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Paul Blacketer

Paul Blacketer

Paul M. Blacketer has been trying to write a novel for over a decade. He finally finished one.

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About the author

I've been writing literary fiction through fantasy and science fiction on top of poems and shorts for over ten years. I've just finished my first full length novel.

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Success! A Man Dies has already sold 28 pre-orders , was pitched to 18 publishers , and is in discussions with publishers .

$20 Signed Book and a Party!

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There will be a launch party in Spokane when the book drops. If you have a book, you are invited. you get a copy signed using my real hand and you get to drink alcohol (or soda) with me, the author of this sad, brilliant book.

1 copy + ebook included

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$30 Signed Copy and E-Book

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Paper books are great and so are E-Books. You can read those things on your phone! That's crazy right? Support the book and get both. I'll think you're cool and that pretty girl/boy you've had a crush on will too. I promise.

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$40 Bonus book

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Remember that super cute boy or girl that you totally have a crush on? Buy this package and get not one but two books sent to you. This book is about love and tragedy, folks. Perfect for kindling that romantic tingle.

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$60 Three books are better than two.

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We all want this book out there. We need this book in the hands of anyone who can read. Plus, finding gifts is dumb and boring. Get three books with discounted shipping, I'l sign them all and you can use two of those mammajammas as gifts for your friends and family.

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$200 Books Galore and Sponsor

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Get 10 whole books! Enough for a book club or a classroom reading. Get 10 signed copies sent to your door when the book goes to print. You'll also be mentioned as a sponsor of the book and your name will be lovingly printed inside the book.

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$400 Sponsorship and a heap of books

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I'll list your praise in the book and you will get 20 books to give, gift or sell in-store. You will be sponsoring a first time novelist on his way to having his book delivered to readers and you will be helping me directly. The internet is a beautiful thing.

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$1000 The Big Sheebang.

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Fifty books. Fifty books is a lot of books. Fifty signed books. You will earn sponsorship as an early adopter and be printed in the book with love and admiration. This is way more than I could ever ask for but it would mean the book is out to man reader's eyes.

50 copies + ebook included

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A Man Dies

A man's wife of forty years is taken by an abrupt cancer. When he is diagnosed with the same ailment and given weeks to live, he leaves their home behind and heads towards the island that they had set to retire on. He will do whatever it takes on his romantic and delusional quest to die on his own terms.

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Literary Fiction
45,000 words
100% complete
7 publishers interested


I've been writing for years but no manuscript seemed to be able to live to fruition. This book, A Man Dies, survived the fires of my inner critic and I believe I have created something truly deep and moving. Although I've written about a man many years my senior and his struggles, the story is filled with bits of my own life and experiences. Anyone who has lost a loved one or lost love will feel a piece of themselves in the book. But, it is not a dreary story of loss but the story of a quest of man versus the world and a disease that is devouring him from the inside out. I've always loved the Hero's Journey and I've captured a sense of fantasy adventure in a style of literary fiction. It is an intense, suspenseful, and sorrowing read that people will eat up.


I've roughly outline the book here. I've finished the first draft of the actual book and am currently working on editing.

The book begins with the funeral of Burt's wife Kay. He's lived nearly his entire adult life with her and he is grieving heavily, numbing himself how he can. He soon discovers that he is afflicted with the same disease that took Kay and he is given only weeks to live.

Burt doesn't want to die alone in the house him and his wife had made. They had always planned to move to, retire, and then die on an island in the pacific in a bungalow at the foot of a great volcano. Burt takes it upon himself to make it back to the island before the cancer takes him. He packs what cash and food he has in the house in a backpack, tucks a .38 revolver with one bullet in his jeans and drives towards the coast.

Along the way his old car dies and he is forced to hitchhike. He is picked up by a young woman on her way to win back her ex boyfriend. At the crossroads Burt departs from the young girl having lent her some of his old wisdom on love.

