Gratitude: The Literary Version (Not Literal)

Gosh, that Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop is hop-hop-hoppin along.

Ten Things of Thankful


I’m going to save talking about pilgrims and corn and pumpkin and spice until the actual day of Thanksgiving over here.

What’d you expect? I’m a clark. I don’t generally follow rules very well.

But I pretend to.

You know, I was always that good student, the people pleaser.

As I get older, I’m finding that I buck the rules more and more. Even in – GASP! – grad school. I love school and all, love the research, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m not aiming to be at the top of my class. I already did that a couple times before. This time I just want the piece of paper and it doesn’t matter the GPA attached to it.

See below for the reasons why.

On to the reason for this post: what I’m grateful for.

I’m supposed to list ten things. Yes, well…we’ll see how that goes.


1. I am thankful for poetry.

I’ve not flexed this muscle in my brain before. Ever since I went to see the Cuban poet José Kozer, I’ve been hooked.

Maybe I’m just coming into myself.

Here, I wrote you a poem:


The light catches her back

As she walks with her head held high.

Her clothes are shiny, taught and silver

Like a knightess, walking in the sky.


Her horse is her spirit,

Bucking all that is bad,

Her hair wraps the wind in its sheath,

Her life best-lived as a nomad.


Her battles are mental and physical,

As the forces of good unite

She bravely fights for the downtrodden-

She is a Warrior of Light.


Eh…a poem inspired by two things: I was talking about glitter over at Lizzi’s blog and Sue Dreamwalker called me a Warrior of Light. I admit, I didn’t put as much thought as I should have into this poem and it probably doesn’t make sense, but I was in a rhyming mood (I NEVER do that!) and I hope it doesn’t sound dense.


2. I’m grateful for blogging.

You know, I’m not doing this blogging thing for money.

Yeah, I have some stupid ads up for the errant clicker who might throw me a penny or two.

But it’s more because I’ve met some of the COOLEST people in the WORLD through blogging and writing. And now, I’m an addict and I lose sleep over it.

See, I have lesson plans and coursework always to do.

But, to interact in the blog world is something unto itself. They call it “cyber” or “virtual” but I call it making the world smaller and spreading inspiration and goodwill for a better tomorrow.

And if this blogging thing inspires a book or two or ten…I am a contented soul and glad then.

(Sorry…I’m finding out that starting a post with a poem makes me prone to writing everything else in some convoluted form of moronic freeverse.)


3. Enough food.

I know that’s a pretty basic one. But, I get some sort of sick high when I go to the grocery store, take advantage of the sales and save a lot of money all without coupon clipping. I’m just going to show you the receipt from yesterday. I found a coupon while I was at the store. Otherwise, the Thanksgiving sales are awesome!


grocery receipt
I saved $89 off my $132 grocery bill.

And really, I enjoyed a new crockpot soup recipe, some fabulous dessert and a wonderful movie last night. A perfect, PERFECT end to my Friday.


4. Having focus.

Anyone who’s followed this blog for awhile probably knows that focus isn’t one of my strongpoints.

Or maybe it is, but that I have way too many interests to focus on just one thing.

I’ve been working on that.

See, I’ve been having a dilemma. I love where I work, but I’m only part time there (though, as any teacher will tell you, teaching part time is really like working full time and getting paid part time – I’m at school every day except Friday!) and I’m otherwise taking graduate courses. When I finish grad school, though, I’ll be out in the “real world” (what the hell IS that anyways…I’m a in cyber-one here and it seems real….) and I’ll have debts to pay for the privilege of attending school.

Part time work a’int gonna cut it.

I’m having to figure out what it is that I really want to do. Yes, there’s the teaching element. And I love to write.

Through meditation and really digging deep to see what it is I love, I’m thinking that I need to explore two concepts to a much GREATER degree: writing seriously as a career (I thought I was doing that, but my standard of living doesn’t agree) and tutoring students individually.

I am a good teacher. Scratch that, I am a great teacher.

I’m not pulling the arrogant card here. If there’s anyone out there who thinks they’re good at what they do, you’ll know they’re really good when they tell you (and show you) that there’s always room for improvement and always room for learning.

This would be why I was at FIVE workshops last week.

You’re probably thinking, boy, she’s meandering a lot with this post.

You’d be right…or write…or rite.



5. I’m thankful I’m halfway through this because I’m getting downright verbose.

6. Libraries.

They are the best invention, ever.

