Friday, November 29, 2013

Entry # 189 - "About Gratitude"

A Moon Shot Photo by Alex Ketley - Sausalito, CA -
This year I look back on the past year and feel fortunate that I continue to receive the gift of writing time. As I think about what I treasure, so much delights me. My heart fills with gratitude for my dear family and wonderful friends.  This year has brought both sorrow and joys, but it helps to notice that the joys outweigh the sorrows. This has been a particularly joyful year as I finally married my dearest friend after more than 33 years together. And life is good. Books, my home, my writing class, and my garden give me tangible joy. But among the intangible treasures that I especially value are moments of awareness  - of the gift of time for reflection - and time for writing. 

I appreciate the time I have been given to nurture my writing talents and to grow in understanding the complexities of life and the writing process. I am filled with wonder at the opportunity to examine challenges and reflect upon my soul’s progress. And I am so happy to share what I can with others. 

I’m reminded of Sophy Burnham’s wise reflections on gratitude in the writer’s life - in her book, For Writers Only.  She writes, “In the privacy of their most secret hearts, most writers, artists, actors, and musicians believe that their talent is a gift that comes from beyond the self, crashing over them unexpectedly--with joy.  It is received, therefore, with awe and humility.”

Burnham goes on to say,  “Occasionally one will speak out unembarrassed by the thought of grace, except she knows that the blessing, this talent, must be treasured and nurtured, worked at, sought out...if only she knows how.  And therefore it is not to be taken lightly, not cast before pig’s feet or held aloft to the derision of people who don’t understand.  That is why many artists speak of it only amongst themselves, secretly, one on one, in quiet voices, fearful of losing it, grateful and awed.” 
And today - once again - I give thanks! And I wish that good things will come to pass, as we continue to hope for a better, kinder, more peaceful, compassionate world for all. May we find ways to share the joy.  
About Jan Bowman
Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan's stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award.  Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.

Thanks for the photo Maxine & Elaine - November 2013
A recent story was a finalist in the 2013 Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest.  Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others.   She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories.  She has nonfiction publications in Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at: or  visit blog:

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