So, indulge me, please. Because I want to give thanks.
Those of us in the publishing world, well, we tend to complain a lot. We complain about what is wrong with this business. We talk about flacks making millions while talented writers languish in the back stacks. We talk about bad editors, indifferent marketing people, how the business is going to the dogs, and how damn bloody hard it all is.
I'm not immune. I bitch and moan as much as the next writer. But tonight, something hit me. And I realized, Jesus, I am so lucky. I am not making a ton of money. I am not a habitue of the New York Times list. I am, like all the rest of you, only as good as my next book, living on the edge of bad numbers and the whim of the accounting department.
I got a Christmas card today. A standard card that said on the front: Remembering You At Christmas. Then I opened it. Here is what someone wrote:
Dear P.J. Parrish: Thank you ever so much for the hours upon hours of spellingbinding exciting reading throughout the year. You certainly have been gifted with something special. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.
It was signed by someone named John whose last name was lost in a flourish of odd penmanship.
I get emails and letters but there was something about this one that stuck. Something about it that made me remember: Damn, I get PAID to make people happy. I get paid to entertain people. I get paid to tell stories.
Thank you John. I needed that.