, it is also incredibly rewarding.

So when I’m sitting down to my turkey feast on Monday, I will again feel gratitude for all the blessings I have in my life and in my writing life.

What are you grateful for as a writer/reader?


At 10/08/2009 11:25 AM, Anonymous Jordan said...

LOL—your first one reminded me of that video of 15th century email:

At 10/08/2009 11:32 AM, Blogger Jennie said...

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Julie.

At 10/08/2009 11:33 AM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jordan, I hadn't seen that one and it made me laugh. Hard. Whereabouties. Four for. HAHA. Thanks for posting that.

Jennie, you are sweet. Thank you!

At 10/08/2009 11:45 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Great blog, Julie! I too am SO grateful for computers. I'm such a re-writer that I can't imagine writing an entire novel in the days when changing even one tiny thing meant retyping vast amounts of pages. And I love being able to e-mail manuscripts--I remember the first time I mailed a manuscript out for a test read, years ago--I printed it out, put it in a huge binder, put it in a box, took it to the post office . . .

I'm so grateful for the incredibly supportive network of LDS writers. You guys are the best.

At 10/08/2009 1:03 PM, Blogger Taffy said...

As I tried to force the Barney song in my head the Adams Family song entered instead...'he's creepy and he's purple..."

I'm thankful for great blogs to read!

At 10/08/2009 3:08 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I love this time of year!

At 10/08/2009 6:39 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Is it just me, or do the Canadians have a LOT of holidays? I work with a Canadian banking firm and I feel like I'm seeing holiday closures at least once a month. =) Victoria Day, Civic Holiday, Canada Day...

Maybe I'm just jealous because I don't get all the US Federal holidays off.

At 10/08/2009 6:51 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

It's so wonderful to read a post this full of gratitude. It helps remind me to do likewise.

Things I'm grateful for as a reader: Books. Their weight, feel, scent, and comfort. I can slip one in my purse and escape for a half an hour while I wait to pick up kids from school. I'm grateful for all the things I've learned through them. Simple things like grammar or structure and big things like life lessons of kindness and the capacity for growth.

As a writer, that delete key, track changes, and email are absolute loves. I also love crit groups, conferences, and the click-clack of my compy while I watch my character's come to life.

Great post, Julie.

At 10/09/2009 2:13 AM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

I'm trying to imagine you humming Barney while writing spies and intrigue. Should make for a ver interesting book. "The purple dinosaur pulled a gun . . ."

Happy Thanksgiving!

At 10/10/2009 4:12 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

StephanieH, you make me laugh. Can't you see Barney infiltrating toy stores, homes, and taking over the lives of children everywhere? Oh wait . . .

You guys are great. Thanks for all the comments. You made me think of so many more things I'm grateful for, but most of all, for friends like you.

At 10/13/2009 5:27 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

Hey TOJ, I loved your post on gratitude. And man am I right there with you. Imagine editing a manuscript by hand. OY! I've written manuscripts by hand but editing them would be a whole new nightmare! Happy Thanksgiving (late).


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