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Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Celebrabrations and Shoutouts | 11 comments

A Belated 1st Birthday Celebration–Shoutouts and Stuff

A Belated 1st Birthday Celebration–Shoutouts and Stuff


I am an absent-minded guy. I have trouble remembering important dates, like birthdays and stuff. I have trouble remembering my own birthday.

I also, apparently, have trouble remembering the birthday of my own blog. And so July 25th came and went without me doing a single thing to celebrate the fact that it had been one whole year since I started this bloggy thingy.

So as a belated birthday celebration, I’d like to just do this thing where I talk about all the people who have helped me a ton with my writing and my blog in the last several years. And maybe gush a little bit, because you guys are fantastic and deserve it. 

DANIEL and CARROL SCHWABAUER. Not only did they start the writing curriculum through which I finished my first novel and met most of the writing buddies I have today, they are wonderful friends and some of the most supportive and loving people I know.

K.M. WEILAND, who wrote the book that made me realize I wanted to write fiction for the rest of my life. (Still one of my favorite stories.) She edited my first short story, my first novel, and continues to read and comment on my blog even though I am a terrible friend and never comment on hers. Dare I say that I wouldn’t be writing novels today if it wasn’t for this awesome lady? Quite possibly.

DANIEL BEALS, who was my first writing pal and with whom I have had many explosive brainstorms. Also the man that got me into One Year Adventure Novel, which changed my life as a procrastinating fifteen-year-old.

MY MOTHER, who birthed me and stuff, which is kind of important. But not only did she fulfill that basic requirement, she has been my biggest fan ever since Jery Rat Kild the Monster. She’s been a constant encouragement, a reminder to always strive for the best, and one of my closest friends. I pretty much owe everything to her. Love ya, Mom.

MY FATHER, who I suppose must be credited in some part for my existence too. Those long storytelling sessions on the trampoline were my first encounters with the joys of the plot twist. The characters were talking raindrops and ostriches named Ollie, and they usually ended up dying in the end, which might account a little for my love of the bittersweet ending. Now he’s my best friend, loyal counselor, and calm listener who is always game to offer a few brainstorming ideas when I’m stuck on a story.

RACHEL GARNER, who is one of the best writers I know, and has put more red pen to my writing than just about anyone over the last five years. Many is the occasion she has received a story or chapter or blog post along with the desperate plea of I NEED YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS BY TOMORROW BECAUSE THERE’S A DEADLINE AND I TOTALLY FORGOT and she’s handled it like a pro.

GABRIELLE SCHWABAUER and KYLE DE WALL, because I’ve never had so much fun in a critique group, or laughed so hard at my own bad writing. The Confessor owes a lot to these two.

JOSIAH JOST, for helping this poor aesthetics-challenged writer with enigmatic stuff like colors and font and logos.

DANI FISHER, for getting me into poetry and reminding me that sunsets are things to be chased.

CAIT SPIVEY, for being awesome after I accidentally won that drawing and had to frantically throw together a sample query to go with my three oh-so-not-ready chapters. I was freaking-out scared to send that email, but her reply was one of the most encouraging and inspiring things that happened to me this year. She was super nice, gave some fantastic pointers, and helped pull me out of a major creative slump.

DARLA KILHOFFER for being The Nephilim Project’s first fan, back in the days when YCPs walked the earth, and for still believing in it.

AMY VANDERVEER for being The Nephilim Project’s second fan. And still believing in it even though I will probably never do anything with that sad little story again.



And ALL YOU GUYS who have kept up with my blog for its fledgling year. Thanks for the comments, the emails, the retweets, and all that good stuff. I’ve met some really cool people along my blogging adventure, and I hope someday to meet all of you in person.


This has been really fun, guys! Here’s hoping The Storymonger keeps mongering for many more years to come.


photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw via photopin cc


  1. Good job sticking with it, Braden. 🙂 Thanks for all the funny little posts.

  2. Thank you, Braden for being teachable and giving credit to those who have helped you along the way. I see you paying it forward in so many ways and it does my heart good. I am also astonished at your writing gifts which have far surpassed my own. I want to wholeheartedly thank the Schwaubauers and Katie Weiland for filling the gaps I was ill-equipped to fill. You have impacted Braden’s life in ways I can not begin to describe. Thank you to his dear friends and supporters for encouraging him in his writing endeavors. Here’s to another year (or 6months….considering you inherited your mother’s forgetfulness regarding dates and deadlines!)

  3. Thanks, Braden. I am truly touched! But I have zero doubt you would have found your way to writing like an arrow to a bull’s eye. You were meant for it!

  4. Haha I just had my blogs one year anniversary this week too. 🙂 Congrats and keep up the good blogging!

  5. Congrats on the first year of your blog, Braden! Your blog has been such a blessing to me, and so have your videos. To many more years to come! 😀

    Oh, and I’ll be doing OYAN sometime this school-year or the next, so I’ll be an OYANER soon. 😉

  6. Thank YOU for the willingness to commit to posting every week for us! I look forward to it every time, and have learned so much. I’ve also had quite a few laughs, especially in moments I didn’t really think I’d be laughing in. So thanks for all you do. 🙂
    -Fellow OYANER

  7. My I just say that this blog has been sooo helpful. My characters have been improved, created, and perfected by you’re advice. I hope this blog will go on for many many more years.

    Speaking of characters, the song ‘Mission 11’ from Andries De Haan sounds like the theme song for Gil Grey. Sorry I’m a huge fan of ‘The Confessor’.

  8. I have truly enjoyed this year! All of your articles have been great and the only frustrating part was when you left for like months to finish your book :p

  9. Wow, I didn’t know that you had been blogging for only one and a half years! I thought you were a veteran blogger. I always enjoy reading your blog posts (even though I might not get around to reading them until a few days later).

  10. Congrats on the Anniversary! I originally found your blog a few months back, by way of a friend, and fellow OYANer, Emily Tjaden over at Being the absent minded writer that I am, I following a lot of different people, but wind up never finding time to read more than a few of them. I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that your blog is one of those few “Make time to read” ones! From one OYANer to another, “Keep up the good work!”

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