Jim_Cangany_Author_Photo_-_Compressed~ Jim Cangany

Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends! Tomorrow’s the day we U.S. residents celebrate the kindness the Native Americans showed the Pilgrims by giving thanks for our many blessings. Back when I was a kid, when somebody asked me on Thanksgiving what I was thankful for, I’d say something deep like mashed potatoes or grandma’s coffee cake. When I was in college, I was usually thankful that I didn’t have a paper due the Monday after the long holiday weekend.

As the days have gone by and my hair’s gotten a little grayer, the things I’m thankful for have changed. And so with that in mind I’d like to present to you the top ten things I’m thankful for this year.

10. I’m thankful I live in a society that allows for the free expression of ideas. As a writer, there’s not much more important to me than being able to talk about, and write about, subjects that are close to my heart.

9. I’m thankful I live in an age of such wondrous technology. I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I’d wager the books I’ve read would fill a room–or a single e-reader. While I love hard copy books, these days I can take an entire library with me when I travel.

8. I’m thankful for my two wonderful sons, 17 year old Seamus and 12 year old Aidan. It wasn’t the easiest thing telling them the old man was writing books about guys and girls kissing (gasp!) instead of adventures in outer space, but they’ve been supportive of this passion of mine the whole way.

7. I’m thankful for the Internet. It sure makes doing research a whole lot easier. While there’s no substitute for that one-on-one interview or that in-person visit, having the virtual world at my fingertips is darn convenient.

6. I’m thankful for my critique partner, Brenda. She’s patient, thorough, kind and above all else, she understands my writing style and knows how to make it better. Thank you to all of the critique partners out there. You set aside your own projects and take your valuable time to help us reach our dreams.

5. I’m thankful for my beta readers, those unsung heroes who read my words and let me know whether or not a “story” is there. At times, I’m convinced my beta readers know my characters better than I do.

4. I’m thankful for the writers’ organizations to which I am a member. The Writers Center of Indiana taught me, among other things, the importance of making writing a practice. The Romance Writers of America, along with the Indiana Romance Writers of and the Contemporary Romance Writers of America have shown me that romance writers are, in fact, some of the kindest and most generous people in the world.

3. I’m thankful for small presses. I wouldn’t be published without one. But, more importantly, they provide authors with lots of options when it comes time to shop that manuscript.

2. I’m thankful for authors in general. The power to inspire through the written word is a true gift.

1. I’m thankful for my wife Nancy, the real North Star. If not for her love and unwavering support, my stories would never have progressed past the “I’ve got an idea” stage. With her in my life, all things are possible.

So how about you? What are you thankful this year? I’d love to hear about it. Until next time, wishing you sunny skies and green fields!

Jim Cangany writes contemporary romance on the sweet end. When he’s not writing or hanging out with his family, you’ll likely find him following a professional bicycling race or watching a Butler University basketball game. You can contact him at www.jimcangany.com.