One of my favorite birthday cards ever, Tortenwurfmaschine by Gerhard Gluck
Somewhere along about 2005 or so, I received an e-mail from someone who was reading my Sanctuary series. Another 'Phile, a mutual friend, had recced it to her, and my new reader wanted me to know she was really enjoying it. I'd long since lost my way within the XF fic project I'd been trying to write, the show had been off the air for several years, and I frankly despaired of ever maintaining the 'umph' it would take to make it to the Sanctuary sequel as I'd originally planned. But this reader, who turned out to be sinkwriter, started sending me feedback on what she was reading. And not just ordinary feedback, but pages and pages on each chapter. We got into cool, in-depth discussions about characters, their arcs, etc. and soon my creative cauldron had refilled sufficiently that I was able to work on an edit of the story that I'd planned on doing for quite some time. If it weren't for sinkwriter, fic would be a shrinking image in my rear view mirror by now, and I wouldn't be--finally--working away on the fic project that's been floating around in my head for the last dozen years.
Of course, as often happens within fandoms, e-mail discussions about fannish things soon give way to more personal topics, and in the intervening years sinkwriter and I have become fast friends. She's gone through some difficult RL times these past few years, but it's been inspirational to see her hang in there and bounce back. And be the cheery, helpful, observant and intelligent person that she is. Happy Birthday, Sherry. Here's to a year of inspiration, new horizons and joy. Nobody deserves it more. :-)