I’m grateful all the time, believe it or not, for people and pets and inanimate objects. I once kissed an Amtrak train as a little kid to thank it for safely getting us home from Florida, and my mother had to yank me away before it decapitated me.

Many years later, I was driving somewhere with my (eventual ex-) wife, contemplating the universe in my quiet Scandinavian way, when a profound insight sparked across a few neurons.

“You know what I don’t appreciate enough?”

She looked over at me, eyes filled with hope.

Nestle Nesquik. I’ve been drinking it since I was five years old across multiple states and economic conditions, and it’s always been a comfort to me.”

So Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, an excuse to eat and talk a lot with family and friends, but I don’t always articulate what specifically I’m thankful for because it’s always Thanksgiving in my heart. (Aw!)

Let’s do some articulatin’!


  • Of course I’m grateful for the family, friends, colleagues, and inanimate objects that support me every day, no matter how difficult I make it.
  • We had a great Willcon this year, enjoying some gaming and ribald conversation with old friends and new.
  • It was wonderful to take a family vacation with my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces to Great Britain for a few weeks this summer, something we’ve done very infrequently over our lives. Even getting COVID couldn’t slow down our good time (or endless walking).
  • As annoying as it was to spend FIVE WEEKS as a juror in a civil trial, I appreciated the chance to meet people I’d never have encountered in my normal life and see things from their perspectives, however wrong. (I kid, I kid!)
  • My immediate team at work has never been just a group of coworkers, and not just because I bully them all the time to go out to lunch together at Tony D’s. I decidedly DON’T appreciate the layoff that sent most of them off to better destinies, but I AM very grateful that they continue to influence my life.
  • We’ve got a pretty good team of cats at home, two older boys and two younger ones, who fill our hearts with love and our lungs with dander. Our famous dog Sylvia, mayor of the neighborhood, will now occasionally listen to reason between trying to tear pizza out of our hands and barking during work meetings. 
  • Aimee, of course, remains awesome, very tolerant of my quirks and difficulties.


  • Though I miss my lost team members at my day job, I’m grateful my company decided to keep me around for their own mysterious reasons. They’ve always been tolerant and often even bemused by the weirdness I bring to my work.
  • There’s something to be said after a layoff for how it sure clarifies who you can trust to help get things done, including my boss.


  • I actually finished a short story this year after a time we’re politely calling “fallow.” It’s made it to a second round of consideration at one of my favorite magazines, so maybe you’ll read it one of these days. (People liked it when I read it at Willcon, at least politely.)
  • The well-known publisher that was considering my novella A Scout is Brave decided to pass after a whirlwind 850 days, which is either a compliment that it was so hard to decide or an insult that it wasn’t easier to decide.
  • And the reason I’m grateful for that? A Scout is Brave has found its real home at Lethe Press and will be appearing next June. Don’t worry: I won’t let you forget that in the coming months.


  • This has been a very strange year, and I couldn’t have done it without the fistful of medications that my doctor prescribed to keep me alive during it.
  • In a similar vein, I’m glad to have reached an age where I know enough about my strengths and weaknesses to work WITH them instead of against them. You call it depression, I call it introspection! You call it a rude disregard for the feelings of others, I call it a child-like honesty! You call it ADHD, I call it a need for novelty and challenge!

Inanimate Objects

  • I’m glad I figured out (with no help from three visits to the dealership) what the rattling noise under my car was before I just drove it off a bridge.
  • I’m enjoying a board game these days called HeroQuest which is like Dungeons and Dragons for impatient people fearful of commitment.
Family playing HeroQuest at Thanksgiving
I even persuaded the family to try HQ on our early Thanksgiving.
  • Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2 have been boon companions for the last few months. I wish I could quit you!
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks were fantastic this year.
  • I’m also thankful for the new (and very expensive) pipe that allows my bodily wastes to go out to Jacksonville’s sewer system instead of just kind of seeping under my lawn.

..and Finally…

I’m grateful for you, supporting my intense desire to capture the world in words!