Giving Thanks

I'm almost recovered from the food coma that always ensues after Turkey Day. I took as much of last week off as possible to do some baking and cooking, and to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with my Romance Hero. I also got a few writerly things done without the shadow of the day job hanging over me. We put the Yule lights up on the house yesterday, which is far more fun now that I live in Arizona than it was growing up in Massachusetts, where the snow was often already piling up to the window sills at this time of year. Stringing lights with mittens was comical at best, and despite the quaintness that picture might conjure up, it wasn't something I enjoyed doing in -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanksgiving week was only dampened with the sad news that fantasy and science fiction author, Anne McCaffrey, most famous for her Dragons of Pern series, had died on Monday, at her home, Dragonhold, in Ireland. She was 85. This got me thinking about how much her work meant to the world, and to me personally. As an author, I can't help standing upon the shoulders of those who came before me. I know that McCaffrey is not the only author on whose shoulders many of us now stand. Everyone who breaks ground ahead of us is vital to our art, and to some extent, vital to our confidence in having the courage to tell the stories that we do. But, without the romantic elements that McCaffrey -- and others later on (like science fiction author Catherine Asaro) infused into their stories, mixing genres would be so much harder and so much less accepted. I'm intensely grateful for all the authors who helped make cross-genre books possible, and especially for those who introduced readers to the idea of fantasy and science fiction happily married to romance.

This year, as I enjoy the holidays, I give thanks for more than just being able to pay my bills, have a roof over my head, and for the good food on my table. I'm also grateful to artists everywhere, those living and those passed: you all make the world a better, richer place to live by sharing your art and your imagination. With gratitude, especially to Ms. McCaffrey: we will never forget you.

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