Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine, mainly because its purpose is at once so very basic and so very important: giving thanks. Gratitude is very important, as the good things in our life are things that could very easily be taken away from us (a lesson 2020 taught us quite harshly).
I’m thankful for Wrenn, my amazing wife, who is the best life-partner I could hope for. I remember something my friend Laura Anne Gilman (who was Best Woman at our wedding) said when Wrenn and I first started dating: we suit each other. And we really do in pretty much every way.
I’m thankful for Meredith and ToniAnn, and also for Anneliese, Sas, and Kyle, for oh-so-many reasons.
I’m thankful for the rest of my family, both blood and chosen, especially the Forebearance, the Godmommy, and Matthew.
I’m thankful for all my dear friends, some near, some far, some whom I see every week, some whom I rarely see, some whom I haven’t actually met in person yet, but all of whom mean the world to me. I’m not even going to try to list them all here, because I’ll leave someone out, but they probably know who they are. I love you all.
I’m thankful for various furry creatures who have wormed their way into our hearts, most especially the ones who live with us, Kaylee and Louie, who have become even more affectionate and sweet with age, and also Tempura, Jazz, Thor, Loki, Professor Zoom, Eden, Jax, Spot, Hima, Ginger, and Mickey.
I’m thankful for the dojo, which managed to stay functioning during the apocalypse, and which was one of the things that kept me going during same. I’m also thankful for our sister dojos in Italy, South Africa, Japan, and Chile, and also for other fellow martial artists in other unaffiliated dojos who are nonetheless wonderful and inspirational and nifty. I’m additionally thankful for all the kids I teach in my afterschool program, who are a delight (even the ones who misbehave). I’m especially thankful for having the privilege of going for yondan and achieving it this month. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about being called “Sensei Keith,” but having had the rank for ten days now, I gotta say, I really like it.
I’m extra thankful to Sensei Charles, who went up with me for fourth-degree. We encouraged each other so much during this promotion, and I don’t think either of us could’ve done it without the other. Osu, Sensei!
I’m thankful for conventions, which started happening in person again this year, and also continued virtually in some cases (Shore Leave, Bubonicon, e.g.). I’m particularly thankful to Alexi Vandenberg and Bard’s Tower, which is back in business with in-person cons, and which has sent me to several shows that have enabled me to peddle my fiction. I’m particularly grateful to those con organizers who have insisted on attendees being vaccinated, which is just being responsible and sensible. (Alexi has also insisted that all Tower participants be vaxxed.) I’m extra thankful to Dragon Con, which had 42,000 people, and still managed to stay safe: all attendees not only had to be vaxxed (or have a negative test within the previous 48 hours), but also be masked, and the latter was very well enforced. (Which, by the way, has eliminated my patience for people who won’t mask in public indoor spaces. If 42,000 nerds crammed into five hotels can do it, you can do it.)
Speaking of that, I’m thankful for the existence of COVID-19 vaccines, which have enabled the world to start getting to a semblance of normal. (I’m less thankful for morons who refuse to get vaccinated for no compellingly good reason — and please note the adjectives modifying “reason” in that phrase, as I’m not referring to people who haven’t been vaxxed for solid medical reasons as advised by legitimate medical personnel — and also those who refuse to mask in public indoor spaces, who have made this whole mishegoss last way longer than it should have.) I’m also thankful for my hometown of New York City, which has mandated that you must be vaccinated to enter indoor restaurants, bars, theatres, etc. (We live on the edge of the city in the northern part of the Bronx, and we’re not patronizing places in Westchester County just north of us because they’re not mandating that.)
I’m thankful for the places that release my scribblings to the world: eSpec Books (the Precinct books, Without a License, To Hell and Regroup, All-the-Way House, Devilish and Divine), WordFire Press (the Bram Gold Adventures, Animal), Plus One Press (the forthcoming Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet), Crazy 8 Press (Bad Ass Moms, Pangaea: Redemption, Phenomenons: Every Human Creature, The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 series), Fantastic Books (Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, Across the Universe: Tales of Alternate Beatles), Titan (Alien: Isolation, Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours Omnibus), Modiphius (Star Trek Adventures), Atthis Arts (Icarus), TokyoPop (the forthcoming Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning), ATB Publishing (the Outside In series), the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (Turning the Tied), Obverse Books (Star Trek: Gold Archive), and, of course, Tor.com (my Star Trek reviews and rewatches, “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch,” and various other pop-culture prognostications).
I’m thankful for the support I’ve gotten on Kickstarter and Indie GoGo for various projects over the years (most recently “The Gorvangin Rampages,” “Ragnarok and a Hard Place,” and The Four ???? of the Apocalypse), and also for the wonderful folks who support my Patreon.
I’m thankful for everyone who reads my aforementioned scribblings. Without readers writers are just people who curse into the keyboard a lot. Mind you, we’re that also, but readers help us delude ourselves into thinking there’s more to what we do than that. So thank you all….
I’m thankful for music, which keeps me going. I’m especially grateful for various online sources like iTunes, YouTube, etc., which has given me access to far more music than I could possibly have imagined in the twentieth century.
I’m thankful for Star Trek, which has been an important part of my life for all 52+ years of it, from providing entertainment when I was a child to providing a source of income as an adult (seriously, I’ve been writing for and/or about Trek professionally for 22 years now). Most importantly, though, is that Trek continues to posit a future where Earth is united and where compassion rules the day. Consistently throughout 55 years of TV shows, movies, novels, comic books, and games, Trek has solved its problems through talking and being nice to each other rather than through violence: from helping a ship in distress despite that same ship nearly killing them in “The Corbomite Maneuver” in 1966 to the Dominion War ending because Odo agreed to return to the Great Link in “What You Leave Behind” in 1999 to the Burn being reversed because our heroes rescued someone who was, in essence, a one-hundred-year-old child in “That Hope is You, Part 2” in 2021. Especially these last two years, the message of Trek has been very important, and I’m particularly thankful that in the period between January 2020 and now we’ve gotten six new seasons of Trek shows (two each of Discovery and Lower Decks, one each of Picard and Prodigy), with the promise of much more to come.
I’m thankful for my life and my career. It isn’t perfect — there isn’t enough time for everything, and I feel like I’m perpetually behind on everything, but I still wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I’m making a living doing the thing I love surrounded (both in person and virtually) by folks whom I love with all my heart.
And I’m thankful for you people who read this blog. You’re awesome.