Happy Thanksgiving, friends of the USA. For my brothers and sisters to the north, Happy (very late) Thanksgiving to you as well!

On this very weird holiday of food and beer, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you all some of the things I find myself thankful for. And so, without further ado, here is:

Mean Gene’s Top Ten Things To Be Thankful For 2013

(in no particular order)

Bacon. It’s crispy. It’s salty. It’s delicious. Is there anything better?

Bourbon. Mmmm…if bacon were a drink, it would be bourbon. No, they don’t taste anything alike, but so what?

Yeast. Sounds weird, right? But two of my favorite things in the world not already on this list rely on yeast to exist. Of course, I’m speaking of bread and beer. I’ve been brewing beer for the past couple years, and baking bread for almost 20 years. Yeast is my friend.

Readers and Reviewers. Everyone who writes wants to be read. Otherwise, why write? Sure, I’m not selling millions of copies, but there’s nothing in the world quite like an unexpected review from a satisfied reader. There’s a special place in my heart for readers and reviewers.

Google Docs. Sure, Word is still the standard when it comes to formatting and submissions, but I love the convenience of Google Docs for straight up writing. I have it on any computer, I have it on my tablet, I even have it on my phone. If I started writing something at home on my laptop and while I’m out I had an idea, I could open the same story on my phone and add to it. If I’m at work, I can make notes or edits on my desktop without worrying about a flash drive. When I’m supposed to be sleeping, I can grab my tablet and type away. I just love it. Thanks, Google. Also, your doodles rock.

Other Writers. I can’t think of another group of people that are as mutually supportive as writers. I’m sure they’re out there, but I can’t think of any. Even musicians have more of a competitive spirit than writers. Sure, there are “book blockers” and negative reviewers out there, but for the most part writers are like a weird sort of make believe family. For that, I love it.

Ideas. Thankfully, they just keep coming. I write them down whenever I can, so now I have notebooks full of chicken scratch that even I can barely read. Whenever I have an idea that feels familiar, I go back through my “idea bank” and see what’s there. On more than one occasion, I’ve found something so similar that everything falls into place and I have a new story. That’s a super cool thing when it happens.

The Internet. What better source of inspiration and information is there than the internet? Of course, we all know it’s a double edged sword because it’s ALSO the biggest time waster in the world. I can’t even count how many hours I’ve wasted reading Cracked, laughing at The Chive, or catching up on Facebook when I SHOULD have been writing. Of course, even that can be an inspiration at times.

Money. I love money. Not in a “Material Girl” kind of way, but in a “I love to pay my bills” kind of way. Whenever anyone asks me what I want for my birthday, my answer is “A million dollars”. Christmas? “A million dollars”. Just because? “A million…” Okay, you get it. Point is this: with money, you don’t have to worry about money. I think the problem people have with money is that they believe it will solve all the problems in the world (or at least their world). It won’t. What it does is relieve the tension of not knowing how you’re going to pay the rent or feed the kids. Where you go from there is entirely up to you. No, you don’t need a million dollars to feel security. You just need enough to feel secure, and that’s different for everyone. Plus, my favorite color is green.

Family and Friends. That’s a no-brainer, sure, but no list of thanks would be complete without them. They’re awesome, and my world would be a cold and lonely place without them. Well, not cold if I still lived in Florida, but you know what I mean.

AAAH! Monsters!

AAAH! Monsters!

Bonus: I’m going to Spinal Tap this list to eleven, because there’s one more I need to share. Of all the things on this list, the one I’m most thankful for is just being me. On good days, bad days, tired days, sad days, sick days, scared days, and happy days (Aaaaayyyyyyyyy!) I’m still me, and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else in the world. If I give thanks to nothing else, I give thanks to that because it makes everything else in my life possible.

I also give thanks to you. Thanks for stopping by. Now go thank someone else. Someone who deserves it. They’re out there, and it just might make their day.