Before I get to that, though, I want to point out that John gets stuff in the mail from you guys. Which is huge. I mean, maybe it doesn't seem that way because I talk about him all the time, but the fact is John's never written anything here on Epbot. This isn't his blog. But you guys still know and love him, because of me. (And am I taking credit for this? HECK YES I AM.)
When I first started Cake Wrecks it was just me. John was running our faux finishing company, and I was his part-time helper. (Ergo the boredom and starting a silly cake blog.) Then the economy tanked, CW took off like a shot, and in just a few months our roles completely reversed: now John was MY helper, and I became the bread-winner. It was so seamless, though. You'd think there would be bumps in a marriage when that kind of thing happens, but we were just so happy we could still work together - so happy this crazy lightning-in-a-bottle blog thing somehow managed to pay the bills.
I remember the first time on one of the book tours when someone asked John to sign Cake Wrecks. Even without his name on the cover, people knew. That book wouldn't have happened without John, or the one after (hoo boy, especially the one after), or the tours, or even the blog as we know it today. Plus anyone still reading CW knows that John's posts are usually the best ones. :p
(When ARE you doing another stick figure post, John?)
When I started Epbot, again, it was all me. My passion project. My thoughts. But as I went on, it was so blindingly obvious that John is a part of me. You can't split us up. So even though I'm a little more territorial here, and jealously guard Epbot as MY space - and even feel a bit stung when friends call Epbot "Jen and John's blog" - the fact is, John's all over these posts. He's part of every project, every discussion. Whether he's in the background cheering me on, or in the foreground Power Tooling The Things, you guys know: John's as much Epbot as I am. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Plus he agrees to meetups with both dinosaurs AND readers.
(This is Aimee, Steph, and Toothy McLunges-a-lot, whose photo-bombing game is ON POINT.)
So yes, John gets stuff in the mail, but better than that, he has this awesome reader squad online now. For all its ups and downs (and obviously the internet has its share of downs), Facebook has allowed John to really see and interact with you guys. He gets to be a part of this community in a way he's never had before, and over this past year I've watched him laugh and cry and make honest-to-goodness friends with folks across the globe and share inside jokes and give advice and just, I don't know, come alive. With all the good and the bad. It's like watching my own journey through internet notoriety on fast-forward, and seeing John deal with the highest of highs ("People like me! Whee!") and the lowest lows ("People hate me, I will never feel sunshine again.") has been, well, a little scary. Sometimes moreso during the high times, because I know they don't last, and I want to protect him... but can't.
But then, just like I've experienced so many times, right at the lowest moment, right when you're convinced none of this online stuff is worth it, and no one cares, and why don't we just pack up and go off grid? - just then a card or package arrives in the P.O. Box. And it's some little handmade reminder that everything's going to be OK, or a note saying what you do IS worth it. And you guys save the day. Again.
The Black Knight, post shoulder surgery, by Cait B. :D
Here it is in John's man cave, Cait!
John's out of the sling now, btw, about a week into his active physical therapy exercises (as opposed to passive ones), and still blowing away all our recovery expectations. He's merrily building things and using power tools again, so you'd never even know he had major surgery six weeks ago.
One more surgery souvenir: John's new Pony avatar by Tracey S.!
Complete with a shoulder sling and Epbot cutie mark! Eee!
And one last one, this time [snerk] from Anna B., who embroidered our names in Gallifreyan!
Or, you know, so she claims. It'd be hilarious if these actually said Up Yours or something. (Oooh, there's a market for you, crafters: you've heard of subversive cross stitch? Subversive Gallifreyan. It'd be the most niche market EVER.)
Wait, you have to see the back side, too:
How is this so pretty??
As always, I hope none of this comes off unbearably braggy. I mean, a LITTLE braggy is fine, because look at this cool stuff, but I promise it's only in the spirit of sharing some happy, and to remind you guys that every positive thing you do or say - every "attagirl," every "me, too," matters. Not just to me and John, but to everyone in your life.
Sometimes it takes 100 positives to cancel out a single negative. Sometimes it takes an avalanche of assurances to bury one cruel dig. Remember that. Remember the person across from you is constantly weighing her own worth, and too often, comes up lacking. Remember how much you are needed in the little things, as well as the big. Remember how far a few words and single moment of your time can go. Remember you hold more power in your hands than you can ever imagine, and you are more seen, more valued, and more effective than you know.
And, of course:
Sorry. Couldn't help myself.
Right, the Project awaits. Hope your week's going well, peeps!