Burt is confronted with fits of coughing as the cancer spreads and grows. He sleeps off the pain and wakes to find his belongings gone, stolen as he slept.
He is left with his clothes and the single shell in his gun.

He walks and walks through fields and desert. He walks with a drifter under the blinding sun and his ravaged lungs are soothed by the man's smoke that he shares.
He wanders through a town and meets a pregnant woman and her little girl while he steals food from a hotel's continental breakfast. Everyone he meets seems to remind him of Kay.

Eventually he makes it to the sea but with no way to cross the vast expanse to the islands . The cancer spreads and his delusions increase and he begins to see Kay more in his dreams. He sleeps on a beach and wakes to a cargo ship pulling into port further down the shoreline.

He is turned away by the surly, horrible crew chief of the ship when he asks for transport to the island. With help from a agitated crewman Burt sneaks aboard the ship and is able to stow away in a secret compartment in the lower hold.
Hiding in the dark hold he meets Nellis, a strong, mammoth, viking of a man with the soul of the Buddha. Nellis takes care of Burt in his failing health and helps to hide him in the ship as it crosses the ocean.
Nellis tells Burt of his own loss and the tragedies that lead him to live on the sea, a peaceful nihilist on the waves.

Upon being discovered by the angry crew chief, Burt, alone must face the sadistic man who promises to either arrest him or feed him to the creatures of the sea that follow the boat. Through reflex, and the will to live just a bit longer, Burt evades capture and with help from Nellis leaves the boat in one piece. Albeit a piece that is beginning to disintegrate.

With spreading fire in his lungs and a shattered rib, Burt struggles towards the Volcano that now looms in the distance. He feels death encroaching ever closer.

He begins to imagine her more and even see her, corporeal and before his waking eyes. Before he makes it to the foot of the fiery mountain he is subdued by the island police and filled full of bullet holes. He awakes far away from the volcano and near death. At the precipice, he falls into the light and is taken even further away from the volcano, away from the island and away from anything he's known. Through the interference of other-worldly beings, Burt is sent back to the hospital where he awakens in the morgue, cold and bandaged.

He manages to find his pistol again and escape the hospital. On the roof of the hospital he can see the volcano in the dark distance on the other side of the island but he can feel himself fading fast. A helicopter lands to discharge a patient to the hospital and Burt takes the opportunity to take the pilot hostage and commandeer the craft. He flies towards the volcano, his final destination, ready to die and without ammunition.


I wrote a book that I would read and I am a 28 year old male. The themes and action are something that I think most people, men and woman from 18-35 will have a lot of fun and tears reading. I feel that a lot of media right now is saturated with superfluous material and I created a story line that stays engaging without pomp or needless droning.


I will be marketing strongly through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with any other social media routes are open. I am planning a release event with local bars in the downtown area with support from business owners and Terrain Art Collaborative. I plan to share and introduce my work with as many people as possible, hoping for an exponential boost in tangible readers and customers.


The Return Of The King - Tolkien -
It is dark and there is a volcano at the end. My story doesn't have monsters our hero must battle but it does get bloody and it is psychologically more engaging.

Women - Charles Bukowski -
He's one of my favorite authors. In a way I've tried to structure like he did. Loose but strong and engaging. A Man Dies keeps the pace up and the moments heavy with an emphasis on flashbacks and visions.

The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks -
Lost love. A book that sucks the tears from one's eyes. A Man Dies is part Romance part Adventure. It drags you down into the depths of despair but lifts you up with a greater sense of what love really is.

Survivor - Chuck Palahniuk -
It is about a man killing himself. It is from a different perspective but it is also the direction of my story. Less recounting, more journey.

The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
A story of unconventional love in sci-fi sense. In A Man Dies conventional love becomes desperate and delusional as a man loves memories, visions and eventually manifestations.

7 publishers interested
Entrada Publishing logo Entrada Publishing

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Mortified Books logo Mortified Books

At Mortified Books, our authors get to keep a whopping 85% of the royalties received from book sales. Why do we do this? Because, as the author of the work in question, you deserve the lion's share of the pie. After all, you created the product that we will package and present to the world.

