It’s that time of year again: Too much to eat, too much to drink, too much sentimentality. I love it. The most important Thanksgiving tradition is to say what we’re thankful for. So here goes:

I am grateful for my girlfriend, companion and co-writer Astrid. I am grateful for the tremendous effort she puts into striving to make our relationship work. I am grateful for her voice, for her taste in books and movies, for the non-conformist and sharp-witted way she looks at the world we live in and the human beings we are.

I am thankful for my family, especially the one closest to me, April, but also those far away to whom I have much less contact. I am grateful to my friends, whom I tend to neglect. I’m not a very emotive or communicative or outgoing guy, and I appreciate friends who don’t seem to mind. I am grateful for the others who support me in small ways, even Facebook friends or readers I don’t know well, who leave comments, speak their mind, say hello.

I am grateful that I can write professionally, that this is my life. It’s the only life I’ve ever wanted to have, no matter the ups and downs, they are worth it. I am grateful for the opportunity to write something new, in in this case a trilogy of murder mysteries, which has turned out to be much harder than I expected, but I am slowly coming to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s turned out to be a challenge not only technically, from a writing perspective, but also to my soul – I’ve never written anything so dark – for this challenge, I am also grateful. 

I’m grateful to live in such a wonderful world, which is so different and better than the world at any other time. I am grateful to have  black president, which was not possible for so long, and I am grateful that that president is Obama, who has done a ton of good, even though his mistakes and crises will be remembered more. I am grateful even for things like the Ferguson riots – I am proud that Americans can still speak their minds and even though it’s unpopular to say it, I am convinced that America will solve its problems.

I am grateful for Germany, which has given me a home and a career and a life. Even though I get a kick out of pushing their buttons, the Germans are a great people not only because they have such a “well-functioning” society, but also because they are really good people. I am grateful that they allow me to write here even as I will continue to criticize them and try to push them into places they don’t want to go, in my own little way. I feel that many audiences/readerships would be much less open to what I have to say, saying it, as I do, so critically.

I’m thankful to live in a world that tells so many stories and is so good at it. I happen to love stories and story-telling, that’s what writing is about for me, and the forms and perfection of story-telling today is tremendous. (Astrid got me a PlayStation for Christmas and I love it.) I just realized that this year: This is the golden age of storytelling in all its forms. That’s one of the many reasons I am grateful to be living today.


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