“What are you thankful for?” asks my dad. It happens every Thanksgiving: he will throw out the time-honored question, and we’ll each try to come up with our answers, which are usually as unoriginal as the question itself. The perennial responses include references to family, friends, food, and shelter, or just gratitude for a day off of work. When we’re stuffed full of turkey and already looking forward to pie, it’s hard to think too creatively about what we really value in life. Food and shelter are vital, but after enduring years of Thanksgiving clichés, I’ve realized that there’s more to be thankful for than just the basics.
For example, what about all the great writers and poets out there? Don’t they deserve a thank-you? I would like to send a note of gratitude to Gabriel García Márquez, Cormac McCarthy, Tracy K. Smith, and Michael Chabon, to name just a few authors who have had an impact on me. Although they might not put food on the table or a roof over our heads, good writers and poets can have a major influence on the way we write and see the world around us. I’d say that’s pretty important too.
For today’s prompt, think of a piece of writing that is very meaningful to you, and consider what makes it so special or influential. Then, write a story in which you or your character encounters that piece of writing for the first time. How does his/her world change as a result?