Phoenix Anniversary 2014The Phoenixes will be live until January 6, 2015.

Happy birthday to my oldest (and orneriest!) child, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab!
(Wait… does this mean BPAL is about to enter puberty?!)

Twelve years. We could not possibly have come this far without the help of our tribe…

The friendships – the /family/ – that I have because of BPAL has enriched my life in ways I never could have imagined. I can’t emphasize how much that means to me. Thank you for enabling me to give life to my vision, and for sharing my love of so many bizarre, horrible, beautiful, macabre, goofy, and terrible subjects.

Thank you for your kindness, your support, and for your friendship.

Thank you for sharing your triumphs, joys, loves, and sorrows with us, and for giving me the gift of a massive extended family.

I don’t have words for how important our community is to me. Thank you.

With all of my love, and in no particular order…

Thank you, Brian, for being the best partner and friend I could possibly have. You are Virgo Prime, and as I have said before – without you, BPAL would be an abstract set of drifting Piscean ideas. Thank you for all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that you grind out to keep our insane Rube Goldberg machine running. I love you, and I am grateful for your friendship and love.

Ted, I love you. Hear my soul speak: the very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly to your service. (It’s true: I even remember what socks you were wearing that fateful day.) You are my heart, my soulmate, my bright morning, and I love you more with every breath I draw.

Thank you, my Lilith, my little heart, my merry muse. Every moment with you inspires me, and I am grateful and honored to be your mother.

Thank you, Chrissy, for being the best of all possible assistants, in this universe or any other. Thank you for your boundless creativity, your patience, and your infallible Gemini plate-spinning skills. You are an amazing person, I am grateful to you for everything you do, and I love you.

Thank you, Jacquelynn, for all of your hard work, dedication to keeping production flowing, and ingenuity in all things. Thank you for everything you do to keep our wheels turning. You are a wonder!

Thank you, Lisa, for your wit and wisdom, for your kindness and patience, and for the pleasure of your friendship. You are a saint, and I love you!

Thank you, Piolet, for being an oasis of calm, no matter how crazy things get here! I am so thankful for you and for all you do for us!

Thank you to Sue and Del at Dark Delicacies for… everything. Just everything. Thank you for providing a second home for Black Phoenix, thank you for your time, patience, and energy during our crazy events, and thank you for being the most wonderful of friends and the greatest grandparents a little demoness could possibly ask for! I love you!

Thank you, Ashley, for being such a tremendous help at Trading Post. You are brilliant – an amazing person – and I am grateful for all that you do!

Thank you, Sara, for all the love, passion, and dedication that you imbue into every BPAL event. I am grateful for all you do, and for your huge heart and elegant artistry. You are a wonderful person, and it is a joy being your friend. Love you!

Kaitlin, you are a phenomenon. There are no words for how grateful I am for all of your help, for your patience, for your kindness, and for your friendship. You are an absolute saint, and a truly beautiful person. I love you, wumman!

My love, thanks, and eternal gratitude to my sisters, the moderators and admins at bpal.org. You are dearest to my heart, the best of friends, and my sisters in every sense of the world except bloodline. Thank you for being my confidants, for holding my hand when my heart is heavy, and for sharing my joy when life is goin’ pretty alright. I love you guys.

Thank you, Shana, for always being there for me! Thank you for your effervescent humor, bright cheer, and limitless enthusiasm. You are a force of nature! I love you!

Thank you, Forest, for being you. Your compassion and nobility of spirit is an inspiration, and I’m truly thankful for our friendship. I love you, fartface.

Thank you, Em, for always being there for me, for always having my back, and for being an absolutely amazing friend. I value your wisdom and counsel so, so much. Thank you. I love you!

Thank you, Ali, for being my living, breathing Chicago (Manhattan) Manual of Style. Thank you for always being there for me, for being a constant source of inspiration and aid, and for ensuring that my words don’t come out like asdkjfhaslkjdhflsakjhdflkajshsnert. You are wonderful, and I love you.

Thank you, Tom, for everything you do to help us while we’re on the road, and thank you for doing all you can to integrate Black Phoenix into your work. I love you so, so much, and I’m grateful for our friendship!

