Look, I’m obviously thankful for family, friends, my catfighting cats, the wonderful people and humbling fortune I’ve met in this burgeoning writing career, and cheeseballs. But what about the unsung heroes that I couldn’t have put two words together without? Today I shout the praises of:

Toby the wee computer
I’m not a Mac user. (Sorry, pouting angel of Steve Jobs.) Feel free to rant about how wrong I am, but I will ignore you. I haven’t converted and I don’t plan to. So when the time came to get a new laptop that didn’t have the same weight and shape as a refrigerator, I decided to get a netbook. Little did I know that it would come to occupy a space in my heart that I don’t think even children will be able to edge out. Toby is light, fast, works like a piece of technology should, I love the keyboard (typing is very important to me…I’m a somewhat specific brand of nerd), and sometimes I sleep with him at night he’s just overall really delightful.

Toby’s little brother, Flash the USB drive
I like to know that the words I’ve slaved over for hours are tucked safely away on a storage device – NOT that Toby is untrustworthy in this respect, but you never know. He could be stolen, and rightfully so. He’s awesome. But Flash is equally awesome, safeguarding the terrible drafts and deleted scenes that are so invaluable to the American pantheon of literature. Of course, in the horrifying event that both Toby and Flash were stolen, at least I’d have…

I will say this as simply as I can: if Gmail crashed tomorrow and I lost everything I’d ever stored in there, my life as I know it would be over.

Showers and Walks
Whenever I get stuck on something, I take a walk. Or a shower. Or, if it’s raining, both at the same time. There is literally no plotting problem that I cannot solve by either staring at the tiles of my bathtub or taking a merry stroll through a natural setting. Preferably, one that includes…

The Tunnel of Inspiration
I don’t know how this works, and I’m hesitant to even mention it, lest other writers start descending in hordes and stealing its powers for themselves. But there is a tree-lined path near my house that, whenever I walk through it whilst pondering a writing situation, instantly grants me the answer. This has happened on more than one occasion, and I’m fairly certain there is witchcraft involved. Or maybe it has something to do with the deadly tree toxins highlighted in The Happening, but since I’ve only rarely seen Mark Wahlberg hanging out on the nearby swings, I’m not so sure about that one.

And finally, no thanks go to:
Bravo TV

Screw you, Bravo. I can’t even tell you how many productive writing days have been derailed by a Top Chef marathon, or the need to watch Work of Art: The Next Great Artist on DVR the nanosecond it shows up on demand. And let’s not even get into Millionaire Matchmaker and the self-loathing that comes with my incessant, inexplicable desire to see every single episode of those rich douchebags taking their airhead dates on a horseback-riding jaunt, or a workout session, or any one of the ridiculous activities the producers have planned, only so we can get to the last five seconds of the show where the subtitles inform us that these two bloated idiots never saw each other again. LET US NOT GET INTO THAT.

Happy cranberry-sauce-cylinder day!



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