It’s been an interesting year, with ups down, monkey wrenches in plans and some truly fantastic, borderline epic moments, and I just can’t wait for what 2014 will bring, because I have the distinct feeling that it’ll be awesome.

On the Mental Attic, the year started out slow, almost dead to be honest, and the dreaded WordPress Visitor Flat-line was a common sight, and as I’ve mentioned before, this both angered and saddened me. But then, around August or September, things changed. I honestly can’t remember how it started, but through a commenter I found a site, and through that site I found others, and in the cliché blink of an eye, I’d joined a community of bloggers, people with more, and less, experience in the blogging world than myself, but with extraordinary talent, dedication and success, something I hadn’t achieved in a year or so of running The Attic.

Posts and comments and likes turned to WordPress awards and e-mail conversations and plans, and collaborations and partnerships, and now, I can safely say I have some of the best friends I’ve never met, if that makes some sense. We laugh, we share, we talk and argue, and above all, we play, and we have a ton of fun. Gameplay videos have been made, more have been planned, and other, bigger projects are discussed on a weekly basis and it’s pretty damn sure we’ll get to them on 2014. I’ve taken my sweet time forcing Kim from 1001up.com to play scary games, I’ve hunted Zombies with Phil. With V, I’ve argued films and the how Horror has much in common with Romance & Sex. I’ve learned much about archaeology with Kelly, and I’ve been amazed at John’s dedication and ambition. I’ve discussed game experiences with all of them and I hope to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

There are also travel plans, and tourist guide offers and plenty of food in store for me, some Pie & Mash & Liquor for example, with a mouth-watering photo of it just recently. There’s a theoretical pint at a gamer’s pub, with a trio of Londoners and a certain Dad, who’s apparently a Gentleman Geek, and if fates align, also a very verbose and judgy-faced Dubliner. If things really go amazingly, there’s also a slightly-workaholic and totally committed Costa Rican who could, and should, join us.

To these mysterious people, and the many others in this WordPress Community I landed in, which I call “The Weird Crowd” for a comment Robin Williams mad (video below), I owe a fantastic debt, for not only did they help revitalize The Attic, but they’ve boosted my creativity, and have made me take steps in directions I never considered. A year before I’d never have entertained the idea of filming myself playing, too self-conscious to do so, or think and plan podcasts or even have the nerve of emailing a game company and send them questions for an interview. Yet, all those and more are happening.

To the point, here’s a little video for you all. Hopefully next year I can invest in some recording equipment that’s worth a damn 🙂

My only regret is, as I’ve mentioned before, the stories part of The Attic, that insane world I call Urban Arcana, is still the least read part of the site, and I admit some of the earlier stuff is a bit weak, but its served its purpose, it’s helped me improve and polish my writing skills, both for my currently unpublished novels (which are waiting for some world-conquering plans to come to fruition before being sent to agents) and for the many posts on the attic.

But I’m not as worried about it as I once was, because I know what needs to be done, and I have a bunch of ideas to turn that around, and I know that once Igniters gets well underway, things will improve.

The year is about to end, and before it does, I just wanted everyone to know how special meeting these people (including you my dead readers) has been for me, and how much I value their support and I hope one day, they stop being “The Best Friends I’ve never met” and just be “Best Friends!”

More importantly though, I just wanted to wish all of you the best of times in these holidays, no matter what traditions you follow, from “Eat until you drop”, also known as Christmas, to the rest of them. A few of these awesome people have received some presents from me, others I’m waiting to see what I can get them, and the rest I’ll slip and IOU for next year.

And above all, an even better New Year, filled with fun and laughter and success and joy. End this year with a smile and begin the next one with a bang.

I leave you with a fantastic short bridging Sherlock Series 2 and 3, which is set to start next week on the 1st of January 2014

See you all around, good night 🙂

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