Friday, 23 September 2011


Hello, Dear Readers - and happy Friday! Isn't it lovely to see Friday again? It never gets old, does it? Today's post is brought to you via a meme (borrowed from the lovely Steph Burgis' Blog), wherein you take a moment to list ten things in your life that you love and are grateful for, just to remind yourself how lucky you are (and I have been tremendously lucky, I know).

So here we go:

1) Being a published writer. It might sound strange to list this as a thing I love, but it's true. I really do love being a writer, a published writer. I love this life. I spent my whole childhood, my teens and my early twenties longing for this outcome, bargaining with higher powers (and fairies, and the spirits, and fate and luck and any other supernatural thing I could think of) If only I could get published... And now I am. And I've got an unspeakably wonderful agent, a complete dream editor, the best readers ever, and I get to do this full-time, at least for a while. How wonderful is that? Sometimes I still have to stop and take a minute to absorb the fact that it's really, really real. I hope I always will.

2) Finbar Finley Finbarsson the Third. Needs no explanation, really. I mean, just look at him!

3) My online YA community. The people that I've met online - mostly on Twitter - have been an absolute Godsend to me. You may remember my Insecurity: I Haz It post, where I talked about how lonely and isolated I had felt in the past as a writer in my small, rural community. Family and friends tried to be supportive but the simple fact is that calling your sister or friend at work at three in the afternoon to say: '3k today, wahooo!' is likely to get a very puzzled reaction indeed. Online, that statement gets you virtual high-fives and hugs and genuinely interested questions about your WIP because the YA writing/reading community - bloggers, readers, writers both published and aspiring - GETS IT. I can't tell you how amazing it is to have a group of friends who get it. I love you guys!

4) My writing group. We've been around in one form or another since about 2002, but in 2004 the lovely Barbara decided to give us a name, The Furtive Scribblers, and we've never looked back. Most of my very best ideas for stories and situations and characters have evolved from the convoluted, tangenital discussions I have with my writing group that start out about unicorns as a mythological representation of innocence and end up with psychosomatic injuries. That this bunch of learned, educated, well-travelled, well-read individuals all gather together on a regular basis to, basically, talk crazy - and that it really works! - is a wonder and a joy to me.

5) Clouds and water. I'm so lucky to have access to wild green spaces in my day to day life. When I'm frustrated, sad, blocked or just restless, a long walk among the sighing grasses, looking at the clouds and the reflections in the water, eases my soul like nothing else ever has.

6) Books. Books, books, books. Do I need to say anymore here? There are a million authors I could thank for expanding my mind, my understanding, my heart and my soul, but basically...I love books. Even the books I hate, I also love in a strange way. Books. I love you.

7) Trains. Waiting at the station, watching the other trains pass by, leaving a blurred white snapshot on the back of my eyelids of incomplete faces peering out of the windows. The muffled, melancholic sounds of the announcements over the tannoy, mentioning places and routes that seem oddly exotic even if I've been there before. Getting on my own train, watching the other passengers from the corners of my eyes and making up names and stories for them based on the fact that they wear a red tie with a blue suit or that their shopping bag has a rainbow badge on it. And then, as the train pulls away, popping my headphones in, taking out my notebook and just writing. Writing faster than I ever manage to do in real life - because being on a train, sitting still and yet travelling - isn't real life. It's unreal, and it's quiet even though it's noisy, and private even though it's in public. On Tuesday I did a three hour round trip and managed to write nearly twenty notebook pages, which translates to about 5,000 words. A normal day's work in my Writing Cave (between six to twelve hours) produces 2,000 if I'm lucky. So yeah, you bet I love trains.

8) My iPod. At the click of a finger I can conjure up any mood I wish. Need to feel sad? Wistful? Angry? Determined? Pumped and optimistic? Joyful and relaxed? I have a playlist for it, trust me. My dad, when asked what music he likes, just says: 'Ask Zoë. She has all the music'. And he's right. I do. Right here on my trusty iPod.

9) Papermate Nylon Blue Tuck nylon fibre tip pen with 1.0mm line width and blue ink. Not fancy, not expensive, but still my favourite pen in the whole wide world.
10) You. My Dear Readers, questioning, funny, clever, creative, persistent and perfect as you are. I wouldn't swap you for anything.

QUICK CONTEST: List Ten Things YOU Love in the comments before before midnight tonight, and one randomly chosen winner will receive a signed UK paperback copy of Shadows on the Moon. This giveaway is open internationally. I will pick the winner on Saturday and announce on Monday. Ready, steady...Go!


Vivienne said...

What a fabulous post. I am so glad you got to live your dream!

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you, sweetie :)

Raimy-rawr said...

beautiful post! :) sometimes we have to step back and think of everything we love

my ten things I love would be;
my family,
skype (so I get to talk to said family members who live 1000's of miles away),
my partner,
my job (amazingly!),
my friends,
living in a place I feel I can walk around at 11pm and not get mugged,
my pets and
writing; of any description, sometimes its just the right thing to do...

Zoë Marriott said...

Raimy: Great list!

Aimen said...

