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Happy 12th birthday, Ovi!
by Asa Butcher
2016-12-20 10:58:29
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A couple of weeks ago I dragged out the boxes containing our family’s decorations, which didn’t go unnoticed by my two young daughters. In a heartbeat, they were digging out all the baubles, lights and handicrafts made at playschool over the years when my eldest pulled out a stack of Christmas books.

12b02_400“Can we read one tonight, Daddy?” she asked. After giving a vague, non-committal fatherly response, I told her that Thanos and I had once written a Christmas story. In fact, we had written a series of stories based on the adventures of Mika Moose and Matti Magpie.

With a disbelief nurtured over years of teasing and joking, she rolled her eyes and gave me that ‘yeah, right’ look. I grabbed my phone, headed over to Ovi and found “A Mika Moose Xmas: Chapter 1”, which resulted in a flood of memories to come rushing back.

Written in 2006, it really had been a whole decade since I had last checked out our first Mika/Matti story and, without really realising it, I had begun to read the opening chapter out loud to my young audience. Acutely aware that they have read a great deal and have some taste, I was suddenly rather nervous.

I persevered until my eldest daughter giggled. It was followed by a laugh and then finally a “can you read the next chapter?” Thrilled by the response, my ego obliged and we read three consecutive chapters together until my throat needed a hot chocolate, so beloved by Matti.

As the girls continued decorating the tree, I began to reminisce about the creative fun Thanos and I had writing the stories together. Based in part on our personalities, there was such a mutual understanding and warmth between the two of us that the story and dialogue just flowed.

12b01Despite seeing an occasional typo, spotting a plot hole and musing other general story tweaks, it was rather emotional to see our friendship shining so brightly through the words ten years on. I had even forgotten that we had named two of the elves after our daughters - the very inspiration for writing a children’s story.

As Ovi celebrates its 12th anniversary, the website remains a testament to the many challenges the two of us have overcome, as well as the love and friendship we share despite the vast geographic distance between us.

While it appears that I only write birthday editorials for Ovi every even year, it makes sense since Thanos and I remain the quintessential Odd Couple.

Happy 12th birthday, Ovi!

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bohdan2016-12-20 21:24:53
Thank you Asa and Thanos.

We are all grateful for your gift to all of us.

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