Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'll Be There For You, 'Cause You're There For Me, Too*

Hello, All,

This isn’t going to be one of my usual posts. You see, in the U.S. we’re celebrating Thanksgiving, so I’m very busy preparing for the Thanksgiving meal. And trust me, it’s always dangerous when a mystery novelist tries to mix crime fiction and cooking. You never know what might happen! ;-)

For me at least, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what is good in life and focus on the things that get one through life’s difficulties. I am very fortunate – I truly am – to have a lot of good in my life. So today, I’d like to share some of that good, and thank those responsible.

Do you see that list of terrific blogs on my sidebar? That’s just a sampling of the wonderful people in my life to whom I’m grateful. Let me explain why some of those blogs are on my blogroll (I’m kind of particular about the blogs I put there, actually), and then you’ll understand why I feel so fortunate. No awards, no “pass it on” requirements. Just my own sincere admiration and thanks.

My Writer Friends

Writing is not easy. Trust me. Writing well is even harder. My writing is made so much easier and lots more fun by those who truly understand what it is to write, and go through the same things that I do. How good it is to know that I’m not alone in the ups and downs of creating stories that people actually want to read and that I actually want to tell.

Elspeth Antonelli - Elspeth, thank you for sharing the funny, painful, frustrating, delightful and unique journey that is writing. Your posts always give me wonderful ideas, a welcome sense of relief that I’m not the only one, and a lovely dose of creativity. Oh, and I love the sheep.

Clarissa Draper - Clarissa, thank you for the wealth of helpful knowledge you share on your blog! I learn something new about writing every time I visit, and your ideas are so practical and useful. They make my writing better, and for that, I am grateful.

Martin Edwards - Martin, you’re a treasure trove of knowledge about crime fiction. I learn every single time I visit your blog. I learn even more as I read your excellent novels and stories. Little wonder at all that you’ve had the success you have. Um, could you please tell Hannah and Daniel that we’re waiting…. ;-)? Thank you.

Michele Emrath - Michele, thanks for helping me stretch myself as a writer. You challenge writers to think about how they write and what they write about and that is so helpful. Your knowledge of writing and your background in literature are humbling.

Rayna Iyer - Rayna, you make me think, and that is very high praise from me. You tell more in 100 words than many people tell in a 1000-page novel. From you, I learn so much about different ways of looking at the world, and your look at life in India humbles me. So do your remarkable ‘photos.

Rob Kitchin - Rob, thanks for so often sharing your stories with all of us (I’m eager to hear more from Harry and Pete!). Your novels are examples of fine writing from which I’ve learned, and your reviews are focused on the things that all authors ought to be thinking about. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Donna Moore - Donna, you’ve got a rare gift for turning the negative into the positive and for seeing the ridiculous side of life. What a refreshing thing that is for me! And you keep me in touch with what’s going on in the world of Scottish crime fiction in a way I wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Jan Morrison - Jan, I so admire the way you openly and honestly share the writing journey with us. It’s funny, comforting and so helpful to be a part of your community, because you remind us all that life is to be lived, not just “gotten through.”

Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen - Dorte, your creativity is so inspiring! So is your ability to blog in two languages, write excellent reviews, and still be an author of terrific fiction. Oh, and you have such a wonderful sense of humour, too! I want to be like you if I ever grow up ;-).

Alan Orloff - Alan, your sense of humour, even when things go wrong, is such a help to me. So is your pragmatic approach to getting stories planned, written, revised, edited and published. I like the way you make the writing process seem a lot less daunting.

Kathleen Ryan - Kathleen, thanks for the real-life lessons you always teach me about crime detection. You keep my feet on the ground. I also admire your short fiction so much!! You’ve taught me much about keeping characters real.

Elizabeth Spann Craig - Elizabeth, you’re a role model of a professional, focused writer. From planning, to writing, to editing, revising and marketing, your experiences and advice are such useful and helpful guides. I take notes – I do! – whenever I visit. You’re so generous with your advice, and I am grateful for that.

Patricia Stoltey - Patricia, I’m so grateful for the way you share what you’ve learned, and the way you share the resources you’ve found (and created!). Whenever I visit your blog, I’m reminded that there’s so much helpful guidance out there, and for that, I am thankful.

