You've changed my life. And you saved it, just then, when my brain threatened to implode from terminal boredom. Under the circumstances, I figured it might be time for a big ol'
First off, there's all of the people who've been round here since the beginning, or nearly so. Without you, I wouldn't have kept blogging. You made everything worth it, kept me going when I thought that maybe I should bugger off and do something else, and made me think in ways I'd not thought before. You stuck with me through all sorts of craziness. You're amazing.
Then the geoblogosphere adopted me as one of their own. You know those moments you can look back on afterward and pinpoint as there, right there, life changed? Yeah, that was one. The big one.
You want to know how much you've changed my life? This much:
Last year, I didn't have any science books planned. I didn't think I could do any such thing. Now, because of you, I've got one in the works and a few more patiently queued up. I'll be writing non-fiction science books because you showed me I could. I couldn't do it without you. Literally could not.
Last year, I was freaking out over how I'd get the science right in my science fiction. How could I find and understand the information I needed? How could I get expert insights when I wasn't comfortable approaching experts and didn't know where to find them? But here you are: experts! Dozens of you. On Twitter and on this blog, always ready with a helping hand when I need it. Because of you, the fiction I write will be much sounder in their science, and there's plot possibilities I didn't even know existed before you, the experts, introduced me to so much fascinating stuff. And the best thing? You get to choose where and when you help out, so I don't have to feel guilty for pestering you! You're brilliant, you are.
But it's more than that. It's the adventures. Late last summer, my intrepid companion and I ended up adventuring in Oregon with Lockwood, and can I just tell you that being shown geology by a geologist is a whole new experience for an interested amateur. Landscapes spoke in ways they couldn't have spoken before. He gave them a voice. The world becomes far more fascinating when it can speak to you in more than just a few fragmented words.
And the adventures don't stop there. Lockwood and Silver Fox plan to join us for a trip to Mt. Mazama and Old Perpetual early this summer. Some talk of wine and geology on Twitter led to plans (still coming together) for Glacial Till, Uncovered Earth, Helena, Lockwood and me to bring a whole new meaning to "geology on the rocks" later this summer. Ann will be accompanying me on my next foray into Arizona, and who knows who else will sign on when that trip draws near?
I sometimes hear people say inane things, like how online friends aren't the same as the real thing. All I can say is, they've never met my tweeps, my commenters, my fellow bloggers. They've never experienced this community of people. Always up for adventure, always ready with a helping hand, always bubbling over with enthusiasm for science and various entertainments and the wonders of the world - we may be far-flung, but we're close-knit, and every single one of you has made my life immeasurably richer.
This life of mine, it's better with you in it. Just thought you should know that.
And thanks for saving me from neuron implosion in training, there. I owe you big time!