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The Gratitude Post

June 6, 2010

Marcel Proust once said, “Let us be grateful for those who give us happiness;  they are the charming gardeners who make our soul bloom.”

I’m going to try to avoid making this sound like a Bat Mitzvah speech (“Today… as I approach authorhood… I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way…”), but the truth is that there are so many people who have helped and supported me as I launched a new career as a crossword puzzle constructor in 2004 and now as a humorist.  I hope I’ve been coherent enough through all that has transpired to let everyone know how grateful I am for their support and friendship.

Now that “It’s Not PMS, It’s You” is on sale for real, though, I thought I would try to say it publicly.  I will try not to get too verklempt, because I know you expect something different from me.  But please know that I’m truly touched and overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, and even though a mere “thank you” doesn’t really express the extent of how I feel, I believe it’s important to tell the people in your life that they mean something to you while you have the chance.  So here goes:

To my family and friends who have been there for me through thick and some fairly thin times:  THANK YOU.

To my editors, both literary and puzzle: THANK YOU.

To the people who fall outside of those categories but have been there for me nonetheless:  THANK YOU.

Another thing that continues to overwhelm me is how supportive and incredible the puzzle community has been.  Solvers and constructors are a very special, unique group of people, and after spending time with these witty, wonderful people, I feel like after a lifetime of searching I have finally found my tribe.  In particular, I’d like to thank some very special people who have gone out of their way to help promote my book.  First, a big thank you to Will Shortz, the man behind the New York Times crossword puzzle, who gave me my first break as a constructor.   I’d also like to thank Paula Gamache, constructor extraordinaire, who has been a huge inspiration and has worked seemingly endlessly to help put the word out for me.  Special thanks as well to Emily Rems, my editor at BUST Magazine and Merl Reagle, the King of Crossword Puzzles, for writing such great blurbs for the back of my book.

And the puzzle bloggers.  You people amaze me.  For those of you who don’t do crosswords regularly, there is a very special group of people who donate an insane amount of their own time to solve and analyze the puzzles and provide a forum for discussion for us word people.  I don’t know how you pull it off day after day, but you do it, and you do it with style.  In particular, I’d like to thank Jim Horne and Patrick Merrell, the multi-talented and debonair duo behind the New York Times “Wordplay” blog; Amy Reynaldo, wonderful friend, speed solver extraordinaire and the very intelligent voice behind the “Diary of a Crossword Fiend” blog; Ryan Hecht and Brian Cimmet, the hilarious duo behind the “Ryan & Brian Do Crosswords” blog; Brendan Emmett Quigley, Crossword Jesus-level constructor and fellow Onion compatriot of the “Can I Have A Word With You?” blog; and Michael Sharp, better known to the community as the witty and thought-provoking Rex Parker, of “Rex Parker Does The N. Y. Times Crossword Puzzle”.  Each one of you took the time to read my book and say something wonderful about it in a public forum, and for that I am extremely grateful.

To all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my soul bloom.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2010 1:53 AM

    You’re good at this thank-you thing. Get used to it. Soon you’ll be thanking The Academy and reminiscing about how pleased you were to help Oprah’s show get back on track with her series of interviews with you.

  2. Kevin West permalink
    June 7, 2010 8:35 PM

    Awwwwww.
    Okay. Back to being humorous.

    • Deb permalink*
      June 8, 2010 10:09 AM

      You are such a harsh taskmaster.

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