Showing Some Love

If you are participating in National Novel Writing Month, you should know one thing.
You are awesome. Keep that shit up.

OK, you should know two things. The first of which is that you are awesome (keep that shit up). The second is that today is the day of the month that the NaNo team has dubbed

ML Appreciation Day.

But Todd, what is an ML?

I’m glad you asked.

Officially an ML, or Municipal Liaison (don’t worry, I didn’t know what it stood for either), is the person who coordinates events (such as write-ins) for a specific geographic region.  They are invaluable because they serve as a central focal point for anyone in the area who wants to give this whole crazy NaNo thing a try.

I am a bit of a rogue. I live in Westerville.  I should be writing close to home. I should have some connection to the local NaNo group blah blah. But I don’t. For reasons I’ve gone into elsewhere on this blog, the writing group that I call home (and family and tribe and lifeblood) is in North Central Ohio. I’m officially part of the North Central Ohio Wrimos (whether they like it or not).

That makes my ML Carma Haley Shoemaker.

And yes, she definitely fits the bill of someone who coordinates local NaNo events. This is the second year I’ve done NaNo with NCOW and for the second year, there are events scheduled starting in October and going through November and ending with a Thank God It’s Over party in December.

She fits the “official” criteria of an ML.

But she’s so much more.

Let me tell you what else Carma is.

  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Encouraging
  • Kind
  • Fun
  • Humorous
  • Giving
  • Talented
  • Inspiring
Now, you should know that this list is in no way complete. There is no way I could actually describe how awesome Carma is in a simple blog post.  Well, actually this is more than a blog post. 
This is a thank you letter.
You are awesome (keep that shit up). Seriously, Awesome. No, shhh. It’s my turn. Just listen. Thank you.  I mean that. Thank you. When I first came to the group I was really unsure of myself. I was unsure of my place in the group itself, whether such an obviously close-knit group of strong and amazingly talented writers would accept me, a writer who only thought of himself as “just a blogger, and barely a writer at best.” No. Shh. Let me get through this. Not only was I unsure if the group would accept me, At the time I was unsure if I was even a real writer.
But you were welcoming to me. Just as you are welcoming to anyone who comes through those doors. And it was incredible. 
It’s the reason, a year later, that I’m still making the 2 1/2 hour driving commitment for the meetings.
I see how our group has grown and evolved in a year. How we came closer at the writer’s retreat last year. How we came closer at the overnight.
I have grown under the nurturing of your leadership. The group has grown. Some of my closest friends, including my best friend, are in this group. This group that you lead, that you guide, that you mentor, that you foster.
I have learned a lot from you in my short time in this group.  I have seen you publish two books and held them in my hands.  You need to know this–THAT IS INSPIRING.  To hold the actual physical books in my hands that you wrote. That is fucking awesome (keep that shit up).
But more to the point, YOU ARE INSPIRING. 
Your tireless and selfless passion to the writing, and to us-your group, are in a word, invaluable.
Amazing. Inspiring.  OK. That was three words. There are more and I’m sure they will come to me, but right now, I simply have two.
Thank you.
Thank you for being you. Thank you for giving up your time for someone like me who wasn’t even sure that he could make this writing thing work. Thank you for inspiring me to want to help others to follow their passion.
You affect more people than you could ever realize.
You are awesome.
Keep that shit up.
Much love always,

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