I realize a geek, dork, nerd – pick your favorite – is probably the only kind of person who’s willing to admit that, but…

As I said on my Facebook page: I have 14 checked out from my local library.

library books
These are just a sampling of the books I have checked out from the library.n 

I found out THIS morning that through the University where I’m attending school, I can check out books long term. They’ll even freaking MAIL THEM TO YOU if you’re a distance-ed student like me.


Why? Because I’m doing a lot of research for my YeRo novel. And I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the possibility of having to buy a bunch of Amazon books.

Don’t get me wrong: Amazon is great. But…when you’re doing research, it’s nice to borrow the book and then return it later. For, you know, when you’re not doing research anymore.


7. Oreo Cookies.

They’re so bad for you. But they taste good.

Taste wins. Got milk?

I love me some Oreos.


8. My YeRoWriteO Novel.

Oh my god. I’m enjoying this. It’s like for at least an hour a day, I fly into an ancient world of serpents and jaguars, hieroglyphs and magic.

This is why I’m not trying to be the best grad student that ever graduated. Nobody will see my GPA. A lot of people might see my novel, though.

If you’re interested, sign up for the newsletter AND/OR join the Facebook Group.


9. Caramel ice cream with chocolate. And apple dump cake dessert.

apple dump cake recipe
Missolive’s Apple Dumpcake.
OMG. It’s so decadent, I feel like someone rolled me in caramel.

If anyone knows how to change my genetic code to get rid of my sweet tooth, I’ll give you 1,000,000 fake dollars.


10. Fall. Autumn. This time of year.

Because the colors are spectacular. And they make for fabulous picture-taking:

gold leaf
A crispy leaf to go with my autumn.

Yeah, I edited it with Be Funky. That’s another thing I’m thankful for. Is that #11? Oops.




39 thoughts on “Gratitude: The Literary Version (Not Literal)

  1. You are so the Warrior of light and seriously perfect description of you my friend. I have to keep this short, because I am taking a quick cleaning break for Lily’s party tonight, but just wanted to say hi and wish you a great weekend, too!! 🙂


  2. I have no problem picturing you as the good little student in school. I had a teacher tell me once that I was the eye of the hurricane. I sat calmly while all around me was chaos…the teacher knew in her bones that I was the reason for the chaos but she could never catch me. LOL


  3. WOW! I love every single thing on this list – even the cop out that is your #5, cos it’s cute 😉 The poem is beautiful and very well-rhymed. Good for you for letting the creative juices flow.

    I feel like I want to come on over and sit at your feet and learn how to be rolled in caramel and turned into light and take such beautiful photographs whilst writing an epic novel…


    1. Lizzi – I said it once and I’ll say it again: Your comment made my day! It made my week! It’s full of literary bliss and wonder all wrapped in a pumpkin roll. 😀
      You’re a beacon of light, giving hope to a lot of people. I’m SO glad to know you. 🙂


      1. Lizzi – haha…huggle, huggle.
        I know I’m supposed to do *huggle* but in honor of US Thanksgiving: there’s a show called SouthPark and the turkey always goes “gobble, gobble” haha – so I had to say huggle, huggle. 😀


    1. Christy – haha, I just ate another. Those dang things. If they were as healthy as apples (which…yeah, I just ate one of those, too, haha) I’d be fit as a Stradivarius fiddle. 😀


  4. Yay, now that I know you, I can picture your surroundings so well, and that makes it extra fun to read your posts. Oh, Ingles. That one in W Asheville is so nasty. I always just went to EarthFare. EarthFare, how I miss you!


    1. Sarah, hehe, yes, that last photo was taken on the mountain behind the house. And you’re right! That one Ingles in W. Asheville is gross! I know a lot of people who go all the way out to Liecester just to avoid the W. AVL one, haha.
      EarthFare: yes, I’ve had my share of shopping experiences there, lol.


  5. Mmmmm…. that picture of the ice-cream is just nasty, LOL! It’s boiling hot here today and I’m here next to the fan, too lazy to get into that hot car to drive 4 min to get a tub of salted caramel ice cream. But now I REALLY want to! 😉 Love your list today. I wish there was a HUGE library where I live, but it’s tiny. Not really something I get excited about. If it was like the one in Windhoek, Namibia – I’d be there just about every week 🙂 I’m getting excited about reading your novel… it sounds enchanting and just awesome!!