Vanda Symon - Vanda, thank you for sharing the real life of a talented – very talented – mystery novelist. A visit to your blog is such a nice reminder that all authors face similar challenges as they write, and your books point the way to doing it well.

To all of you (including those of you that I haven’t had space to mention), thank you for taking this writing trip with me.

My Book-Blogging Friends

Writers need readers. Thoughtful readers who truly love books push writers to write well. It’s also very fulfilling to writers when readers get as excited about what we write as we do about writing it. Trust me. I’d like to take some time and thank some of the many book-blogging friends I’m fortunate enough to have. You help me to be a better writer, and you’ve broadened my horizons. It’s an honour to talk about books with you and I am grateful for the perspective you give me on what makes for a good book.

Margaret at BooksPlease - Margaret, your love of books comes through every time I visit your blog, and that refreshes me. Your reviews help me focus on the important aspects of a good novel, and I admire the fact that you read and review such a variety of books.

Norman at Crime Scraps - Norman, I truly appreciate your real-life, humourous perspective on what you read. Your knowledge of crime fiction stretches my own and for that, I am grateful. I’m also thankful for the snapshots you give of life where you live. Someday, I want to visit Dartmoor and see Greenway, but until I can do that, I so appreciate what you share.

Craig at Crime Watch - Craig, what an advocate you are for crime fiction! Your focus may be Kiwi crime fiction, but your enthusiasm for the genre and all you do to advocate for it and share news about it is a real inspiration. Thanks for your support of those of us who write crime fiction.

Karen at Euro Crime - Karen, you are always so generous in providing all sorts of information, updates, links and other bits of interest to crime fiction fans. Euro Crime’s reviews are one of my must-stops for information on new books to read, and I appreciate the way you always share crime fiction news.

Karen at How Mysterious - Karen, I really appreciate the variety of books and films you review. You give readers a very broad perspective on what’s out there, and that does much for the genre.

Rhian at It’s a Crime! (Or a Mystery…) - Rhian, your reviews remind me of what really matters in a top-quality crime novel. You share important news, you support the genre and I admire and appreciate your high standards. They give those of us who write a goal.

Cathy at Kittling: Books - Cathy, your passionate devotion to books and reading is a real inspiration. Your reviews are honest and thoughtful and your support of talented authors, whether or not they’re famous, exposes everyone to fine writing.

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise - Kerrie, I owe a special debt to you for introducing me to the wonderful online crime fiction community to which I’m proud to belong. Your well-written, thoughtful and honest reviews focus on the real essentials that crime fiction writers should not forget, and you are so talented at keeping us updated on crime fiction and at keeping the reading community a real community. You do much for readers everywhere.

Patti at Pattinase - Patti, your thoughtful and challenging questions always make me stretch my imagination. Your discussions of all sorts of topics are fascinating and few people make the kinds of contributions you have made to the crime fiction world: You discuss it, you write it, you support it and, oh, yeah, you raised a very, very talented crime fiction writer.

Maxine at Petrona - Maxine, your top-quality reviews are one of my favourite sources of ideas for new books to read (um, we must talk about my TBR list, though…… ;-) ). You kindly take so much time to gather, sort through and share important news on reading, crime fiction, new books and so much more. You also do a superb job of moderating the crime fiction “room.” The world of crime fiction is so much better because of your support of it. And so am I.

Bernadette at Reactions to Reading- Bernadette, your superb book reviews remind me that crime fiction fans deserve the author’s best effort, and that helps me immensely. Honestly, as I write, I ask myself, “Would Bernadette ever put up with that?” If you wouldn’t, I delete and improve. I relish the laughs I sometimes get from your posts, and I appreciate your rants, too: they’re usually spot-on. Oh, and the charts. Mostly I appreciate your love of good books.

José Ignacio at The Game’s Afoot - José Ignacio, your book reviews are so very helpful as I decide what to read. Lots of people can’t blog well in even one language, but you can blog in two. You share such interesting crime fiction news, too, and you share Spain with us. I so enjoy learning from you.

