10 Ways to Say Thank You

It’s been another year. Another crazy, topsy-turvy year. And for some of us (at least in America), Thanksgiving Day will be hard, fraught with difficult emotions. I’ve found it helpful to look for my gratitude during those times. But it isn’t easy to find something to be thankful for when you’re grieving, or angry, or hurting. Here are some quotes, ten ways to say thank you when it’s difficult. If you’re finding gratitude difficult, chose one or all ten of these and make them a mantra. It is the path to joy. If not joy, it at least will give you some peace.

Image of a lit candle in a short glass jar with a black ribbon around the neck of the jar and the words thank you written in script on the jar.

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer

10 Ways to Say Thank You

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

Meister Eckhart

I’d like to say to all my fans out there, thanks for the support. And to all my doubters, thank you very much because you guys have also pushed me.

Usain Bolt

Thank you to our farmers for all you do to keep food on our tables.

Elise Stefanik

Thank you for accepting me as I am, with my virtues and defects.

Jenni Rivera

This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.

Maya Angelou

Every life is a story, thank you for being part of my story.


I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.

Benjamin Disraeli

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.

Vietnamese Proverb

I couldn’t find a card that expressed my gratitude the way I wanted. I need a card that gives you a big hug.


For all that has been – thanks. For all that shall be – yes.

Dag Hammarskjöld

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.

Toni Morrison

My Gratitude

My year has been an emotional roller coaster. It took a little bit of thinking to find a writerly bit of gratitude for the Writers in the Storm blog, The 2021 WITS Team Gives Writerly Thanks. 

But taking the moment to think about what I have revealed many things for which I can honestly give thanks. I am eternally grateful for 

Nearly twenty-eight years with the love of my life. 

The friends who stood by me on days when I could barely acknowledge them.

The readers who have waited patiently for my irregular blog posts and for the next novel.

For the amazing personal and professional opportunities that have presented themselves to me in the past few months.

And for the people who rekindled that spark of gratitude in me.

Thank you.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.

W. J. Cameron

My Hope

Whether or not you celebrate an American Thanksgiving, I hope your day is a day of peace. A day when you can find at least one small thing for which you can say thank  you.

They say time is a great healer. No, it’s not. Time simply passes. We have to heal ourselves. There are millions of ways to heal from your grief, anger, or hurt (whatever it is). You can do it. You may need a mental health first aid kit or a joy toolbox. You may need something else. Please, take this day to breathe. To find gratitude for the things you have, even if it is very little. To thank yourself for surviving to this day even if you sometimes wish you hadn’t. To find a gratitude mantra for the days that are so hard you don’t think you’ll make it. These 10 ways to say thank you are only a start. You can do it. I believe in you.

Image Credits

Top: Photo by Daniel Andrade on Unsplash, Middle: Photo by wal_172619 on Pixabay, Bottom: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Quotes from Dystopian Fiction to Inspire You

Some people say that dystopian fiction arouses our fears of dire “if this goes on” futures. Many think dystopian fiction is too dark to read, too depressing. Perhaps. And yet, most of us don’t read to depress ourselves. When you look closely, you can also find hope and words to inspire you.

The cover of Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 has red and yellow flames covering most of the book. It's a book that will horrify and inspire you.

There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

We Have a Chance

Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

We Birth Our Future

Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

David Mitchell,Cloud Atlas

We Have a Choice

The most important thing you can ever know, is that whatever your purpose is, that’s not your only choice.

Dan Wells, Partials

We Learn What Matters

It’s taken me all this time, all this loss, to realize what really matters is now.

Suzanne Young, The Treatment

We Learn What’s Possible

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

For more reasons on why we read dystopian fiction read this post.

Inspirational or Depressing?

Did you feel the hope? That’s what the best dystopian fiction does. It presents a dire situation, an awful could have been or might be, and shines the light of hope on humanity. Do you agree that dystopian fiction is meant to inspire you? 

Let’s Celebrate International Literacy Day

It is September 8th. Let’s celebrate International Literacy Day. Perhaps you wonder why we should have an international literacy day. Why? Because even though you can read this, there are more than 7 million people in the world who cannot read. Think of it, 16% of the world’s population cannot read or write. And most of the illiterate are women.

Image of the world from space and a stack of colorful books above the phrase: Happy international literacy day

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.

Vera Nazarian

Why International Literacy Day?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created International Literacy Day in 2000. UNESCO stresses “the most powerful accelerator of sustainable development” is the ability to read and write. 

Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.


UNESCO’s founding vision was born in response to a world war that was marked by racist and anti-Semitic violence. Seventy years on and many liberation struggles later, UNESCO’s mandate is as relevant as ever. Cultural diversity is under attack and new forms of intolerance, rejection of scientific facts and threats to freedom of expression challenge peace and human rights. In response, UNESCO’s duty remains to reaffirm the humanist missions of education, science and culture.”

The theme for International Literacy Day 2021 is “Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide.”

Reasons Literacy Is Important

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

Jacqueline Kennedy

Brain Health—Using our brains daily to read, write, and work with numbers keeps brain cells healthier. It may reduce your chance to develop a dementia like Alzheimers.

Community—Reading and writing skills increase the contributions a person will or can make to help improve their community.

Communication—Reading and writing helps us understand ourselves and express ourselves better.

Employment—Literacy gives one more opportunity to advance up the social-economic ladder. We can break the cycle of poverty by providing everyone with the gift of literacy.

