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maestrowork
12-26-2005, 08:25 PM
What a way to wrap up a year.

I just want to use this space to tell you how much I appreciate all of you.

I was going to write a poem to celebrate this occasion, but I just reminded myself, I am no poet.

I was going to write a short story to tell you what it was like to be around here, but I just reminded myself, I am a lousy storyteller.

I was going to write an essay to let you know how I feel, but I just reminded myself, I can't get my facts straight.

So why am I here? When the new board went up in February, I was the first one to sign on (yup, even before Jenna!), I was the first to reach post 1000, and here I am, the first to cross 10000 (I'm sure there will be many who follow in the years to come). So why?

People have asked me: Do you have a life? How did you do that? Are you an addict?

The simple answer is: I type fast.

Very fast.

The real answer is:

I love Absolute Write. It's a place where I belong, a writers' community that I can call my own, even though I don't own anything here.

A place where I can be myself, good or bad.

A place where I can give back, by way of offering advice and critiques and helping others.

A place where I can make a few people laugh every day. It means a lot to me.

A place where I can cheer people on as they achieve personal and professional triumphs.

A place where I can lend a shoulder for someone to lean on.

A place where I can build my house of love, to encourage people to do good deeds, to let everyone know that life can be good. And I am an example.

A place where I can "hang" with my friends -- and trust me, I've made a lot of friends in the two years I've been around here.

A place where I can participate in something bigger than me -- such as the Stories of Strength project.

A place where I can let out my frustration, share my joy and sorrow, let loose and let go.

I keep calling AbsoluteWrite a "place." In reality, it's just some software and database on a computer server somewhere on the Internet. Just pixels on my computer screen.

But it is a place. A place where we could belong. A place where we could all come here, have a few virtual drinks, hang out, make friends, and maybe learn a few things or two in the process.

Like how ST Literary and PublishAmerica are scam artists.

Like all the interesting information in Uncle Jim's Novel thread.

Like the experiences of published authors who are selfless enough to let us in on the "secrets."

It's here where I learned to write a kick-*** query letter. It's here where I learned how to format my manuscript. It's here where I found my publisher. It's here where I sold my first book.

As a writer, you can't ask for anything more from an on-line community that fosters friendship and helpfulness, honor and honesty, truths and compassion.

True, there were times when I got into silly debates or heated controversies. There were times when I felt abused. There were times when I felt hate, not love, and I didn't need that -- there's enough hate and suffering in the real world. There were times when I lost my cool , and I swore that I wouldn't come back. There were times when I looked for validation and respect and maybe even love and I didn't feel I got any. There were times when I let my worst get the best of me.

There were times when I looked at my post count and said, "Holy sh!t, I really do need a life."

But like it or not, Absolute Write has become part of my life. Good or bad, Absolute Write has taught me a lot. In here, there are people whom I consider family or friends for life, whom I've gotten to know better than my own relatives and "real-life" friends.

I think that really is what brings me back here time and again, even when I have doubts, even when I vow to myself that "I don't need this." Even when real life beats the sh!t out of me.

I am only 1 of the 4000+ members here.

But there will only be one Absolute Write.

So, bring out the good champagne (now that Christmas is over and 2006 is not quite here yet), and celebrate Absolute Write with me.

Here's to post #20000 in 2006! :) [You can all roll your eyes now, if you haven't done so already]

Cheers,
Ray

MacAllister
12-26-2005, 08:28 PM
Hear, hear! :) Congratulations, Maestro! I'll lift a glass of bubbly to you and to AW, with sincere pleasure.

awatkins
12-26-2005, 08:50 PM
Congratulations, Ray! What a wonderful summary of your experiences. Here's to the next 10,000! :Cheers:

rhymegirl
12-26-2005, 09:08 PM
That was very nice, Ray. You said it very well. And now my eyes are getting misty.

Hugs and kisses to you and warm wishes for a Happy New Year.

NeuroFizz
12-26-2005, 09:10 PM
10,000 was worth waiting for. Congrats, Ray. I agree with all said.

ChunkyC
12-26-2005, 09:26 PM
Congrats, Ray! What a wonderful 10K post. I have to say, I feel the same about this place. I showed up on the old ezboard a few weeks before you, I believe, and it wasn't long before we were kidding about being long lost twin brothers.

It also wasn't long before we realized it wasn't just a gag. You really are my brother in all but bloodline. This is just one example of the power of this place, that it can bring people together who in all probability would never have found each other otherwise.

So -- to you, mah bruthah, my best wishes for the new year. May your post #20,000 find us all on the bestsellers list!

And to Jenna and the rest of the gang at the cooler, I couldn't ask for a better virtual family.

Let's pop that bubbly! http://bestsmileys.com/drinking/1.gif

Cheers! http://bestsmileys.com/drinking/10.gif

My-Immortal
12-26-2005, 09:27 PM
Congrats Ray, on everything. Well 'said'. :)
And here's to the next 10K.

Take care, and have a Happy New Year!

William Haskins
12-26-2005, 09:31 PM
it means a lot that you took the occasion of your 10,000th post to offer such a beautiful ode to AW and its members.

you're, without a doubt, a vital cornerstone of this community, and i personally feel lucky for having had a chance to get to know you better.

i realize some of the hate, and maybe even some of the abuse, came from me this past year, but it was always heat of the moment stuff.

great post, and may 2006 bring you joy and prosperity.

-william

ANNIE
12-26-2005, 09:46 PM
This is me raising my glass to you Ray!

