Giving Thanks

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I must confess that now, more than ever, I look for an Acknowledgments page before making a final selection on buying a book. If none, it makes me think (1) the author and/or publisher were too much in a hurry to include any mentions of others or (2) the author is a lone ranger who does it all without any assistance from others or (3) some other unknown reason accounts for the omission of this opportunity to express gratitude.

For me, the Acknowledgments section in my book is a sort of love letter. You learn quite a bit about me by reading this piece. Here’s what I wrote for The Straight Spouse: A Memoir:

My cup runneth over with gratitude and affection for those who helped me write, “revise, revise, revise,” and then prepare this book for publication.

It takes a village to write a well-crafted memoir. So I turned to many people for constructive feedback and advice at different points along the way. Special thanks to Glenn Arnowitz for being my first test reader of an early “memory dump” draft, along with Melanie Rigney for her initial professional evaluation. I am grateful for the ongoing critiques and extraordinary encouragement of all members (and talented writers!) in the Watchung Writers Group and the Cranford Writers Group.

I appreciate all the learning experiences gained by participation in various workshops and programs including The Writers Circle, Sharpening the Quill, Women Who Write, and Creative Nonfiction classes. I am so blessed to have received classroom instruction by Paula Balzer (author of Writing & Selling Your Memoir, Writer’s Digest Books; 2011), Jonathan Callard, Waverly Fitzgerald, and Joelle Fraser. I am eternally grateful for advanced one-on-one instruction with Mary Cartledgehayes (author of Grace: A Memoir, Crown Publishers; 2003). I also applaud the valuable assistance of Ronit Wagman through New York Book Editors.

I appreciate the encouragement, experience, and expertise of Karen Hodges Miller and her colleagues at Open Door Publications. Karen is a caring and trusted friend who makes book publishing dreams come true!

I salute my public school teachers (especially Mr. Robert Paul!), Sunday school teachers, and college professors who, in their own way, showed me the power of developing a “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” mindset.

I give thanks for the literary and spiritual insights gained as an enthusiastic fan of the work of Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, Frederick Buechner, Jeannette Walls, Meredith Gould, and Dr. Thomas Howard. Likewise, the music of Buller, Balzer, and Aichele; Ellis; George Beverly Shea; Iris DeMent; Jonatha Brooke; Lui Collins; Natalie Cole; Suzy Arnowitz; and Tracy Chapman nourished my spirit as I worked on my memoir. You have all touched my life in meaningful ways!

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