As we prepare to bid farewell to 2009, we thought that those of us at Cat! Central would take a few brief moments, in order to share our reflections of this past year and the unimaginable journey that we were all taken on.

The year began with such promise! Each and every day brought with it incredible success and joy. Blake’s seminars were expanding — London, New York, and future events in Europe and beyond — and all that Blake and the team had worked so hard for was being realized. Book Three, which Blake believed was his best, was due to be published in early Fall, and Blake had charged ahead on notes for a fourth installment to the Cat! family. We were developing Save the Cat! University (STCU), our online school for writers, led by Master Cat! Jose with John and Anne assisting, and BJ and Rich quietly worked to keep STC! on target and on message. Bob was engineering our STC! iPhone/iPod Touch App, as well as version 3 of Blake’s favorite software. Consultations were pouring in — our lives were being wholly fulfilled and realized. Cat! Nation was alive and purring! Stories were being written — and they were better than ever!

Then came August 4, 2009, and with this day, an event that none of us could have ever imagined.

Our friend Blake died. Suddenly, and without notice, he was gone.

Our world was shattered. We knew that things would never be the same.

Immediately, our thoughts turned to you — our Cats — who have supported us and cheered us on as much as we have done so for you. We began to spread the sad word — through our new tools at hand, using our sites to message friends and students of our beloved friend and colleague.

On occasion, we would hear from someone who expressed dismay, or even anger, that this heartbreaking news would be distributed in such a manner. It was not done out of a lack of compassion, or consideration — quite the opposite. Having this work to do was a method of survival, a way to buffer the immense grief and shock that was reverberating within each and every one of us – and of course, we knew that we needed to share the news with you, and to provide you with a platform on which you could express your thoughts and memories.

And… it is what Blake would have wanted.

That is what has driven us each and every day since August 4: What Blake would have wanted.

Blake wanted to support writers. He wanted every one to experience the great joys that he did in his career — and he wanted to pass his knowledge on to help writers during challenging times, as he had experienced those as well. He wanted to embrace technology, and help others to master the technologies that have made their way into the industry. He wanted his business to thrive; he wanted happiness and success — for self and for others. He wanted joy – and love.

And so, as we press on through the last day of the year, this is what we at Cat! Central are committed to do – to continue on with our mission of helping writers of all disciplines to tell more resonant stories. We want to hear your voices; we want to help you roar. We want to get you as excited about your beats as you can possibly be, to truly find the fun within the laborious writing process, for as Blake said, “Most of all, you must try to find the fun in everything you write. Because having fun lets you know you’re on the right track.”

You said it, Blake.

Every New Year, it is a tradition in many parts of the world to toast the old and bring in the new with the words of Robert Burns. His poem, “Auld Lang Syne” harkens to the days passed, the good old days, that we hope are not forever behind us:

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.”

So, to each and every one of you — Happy New Year. Join us as we raise our glass to our auld acquaintance who will never be forgot — and who will continue to live on in our work, our words, and our hearts and souls. Blake was a cup of kindness to us all — and as we turn our eyes towards the future, we celebrate our auld lang syne with him… and look forward to great new adventures within our world of Cats.

That is what Blake would have wanted.