Really busy couple of weeks, so I haven’t been able to write a post recently.
This summer has been one of the best of my life. My kids have been here with me since early June, and they have helped me with the business quite a bit. If you’ve known me for any time at all, you should already know how hard my divorce and the loss of custody of them were on me. For the last 11 years, I have felt like a part-time parent, relegated to nightly phone calls and twice a year visits that always ended way too soon.
I missed too many firsts to catalogue, and I’ll never get those back, but this summer, I have gotten to be a real dad again. I got to teach my oldest how to drive and my youngest how to put in a full day’s work. I’ve gotten to talk to them for hours on end and joke and be silly and be stern and instill values and all of those things a father is supposed to do.
My hope for everyone is that they can find healing and love and purpose for their lives. If I could give everyone the blessings I’ve enjoyed these last three years, I would gladly share them with all. Life is too short, too fragile, too beautiful to allow anger and bitterness to consume you. Gratitude and thankfulness are much more pleasant paths to traverse.
Before the big promotion gets into full song, I want to take some time to thank the people who have supported me over the years. You folks encouraged me when I was a “the self-published guy” at conventions; you picked me up when I got knocked flat, more than once; and you believed in me when no one else did. Without all of you, I wouldn’t have toughed it out and continued forward with the series. Regardless of what happens with this promotion, every single one of you has a special place in my heart, and I am eternally grateful for all the love you have shown me. If I forget anyone, please accept my deepest apologies; putting together a list like this isn’t always easy. Also, if you disagree with your category, as some readers are friends and some friends readers, please don’t take offense:
Readers – Patty Reed, proud owner of the very first copy of The Brotherhood of Dwarves; Aaron Price, my man the guitar dwarf; Dino Hicks; Sandra Quinton Ward; Joel Gates; Shon Medley; Steven and Janet West; Robert Gonzales; Misty Kat Gutierrez-Waller; Joanna Witkowski; Jessica Lay; Jennifer Morton Perkins; Floyd Brigdon; Christy Alaska Reece Vance; Crystal Rhea, who once told me she wished she could have more children so she could name one Roskin; Chris Walker; Ashley Franks; Amy and Roscoe Crittendan; Alice Walker-Buchanan; Alicia Justice; Reanna Berry; Kristie McKinley; Kriss Morton; Jileah Sampson; Herika Raymer; Rob Kirkpatrick; Coco Rivers; Xavier Rothechilde; John Chingren; Matt Small; Carrie and Duane Collins; Alicia Gardner, who regularly interacts of my Facebook page; and Chad Johnstone. You all have stood by my work for many years and deserve back more than I can ever return.
Colleagues – Viki Rouse; Bill Clampitt; Theran Muggleston; Heather Easterly; Betsy Long; Kay Heck; John Jessel; Doug Waddell; Paulette Golden; Tim Holder; Samantha Isasi; Terry Rawlinson; Christopher Lee; Steve and Kathy Alcorn; David Atkins; Aaron Wilmon; Jason Fishel; Julianna Gregory; Rachel Cassity; Chip McClain; Jason Dixon; John Oxford; Sherri Jacobs; Sue Frazier; Denise Wood; Erika Stevens; Birgit Kuban Austin; Robin Ringer; and Amanda Barnes. It’s been a pleasure serving in the trenches with you. I’m certain I’m leaving out some of you from the Tusculum years, but again, please don’t be offended.
Writers – Cameron Judd, who encouraged me so much in the early days; Brady Allen; Bob Holton; Sean Taylor; Dan Jolley; Bobby Nash; Joe Dickerson; James Tuck; Steven Shrewsbury; Elizabeth Donald; Jimmy Gillentine; Megan Lindholm; Jonathan Maberry; Glen Cook; Selah Janel; Ed Crandell; Rocky Perry; Rick Wormwood; M.R. Williamson; P.S. Gifford; Laura Jean Underwood; Kimberly Richardson; Andrea Judy; Joy Ward; J.L. Mulvihill; Jim Gavin; Georgia Jones; Angelia Sparrow; Tamara Lowery; Allan Gilbreath; Marian Allen; Jon Edward Klement; Larry Buttram; M.B. Weston; Haley Elizabeth Garwood; Stan Mitchell, who promoted me on his newspaper before anyone else; and Andy Deane. You all accepted me as one of the gang and made me feel welcome in this crazy profession.
Students – There are literally too many to list here, and I would probably leave out someone important. If you were ever a student of mine, please know that I will always remember you, even if I can’t always remember your names. Some of you have become dear friends, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my knowledge with you. Please, continue to interact with me on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and anywhere else we might meet.
Friends – Dagan Smith, the best friend a man could hope for; Stephen Zimmer, who believed in me when I had lost faith in myself; Philip Hopkins, a great friend AND a great editor; Christopher Rico; Christopher Koeppel; Amelia Ragland Russell; Tilman Goins; Tyrone Smith; Jack Tribble; Scott McNabb; Keith Baker; and Heath Tatum. You all have given me more than I deserve, and any person with half as many friends who are half as good would still be deeply blessed.
Family – Collin; Finn; Mom; Dad; Marsha; Marty; Breezy; Christa; Jenna; Sammie; Jackson; Aunt Jane and Uncle Leroy; Aunt Jane and Uncle Bill; Janette; Angel; Aunt Billie; Shane and Dennis; and those who’ve passed on. I love you all.
Finally, I want to thank Tracy Kinsler, who offered me friendship when I needed it, who accepts me as I am, scars and all, who appreciates the little things, and who does the little things. You are stuck with me, now.
These next few days are going to be exciting and nerve-wrecking, but hold onto your hats because the ride could get pretty fun.
PS. If I accidentally omitted you, please send me a message, and I’ll add you in.