Hey Joe –
This is Steven. Y’know…the guy who comes up with all the silly stuff you say, and throws you into ridiculous situations just to see how you’ll work your way out of them, all for the sake of entertaining the masses?
Yeah…it’s that Steven.
Sorry for all the trouble so far.
There's more coming, by the way. Just thought you should know.
Anyhow, it’s been a little over a year since we launched your blog, before it turned into a book…and a series…and a publishing deal. And merchandising. I don’t think either of us realized at the time how far it was going to go. I'm still not sure, in fact.
New stuff keeps popping into my head all the time.
Regardless, I wanted to take a minute and thank you for showing up when you did, and allowing me to speak your mind for you at what are undoubtedly your most challenging moments. You've given me an opportunity to expand my storytelling capabilities, to sharpen my skills as a writer, to add dimensions to my imagination that I never would have come up with on my own. Maybe you'll find this surprising, but before you came along I didn’t even like vampires. I’ve seen since that there are some great ones out there, but at that particular time I felt they’d become overexposed and too pop-glammed up, and difficult to relate to. And dramatic…holy crow, the drama of these beings.
You were different, dude.
You had moxie; you had fire. You didn’t like vampires any more than I did, and you didn’t let go of that rebellious spirit for a second, even as I brought your life to a screeching halt…then backed over it with a Dodge Neon. And then rolled forward over the wreckage a few more times. You kept your you-ness; you held onto your inner Joe. You retained your humanity through it all. You were the real deal, just like you wanted to be.
Can I tell you how impressed I am with that, and with you?
And what your story has led to…it’s astounding. I have met the coolest people, made the most incredible friends, been afforded opportunities that would never have come without you forging the road for it all. I owe you a lot, Joe.
I owe you everything, really.
Whatever I’d written before wasn’t quite clicking with me, and I realize that now. It’s why I rewrote it a dozen times and still didn’t think it would pass muster. But you?
You were the story I was waiting to tell, brother.
We have adventures still awaiting us, you and I. Other stories; other venues. I hope it will always be as fun and entertaining as it's been up to this point. Knowing our penchant for finding ridiculous threads even in the most mundane of situations, I don't see how it could be otherwise. Whatever happens from here on out, you should know that you've done more than provide me an outlet to entertain myself and others with my silly words; you've restored my belief in story, and my faith in magic. For this, I will be forever grateful.
Thanks, Joe. For everything.