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ShieldCrest Publishing logo ShieldCrest Publishing

ShieldCrest are book publishers based in the UK who fill that vital gap for talented authors where mainstream publishers are unwilling to give them that chance. We strive for excellence and invest in our authors and are listed in FreeIndex as the number one independent publisher in the UK for price quality and service rated author satisfaction. We publish books of all genres including; fiction, historical, biographies and children's books.

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Chapter 1



It was a gorgeous day for a funeral and Burt was the kind of man that could appreciate that. Kay would've loved it. Only the funeral home director, himself and several pallbearers from the moved with her casket. No one else bothered to be there because Burt hadn't bothered to invite anyone. The director was there only because he had insisted and the pallbearers were groundskeepers who took cash to help with the box, With his shoulder he was next to useless in the movement of Kay towards internment so he walked behind the procession of younger, stronger men through the verdant grounds towards her plot and her stone. He smoked a cigarette with his good arm and rolled his bad shoulder listening to the clicks and the grinding of the pitted bone in the worn cartilage. He imagined Kay thrashing, angry in the lacquered and wood box. She hated him smoking and he had quit the day she said she loved him. Secondly to that she hated the sound of his shoulder cracking and popping in the old joint, cringing whenever the clicking became audible to her. He smiled behind his thick sun shades and ashed behind the procession and thought how beautiful she had been when she was mad at him. He had asked for no priest, only a silent walk to the end. After Kay's parents and grandparents had passed the family had no more place for religion for which they had both been very glad. It seemed leagues more peaceful to see the love of his life lowered into the earth with only the sound of men struggling under the weight of an obnoxious, shining box than the ideological droning of the cloth. She'd always said she wanted a casket far too obnoxious for a non-secular woman to have, one that was could still be a pain in the ass for people after she had died. With grunts and a thud, the casket met the soft dirt and rested, groaning under the weight of walnut and brass and pillowed satin. The men wiped sweat from their brows and necks waiting for their boss to return to the home after the first shovel of dirt fell atop the casket and then they smoked with Burt, taking turns on the shovel.

"One of you guys has a flask in his breast pocket, I just know it. Don't let a sad old man be sober at a time like this." He said to none of the men in particular, eyes fixed on the hole that had just swallowed the woman of his dreams.

The biggest man who wore a gruff beard and a faded blazer taken from the closet of the director pulled the silver rectangle from his jacket and another man passed it across to him. Whiskey hit his lips and stung in the cracks of his dry lips. It was perfect. It was cheap, sweet and disgusting. Perfect. Smoking, drinking and fussing with his shoulder? He hadn't tried to be callous and mean with it, but it felt better knowing that maybe, just somehow he was making her mad from across planes of existence.Her eyebrows bent into angry swooshes and her little lips pursed. He sipped the liquid fire the silver tin and winced as it burned his raw throat and pictured Kay shouting from some celestial plane, eyes ablaze.

"You donkey! You stubborn stupid mule! At my own funeral? How dare you Burtram Wallace Garlick. Why did it have to be me dying before you, you bastard?" She would be saying through gritted teeth in a cruel smile. But her eyes weren't mad, they were shining and she would be aching to slap him across his cheek. No matter how mad she had gotten at him or how hard she had smacked a smile off his face, she had always grabbed him by the back of his neck, the scruff of his hair and stuck her tongue in his mouth. The thought of her lips were what did it, or maybe the whiskey, or the cigarettes, or the complete lack of sleep, something, probably everything did it. He cried silently but visibly, shaking and heaving his shoulders up and down above the dark grave. A man with blue tattoos on his fingers put a hand on his shoulder and another hand offered him a different flask.

