Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Post #2: My Support System

In my last post, I wrote about those people in my life who push me and make me better. Today I'd like to say thank you for those who see me at my worst and love me anyway. I'm so thankful for the amazing support system I have - family, friends, students, and Twitter pals. Writing was such a solitary effort for so long, and to now have so many people cheering for me and helping me is something that I hope for each and every one of you.

Aren't my parents adorable?
My parents have always been extremely supportive of me. I talked about Reclaimed with my parents while I was writing it, and when my dad had a dream about it, he called to tell me all about it in case I wanted to use his ideas. And they were pretty good. So I'm grateful for my parents, who always believed I could do absolutely anything.

I'm the one in the dance costume.
My sister is the cool one.
My sister is a pretty amazing person. We are only twenty-two months apart, so we have always been close. She has been one of my greatest cheerleaders. I bounce story ideas off her and she always reads my manuscripts first. I don't know if I could have kept writing if it weren't for her encouragement and honest belief that I would one day be published. We are both teachers as well (as are our mother and grandmother), and I can also call her to vent. We send each other hilarious text messages and giggle like children often. She's my best friend.

Seriously adorable, isn't he?
I met my husband on the beach when I was seventeen years old, and as corny and cheesy as it sounds, I fell in love with him almost immediately. We are very different, but that works for us. He has always been so supportive of me. When he built the bookshelves for my office, and I commented that they made me feel like a real writer, he told me I'd always been a real writer. And he believed it. He never doubted for a minute that I would be published. When I signed my contract with Spencer Hill Press, he told everyone, including his clients. (He's a builder.) He really does believe I will do whatever I say I will, and he does whatever he can so that I will have the opportunity. I am so grateful for him.

Me with my crew at their senior prom
I teach high school English, and I have the best students in the world. Everytime I talked about writing, they asked if any of my books had been published. When I said no, they told me I should get on that. I don't know if it ever crossed their minds that my writing might not be ready for that yet. When I told them the synopsis of my book, they got so excited! So I just want to thank my students, past and present, for begging to read my books and believing they would one day be in a bookstore. And a special shout-out to former student and current friend Emily Tucker, who reads my manuscripts in their early stages and gives great feedback, and Cameron Sarradet, who read the first book I ever wrote and didn't tell me it was horrible. You guys are one of the reasons I kept at it.

And there are so many others out there - my Mama Gayle, my friend Leslie, countless Twitter pals. Thanks, y'all!


  1. Such a nice post-I think I'll do one about my hubby later today.

  2. We've got to have that support system! Our supporters pick us up when we're feeling low and help us make our work better. I am also thankful for mine, and our post today talks about it too.

  3. Great post. Writing would be very lonely without all of our cheerleaders.

  4. Aww, I love this. I get the sister connection. My sister and I are thirteen months apart. We're almost like twins, we finish each other sentences. I so want bookcase built around my desk. You're family sounds awesome and supportive! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds like you have a wonderful support system of family, friends and former students. Much to be thankful for.