    1. Melanie – haha…I LOVE ice cream, and I have a mean sweet tooth. 😀 It’s so crazy to think how hot it is there because I’m all bundled up. Haha. There’s not a huge library!?! Sadness. 😥 I’m glad you said that, though…I thought libraries were a given everywhere…Madrid, Spain has a HUGE one and Manila, Philippines did, too, when I was there. Ah well. Enjoy dem books! 🙂 My novel…it’s a trip, that’s for sure. 😛


      1. Hey Cyndi…just got your comment on my blog… I will put the recipe for spiced cranberry sauce in my return comment if you want to go back to it… It is one I kinda made up so feel free to play with it… and it makes about 6 eight ounce jars … so if youre familiar with canning… if not put it in containers and freeze it… works just as well! Or eat it right away ! Ok gonna go look for the recipe…


  6. I think you have great poetic talents and I am pleased it came at the top of your list as you love your creative writing.. And pleased too that I and Linda were part of your inspiration! 🙂

    I have to confess of never eaten an Oreo! although we do have them on sale here.. Now your Apple Dum-cake, I could easily tuck into, and today I made an apple and blackberry crumble, and some apple and blackberry turn overs in puff pastry, lol which are waiting to be devoured later.

    Keep focusing on your Dream Job,, say to yourself I have the perfect job for me right now.. and keep your thoughts in the presence tense..

    Love your list.. and I am thankful you found me on my blog! 🙂


    1. Sue – some of that poetry is because of your influence: you are AMAZING and so INSPIRING! I love it!
      Not eaten an Oreo, eh? I won’t hold you accountable: in different countries, you’ll have different treats. 🙂 As for the apple dump-cake, that recipe is WAY too easy so I make it a lot…I’ve got my in-laws hooked! 😀
      Dream Job: YES! And you’re absolutely right: focus on the present. Very sweet of you (and Zen!).
      I’m thankful for YOU, too! 🙂


  7. I do not think you are meandering!! And the dumpcake looks fabulous and yes, libraries are the best invention since sliced bread….
    focus and meandering, poetry and photos, teaching and writing….no meandering going on in my opinion.
    I applaud your pursuit of all that makes you happy. Kinda what life should be. Your journey sounds exciting and full of promise:)
    I might make an amendment to #7 – mint Oreos!!


    1. Girlie – DENISE! Hehe, meandering speandering leandering…HAHA. 🙂 I’m all over the place, but at least it’s all within a few categories. THAT much I have figured out. HA!
      I’m in the pursuit of perpetual self-improvement. Another clark-like characteristic, me thinks. Haha.


  8. It’s SO wonderful to come by here FINALLY!!! I loved your poem!! And I love all your words you so beautifully place here. I wish I had more focus as well… I think you are right. There are too many good things to focus on! And this world we bloggers live in? It’s real. Ain’t nothing like it! 😉


    1. Chris – aw, THANKS! Thank you, thank you! 😀 Focus: the perpetual struggle. Haha. Perhaps I should just focus on the fact that I have a lack of focus. LOL But like you said, it’s hard: so many good things to focus on! 🙂


  9. Good list of reasons to be thankful. I am always thankful and no time like this speaks to my heart. It does the soul wonders to reflect on just how good one has it, especially when a little self-pitying falls on one’s shoulders. That’s a sure way to jerk one into a brighter reality. Wow, I think your poem is very good, actually. You’re so amazingly talented, my friend! I enjoyed reading it. BTW, I love your attitude about your grad school GPA. Grades are good, but what you learn is truly better, in my humble opinion. And…as you know your real learning happens with hands-on learning in the field. Have a lovely time spent with friends and family around the dinner table or lounging in front of the TV watching football or curled up on the sofa with someone you love or all the above this holiday weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


    1. Cathy – so wonderful to see you! That photo of Cold Mountain is divine over at your blog and I love your new site! Thank you so, so much! Yes, learning…GPA’s…It’s a bit hard to ‘let it go’ but it’s because I really just want to enjoy the learning for the learning. Have a lovely Thanksgiving and I hope you stay nice and warm. 🙂


  10. Love your list (I’ve got a sweet tooth too btw) and you’ve reminded me that, despite my family’s current challenges, I need to take stock and think of all I am grateful for…happy Thanksgiving!


    1. Emily – another sweet tooth? heaven help us, lol. (…as she munches on yet ANOTHER Oreo, lol…). I’m grateful for you and your blog and for being able to share in our life journeys. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s