"This'uns got better whiskey than Bryan's swill. Drink it ol' man, we got you." A voice said behind a cloud of thick tobacco. Burt pressed the narrow screw-top to his lips and drank heavy of the sweet ambrosia from Kentucky. The man with the tattoos drove him home and he woke up in bed, the front door wide open, sunlight pouring in, and the reek of cigarettes permeating the room.


He hadn't drank anything but wine in years and his tolerance had obviously faded for the caramel devil. The house was dead quiet save for the wind chimes Kay had made from shells and drift wood. Normally it had been a very calming sound but this morning it was like a wood-chipper shredding saplings in the living room. Burt wobbled upright and slapped a hand over his eyes with a crack. There was a sharp pain and a clattering on the floor and he realized that he still wore the thick sun shades from the previous day and now they lay in pieces on the floor. He groaned and moved to the porch. His keys still hung in the front door's lock, listlessly dangling in the early morning breeze. He fished them from the lock and unhooked the mobile of sea shells from the porch rafter and set them gently on a sun chair.

The house had seemed increasingly pointless over the years. After both their sets of parents had passed, they rarely had guests. With few friends to entertain they had rooms that sat dark most of the year and their nieces and nephews found their quiet house incredibly boring. Kay and Burt never procreated, much to the chagrin of all of the Garlicks and Wilbursons. They enjoyed each other's company and the spontaneity that a lack of children afforded them. They camped on the random weekend, driving hours in any direction just to get away from lights and people and the top hits of today. They drank wine until four in the morning and danced on the back patio with the record player perched precariously close to the edge of the hot tub that they easily afforded. They strolled naked about the house without fear of being caught and fucked on the rug in the middle of the day, laughing and tossing each other across the soft carpet.

Burt shuffled back into the living room and closed the door as quietly as he could behind him. It was still too loud. He left the house dark and quiet and dropped heavily into his arm chair by the bay window at the front of the house. The window oversaw the front yard in its entirety. The big Elm they planted when they bought the place stood tall and strong against the breeze of the day, gesticulating green spires up and out of sight. Underneath the bows, the cement bird bath stood empty with cherubic angels hanging from the sides in eternal splendor. A lone sparrow perched on the edge eyed the empty bowl, tilting its head side to side in confusion. The fountain in the corner of the yard gurgled and sputtered water from the top of the stacked stones, water tumbling and plopping over the cascading tiers into the pond below.

Bert's eyes did not leave the gurgling fountain. They couldn't. His hungover eyes were too dry to cry. The water bubbled and fell down the face of the cool stones and he imagined it running down his face in the stead of tears, cooling and calming. The sound of the lapping pond grew in the silent house until the room was filled with the roar of the sea. Waves lapped and crashed at the edges of volcanic rock and black sand, white foam piling in little mounds along the black. He remembered the pebbles under his feet, small and perfectly round and cooled by the sea and mingling between his toes. He felt the warmth of the Hawaiian sun on his back as they walked hand and hand towards the jungle at the base of the mountain, the looming, black volcano whose head tried to cut the clouds. They had hiked to the lip of the volcano, starting in the morning and making the summit before the sunset. They managed to find a spot where they could sit and hang their legs over the edge of the crater while, hundreds of feet below, the throbbing mass of molten earth buckled and boiled beneath them. The warmth licked at their bare feet even from such a great distance.

"You know if you jumped in, you would just explode. Just ''pop' and gone. I saw a video once of a man throwing meat in there" Kay had whispered into his ear on the edge of the pit.

"It would definitely be the cleanest way to off yourself." He answered matter-of-factly.

"There's no better way, I mean, unless you could hurl yourself into space, but you never know. You might smack into an alien spaceship or something. Then they gotta deal with the desperate idiot smeared across their windshield."

"Well I guess there is that. With the volcano you stand little to no chance of offending any aliens."

"Little to none."

He had always felt like the funniest man on Earth with Kay. She laughed at everything. Everything he said anyway. It was probably why he had never bothered spending time with friends or making new ones. He had a captive and enthralled audience at all times. She laughed, kicking her heels against the side of the caldera and Burt laughed at her laughter, at his astounding luck of marrying this creature, and the absurd beauty of her face laughing.

