Season’s greetings, first and foremost. I hope the yuletide brought good tidings to your household. More, I hope you gave someone good tidings this Christmas. Remember, Christmas is about Giving.
Speaking of Giving, here I am to do a little of my own. I’m here to give appreciation to each and every one of those who made Twenty-thirteen a memorable year for me, to those who fashioned, left memorable events to reflect on and cheer about in the course of the year, in divers of diverse ways
I’ll start this off by lavishing the majority of my worship to my family, notably my parents, my backbone, my support, my foundation. The plot of my life would’ve been different this year negatively if they hadn’t been there for me every time I needed them. I finished and graduated from college this year, precisely in November but THEY were the ones who made it happen, springing financial miracles upon miracles to ensure a convenient and satisfying completion. Their sponsorship and legacy will dwell with me for life. Then there’re my siblings too, my beloved brother and sister, my two most fantastic companions. They’ve both been a well of inspiration to me, sister dear especially, an embodiment of beauty and brains, a maker, a fashioner; and my brother who came up with bizarre storylines and even more bizarre titles, whose interest in my writings gave me priceless esteem through the year. I won't forget my best friend, Jidenma Ofurum. We had quite an adventure in Twenty-thirteen and by God, I'm looking forward to more in Twenty-fourteen. You're the best, my brother!
Ah, I will NEVER forget my fellow college graduates with whom I toiled, educationally, for four longish years, a group of brilliant folks who taught me more of the things I know pertaining to my course than all my lecturers in the same time frame. Indeed, four years seems so long ago, so far away now and reminiscing brings me only snatches of smile-worthy memories. ‘Twas a pity I couldn’t be with them in the final valedictorian hours, but to us are served deserved congratulations and felicitations. Surely our steps shall continue on the rightest path as we walk on. Special thanks go to my buddies who, in this way and that, I’ve been so close to that we’ve practically shared the same toothbrush <<eeoowww!!>>: Obiorah Benjamin, Banjoko (Biggy) Oladipo, Obisesan (Popeye) Segun, Ishola John (Just John, nothing else), Osewa Tobi (I haven’t forgotten our handshake, man), Orachiri (GB/Imake) Chidi, Okereke (Prof) Kingsley, Nkonu Kalu, and Adewumi(Akogun) Oluwaseun.
QQ: Will I ever forget you guys?
A: Big NO!
Twenty-thirteen has been a year of mixed fortunes in the literary community, many will agree. There have been deaths, oh, there have been. Sad and mournful demises of literary icons, people I’d considered living gods of modern writing, whose writing rules and styles I tried to carve on my heart like Moses’s tableted commandments. It started with popular horror writer James Herbert (69) in March. Same March claimed Chinua Achebe (82), my fellow citizen, my grandfather, my father, a legend of African literature. Then May took Jack Vance (Ellery Queen). Perhaps the one that hurt me most was Richard Matheson (87). He went in June and he really was legend. Tom Clancy (66) followed in October. And the one that hurt the world, the one whose death left resounding tremors even through the beds of the Pacific, was Nelson Madiba Mandela (95) in the first week of this December. Their marks, their touches, what they left behind will no doubt be timeless, ageless. Words can’t truly express how grateful I am for all these folks gave me. A big THANK YOU might not be sufficient enough but it is all I have right now. If the opportunity for a better way to honor their memory presents itself in the nearest future, I will seize it with all of my limbs.
To every other author whose storytelling cuddled me every day, never making me feel alone, nourishing me with education and entertainment, thrill and terror, nirvana, I say Thank You! More power to your fingers; More ink in your pen; More enlightenment and inspiration to your imaginative minds. Doubtless, you’ll receive my continual support in the next year, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that…
[My exceptional praises to Lori R. Lopez (and her family) and Marie Fostino for the awesome gifts showered upon me (quite undeservedly). You darlings spoilt me silly this year. You’re my distant mums for sure. Your gifts are, and will continue to be, the most valuable of their kind in my collection. I’ve even reserved for them special homes in my perpetually unkempt room where I can summon them without turning what is already upside down right way up, without bringing any imbalance to my untidiness. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, I very nearly forgot Melissa Stevens for her prize earlier this year, a cover design of The Mystic Meg, a WIP. Thank you very much. It was splendid, but then, I expected nothing less. You're a fantastic designer.]
To every reader who left me reviews and ratings on one or more of my eBooks, I am indebted to you. Those brief moment of attention rendered has meant the world to my burgeoning career in the literary business. Without your support, without your corrections and remarks, glowing and otherwise, not forgetting your encouragements, I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to persevere in this debatable profitable business of self-publishing.
[I’ll not forget all of your assistance, Robert Friedrich, in your invitations to several Facebook events. You, above all, went a long way in making me aware of as many publishing opportunities as you could. You were almost like my manager. You too, Yorley Garcia, surprising me on a fair afternoon with a message of appreciation for my shorts. Then there’s the delightful Vix Kirkpatrick. I’ll not forget your rigorous, thorough and eventually sublime beta reading of Confessions of a Graverobber.]
Double thumbs up to all publishing companies for giant strides in making quality books accessible and affordable to several impoverished third-world countries. Twenty Fourteen will be an even better year for us all and may the biggest achievement of our immediate past be incomparable to the smallest achievement of our nearest future.
Remember: Love one another; Be the change you wish to see in the world.
God bless you all. Looking forward to a bright Twenty Fourteen.
Happy New Year.