Continuing on in my Month of Thanks, here is my letter for October 29th.
To Lisa-Anne Samuels Moore,
Throughout the past few years, there has been one constant in my writing process.
That constant is you.
You were there during the writing of The Dreamer’s Thread, albeit an incorporeal presence in Second Life, but whenever I needed a cheerleader, you were there to keep me going. It wasn’t until a bit later, after the podcast and the initial scribblings on Master of Myth, that you became so crucial to my writing process.
With the Endure series, you firmly entrenched yourself as my Creative Sounding Board. You were the first, the original, and, for a while, the only. You saw my vision from the start, echoing my thoughts with your words and guiding my work, and not a plot point has gone by that you didn’t hear from me first. Your support has been unwavering. You push me to be better, to bring my stories up to some higher level than I ever intend them to be when they tumble out from my fingers, across my keyboard, and onto your screen. You see bigger ideas and larger reflections of the real world in my stories, things I don’t even see myself. You pull things from my head that I didn’t know were there. You elevate my fluffy tales to greater heights of literature simply by asking questions.
The right questions.
Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Sometimes, a single question can spark an idea, create an argument within my self, cause me to challenge what I initially intend for my characters. I look at the plot and question everyone’s motivations. I think about reader reactions and what I’m missing to guide them to the conclusions I want them to reach. You force me to clarify my ideas, and, though we sometimes disagree on certain points, you leave me with unanswered questions that I think on further and use to guide the fixing process.
Above all, you ask, “How can we make this better?”, and I think that might be the most important question of all.
Even more than this, you’ve become a good friend. We trade off in our crises, talking each other down from ledges both creative and personal. We know each other’s children. We confide in one another about our spouses. I can’t imagine there are topics too outside the boundaries of our conversation. I’m never sure how much help I really am to you, but I do the best I can. For most of our friendship I’ve lived on the other side of the country, unable to physically be there when you probably needed it most. Still, I lend my ear when I can and provide feedback when it’s asked of me. I do this because it’s what you do for me when I need it, and sometimes when I’m convinced I don’t need it, you prove me wrong there as well.
Because this is what friends do. They know a conversation is necessary when the other disagrees.
There are many small instances I could thank you for, little bits of advice along the way and words of encouragement too numerous to write out without leaving something out, so I will wrap it up into one neat package.
For all the words, for all the advice, for all the shaking of pompoms when I need a cheerleader and the verbal shaking of my person when I stop making sense…
And if I haven’t said it before…