He awoke with a start in the chair still facing the fountain, the dream's smile still stuck across his mouth. The startle jolted him and his back tensed, his eyes grew wide and his throat constricted like someone was choking him with invisible hands. He lurched forward, unable to breath and felt a grinding churn behind his ribs in his lungs like a pound of sawdust swirling in his chest. He heaved a cough like hot ash spilling onto the floor, then another, then another until he was on the ground writhing in gravely, spastic coughs. It seemed to go on forever. He pitched and yawed and his abdominal muscles bound up like a baker squeezing out her cheese cloth. Sweat beaded over his head and ran into his eyes and the carpet. His eyes stung and his throat felt as if it was about to catch fire and he would crumble into embers on the living room rug. He hoped for the sweet release of a fiery death on the floor. He passed out. He came to and the house was darker and even more still. Night had fallen as he lay on the sweat soaked carpet. In the dark, on wobbly legs, he stumbled to the bathroom and flicked on the lights. The man in the mirror wore the same shirt he had passed out in, only the front was speckled with dark spots of blood. His beard wore the same flecks and his lips were matte with cracking, dry blood. He remembered then the same look that Kay had worn when, after her first coughing fit, she ran to him from the bathroom, her white shirt dotted with blood, crying. He nodded at his reflection in the mirror, as if he had expected this happening. He knew.

Chapter 10

The bugs were monstrous. They buzzed in squadrons around his head and seeker out any exposed flesh for blood. He swatted at first but gave up quickly. How much blood could they really drain between here and there? Soon he wouldn't need the damned stuff anyway. He watched the tiny wraiths land and bite, land and bite but they flew away quickly, unsatisfied with the thick blood of the walking dead. But still, they bit and bit. Burt was beyond pain, beyond agony at the foot of his grave and could think only of her as he walked. He could almost see Kay smiling as she always did, wearing the cream dress she always wore warm and alive like she'd always been. He could almost see her. He came to a break in the jungle, to a clearing, and then he could see her. In the middle of the small space between the trees she stood wearing her favorite dress, the one she had on when they went to the hospital. The wind moved the dress gently around her smooth, olive legs and even from the distance he could see the goosebumps surrounding the thin straps that hung on her shoulders. He walked slowly to meet her, his heart pounding hard the sludge that his blood was becoming and then he stood directly in front of her, breathless. She wasn't sick. She wasn't a ghost. The bugs were a cacophony in the trees like a tiny string section on methamphetamine.


She was silent but motioned with her hand to come closer. He stood inches away from her, staring into her eyes as he had for an exact total of ninety one days and twenty nine minutes. She lifted a hand and placed it on his cheek and He cold feel the palm of her hand on his days worth of stubble. she traced her finger along the edge of his jaw and hooked under his chin with her pointer finger drawing his lips onto hers. She pressed into his. She stopped and bent his head down, and kissed his forehead.

"You're really warm, babe. I think you might be coming down with something." She brought his head into her chest and held him there. He heard the fat teardrops fall onto her chest and she laughed softly in his ear.

"I know you're not really here. You're not really here are you?" He asked, mouth pressed into her neck.

"Come here and let me take care of you." She whispered. He felt the hot, wetness of her breath on his neck. They held each other fiercely and the tears thudded on the skin of her chest and then, there was nothing to hang onto any longer. Burt fell forward and dropped hard onto his knees. Pain shot up through his legs and rattled up his spine. The shot through the split in his rib bone like a shot and he howled. The bugs went quiet and the world went quiet and he wretched onto the ground orange juice and bile and black. Through his bleary, tear filled eyes he saw an empty field with the tree line on the other side and standing among the trees a familiar shape. Not Kay, but the shape of the man he had killed at sea whose body now drifted on unnamed currents and was being nibbled by unseen fish. He saw the slits-for-eyes staring and then the thing turned and walked into the trees and was gone.He wheezed on the ground for a long time and his body screamed in pain but worse was the feeling in his heart that he'd been fooled, mislead by something that looked like his wife.

"I'm not losing it. I'm not losing it." We whispered to himself with his face in the tall grass of the field.

"I'm just tired. Very tired and sick. I'm tired and sick but I'm close now. Only a short hike and then I can rest." He stopped when he heard a sound come from behind, where he had entered the clearing. The bugs had kept their silence in the opening and field was still. Then, he heard the sound again. The thick stalk of a fallen palm frond cracked under a hard boot in the forest behind him and then an electronic crackling buzz and a telltale beeping of a police radio. The sounds of police chatter moved closer to the clearing. Burt eyed the volcano and began to crawl on hands and knees towards the black mountain. His lungs burned. His chest thudded with pain and his shoulder joint was full of bone shards. He held back his coughing as he crawled, too afraid to make any sound but it was like holding hot ashes in his lungs. The world became fuzzy and blurry. The stalks of grass wavered on the sides of his vision blurry and losing color as he crawled. He felt like he was under water beneath the grass and he couldn’t breath. He gasped but no air went in his lungs. He struggled to his feet, surging with full bodied pain. He reached for the inhaler in his back pocket. His hands felt like wet oven mitts as he groped for the medicine. His hand came back with the pistol instead and he looked at the useless thing, dumbfounded. There was shouting from a ways off and dazzling lights waved back and forth about the tops of the tall grass. His body begged for air, for repose, for a bullet in the gun but their was only pain and the shouting and the lights. He wobbled like a marionette with a drunk puppet master at the strings and he tried to figure out the cause of the shouting and the lights. He was still under water . He waved. The gun was still in his hand. Two different lights flashed for half a moment and two solid things impacted his belly. Then two reports echoed loudly through the fathoms from the barrels of two policemen's revolvers. Burt felt like he should be falling down, like he should be feeling pain. He looked down at the two small holes in his blue shirt they were rimmed with dark red and oozing with little tails of smoke wafting out. He was filled with a strange energy. He felt the pain from the different quarters of his body leaking out like a gas through the holes in his stomach. He felt giddy and springy. He was animalistic. He turned and was off in a sprint towards the black mountain with a wicked smile on his face. The shouting started louder and there was a rapid chopping sound overhead. Helicopter blades slapping the air. He didn't feel the grass whipping across his legs and chest, running at full speed. He didn't feel his toes catching rocks and his toenails shattering in his soft shoes or feel the tree branches snapping across his chest as he broke the tree line. He didn't feel the third bullet pierce his back just below the shoulder, spin and drill through his chest and leave through his front just below his heart. The black mountain's feet were nearly his and if the trees wouldn't have been there he could've seen its peak stuck in the clouds above as he fell to the wooded ground. He smacked his head on something hard and the energy left. All the pain came back at once and it was like someone slamming a safe door on his hand. He gave a very small scream and then it was all black.

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  • Kori Henderson
    on Oct. 18, 2016, 2:23 a.m.

    You are the sexiest local author of this book that I've ever met.

  • Andy Hoffman
    on Oct. 18, 2016, 2:25 a.m.

    It's finally happening and I get to touch the books with my fingers!!!! I love to touch books. Good job, Paul, you will help me fulfill my book touching fantasy, finally.

  • Guy Vincent
    on Oct. 18, 2016, 1:39 p.m.

    Love the trailer Paul! Congrats on finishing the writing part, now onto the promotion part :)

  • Maria Hay
    on Oct. 19, 2016, 5:39 p.m.

    Congrats Paul! We are all so proud of you. Especially your Grandma! I can't wait to read it! Good luck on your next one.

  • Kyle Sullivan
    on Nov. 3, 2016, 6:45 p.m.

    Not only am I proud of you Paul, but I'm incredibly excited to read your book! Someone as talented and kind as youself, deserves nothing but the best of success. Love ya buddy