Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, well, well. I’m spending Thanksgiving at home today–had an invite from a friend, but my plague is just lingering enough not to want to make a four hour drive (and find myself potentially sick as a dog with a four hour drive back!)–but I’ve got another invite out Saturday for a Thanksgiving feast, so I shall not pass the holiday without my requisite stuffing and pumpkin pie ingestion. I shall instead celebrate Thanksgiving in the fashion I celebrated it throughout college–takeout Chinese and video games. There are much, much worse ways. (Unfortunately I’m out of games with killing, and may be reduced to Harvest Moon. Damnation! What is Thanksgiving without BLOODSHED!? *sigh* Oh well, I’ll try to bear up…)

And so, I have time to reflect on the many things I have to be thankful for. Despite one helluva year–or actually, probably even moreso because of it–there’s a lot of things I’m thankful for, and I’m going to inflict them on you, O longsuffering reader!

First off, it’s a lovely fall day out, and the leaves off my deck have gone gold and deep red, and formed drifts under the trees, and it’s not my job to rake ’em up. Heh heh heh. The chickadees are bopping around being tiny and perky, which is the function of chickadees, and it’s nice to see.

I am grateful that I have a very cool family who are always supportive of me (even when they’re occasionally a little bemused by me) and don’t do any of the dysfunctional things over Thanksgiving that pop culture suggests are the norm. (Actually, we all generally just get drunk and laugh hysterically a lot. Both sides of the family. I’m stupid lucky in that regard.) Although I’m not with either of ’em this Thanksgiving, I love ’em both dearly and am very very lucky to have them.

And I am grateful that I have friends who take excellent care of me, whether it’s fixing my computer, fixing my sink, giving me a place to crash for a month, dragging me out to dinner and bars and movies and fetish fairs, or inviting me out to their Thanksgiving shindigs. I am often baffled that so many very cool people go out of their way on my behalf. Whether it’s pity or whether they genuinely find my excited gushing about the care of medical leeches or the structure of echidna wedding tackle to be fascinating, I shall not analyze too closely, but I am more grateful than I can say.

And I am grateful, O readers, for you, since this blog is one of my major undertakings–I shudder to think how many words I have written on it over the years!*–and acts as a combination confessional, diary, advertising, showcase, reference work, brainstorming, networking, lifeline and exorcism of personal demons, and such things are not nearly so effective without a readership! I probably don’t deserve you, but as Granny Weatherwax would say, sometimes we get things we don’t deserve. Thank god.

I’m grateful to everybody who has worked so hard and done so much for my career–Ellen Million and the guys at Sofawolf, who believed in me back when there was hardly any reason to, and my agent Helen, and my buddies Deb and Kathy, architects of my success, and T Campbell who put Digger onto Graphic Smash and my editors and art directors over at Harcourt Brace who flung me at last, kicking and screaming, into the mainstream. (Well, are in the process of flinging…) And I’m grateful to all you crazy people who collect my originals with such glee. I still can’t really fathom that, but man, y’all are awesome.

Related to that, I’m grateful that so many people are so financially supportive, through buyin’ art and buyin’ prints and buyin’ books and whatnot that I can make a living doing the thing I love. Few people are so lucky, and believe me, I’m aware.

Also, I’m grateful for my cat. I place the fact that I have not been menaced by ninjas at all this year squarely at his paws. To anyone finding themselves newly single, I cannot stress highly enough–get a pet, if you don’t have one already. Trust me.

Finally…well, it’s been a rough year. A bad year, in many regards. Y’all know that, you saw it in action. But the really bad bits are over. I’m back home. I’m set up. I’m as close to sane as I ever get. I’m making art again. I dangled over the abyss by my fingernails for a bit there, but I dragged myself back up over the edge again. And that’s a valuable experience, if a hard one–to know that you can be at the bottom, and get back out again. A lot of people helped–Christ, so many it’s humbling to contemplate!–but I still had to do a lot of the dragging myself. Everybody does. And I did, and I am no longer quite so fragile, and I am a little more comfortable in my own skin now.

I am thankful to have my life back.

*To say nothing of the excess commas. I apply commas with a shotgun, I know. All the editors tell me this.

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