When Words CountThe first Gratitude Sunday post of 2013! The past week has felt so abundant I don’t even know where to start. I guess a good place is by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May it be joyful, prosperous, healthy and rewarding for you.

I had the great fortune of spending New Year’s at a new writer’s retreat called When Words Count in the middle nowhere Vermont. It was as picturesque as could be and I fell into an instant family. You know that any time you get a roomful of writers the experience will be stimulating, but just as often it’s as if they were people you’d known all your life. The was not an easy year for me personally, so thanks to Steve, Jon, Niele and Paul (PAUL for your FOOD!!!) for giving me a soft landing to the end of the year and much optimism going into the new one.

Quotes on Gratitude

“Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” — J.B. Priestly

“The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.” — Mike Dooley

Gratitude list for the week ending January 5

  1. The tremendous response to the opening of theΒ 12 x 12 in 2013. I can’t even tell you how many people have signed up because the registrations have kept me so busy, but I know we’re inching toward 200 just 5 days in. To 12 x 12 new badgethose of you who’ve joined and are yet to join, I am honored by the faith you have placed in me to help you on your writing journey. I will work harder than I ever have to make sure your faith is more than earned. Thank you!
  2. Speaking of 12 x 12, our brand new Membership Forum is on FIRE. I can’t believe the amount of information-sharing, mutual support and manuscript assistance that’s going on already. Writers helping other writers. As one member put it — nirvana.
  3. My kids made me the most amazing Happy New Year video since I wasn’t with them on New Year’s Eve. It is one I will always cherish.
  4. Making New Year’s vision boards with my daughter
  5. A bracing cold walk in the Vermont woods, followed by steaming hot tomato soup and the meltiest grilled cheese sandwich known to mankind afterward. (And if “meltiest” isn’t a word, it should be!)
  6. Sitting by the fire in the evening with fellow writers, sharing work, sharing stories, sharing wine.
  7. Revising one story, starting another, and writing the first chapter of my first-ever chapter book!
  8. Playing Headbanz (and getting CRUSHED) with my kids
  9. Making new, sure to be lifelong, friends
  10. This AMAZING group of local musicians. You have to see this video to believe it. Make sure you watch at least the first couple of minutes and you will see the woman playing a SAW! Yes, you read that correctly. She plays a saw as an instrument. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Enjoy!

What are you grateful for this week? For the new year?

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Books, Creativity, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Picture Books, Travel, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Ooh! So glad to hear good things about the When Words Count retreat! I won a free stay and am looking forward to being inspired and productive when I go. If it works out, I may make it an annual thing! Here’s hoping 2013 is wonderful for you!

  2. Thank you for the video! I missed a great group of musicians. It was so wonderful to meet you and Mari, and Greg, and to see old friends at the retreat.

    • It was wonderful to meet you too, Laura. I wish I’d had more time to get to know you. Perhaps we’ll just have to schedule another time to show up in Vermont together. πŸ™‚

  3. I love these gratitude quotes. I am willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy. Today is a gift. Today I will live the life I want to lead. Thanks, Julie.

    Sallie Wolf

  4. What a wonderful week you’ve had! I’m grateful just to be alive and to be able to do the things I want to do. I’m also always grateful for indoor plumbing, as everyone who knows me knows. πŸ˜‰

    Happy Monday to you!

  5. After repeated attempts to keep a daily gratitude journal, I’ve decided to follow your lead and do a “gratitude Sunday”. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. So Glad you had a wonderful week. I am hoping to have a great writing year although family health issues hasn’t made this the greatest start to the New Year. However I have so much to be greatful for and am inspired to get more productive with my writing this year. Thanks for the post.

  7. I love your gratitude posts, so often we forget to be thankful. Of course, meltiest is a word…you’ve written so now it is most certainly a word. I will find a way to use it three times tomorrow and next year it will be in the Websters. My favorite word is “absodoodles” from The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I’ve been playing with the word sloth (the animal) is a very fun word to make new words: slothy, slothiness, slothing…who doesn’t want to sleep 15-18 hours a day in the winter!

  8. I always wanted to play the saw! There’s an amazing saw player that busks in Asheville. Glad that 12×12 is off to such an exciting start!

  9. With your gratitude references and your quote by Sarah Ban Breathnach, I have to ask . . . Do you read/implement Simple Abundance? I LOVE that book!

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