Over the next year I’m going to occasionally shout out people who are a part of my team on this blog. Writing is rarely done alone. It takes a team of supporters who are there for you in many ways. Some read and critique, some shoutout and share what you’ve accomplished, some show up to the party and help with the heavy lifting.
This blog post is to recognize my good friend, Brandon. Before I start, something you need to understand is how very different we are. I’m a nerd and a half, he isn’t. Brandon loves sportsball in all of its flavors and I went to games because I was in the band. I love video games, he may have heard people talking about them once. He has fitness down to a science, and I struggle to pick up the fork filled with cake. To say we are different is an understatement.
I met Brandon during my last day job where I did IT and he provides telecom support – so we were sort of on the same team. He mostly kept to himself, but was easy to get along with from the beginning. I think where we initially clicked was our sense of humor. That’s different too, but in a way that we’ve had more than our share of good laughs. Brandon is also a voracious reader, and while he has no interest in fantasy he purchased a copy of Angst soon after meeting me just to be supportive – because that’s the kind of person he is. Of the things we have in common, the most important is Cristi.
Cristi, my incredible, beautiful, best friend, book team member and spokesmodel is also Brandon’s girlfriend. When they first met, at the same company I worked for, it didn’t take long for Cristi to ask what I know about him. (I mean, who in the world would be interested in a 6’2” weight lifter with a great sense of humor?) So, being the helper that I am, I told her all he did is work out, go to church, and he was hung like my little pinky. (Which is still a joke, because how in the world would I know?) Cristi is a very direct person, so she soon asked about these things. He rolled with my joke like a professional stuntman, and despite my “help”, they’ve been dating for 3 years. You’ve rarely met a couple so perfect, not only do they get each other, they look amazing together. (Damn them both 😉 )
Brandon is a beast, but he’s not the type of weightlifter that makes you feel bad for not being one. It doesn’t come naturally, he works hard at it, and I admire the hell out of what he has accomplished. He’s also the first person to offer advice and guidance in the most gentle way possible. (During a recent round of advice, he politely suggested “lowering my caloric intake” rather than saying “quit boozing and eating so much cake fatty”.) This is where I feel like we’ve really got something in common. Unfortunately, not the amazing body and dedication to fitness (which I find akin to piano playing, I’d love to play incredibly well without taking lessons. I’d love to be built like a superhero without exercising.) I mean that we are both committed to our goals, we both have a passion for something that means a lot to us. I’ve given similar, positive advice to young writers in the same way he helps friends. It’s a goal of mine to be as good at writing as he is at fitness.
The dude also has a big heart. Not only being there for friends, but he has a special need to help animals. Brandon and Cristi have adopted pets, fostered puppies, and donated to animal charities. Recently my wife and I were driving back from a lake trip, and they were close behind. We struck a deer on the way home. Considering the damage done, I had assumed the poor beast was dead. They pulled over to check on us, and then let us know that the doe was still alive and we needed to do something about it. I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly, but thanks to their guidance we called a ranger station to take care of things. It’s callous, but I wouldn’t have thought of that, and should have. Just an example of something I admire about my friend.
Throughout my life, my closest friends have been women, and sometimes their boyfriends end up with a David allergy. (I’m pretty sure it’s because of my amazing body and incredible hair…oh, wait, that’s Brandon.) Cristi and I travel to cons throughout the year, and rather than getting upset at this, he supports what we are trying to do. Brandon has also been to many cons, taking on the thankless job of watching the booth when we are pretending to be famous, or grabbing food for us. In addition, he has shouted out my books on Twitter and Facebook countless times. He has also been invaluable at Cristi’s photo shoots, directing many of her poses while I take pictures.
I know this blog post will embarrass him, but I would be remiss in not acknowledging how important he has been in helping me accomplish what I’m trying to do. Sometimes you need more than a reader, or an editor. Sometimes you need a friend, and he’s become a great one, and that’s why I consider him a part of my team. Happy Birthday, Brandon.