A screenwriter’s prayer of gratitude

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem

Assalam alaikum wr wb.

Hey, all.

This past Thursday, if you live in America, was Thanksgiving.

Ironically, for some reason, all of the major corporations decided that the next day is Kill Each Other For Stuff Day a.k.a Black Friday.

It’s all a conspiracy, I tell you. ‘They’ don’t want you feeling too grateful, otherwise you might become too happy and healthy and then you won’t buy stuff and the economy as ‘they’ know it – which is the one where ‘their’ fur-lined pockets are stuffed with dubloons – will collapse.

See?

It’s simplistic but I’ve found that the simplest explanations are generally the truth.

Everybody wants to make money.

Anyway, it’s that time of the year where everyone seems to be reflecting. And before I look back on my year and really tear myself a new one, I’d like to spend a little time being grateful.

I know that both Christianity and Islam recommend a regular practice of gratitude. Plus, gratitude has well-documented health benefits. Which I can’t find documentation for at the moment.

I’ve been meaning to make a habit of gratitude. But was too busy being curmudgeonly. Not anymore. That’s my New Year 2014 resolution. No more curmudgeonly. I find when I’m grateful, I’m actually more courageous. I have more energy. I’m more joyful. I notice the beautiful things around and I’m not going searching for that emotional buzz.

So what am I grateful for this year?

Note: I’m going to be saying Alhamdulillah (thank God) in this post. It is a post about gratitude after all.

I’m researching a new story concept. It involves some of my favorite things; women of colour, food, tricksters, the supernatural, transformation/metamorphosis. I’m loving it already. Alhamdulillah!

I just finished a first draft on a bonkers multi-protagonist comedy. I never thought I could make it coherent. But I think it’s not bad. Alhamdulillah!

I’m working on a fourth draft of my second screenplay (yes, that’s three different projects in the works). Because I’m learning so much as I’m writing, it’s taking a while to crack this one. I’m wondering if this iteration of the story will be ‘the one’ (numerous rewrites to work on other elements notwithstanding) It’s exciting. I never know if these projects will work but I’m glad I’m getting used to that queasy jumping-into-the-deep-end feeling. Alhamdulillah!

I am grateful for the Go Into The Story blog, my own screenwriting course, a veritable feast of screenwriting knowledge when I thought I had to scramble for crumbs. Alhamdulillah!

I am grateful for John August, for ScriptCat, for #scriptchat on Twitter, for Jeanne Bowerman, and the hundreds if not thousands of people so generous with their time and information that I might need a few lifetimes just to learn everything I want to learn. Alhamdulilllah!

I’m grateful for the Black Board. A more loving supportive safety net of human souls, I wouldn’t have dared to dream existed. Alhamdulillah!

I’m so grateful for Netflix. God, what did I do without it? God, please bless Netflix and let it always be low-priced and plentiful Ameen!

I’m so very grateful for my husband. Sitting in front of me right this moment watching a weird anime about pirates. Alhamdulillah!

I’m grateful for my relative youth and my relative health. Alhamdulillah!

I’m grateful for the mountains that I have yet to explore Alhamdulillah!

I’m grateful for the mountains I have explored. Man, my thighs hurt, but wow those were great adventures Alhamdulillah. I slid down a snow-covered hill-top! Unintentionally, of course!

I’m grateful to be a desert woman who knows what to do in the snow now. Alhamdulillah.

I’m grateful for courage that I suddenly found when I needed it the most Alhamdulillah.

I’m happy I’ve been able to forgive Alhamdulillah!

Alhamdulillah for rain, snow, hail and everything in between.

Alhamdulillah for networking events and good contacts.

Alhamdulillah for possibility.

Alhamdulillah for a dreadful workshop experience. Yes, thank You God for pain. It taught me where I need to draw the line.

Alhamdulillah also for disappointing projects. It taught me again how to deal with uncertainty and disappointment. And the people that cause them.

Alhamdulillah for family far and wide, blood-related and marriage-related.

Alhamdulillah for Mummy.

Alhamdulillah for Daddy.

Alhamdulillah for my brothers and my nieces and my sister-in-law.

I am mostly very grateful for safety. For food. For simple things. Like a roof over my head. Being safe in my home knowing that no one will hurt  me. I wouldn’t have the courage or the energy or the will to dream if I was struggling to survive, emotionally, physically or financially. I know there are people starving even in this wealthy country and many others around the world.

This is not just Thanksgiving getting to me. I have a feeling that I should put all my blessings to good use before God asks me what I did with them.

Take stock, peeps.

Much love,
Sabina

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