It's only been two weeks officially, but I already feel like I've been draped over this website-shaped bar for my whole life. And hey, *hic*, I've only known you for ten minutes, but you're already my bestest friend in the whole wide world.

Friends. In the real world, a beautiful thing; on the internet, a bookmark, a way of saying, "hi, you seem interesting and I wouldn't mind getting to know you better." It must remind all of you of being ten again, where everyone was your friend because they smiled at you or looked your way or had cool shoes.

I've been making a point of sending friend requests to everyone on here. Since I'm hosting this party, I see it as a way of welcoming everyone in when they knock on the door. 185 members and rising (I wonder if it'll hit 200 while I sleep) means I won't be able to come round and get to know every one of you, at least not to begin with. And although I've been doing a decent job, I haven't been able to fill all drink requests. Feel free to load up photos with the tag word 'drinks', if the mood hits.

The biggest surprise visit for the week, for me, was Ken Bruen. He dropped in like the Godfather of the crime writing world and flattered me no end with his very first post. I live in an ever increasing fear of what this Mick may be scheming, but it was truly a great thing to have him drop by. It's not often that one of your favourite authors refers to you by name. I was this close to actually blushing.

Thank you so much to everyone that's joined up thus far, and a special thanks to those who've dropped by my chat wall and gushed about the site. Very much appreciated. As Tom Waits would say, "I love you all. Individually, and as a group."

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Comment by Daniel Hatadi on March 23, 2007 at 6:57am
There's a lot of love around here...
Comment by M.G. Tarquini on March 23, 2007 at 1:34am
You're totally cool, Daniel. And I'm proud to count you among my 185 and rising friends.

Sorry. Can't talk much about all the love. The salt from my tears corrodes my keyboard.
Comment by Merrill Young on March 20, 2007 at 3:05pm
Well, Daniel it IS a lot of fun.
But there is something that vaguely reminds me of speed dating(the concept. Not that I would actually know, or anything)
Just the - "Alright, you have five seconds to-

a)say something witty
b)say something intelligent.........

GO! "
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on March 20, 2007 at 1:46pm
Mary, I'm hoping to attract all lovers of crime fiction. Glad you like the place, and hope you have plenty of fun with it.
Comment by Mary Reagan on March 20, 2007 at 3:28am
I think this is a great idea. I did a MySpace page, but I don't spend much time there. Never felt the connection. But this site is a different story, even if I'm not a writer.
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on March 19, 2007 at 12:42pm
I always thought Blundstones were a bit like fists without fingers. I'm a Doc Martens man myself. So unpatriotic, hey?

Stubbornness? What else could you expect from a Taurean born in the year of the Ox?
Comment by Karen from AustCrime on March 19, 2007 at 12:39pm

We have to wear SHOES

Blundstones rule around here mate

(But well done incidentally - setting up something like this requires a bit of dedication and a lot of sheer stubbornness :) )
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on March 19, 2007 at 12:29pm
Thanks everyone. Glad you've all found a home where you feel like you belong (and yes, none of us care what shoes you wear).

Oops, almost forgot.

*throws shoe at Sandra*
Comment by J.D. Rhoades on March 19, 2007 at 12:21pm
Thank you, Daniel.
Comment by Anne Frasier on March 19, 2007 at 6:07am
i'm proud of you, daniel!

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