Mason at Thoughts in Progress - Mason, I am so grateful for your staunch support of writers and writing. Authors always find a “Welcome Mat” on your blog, and your many and varied book reviews help us all find new books to love. You truly are an “author’s best friend,” and every time I visit your blog, I feel as though I’m being welcomed into your home for a sweet tea and some good conversation about reading. Wonderful!!!!

To all of you who are nice enough to read and comment on what I write, my thanks, too, for your friendship and your support of what I try to do. Both mean the world to me.

To all of my American friends, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Now, let me get back to stuffing my turkey. Hmmm…that’s funny! I just know that weed killer was here a moment ago. Uh-oh….. ;-)

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from the Rembrandts' I'll Be There For You.


  1. Margot,
    This is a simply beautiful post!
    Have a very blessed holiday season.

  2. Mary - *Blush* Thank you!! That's so very kind of you :-). And thanks for the good wishes, too. I wish a wonderful holiday season to you and those you love, too.

  3. Oh my lord, all I ask is that you don't mix anything on my Tuesday poison posts with anything on Elizabeth's recipe blog. I don't want to be responsible for that! Have a great meal!


  4. Margot I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving too and I feel much honoured for your comment, mainly for being in the company of such great bloggers.

  5. Clarissa - Oh, you mean those posts of yours aren't recipes?? Why didn't you say so!? Oh yeah, you did.. ;-). No worries; I'm putting the weedkiller away while I cook ;-). Thanks for your kind good wishes!

    José Ignacio - Thank you for your good wishes. And it's an honour for me to give your fine blog a bit of the attention it truly deserves :-).

  6. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving. You offer us all so much good information on books, writers and sources day after day.

  7. John - Thank you so much for the kind words and good wishes! I wish you and those you love a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

  8. I'm honored to be among the blogs you visit and I'm touched and moved to call you my friend. Thank you for such kind words. I am the one always inspired, amazed, entertain and informed by your posts. I may not always comment, but I always leave with a little different view of a wonderful book or books and something interesting to ponder until the next day.

    Wishing you and yours a Happy and joyous Thanksgiving. And you are indeed always welcome at Thoughts in Progress.

    Thoughts in Progress

  9. Mason - Thank you so much, not just for the good wishes, but for the kind words, too :-)*blush*. I wish the very best to you and those you love, too this Thanksgiving.

    And thank you for welcoming me and so many other writers to Thoughts in Progress . It's nice to know that someone's left the light on for us ;-).

  10. So many new links to check out. Thanks for posting them. I know some of these bloggers and can take this opportunity to meet new ones. Have a great holiday!

  11. Stephen - I wish you a wonderful holiday, too! And thanks for being in my writing community. It's really nice to know I'm not doing this alone...

  12. Gosh, Margot, it's my turn to *blush*

    I love that the blogging community is so vibrant and welcoming, and I learn so much from your posts, and the generous comments of fellow bloggers.

    Keep up the good work!

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Margot, have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I am sure your turkey will be delicious.
    I am also very chuffed to be listed among such a fantastic group of bloggers and writers. Thank you.

  14. Aw - thanks Margot. What an absolutely lovely and very thoughtful post. Thank YOU too - for your inspiring posts and for the fact that you always make time to comment on posts.

  15. First, let me remember to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

    But no, Margot, I don´t think you´ll ever grow up. (I mean I hope not). Because I like you exactly the way you are. The reasons are many, but mainly for your ever positive comments and your enormous generosity!

    Thank you - once again - for a wonderful post, dear Margot.

  16. Vanda - Thank you :-). Isn't the blogging community terrific?! I love that word you use - vibrant - it expresses it quite well. We all help each other in this community, and that's part of what makes it so wonderful.

    Norman - Thanks for the kind wishes and your faith in my turkey :-). Trust me, your blog holds its own and then some in the blogging community! It's definitely on my "must visit" list every time you post.

    Donna - *Blush* Thanks :-). You're very kind! I'm proud to be in the same community as you.

