Yep, the above says it all. 2011 was a tough year for many, and for me and my husband. (see Painless is Feeling Good, The Ring Doesn't Come Off )Β  As part of being hopeful about 2012, I accepted an invitation from some dear and far-flung friends to participate in an online book group on the book One Thousand Gifts- a dare to live fully right where you are.

I took the dare, without really knowing what it was about. Because I've always been a gambler that way.

*Spoiler alert*

One Thousand Gifts is about practicing gratitude. Daily. By writing down a list of one thousand things you're grateful for. It's nice that the author writes beautifully, it's even more amazing the effect on me it's had.

I'm feeling my feelings, and today, they are joy and gratitude for all the good things, so many amazing things, going on in my life. I've been doing this series on Unlocking Creativity, and beginning my list of a Thousand Gifts has been just that… A gift.

Another gift is the awesome opportunity to be interviewed by well known author Lorna Suzuki on her blog. She asked me a lot of really deep questions about my writing, why I did it, why Lei and the dark and gritty story of Blood Orchids. Check out the interview on her blog, All kinds of Writing and also on the huge website .Pop by, check it out, and throw down some comment love! I'd appreciate it.

What an honor, to be featured on my birthday, and I wrote it down as #36 on my gratitude list. I just can't emphasize enough how this “project” has broken loose much needed joy in my life–and I even have scholarly articles somewhere to back up the mental health benefits of this practice, not that I even care right now. It's my birthday, and I'll cry tears of joy if I want to! (and let's hope they aren't the sign of encroaching menopause)

Want to join me for one thousand things? I dare you- start your list today.

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