Thank you to Jen, Lisa, Tom, Sara, Lilith, Kat, Chrissy, Michael, Donna, Andra, Ali, Courtney D., Courtney W., Val, and Maggie for making this year’s travelling Snake Oil show possible. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into the events, and for being there for us. We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you, Lisa T., for single-handedly reviving Dirty South Will Call. You are one of the most amazing women I know, and I love you.

Thank you, Jen and Karyn, for resurrecting bpal.org. Without your efforts, the forum would have died a horrible, much-lamented death. You have no idea how grateful I am. I love you.

Thank you, Donna, for babysitting BPAL again! Thank you for always making me laugh, and for giving me much-needed hugs whenever I’m down. I love you more than words can say!

Thank you, Andra, for keeping my fires lit, and for being such a true and amazing friend. I love you so much!

Thank you, Courtney, for being my New England Sister! Thank you for all of your generosity and kindness! Your love makes Black Phoenix stronger, brighter, and more suffused with joy. I love you!

Huge amounts of love and HUGE amounts of gratitude to Laura Hall and all the wonderful people at Laika studios. Your generosity and kindness is beyond measure.

Thank you to Thomas, Melissa, Chandra, Kat (and Thomas Jr!) at Century Guild. You are wonderful people, and I love you!

Thank you to Neil Gaiman, Jim Jarmusch, Peter S. Beagle, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Terry Pratchett, Carolyn Hennesy, Terry Moore, Mike and Christine Mignola, George Perez, Peter David, Molly Crabapple, Mark Waid, Thomas Negovan, Storm Constantine, Matt Wagner, Jim Henson Productions, Brian Pulido, Joseph Michael Linsner, Gris Grimly, George RR Martin, Clive Barker, Mark Miller, David Mack, Gail Potocki, Erin Morgenstern, and Ysanne Spevak for giving Black Phoenix the opportunity to interpret your work.

Thank you to the noble souls at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Hero Initiative. You are an inspiration.

Thank you, Charles, for being an inspiration and a true friend.

Thank you, CP, for being an incredible friend. Your kind soul and radiant spirit illuminates everything and everyone you touch.

Love and thanks to the artists that have lent us their talent: Adam Hughes, Alicia Dabney, Julie Dillon, Emma Rios, Madame Talbot, Quique Alcatena, Jennifer Rodgers, Manda Lander, Keri Newton, Nick Pavik, Tanya Bjork, Andrew Fogel, Brian Kessinger, Abigail Larson, Aidan Casserly, and Sarah Coleman!

Love and thanks to Think Geek, Century Guild, the Mütter Museum, Haute MacabreHeretic Salon, Whole Foods, Pretty Indulgent, Healthy Living, and Dark Delicacies for giving our products a home in your stores!

Love and thanks to the bloggers, journalists, magazines, and other media outlets that taken the time to write about Black Phoenix. Honestly, I cannot thank you enough.

And last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank my ancestors, all the gods (both celestial and infernal), the House Ghost, and anyone else that might be looking out for me.

I wrote this many years ago, and it’s just as true today as it was then:

‘Thank you for sharing our joy and for standing with us during difficult times. The family that has grown around BPAL is like no other in the world. Every time I wander into the forum, I see people supporting one another in times of need, showing selfless kindness and offering support to one another… to me, you all are models of emotional generosity and true friendship, and it is truly an honor to be a part of your lives. I cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you for celebrating the beauty of living with us, and for holding our hands during times of stress and sorrow. This year has been turbulent for just about everyone we know. It’s been a hard year filled with challenges and hidden lessons, but none of it is insurmountable because we all have this tremendous, genuinely loving family. Thank you.’

There is a happy spot, retired in the first East, where the great gate of the eternal pole lies open. It is not, however, situated near to his rising in summer or in winter, but where the sun pours the day from his vernal chariot. There a plain spreads its open tracts; nor does any mound rise, nor hollow valley open itself. But through twice six ells that place rises above the mountains, whose tops are thought to be lofty among us.


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