The third issue of this ezine coincides with the three year anniversary of Winterwind.

I just got in from Budapest. Leaving was a last minute decision.

So was this issue.

Magnus wrote a Christmas piece but forgot to email it before going home for the Holidays.

For Damien, there's been work, family, Christmas and... he and his wife celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary on the 21st. Congrats!

So, over the past few days, I've sat here throwing this together.

It's my "Purging the Poison" issue.

(Excuse the graphics. I suck.)

The first two years here alternated between fun and frustrating.

This past year or so has been really fucking strange.

Winterwind came from IPLY/BIS, started by amatuer writers and artists and happened to play a few games here and there.

Something people didn't get it.

The gamers didn't care about the arts, the artists didn't care much about gaming and the fence was straddled for too long.

(And about 3/4 of the team were lazy or neurotic but that's just life.)

The past year... let's talk about that.

Suffice to say I've spent the past 14 months making a complete ass of myself publicly.

Because a woman visits the site and forums, almost every day, watching me. But she won't talk to me.

Well, I'm done with that.

Recently, I'd wondered why I bother keeping Winterwind around. One of our forum regulars, dousi, said forget everyone else and do it for myself.

That's why this issue is here. Just to do it because I said I would.

But moving forward, online or in real life, there's no room for people who waste my time and can't be honest.

And I'm done writing the "heart on my sleeve", soul searching pieces. There was a method to my madness. But when the ends don't justify the means...

I've put together some bits from the ill-fated crpg 1888, some silly spam in the form of hiakus from various forum members and a travel column

I also wrote a quick editorial about a news story that really annoyed me while I was in Europe.

My apologies for the lack of pics from Budapest. Most were left behind on Susie's computer. She says she'll send them. She lies.

Peace.

Joseph Avery-North