Happy Birthday to us!

A couple of summers ago, I was working at my satellite office -- the upstairs cafe at Borders on Market Street -- and I got a call from my husband, who was downstairs poking around for a good airplane read. "There's an author down here doing the table thing," he told me. "She seems interesting. You should come down and talk to her." Table signings for me are the twelfth circle of Hell, so I never walk by, eyes averted, while a fellow crafts person sits there with her hopeful little Sharpie. I immediately packed up my laptop, went downstairs, and met one of my favorite people in the world: Colleen Thompson.

We are writing entirely different kinds of books, we're on entirely different career tracks, and we have totally opposite approaches to the craft, but we have a few important things in common: we are both honest-to-goodness-done-quit-the-day-job working writers, we are both passionate-bordering-on-rabid about research, we both prize artistic integrity uber alles, and we share the same hurricane surfing relationship with the business.

We also share this blog, I'm happy to say.

Launched one year ago today, Boxing the Octopus is our soapbox, therapy couch, and an extension of our corner at Starbucks. We hope to help aspiring and emerging writers by talking frankly about what we've learned and how it is and what it be and all that jazz about thriving (or at least surviving) in the publishing industry. It's a place for us to ruminate on the writing life, for whatever that's worth, to nudge a few laughs, pass along bits of poetry or wisdom or advice we've been grazing on, and talk up books and authors we meet along the way.

My technical expertise barely transcends two soup cans and a string, but I keep noodling with design elements (a meditative exercise while I noodle plot elements in my head) and driving Colleen crazy by changing the background color all the time. We can tell by the stats that a lot of people visit, though only a few leave comments. We're always open to your thoughts and suggestions. Let us know what you'd like to see more/less of. What makes the blog easier on the eye and/or the browser. We want to know what you're reading and writing. And who you are.

Mostly we want you to know how grateful we are that you took the time to stop by.


It's been a year already? Wow, time flies when you're having fun. I'm really enjoying the journey. It's fun to have pals in the trenches, and I send a hearty thanks to your old man for sending you in my direction.

Thanks so much to our readers, too! We love hearing your thoughts.
Suzan Harden said…
Sometimes, Joni, there's just not a darn thing we could possible add to what you guys say.

For the past four years, Colleen's been my Yoda. (And she has this cute blush when I say it, but it's true.) She can push you to crank out your best, but she'll also be there to save your butt from the Sith of the publishing world.

A certain writer with the initials CC will read this and think what am I? Chopped liver? But she's Obi-Wan. Young Obi-Wan, willing to take chances and has friends in the most *ahem* unusual places.

And you, Joni, have become Master Windu - willing to do whatever it takes to survive. I respect that. A lot.
Thanks for the kind words, Suzan! I heart Yoda big-time, so I'll take the comparison as a compliment.

I enjoyed seeing you at the signing yesterday and wish you all the luck you've earned with your hard work and talent!
TJ Bennett said…
Happy birthday, indeed, from someone who fell in clover the day she met you both. I can't believe how the two of you have raised my writing bar. And snappy blog, too.

TJ Bennett

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