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  • Writer's pictureDan

A Thankful Time of Year

Dege Peak Hike by Dan 2021
Dege Peak Hike by Dan 2021


It's that time of year to reflect on what we are thankful for. The past year has been one of accomplishment and terrible loss. Of course, family and good health are always aspects of life to appreciate because both are easy to take for granted until reality reminds us how fleeting they truly are. But what else is there to be thankful for?

I'm ecstatic to finally have a novel published. My debut, Dragons Walk Among Us, came into the world on July 19, 2021. The dearly departed resident writer of my writing group compared the publication of one's first novel to the birth of your first

child. He may have even said the first novel is more momentous because the story is created purely from your mind. I must admit, it's pretty darn close, maybe equal. I'm also eternally thankful that my father had the chance to

Pops on Mt. Townsend
Pops on Mt. Townsend

read Dragons Walk Among Us before succumbing to cancer.

I'm also gratified to continue making prodigious progress on the sequel to Dragons Walk Among Us. After completely re-writing the first several chapters, I'm chopping away the fat. So far, I've condensed the first fourteen chapters down to ten, with more work at the chopping block ahead.

Recently, my eldest son played in his final soccer game of the season. It was a make-up game since the original match was canceled due to a covid outbreak on the opposing team. My son's team had already won the league, thereby qualifying for promotion to a higher league. His teammates were blasé about the match although he wasn't as he takes soccer quite seriously. The opposing team wasn't blasé either and was determined to win by any means necessary, specifically by playing physically. My son's team was down 2-1 late in the second half when he got behind the defense for a second time. He would've scored his second goal to tie the game, but an opposing player slide tackled him from behind. Slide tackling is illegal in the U11 league. It was the first time I almost went onto the field because my boy went down like a felled tree and didn't move. I was worried he had an injured ankle, but thankfully that wasn't the case. He did end up in tears and is nursing bruised ribs. I'm just thankful he didn't end up seriously hurt. Interestingly, despite claiming he didn't conk his head, he doesn't remember being tackled, only being about to score, then being on the ground in pain.

Rough Game by Dan 2021
Rough Game by Dan 2021

On top of all that, I suspect the game won't even count because, after reducing the teenage referee to tears, the opposing coach was red carded and the game was called. Go figure.

Lastly, I'm thankful for all the great books I've been reading lately. I'd be hard-pressed to name my favorite, but The Haunting of Hill House, New York 2140, American War, and The Man Who Died Twice all stand out as exceptionally memorable.

However you celebrate, have a joyous and healthy holiday season. To those trying to wrap up their 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, good luck.

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