After making the 8 9 10 hour trek up to Pennsylvania to spend the holiday with family, I’m suffering from a little bit of the post-Thanksgiving burnout.  So this week’s blog will be short and sweet.

And though this would probably be an entry best suited for “What I’m Thankful For” (I do have an offering to send to the Head Chewers in Charge), I figured the spirit of the season and my desire to not ramble for as long as I usually do would lend themselves well to just making a quick list of things I’m personally thankful for.

Okay, too late on the rambling thing.

Now, on to my list – five things I’m extremely thankful for:

1.  My mom.  She’s had a tough year – congestive heart failure, blood clots caused by misregulation of her meds that ended up giving her a minor stroke, depression and anxiety caused by her condition and her meds, her inability to get out and socialize like she used to.  The past few months have taken a toll on her.  Yet, when I got to see her this past Thanksgiving, she looked fantastic – like she had never had to go to the hospital.  Her happiness at seeing her son, combined with an incredible Thanksgiving meal, made all of the hardship visited upon my family for the past few months fade away.  She may feel overwhelmed by her circumstances at times, but she’s still a tough lady.  And I love her very much.

2.  My friends and family.  Nothing says love and support more than when everyone comes out of the woodwork to give you strength when you need it most.  Again, this has been a trying year in general, and I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed to have so many people be there for me and mine.  I’m reminded of the coda in It’s a Wonderful Life, when George Bailey opens the copy of Tom Sawyer bequeathed to him by a second-class Oddbody – “No man is a failure who has friends.”  That being the case, I must be the most successful man in the United States.

3.  Darkstone Entertainment.  An independent film company based out of Charlottesville Virginia, Darkstone has become another family to me.  Founder and director John Johnson and his crew have been nothing short of incredible.  I’ve found myself not only enjoying my little escapes up to their neck of the woods, but I’ve even found myself co-starring in a film project or two.  I’ll tell you what – seeing my mug gracing the cover of a DVD is a thrill that never goes away, no matter how many times every hour I keep looking at the copy of the Lovecraft Chronicles DVD that sits on my coffee table.  I’m proud to be a part of something so passionate and colourful, and I’m more than happy to call ever member of this motley crew family.

4.  The Draconia Chronicles.  This weekly web comic has been the home where I hang my writer’s hat for the past several years – from the initial calendar storylines to the current incarnation updating every Monday, I’ve been able to hone and improve my writing skills to a level that will continue to benefit me in all of my future endeavors.  Though I’ve decided to leave 2wcOnline in order to explore and persue those possibilities (my final page goes up this coming Monday), I will always cherish the opportunity I was given to play in such a fun and amazing sandbox.

5.  CHUD.  What can I say about this magnificent playground of a film site?  CHUD is the reason you get the option to ignore this blog in the first place.  I kid, I kid.  Honestly, though – this little slice of movie site heaven has been an online home to me for ten years now.  Though I only officially joined the forums two years ago, I’ve been an avid reader and follower of all things CHUD for quite some time.  And when the Chewers-That-Be offered the chance to blog for them, I eagerly accepted.  To have the chance to be a part of something I have nothing but love for was like a dream come true.  On top of that, I have made some great friends in the forums, some of whom I’ve even had the fortune of collaborating with.  This place is very special to me.  Not Olympics special, either – more like how television and movies in the eighties overused the term special.  And with the announcement from the Gentleman himself that there will be a new site with room for folks like me to contribute, I find my cup overflowing with promise.

A final, heartfelt thanks to all of you… for everything.  It is an honour and a privilege to have each and every one of you in my life.

What?  No, I’m not crying.  There’s just something in my eye.