Once more I must say that I am most honored by the fact that my work is still considered for these awards, having won my fair share for earlier time spent on the forum. In fact, I am truly pleased knowing that of the five times I have won the WoW, they have all been for different AARs. The first for For the Glory of Persia, the second for Into the West, the third for The Eagle in Winter, the fourth for 40 Years On: Friedrich von Manstein's Brandenburg and now for The Longest Night. That may be more self-promotion than is necessary but given that I don't do it often, I am going to take this chance. I can't believe that I still have such great readers and commenters all these years later.
Folks, this marks my 7th year on these forums and I have loved just about every minute of it. True, there have been a few hard times but the group always maintains such a friendly and encouraging atmosphere, I always return. How could I not?
These awards were always a way for the winner to give a little background on themselves and I took the time to look back at previous speeches. It is interesting to see my own progression from those earlier days. When I began, I was not yet 30 years old. Now, I am about to turn 36 in March. I still work at the same job and am still trying to work on my writing such that I could make something of it. This place offers me that opportunity to not only read other great works of fiction, but so too to practice my own craft. That, and play some great games. Not to mention the wonderful friendships I've made with several members of this forum.
I'd like to give some shout outs to folks like MrT and Lord Durham who always showed me the way and taught me what a good member might do once they've joined the group. Their writing was such that I could not help but try and learn from them as well as from folks like Storey, Secret Master, Director, stnylan, Mettermrck, The Yogi, CatKnight...I could go on and on. The newer folks that have come on board since I joined have also taught me much. I cannot possibly name them all, but you all remain an influence.
I am honored to have received this awAARd for a fifth time. Thank you, demokratickid for passing it to me and being such a great fan of my latest AAR! And thank you to those commenters out there that stick with me through thick and thin, long pauses at times and the rush of many updates at other times. Folks like Semi-Lobster, Ksim3000, Myth, Qorten, J. Passepartout, Rensslaer, GhostWriter, Stuyvesant, jwolf, Judge, Amric, Storey, TreizeV, Hajji Giray I, Estonianzulu, Anibal, Nil-The-Frogg, Chief Ragusa, anonymous4401, Whispering Death, Lord E, Duke of Wellington...all have given me great support throughout my tenure.
But most of all, I really must thank two men - stnylan and Director. These two are not only two of my closest friends (neither of whom would I have met without this place), but they have likely read just about every word I have ever typed on this forum. Not only do they continue to teach me how to be a good member and further a writer, they assist me with the story each time and give me the kind of feedback that helps me grow, that helps me know when I've moved off course and they help keep me grounded to the narrative. Finally, they are just some damn good guys that I've had the pleasure of sharing a drink with. I appreciate you two more than you likely know.
This has grown much longer than I planned and I fear I have moved off into MrT territory as a result. But dk wanted a speech and thus he has it.
Thank you to those that have and will offer congrats in this thread. Thank you to dk once again for selecting me. Thank you to LD for having such trust in me as a moderator and member (as well as another I am able to bounce ideas off of.) And thank you to AARland and Paradox for giving me a place to play!
This is very much an honor. I will be sure to enjoy the week, especially since I just completed The Eagle in Winter. That's always a great feeling!