It's embarrassing to admit now, but Dave and I used to get a good chuckle about the various personalities in our student ward. People can be so silly, right? There was Sister Sings-her-Testimony, Sweater Guy, and of course the many and varied Thankimonies at testimony meeting. But it wasn't just us; these things are parodied all the time in LDS movies and books. And it's always a good thing that we can laugh at ourselves. Being "peculiar" has its ups and downs.
Now that I'm all grown up (I'm a grown up, right?), I still laugh at people. I mean, laughing is awesome. It's so good for you. I like to think I was never hateful or hurtful toward anyone who gave me reason to chuckle, but the difference now is that I'm a lot more selective about the things that make me laugh. And testimonies never make the list.
If someone believes something or knows it, if it touches them, if it means something to them, if it was a hard lesson to learn, I respect that.
Anyway, that was a long introduction to what I want to write about today, which is my Thankimony. It's not going to be funny. It's not going to be brief. It's probably not even going to be eloquent. But I have to do it.
The dedication page in Daughter of Helaman thanks three people: my awesome little family, Dave, Zach, and Kammi. Thanks to Dave for sleeping alone while I stayed up to write. Thanks for learning to sleep with the light on, and did you notice you've learned to be kind of a bed hog now? Thanks for watching the kids so I could pursue a kind of crazy dream of mine, so I could make myself whole. Thanks for taking a back seat and not only letting me shine, but for clicking on the flashlight and pointing it at me. Thanks for mailing my manuscripts and letting me bounce ideas off of you. Whenever I ask you a question, I come away with the answer I need.
Thanks to Zach for emulating me. The world does need more books about spaceships. I love you, kid. And someday, I will take you to Mother Boy.
Thanks to Kammi for being old enough to play computer games while I napped. So many, many times. Of the time I stole from my family to do this, you have given up the most of it. I hope someday you will understand why I had to do it. When I see you with your little notebook and pen, scrawling down your stories as fast as you can, I think you already do. "Mom?" you asked me today, "Why did you write in my puppy notebook?" "Because you wrote in mine, my dear, because you wrote in mine." Daughter of Helaman is mostly for you, and when you're fifteen, you will see why.
Thanks to Mom and Dad for all that reading. Once I got you hooked, you really had no choice. Thanks for your great suggestions, your scriptural knowledge, and your constant excitement and support. It's tough to write when no one believes in you, and thanks to you, I didn't have to.
Thanks to Heather and Laura and the rest of my many siblings who read for me also. For picking things up and running with them when I got overwhelmed, and for listening to the folks go on about my books even when you had concerns of your own that needed their attention. Sibling rivalry stinks (but you all owe me because I had to be the middle child). Thanks doesn't quite seem to cut it, but thanks anyhow.
Thanks to Kristin for making me move the first line of dialogue. Very strategic.
And thanks to my writing group. We don't know what we're doing, but somehow we did it.
And everyone else I didn't mention by name or relationship to me, your interest and support have meant a great deal to me. Thanks for spreading the word.
Finally, I have to thank my Heavenly Father for the story, the characters, the Spirit, the lessons, the love, and the ten minute increments in which to write.