September skies
12-26-2005, 09:49 PM
Beautifully said. Congratulations Ray. Here's to you and all the rest of us too.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/emoteCheers.gif

SpookyWriter
12-26-2005, 10:04 PM
I'm a newbie here, but so far Ray impressed me quite a bit with his tireless efforts to help other writers and contribute. I'm also sure 9,999 of his messages contained something almost everyone here enjoyed or benefited from -- that 1 last message #10,000 was a great one and I enjoyed reading it.

Congrats! I look forward to 10,001 with pleasure.

William Haskins
12-26-2005, 10:11 PM
actually... post 6,942 was totally without any redeeming qualities. the others, however, were pretty good.

Pat~
12-26-2005, 10:11 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/drinking/10.gifWay to go, Maestro, and may your next 10,000 be as eloquent as that one!

PattiTheWicked
12-26-2005, 10:16 PM
Ray, that was a lovely post. Thanks for summing up so beautifully the way many of us feel about AW.

And should we be sad or relieved that you didn't post a nekkid picture of yourself as #10,000?

aka eraser
12-26-2005, 10:22 PM
Cheers Ray! :Cheers:

P.H.Delarran
12-26-2005, 10:30 PM
Great post! Here's to another 10k:Cheers:

mkcbunny
12-26-2005, 10:48 PM
Lovely post Ray. Here's to another 10k and another year in the hot tub.

PeeDee
12-26-2005, 10:50 PM
Well, I was just going to make fun of you for a bit and call you a nerd...but fine, that was very lovely and thoroughly eloquent. So I'll just say cheers, and here's to 20,000. Or a girlfriend.

(I couldn't resist.) ;)

Cabinscribe
12-27-2005, 12:54 AM
Congratulations, Ray!

We all appreciate you, too!

:Cheers:

maestrowork
12-27-2005, 02:24 AM
actually... post 6,942 was totally without any redeeming qualities. the others, however, were pretty good.

Oh, don't forget 7297. What was I thinking?

maestrowork
12-27-2005, 02:25 AM
And should we be sad or relieved that you didn't post a nekkid picture of yourself as #10,000?

I thought about it; then I thought maybe I shouldn't kill people here by inducing vomiting and brain damage.

AdamH
12-27-2005, 02:39 AM
Happy 10000th post, Ray!!!!!! :Clap: :partyguy: You sell yourself short, man. You are a poet, a story-teller, and an essayist all wrapped up into one. You pretty much summed up my feelings on this place so eloquently you deserve to be called Maestro. :Hail: :Hail: :Hail:

Good luck in the New Year! And may your 20000th post be as well written as this one!

-Adam :)

rhymegirl
12-27-2005, 04:27 AM
I thought about it; then I thought maybe I shouldn't kill people here by inducing vomiting and brain damage.

In that case I won't do it either for my 10,000th post.

rtilryarms
12-27-2005, 04:32 AM
wow

unthoughtknown
12-27-2005, 05:00 AM
Well done, Ray - quite an achievement - and all the best for 2006!

Celia Cyanide
12-27-2005, 05:56 AM
Aw, shucks, Ray! Here's to 10,000 more. Thanks for the tribute to AW!

Yeshanu
12-27-2005, 06:29 AM
There once was a fellow named Ray
Who posted here day after day
His advice was all good
And we laughed, as we should
At the funny and weird things he'd say.

Ray, thanks for being such a wonderful inspiriation to me and many others.

Elincoln
12-27-2005, 07:51 AM
Congratulations Ray. And it's good to have you back. Many of us look up to you as one of the "Pro"s of AW. Here's to 2006!

kristie911
12-27-2005, 10:01 AM
<sniff, sniff> That was a beautiful sentiment, Ray. I love you, man! <sobbing uncontrollably>

louisgodwin
12-27-2005, 11:05 AM
Glad to have you back, Ray. I think it won't be long before someone opens a poll betting for when you'll reach 20,000. Thanksgiving? Christmas? Hell, I'd probably put my money on Labor Day.

blisswriter
12-27-2005, 12:51 PM
I just want to say "thank you Maestro". We haven't officially met, but I see you around the place all the time. :)

You (and others) are why I like hanging out here.

If it weren't for you old fogies, we young people would have no one to look up to. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :Hail:


I'm looking forward to enjoying more of your wisdom in '06.

Happy New Year. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/EmoteKiss.gif

sthrnwriter
12-27-2005, 01:25 PM
:hooray: Congratulations on making it to 10,000! Heres to another 10k in 2006.:Cheers: Take care and have a Happy New Year.

biotales
12-27-2005, 05:45 PM
:Clap: :kiss:

PeeDee
12-27-2005, 07:01 PM
Message from the Future

Post 20,000 shall come and go in disappointment when Ray, failing to keep an eye on his counts, wastes it on "yeah me 2." Tragically, this leads to binge drinking and strange encounters with an average-sized Wombat.

Bufty
12-27-2005, 07:48 PM
:) Okay - I get it now - congratulations!

Cathy C
12-27-2005, 08:14 PM
:banana: :Clap: Woo! You made it -- and even offered an eloquent, "aw, shucks," sentiment to boot.


But what I want to know is: Where's my prize? I picked Office Party in the poll, but nobody's sent my money! :eek: Surely there was money involved . . . right?

;)

Melina
12-27-2005, 08:45 PM
Bravo, Ray!


Congratulations on 10,000 and thanks for all the love, encouragement and entertainment in your previous 9,999 messages! You're a really important part of what this place is. Can't wait to see the next 10,000--

Melina

Susie
12-27-2005, 09:15 PM
Roses are red
Violets are blue.
Ray hit 10,000 posts -
I'm soooooooo happy for you.
Hope you hit 10,000+ more,
You make us feel
Happy and secure!


Let's celebrate! :Cake: :popcorn: :Guitar: :banana: :snoopy: :Cake: :partyguy: :TheWave: :PartySmile: :Hug2: