About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in English, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with MA from R.I. School of Design. Barking Cat Books published my first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. My humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. In 2018 Barking Cat Books published my SURVIVING YOUR DREAM VACATION: 75 RULES TO KEEP YOUR COMPANION TALKING TO YOU ON THE ROAD. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thank-you Notes

When our sons were kids, I made them write thank-you notes. Every Christmas or birthday they knew they'd be sitting at the kitchen table writing a little note for their gifts. Their moans and groans could be heard over the television in the next room. Since I had taught high school English, the note couldn't just say, "Thank you for your gift."  It had to say "Thank you" and then give a reason why they liked the gift or could use it. When they received money gifts, their thank-you's were the easiest to write.  They could print, "Thanks for the money. I'll use it for some new hockey gloves (or a baseball glove)!" Sometimes I made them write a thank-you for a neighbor's help shoveling the driveway or a coach's dedication or a teacher's extra help after school.

The grandparents were the first priority to receive their thank-you's.  They treasured the misspelled words, the crayon drawings that accompanied the notes, and the heartfelt "I love you" surrounded by hearts at the end.  When we moved my parents from Connecticut to Florida, I found every thank-you our sons had written them tucked in a storage chest and wrapped in pink ribbon.

The way I looked at it, I was building a habit.  With practice the thank-you notes that were two lines became paragraphs.  It was a habit which made essay-writing in high school more bearable and it taught an important lesson.  Everyone likes acknowledgement.

I can tell you that I need this tool. Writing is only part of my job.  I need to work with editors and a publisher.  I need to go to conventions, interact, get reviews and interviews, and generate an audience through public appearances.  No-one can do all this on his own.  Gratitude for those who help along the way makes the path easier.

All sorts of doors may open if the writer is remembered because of a simple "Thank you" note. If a fan gives a positive review, I thank him for his kind words. If a review contains criticism, it might, nevertheless, contain suggestions for the future. I thank the reviewer for his time. Mass thank you's on social media might have less impact, but readers are grateful to be acknowledged.

You lose nothing by sending a "Thank you." Not saying it, though, could cost you. People don't have to take the time to purchase a gift or provide support, but if they do, they want to know they're appreciated. Our granddaughters' well-written thank-you's remain on a bulletin board for months. Our grandsons in kindergarten sent us pre-printed thank-you's and filled in the blanks. It's a good start!