Personal Dignity and Self-worth—The ability to read and write empowers us.

Understanding—As Jackie Kennedy said, reading enlarges your world. When you read about other people, your worldview expands.

How You Can Celebrate

People don’t realise how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.

Malcolm X

If you are reading this, you probably live in a predominately literate country. You may wonder how you can celebrate this day. How can you help those unable to read or write?

A few suggestions:

  • Do you know your country’s literacy statistics? Google them. The number of people around you who are functionally illiterate will shock you.
  • If you have the means, donate digital devices to UNESCO or other organizations and support this year’s theme.
  • Donate books to your local elementary school (always check with them for appropriate material first).
  • Give a book to someone. Adults and children will appreciate that you thought of them.
  • Start a little library, or if there’s one nearby, donate to it.
  • Volunteer at your local elementary schools or community organizations to help children and adults improve their reading skills or learn to read. (I did this one year, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.)
  • Read to someone. (Perhaps at a school, a nursing home, library, or community center. In person or by an online service.)

Celebrate International Literacy Day

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

Frederick Douglass

You are a reader. That’s one of your gifts. We often get caught up in the daily stresses and activities of our lives. We forget that there are those who aren’t as gifted, have economic or physical barriers to reading. Please, won’t you take a moment and celebrate International Literacy day? Share your gift. Enlarge and free someone else’s world.

Comfort for Your Monday Moaning Blues

Traditionally Monday is the worst day of the week. I get it. I used to moan about Monday. Every. Single. Week. And it never got better. Monday became a thing to dread. Until I remembered some childhood lessons. There is comfort for your Monday moaning blues in these quotes. Revisiting the wisdom in some children’s books might even be a cure.

Image background is a rumpled sheet and a rumpled pink blanket. Foreground has a sign that reads "I need cake because Monday." and a yellow tray holding a blue plate of cake. Read this post Comfort for you Monday Moaning Blues

How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.

A Light In The Attic, Shel Silverstein 

Attitude is a Choice

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.

The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper

The story of The Little Engine That Could is about a happy little train carrying toys and food for girls and boys. But the engine breaks down on the wrong side of the mountain. Large, powerful engines pass by and none of them will help. Finally, a little blue engine comes. She’s never gone over the mountain before, but she thinks she can do it. And she does. 

Next Monday, listen to your co-workers. How many of them are vocalizing Monday moaning blues? How many times does their attitude affect the cheerful or okay people?

If you meet Mondays with dread because Mondays are “always” terrible. They will always be terrible. Find something good today about the day—and mean it. “It’s a beautiful day.” Stop before you grumble about being stuck inside. Whatever you focus on, you will carry with you the rest of the day.


Life will never be the same because there had never been anyone like you… ever in the world before.

On the Night You were Born, Nancy Tillman

Closely related to attitude, belief is something deeper. It’s part of the core of who you are. Sometimes, life wears you down and you doubt who you are. But belief is magic. Believe you can fly through Mondays and nothing will get you down.

The moment where you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever being able to do it.

Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie 

But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there. This particular bar of chocolate had as much chance as any other of having a Golden Ticket.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

Sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what to know. You are the one who’ll decide where to go.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss

No More Monday Moaning Blues

If these quotes from beloved children’s books haven’t cured you, did they help you get through this Monday? If not, reach into your Mental Health First A

id Kit and use a tool to help make this and all the Mondays in your future better.

Image of a cartoon style Glinda the Good witch with big green eyes, purple and pink hat and dress, and a black broom. She offers comfort for your monday moaning.

You had the power all along, my dear.

Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

Listen to Glinda. You have the power to cure your Monday moaning blues. How’s it going?

Women Whose Stripes are Red and White and Blue

America celebrated the Fourth of July yesterday. Patriotism reigns. Often that patriotism is expressed by quoting great Americans—usually white males. There are voices that have been suppressed for many years. These quotes are from women whose stripes are red and white and blue.

On Freedom

Image of the Statue of Liberty against a pale blue and yellow dawn sky with a quote from one of the Women whose stripes are red white and blue: Coretta Scott King' said, "Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation."

Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.

Coretta Scott King, My Life with Martin Luther King Jr.

I’d like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free and wanted other people to be also free.

Rosa Parks

On Patriot(ism)

A patriot is not someone who condones the conduct of our country whatever it does. It is someone who fights every day for the ideals of the country, whatever it takes.

Kamala Harris, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,

True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette.

On America

The essence of America, that which really unites us, is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion. It is an idea, and what an idea it is—that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.

Condoleezza Rice

The fact is, with every friendship you make and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world.

Michelle Obama

Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals — yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us, and it is each generation’s responsibility to continue that work.

Laura Bush

In America nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you.

Amy Tan, The Opposite of Fate.

We believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone, for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and for people with disabilities. For everyone.

Hillary Clinton

Celebrating America

Image of soldier, an African American woman whose stripes are red and white and blue.

I stand proud and brave and tall. I want justice for us all. So color me America, red white and blue.

Dolly Parton, “Color Me America”

Whether you love or hate fireworks, apple pie, or other American things remember America isn’t perfect. Our imperfections and injustices are many. But always remember to celebrate the dream of America. Remember the men and women who soldier on for our ideals, for freedom and justice for all. Listen to the men who gave voice to those ideals. And always listen for the voices of women whose stripes are red white and blue.