    Dorte - Thank you for the kind wishes and even more the kind words *blush* :-). And mostly thank you for being such a good friend. I'm lucky and honoured. And I think growing up is over-rated! ;-)

  17. Right back at you, Margot. You have more information in that lovely head than I would think possible.

  18. Patti - *Blush* Thanks :-)! And thanks for the good wishes - have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  19. I know a few of those bloggers--they do run amazing blogs!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Golden Eagle - Aren't my blogger friends fabulous!?!? Thanks for your good wishes, and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, too!

  21. Over-rated? Yes, that´s what my mother says - and she should know by now :D

  22. I thougth I had posted, but blogger seems to be acting up again.

    Margot, I am thrilled to be included in that august list of people, specially since it is by someone I admire and love as much as I do you.

    You are a fantastic brain, and an even more fantastic heart. What more could anyone ask for in a friend.

    Thank you, Margot. Thank you for enriching my life.

  23. Rayna - *Deep blush* You're so very kind! I am much richer, professionally and personally, because you and I are friends. I've learned so much from you and I am very grateful that you've shared your wisdom. We may live half a world apart, but really, what is physical distance? :-)

  24. Wow! That is a huge group of really talented people,a rarity in these days. It's even more astonishing to see such great cohesion and harmony in such a group.

    Margot, Thank you for teaching me the anatomy and the physiology of a Mystery novel. It has enriched my reading experience exponentially. Thanks!

    Happy Thanksgiving !

  25. Amey - Thank you for the good wishes - you are very kind. And thank you also for the very kind words *blush*. That means a lot to me.

    You are right that the bloggers I've mentioned are some of the very finest in the blogosphere. I recommend each of them very highly, and I am grateful for everything I learn from each of them.

  26. I've just discovered your blog.

    Writing is so difficult because of the challenge to make it fresh and with the illusion of novelty.

    Here's to a peaceful Thanksgiving for you all.

    Regards from Dublin, Ireland.

  27. Tales from the Birch Wood - Thank you for your visit :-). You are so right that one of the real challenges of writing is to keep it fresh and interesting. There are only so many believable kinds of plots, so that's not always easy, but it's an important goal.

    Thanks for your kind wishes!

  28. Margot; Thank you for such kind word about my little blog; but mainly thank you for your incredible posts which are always thought-provoking and chockablock full of your encyclopedic knowledge of crime fiction.

  29. Elspeth - You are very kind - far too dangerously kind for my ego :-). I may have a blog that you like, but the sheep never visit my blog the way they do yours. :-). I am so glad for your blog :-).

  30. Indeed this is a lovely post and I am very grateful for your kind words about my reviews. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day full of family, food, fun and maybe a nap :)

  31. Bernadette - Thanks so much for the kind good wishes and the very nice comment :-)!! Family, food, fun and forty winks is definitely on the menu (pun intended ;-) ).

  32. Margot, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm honored to be your friend and to be included in this list of awesome bloggers. Like you, I'm very grateful to have them in my life.

    I hope you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

  33. Patricia - Why, thank you :-) - I'm honoured to be your friend, too. Also thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes. I had a terrific day, as I hope you did, and am now in a state of turkey torpor ;-).

  34. My son and I were having a conversation the other day about 'real' friends and 'not real' friends. He was, of course, talking about people who pretended to be friends, but were not actually friends. But in my mind I was thinking about how so many people distinguish betweeen 'real' friends and 'virtual' friends, when in fact you may be much closer to some of your virtual friends than to the so called 'real' ones.

    The best thing about online interactions is that it takes out the superfluous things like age, profession, place in life and geography, and allows hearts and minds to interact. What could be better?

  35. Rayna - You said that so very beautifully! Online interactions allow people to get past things like distance, economic situation, culture and generation and become friends. What a wonderful reminder, isn't it, that things like social class and so on are really not as important as a person's character.

    I agree with you that one's online friends may be just as close as - even closer than - one's real-life friends. That's one of the best things about modern technology. :).

    Oh, and I want to be sure and say that I hope your son had a wonderful birthday!

  36. Awww, thanks, Margot! I appreciate all of your comments, guest post, #FFs and everything else you've done to encourage me. :D

  37. Karen - The feeling is more than mutual :-).