Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Writer’s Early Thanksgiving Thankfulness by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga

Why am I craving a juicy turkey wing right about now? I guess it’s because Thanksgiving should be tomorrow. But it’s late this year, landing on November 28 (just in case you need a reminder to get your stuffing in order). Yet that doesn’t mean I can’t be thinking about the little things I’m thankful for in my writer’s life.

Word Games – I don’t know about you, but my writing seems to improve when I’ve spent time playing word games like Scrabble and Jumble. And I seem to unscramble Jumbles quicker and attain higher Scrabble scores if I’ve been especially busy writing. These are robust workouts for my brain and exercise that I actually enjoy doing.

Social Networks – Writing is a solitary profession, but there’s no excuse these days not to connect with other writers via Facebook or Twitter or whatever. And, if you keep your addiction under control, you can limit these interactions to times when they’re most convenient. These replace the old workplace water cooler, but it’s much easier to use them on your own terms and participate just when you feel the need to.

Google – I don’t know what writers did before Google—I guess they spent long hours at the library (and that can still come in handy at times, of course). But how great that with a few keystrokes I can check meanings and synonyms of words on the fly, specific spellings (was Lassie’s best friend Timmie or Timmy?) and trivia (what span of years was The Donny and Marie Show on?) that can add tasty (and accurate) little details to my novel.

YouTube – I’ve never been one of those writers who thinks it imperative that you must visit every setting that you depict in your novels. But with the plethora of YouTube videos that can take you around the world in eighty seconds, there’s no excuse for not “visiting” your main character’s hometown or university or favorite hangout.

My New Ergo Stool – For years I’ve been using a series of traditional chairs at my writing desk but am now in love with my new Ergo Stool. I automatically sit up straight and have cured myself of the bad habit of tucking my right foot under my left thigh. And, not to mention, I can move around and actually get a little exercise while keeping my BIC (Butt-in-Chair or, uh, stool).

Girlfriends Book Club – What a lovely bunch of writers and bloggers we have at the GBC! And they have some great books that would make lovely gifts for the holidays. Check them out HERE.

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga is the author of the novels, "Midori by Moonlight" and "Love in Translation" (both published by St. Martin's Press), and the e-book novels, "Falling Uphill" and "His Wife and Daughters," and e-book short story, “The Girl in the Tapestry.” She's also the author of the nonfiction e-book, "Marriage in Translation: Foreign Wife, Japanese Husband."  Wendy holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco and teaches for Stanford University's Online Writer's Studio Novel Writing Certificate Program. She also does private manuscript consulting for novels and memoirs. Follow her on Twitter at @Wendy_Tokunaga, friend her on Facebook and visit her website at: www.WendyTokunaga.com


  1. I am grateful to you, Wendy and all your support for this group.
    I am putting that stool on my Christmas list
    While many of the things you are grateful for can lead to bad distractions for me, they do really help my research.
    Lovely post.

  2. OMG, Wendy, I tuck my left leg under my right thigh continuously--enough to leave me in serious pain! I'll have to look into the stool! Terrific gratitude list, fun to read & enlightening!

  3. Thanks Laura and Ariella! I swear, I do not work for the company that makes the Ergo stool, but I can't stop talking about it. Now my husband has one and loves it. Only $100 (got mine at The Container Store) -- you can't go wrong with that.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Wendy!!
    And I laughed about the leg tucking...yeah, I do that, too ;).

    1. Marilyn, this leg-tucking habit is much more prevalent than I thought!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Wendy. And thank you for all that you do to promote our group. Loved this post and am intrigued by your Ergo stool... so wait. You don't have any back pain by sitting without a chair back?

    1. Thanks, Saralee. No, I do not suffer any back pain by sitting on the stool without a back. I don't generally suffer from back pain so I can't say for sure that this stool is the perfect solution for those who do. The best thing would be to try it out at the store if you can. :-)