It’s very easy to love Thanksgiving, and it’s also very easy to hate it. Love, because showing gratitude for the things you have is never a bad thing, and neither is the notion of community and sharing food. Hate, because the American iteration of the holiday is rooted in a history of genocide and mistreatment of the people who lived on this continent before the Europeans showed up.
I choose to go for the former — giving thanks is always good, and, I think, very important.
I am thankful for my writing career, which has enabled me to make a living doing something I love, and have wanted to do pretty much since I was six. This year in particular I’m thankful to my assorted editors on the stuff I’ve worked on in 2022 or will be working on in 2023: Christopher D. Abbott, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Emmet Asher-Perrin, Lena Attanasova, Peter & Kathleen David, Joseph Dilworth Jr., Michael Jan Friedman, Deborah Grabien, Robert Greenberger, Marco Guerrero, Rich Handley, Tina Jens, Jim Johnson, Jonathan Maberry, Bridget McGovern, Mike McPhail, Audrey Parente, C.T. Phipps, Paul Simpson, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Stacey Smith?, Lou Tambone, and Michael A. Ventrella. I’m also thankful for my amazing agent Lucienne Diver, who is both a wonderful agent and a dear friend.
I am thankful for my readers, without whom that writing career would be less impressive. The feedback I continue to get for my work, past and present, continues to delight me and fill me with joy and fulfillment.
I am thankful for all the conventions that had me as a guest this year, whether on my own or through the auspices of Bard’s Tower. In particular, I want to thank Philcon, Bubonicon, and InConJunction, who all had me as a Guest of Honor this past year. I also want to thank all the folks who’ve been with at Bard’s Tower, who are a great bunch of humans.
I am thankful for everything related to my now-eighteen-year career as a martial artist. I’m especially grateful to Shuseki Shihan Paul, who is the finest teacher you could ask for, and an inspiration to us all; to my fellow senior black belts at our dojo, Kyoshi Gustavo, Sensei Dorian, and Sensei Charles; to my wonderful students at my afterschool program, who keep me on my toes and whose karate journey is tremendous fun to guide; and to all my fellow karateka both at honbu — our dojo is the headquarters of our style — and at our dojos around the world.
I am thankful for our landlords, who have provided us with a wonderful home lo, these last six years. The place has some issues, but it’s a great home for Wrenn and I, and we are incredibly happy here. It’s a great place to be able to work from home, and it’s also right down the street from my aging parents, which is wonderful on many levels.
I am thankful for my friends and family. I’m lucky to have a wonderfully supportive and loving family (they’re pictured above at our Thanksgiving dinner at Madeline’s Petit Paris in Northvale, New Jersey), and I have the most wonderful friends in the entire universe. I’m especially grateful for the gang I play poker with — the weekly poker games over Zoom have been a tremendous balm — and have made wine with (the two groups overlap). I’m also thankful for the lightening of the pandemic to the point where we can have parties and gatherings again.
I am thankful for the New York Yankees, who were fun to watch this year, even though they were once again stymied by the Astros in the post-season.
I am thankful for the various online places where I interact with folks virtually — yes, even Twitter, at least for now.
I am thankful for the City of New York, which remains the greatest city in the world and which — contrary to the bullshit propaganda on Fox News — is not a crime-ridden hellhole.
I am thankful for my fellows in the Boogie Knights, with whom I was able to perform with for the first time in two-and-a-half years at Shore Leave.
I am thankful for ToniAnn and Kyle, as well as Professor Zoom, Tempura, Jazz, Thor, and Loki, for so very many things.
I am thankful for my parents, who are the best in the universe.
And I am thankful for my wonderful wife Wrenn and our two loving felines, Kaylee and Louie.