I wanted to take a moment to step back from the book and movie reviews today to express my love for the community of people I’ve met since starting this blog in July 2008. I’m doing this not because anything is changing here but because on Wednesday evening I — many of us — lost one of my great blogging friends, someone who supported me from the beginning in more ways that one.

If you’ve spent much time looking at this site, you know Kevin Peterson, also known as KevinfromCanada. If you go back to my earliest posts, you’ll find comments from him, and he eventually honored me with an invitation to join him on the Shadow Giller Jury, something I’ve done with him each year since 2009. Our friendship has carried on over the years, and he gave me words of encouragement when I decided to uproot my family in 2012 to move back West and to an unknown, insecure future. Those of you who started reading this site more recently may not know him because he has been sick for the last couple of years and hasn’t been able to participate as much, though he still offered encouragement and support with emails.

I had the opportunity to sit down over the last day and put together a post for Kevin’s blog meant to let his readers know that he had passed away (it’s here). In doing that, though it’s been very sad and emotional, I’ve also been lit up with gratitude and happiness. I’ve reached out to many people who knew Kevin, and whom I’m happy to call my friends, even though I’ve never met most in person. We’ve talked a lot over the years, and it was nice to get together virtually to mourn and express love and appreciation for someone who meant a lot to the community.

We are all over the world, and it’s wonderful to come together over our shared passions. By blogging, I have met so many lovely people who enrich my life. Thanks to you all. I love this.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Mookse and the Gripes on Patreon!