I could tell you that he’s a brilliant writer. You would already know that if you read his blog or, better yet, devoured his debut novel. That’s not the real reason so many bloggers and writers, people who’ve never met the man face-to-face, came out in the blog-o-sphere with every intention of making him feel spiffy. Hell, there are some damn fine writers out there and I’ll certainly buy their books... but there are only a few people who would get this big of a following of true friends who’ve never met them.
I could think of more than of few examples that make Stephen a cut above the rest in the friendship department. Like the time one of our blog friends had a fire that completely destroyed his home, and it took Stephen all of a day to get up a blog to help him rebuild. That’s an extreme example. I think I’m safe in saying it’s not the only one... he’s a better friend to most of us than some of our real world friends could be.
For the writers in our little circle, his insight and wit has been priceless. He lets us piddle away our time on his blog rather than the real work of writing, and then kicks our asses for slacking off. Let me tell you, it takes a special brand of brilliance to kick your ass and make you like it.
For me, personally, Stephen’s been the best cheerleader (are ya picturing him in the short skirt with pom poms? Ya know you are). Somehow we missed each other back in the Miss Snark days, but I finally met him when I hosted a book club blog for a fellow snarkling’s debut. He was so dead on, insightful, and funny, I just had to follow him back to his own blog. And a cyber-friendship was born. From blog exchanges to emails, to pestering the hell out of him on his facebook wall, Stephen’s one of my true favorites. He’ll give you the real deal, with a bit of humor. And in the solitary world of writing, he’s been one of the bastions of community and understanding that keeps a lot of us trudging through it.
He’s always good for a word of praise or silliness, and sometimes he’ll just pop me an email to check if I’m writing, if I’m holding my own with the whole life sucks and when is it my turn dammit thing, to pass on a word of praise or heads up for someone else in our little cyber world. I’ve got to say, it’s more than once that Stephen’s emailed out of the blue with a back-pat at just the right time. Because really, if someone as brilliant as Stephen thinks I can write, maybe he’s onto something.
So, Stephen, my friend, enjoy your week of festivities. Bask in your much-deserved success. It’s been an honor to take this leg of the journey with you, and I can’t wait to see how far you’ll go. Yer gonna be famous.