You have such a wonderful list, Zoe =D I appreciate it a lot when people take the time to appreciate the little things that they have in life. =D

My ten would be:
1. My family; who are a teensy bit extensive but who have never ridiculed the fact that I have humongous dreams (considering my age) and so, continue to buy me whatever writing book I want xD
2. School; because I find the overwhelming mass of diversity just forced into a classroom together to be the funniest thing ever.
3. Libraries! If it wouldn't be for my local library, I couldn't afford to read ANY books at all. I can't even begin to say how much libraries have helped me.
4. The fact that I live in a country so far away from my own but still feel at home among foreigners whose language I don't understand.
5. Writing; because even though its really hard at times, I always feel happier afterwards.
6. Cats; even though I don't own one.
7. Wi-Fi. For goodreads, facebook, e-mail, a bajillion writing blogs etc.
8. My grandmother; who is the most spunkiest and kick-ass person ever.
9. Warm weather, like really really sweltering because that's virtually all I get around here and if you don't make peace with it, it'll eat you >.>
10. My friends; because they make me laugh and I have an aversion to laughing if I've been alone for too long xD

Shelby said...


1. Reading; I find this totally self-explanatory!

2. My dogs; I have four, and they are all so sweet and cute and I could go on and on but I am not going to, because I would fill up the comment space.

3. History; it is kind of like a novel, except it doesn't always (actually, barely ever) ends with a happily ever after.

4. My family; my brothers can be annoying, but I love them anyway:) And my mom and dad, too(minus the annoying part).

5. Writing; I may not be a published author, and who knows if I ever will be, but writing is fun. Whether its a fantasy novel or a research paper for school, I'm there!

6. The Rain; Good for curling up with a book, I also like thunder and lightning, but my dog doesn't, so if it is thundering at night I barely get any sleep.

7. The Sun; yeah, I know what I said above, but the sun is so cheerful!

8. Autumn; people say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but can you take a walk through crunched up leaves in the winter? At least not where I live. And, its not to hot, but not to cold. Ah, I love the fall:)

9. Exersice; Biking, hiking, walking, tramoline-ing, swimming, etc.

10. The Library; A book lovers haven!

NicoleL said...

Hi Zoe,

I really relate to #3. Twitter and the blogging community is like going to college all over again and realizing: There are other people like me in the world! Oh thank goodness.

When I was going through a rough time in my life I would do gratitude lists every day and they helped me get through it and improve my mood.

Today I'm grateful for:
1. Writing inspiration
2. All the twitter friends I made this week
3. Offers to beta read my ms that I was almost ready to give up on
4. An invite from a published author to post on her blog!!
5. Finally being in a secure place with money even if I'm not writing for a living
6. Working someplace where a coworker teaches me to say, How are you? in Arabic from Lebanon
7. My husband, family and friends
8. Living in NYC even though I whine about it sometimes
9. Flowers, beautiful flowers

Thanks for sharing Zoe!

A.J. Mullarky said...

Ten things I love...

1. St Andrews. It is just the perfect university town (for me).
2. My Wuthering Heights mug. Y'know, the Penguin Classics one.
3. Whittards tea - Turkish Apple flavour. Keeps me warm through the winter :)
4. Snap - my Fin equivalent.
5. vlogbrothers. They make me so happy.
6. This blog. Always pleased to see there's a new post.
7. Dr Who. New episode tomorrow!
8. Bed. So soft, so warm... perfect place to sit with my laptop!
9. New books through the post. Tearing open the packaging!
10. Seeing my writing in print, even when just self-published.

Thanks Zoe, this was fun!

Phoenixgirl said...

Great list. I'm honored to be a Scribbler!

Joanna Farrow said...

1. Coffee
2. Time. We have our yesterday to remember and learn from and tomorrow to hope for. Yes, it's limited, but atleast we're given a little to try and make a difference in the world.
3. Creating things. From words and sentences and stories to stodgy chocolate brownies, putting something into the universe that wasn't there before is magical.
4. Health. I know I'm not the healthiest person, but humans are so fragile. We must be thankful for what we're living off of.
5. Letters. It's one thing to be told something or tested or emailed. But there's nothing quite like very personal words in your hands.
6. My husband. Who loves me. Even the neurotic bits of me.
7. My parents. Who are wise and generous and endlessly loving.
8. Chances. Everyday I'm presented with opportunities. I just have too be brave enough to take them.
9. Sunshine. Even moreso as winter approaches.
10. Sainsburys. They always have my favourite hummus in stock and are open late on Sunday.

Joanna Farrow said...

must teach phone words

Vivien said...

1. Coffee
2. Husband
3. Pets
4. Health
5. Electricity
6. Grocery stores
7. Sun
8. Internet
9. Chocolate
10. Double pillow mattress

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Isabel said...

What a great list. There IS just something about the train, isn't there... I mean, sometimes there are some decidedly unpleasant people riding on it, but the thing that relaxes me the most is the steady rocking and the sound you hear when the doors open. Nobody really gets why that soothes me, so thanks. :-)

Isabel said...

Oooh the views on the SotM trailer on Youtube are nearing 1000!!

Emma Pass said...

I love your list! I was nodding at each and every point on it. And Finlay is so cute.

Rebecca Lindsay said...

Hi Zoe :) We love you too lol. I love having your books on my shelves!
Good luck to those entering the giveaway :)

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