By Jaden Terrell
I'm writing this post from a quaint little New Orleans hotel called The Prytania Park Hotel. Lace curtains over the window, pineapple-colored walls, antique green armoire, desk, and dresser, wrought-iron chairs and tables in a courtyard draped in ivy. Mike and I just had got back from dinner at The Irish House, where we shared a bowl of the most delicious lobster bisque I've ever had, followed by a fig-and-brie-stuffed duck breast. It doesn't get much better than this. I can even enjoy it without guilt because I wrote a chapter of the third Jared McKean novel on the way down. (Fortunately, Mike was driving.)
Tomorrow, we explore New Orleans, and on Saturday, we embark on a cruise to the Caribbean, a 25th anniversary gift from both our mothers. It's a first for both of us--we'll visit the falls in Jamaica, swim with wild stingrays and go to the turtle sanctuary in Grand Cayman, and tour the Mayan ruins in Cozumel. I don't know if Jared will be traveling to any of those places, but I'll be taking notes in our cabin afterward, just in case.
This month of Thanksgiving reminds me to be conscious of the things that bring happiness and not to take them for granted. Sitting here in this charming hotel room, I'm reminded not just to be grateful, but to express that gratitude.I'm grateful for this opportunity to experience new things, have time to write on the ship, and spend a week alone with someone I love. I'm grateful for my mom and his, not only for giving us this incredible gift, but for all the love and support they give us every day.
What else am I grateful for? Family, friends (old and new, real-world and online), my publisher, Martin Shepard, my agent, Jill Marr. I'm grateful for our dogs, who love us unconditionally, and for our jobs, which help us pay the bills--at least until that six million dollar (after taxes!) movie deal comes through. I'm grateful for the Quill and Dagger critique group and for Clay Stafford and Killer Nashville.
I'm grateful for all of you who read and write this blog. You're the best.
Above all, I'm grateful for this great adventure that is life, especially the writing life. The cruise doesn't end when we return to the dock. In a metaphorical sense, it begins the day we're born and ends...well, does it ever end? Or do we just disembark at another port?
What are your thoughts? And what are you grateful for?