It's been a great year for me. One of the finest and nicest I can remember.
There are lots of reasons for that and I doubt I could remember them all.
Here at home I got married in the summer. Remember this?
Thanks to all that came along from far and near, for the gifts and the wishes.
On top of that, my children have hit milestones, have remained healthy and well and bring me more pleasure than headaches without any shadow of a doubt.
More relevant to here, it's been a year when I've felt I've grown feet as a writer.
I've been around for a while in various guises, but making connections with crime-fiction's cream has been very special.
First off, I joined Twitter. I thought it might be useful to follow posts from educationalists and that I might get better at my job. I soon realised that I could follow people I was interested in and then follow some of the people they were linked to as well. How bizarre, yet how satisfying.
Next step was setting up Sea Minor. It's title comes from a story I wrote a while back. Many of you won't have seen it, but I can assure you it's one of my finest. It's available as a free download with the rest of the magazine (including Seamus Heaney and Vanessa Hemingway would you believe?) athttp://www.scribd.com/doc/28552445/The-Reader-36-Emotional-Surges
The title also gives a nod to Captain Beefheart who died last week. He's a sad loss for the world.
I only created the blog to enter a short story competition and now it's something I hold dear to me.
The rest is all about you guys.
It would be silly to make a list (though I might like to try) of you all in case I missed anyone out (and with my memory and organisation skills that would be inevitable.
So here are my thanks to all. Please accept them.
Thanks to all the bloggers I've followed and popped in to see for all the hard work you put in. It's a wonderful world here in the ether, one I'd have scoffed at ten years ago - what did I know?
Thanks to all the editors who've taken the time to read my work and accept it, made the effort to include it in an anthology, blog, online mag.
Thanks to those who didn't accept my work for the kick in the pants and for spending your lives wading through a mixture of things you love and things you don't.
Thanks to all the writers I've read. To the short story makers, the novelists, the anthologists, the poets, the ebookers and the magazine folk - Cheers.
Thanks to all the fine people who've taken up the chance to interview themselves here at Sea Minor as part of the 'Dancing With Myself' series.
Thanks to everyone who has taken time to come to this site, to take a look around, to leave comments or just to say hi.
Thanks to everyone who has helped to promote me or this blog in any way - there are lots of you out there and I think you'll know who you are.
Thanks to those who've invited me to take part in their own projects asking for stories to be written, interviews, reviews and lists. Each and every one of them has made me feel good about who I am.
Thanks to those who have been kind enough to take me under their wing. Some of you people are amazing. I feel protected by your friendship and support right from the little things to the big. You've offered help in so many ways, but as much as anything helped out when you might not even have known you were doing it.
Thanks to those who put up with my lazy spelling eye and 'bull in a china shop' approach.
Thanks for the Retweets.
Thanks for the books.
Thanks to the readers who've taken time to improve my work with their comments or gone out of their way to educate me in some way or other.
Thanks to all who read any of my work.
And thanks for being there.
It may seem daft to feel so close to so many whom I haven't even met in the flesh. I didn't think it was possible. In real life I have good, solid and strong friends who have been around for a long time, but I've struggled to find new mates who share my interests. To have a group around me who don't need my passion for reading or writing explained at any point is a wonderful thing. I'm lucky to have you and, indeed, we're lucky to have each other.
Hopefully there'll be days when some of us do actually meet. If that happens, I'll consider myself twice blessed.
So to check out until Boxing Day I need to leave you with a gift.
A song should do it, I reckon. Something for Christmas.
I'm off to have a look. Come back in a minute.
OK. 5 minutes of movie perfection. Sinatra or Mathis?
and because of the answer: