I'm starting a new series this week focusing on the things in my writing life that I'm thankful for. Today, it's all about opportunities.

Last month, I was invited by the Christian Writers Guild to speak at their fall conference. My workshop was entitled Writing and Selling Short Fiction - A Path to Publication, and I shared how writing and submitting short stories has helped me to hone my skills, build a long list of publication credits, and expand my audience. It seemed to go over well, despite the fact that I'm probably more likely to write Chicken Soup for the Cannibal's Soul than their usual fare.

I was also available for 15-minute consultations, and I ended up meeting with over a dozen folks who hadn't attended my workshop. Most of them had already met with agents and editors on the guild's faculty and were told their work wasn't up to par. They seemed a little discouraged by the time they got to my table. I told these writers that if I'd given up on my stories after their first, fifth, or tenth rejection, I never would have seen them published. "Never give up. Never surrender!" (Galaxy Quest)

This was a brand-spankin' new experience for me, and I'm very thankful for it. I was definitely low man on the faculty totem pole, but I was surprised by how well things went and by the check I received afterward. I think I could get used to that!

Oh, and one other surprise:

(If you'd like a review copy of my "award-winning" Captain Quasar tale, just say the word, and I'll send a PDF hurtling through cyberspace in your direction.)

How about you? Have you said yes to a new opportunity lately and been thankful you did? Any surprises come your way in recent months that you're particularly thankful for?
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