BLOG ARTRight now, tonight, I have nothing really to talk about. I’m at the end of a long, fun, busy string of months. My writing life is like one of those little zippy bugs we had in Kentucky and southern Indiana when I was a kid. June bugs. So fast. Hard to keep up with. Last semester I taught full time at our local university. Two of my books were published in 2013. And for the first half of the year, I helped a group of good-hearted people who are trying to get a new college started, which meant spending days and days in one of the most gorgeous mountain resort towns in America. And there’s this new novel I’m working on. Kids. Grandkids. Aging parents. Siblings. Hard to scrunch it all in. But this word gratitude keeps getting shoved in my face. Gratitude, gratitude. Everywhere I turn I see the word gratitude. I wonder if it’s because that’s where so many of us are tonight. Full of gratitude. Glad to be alive. Glad to have survived an awful time. Glad because so many of us are coming to the same place at once. Some of the wars are over on this planet. Others persist. What we have now in front of us is the work of cleaning up the mess. Seems like a big job. But we can accomplish a lot, we humans. What we are capable of continually astonishes me. I hope as we all move forward tentatively into a new human era we will turn that gratitude into enthusiasm. I know in my own life, if I had a compass in front of me, it would be reading, “Full steam. Ahead.”