It's been a long week, and I'm feeling a little blue. A good friend's father is back in the hospital--again. This is the latest in a series of health scares, emergency rooms and in-patient stays. Of long days waiting for the results of tests, and of fast food meals while running to or from the hospital.
As I was thinking about my friend, it occurred to me that I've never seen her face. You see, we met online in a writing class almost exactly two years ago. She lives in California, and I live in Texas. But we've developed a strong bond that I cherish.
That particular online class was just magic. When it ended, no one wanted to walk away. Twenty-five of us decided to form our own online support group. Using Yahoo groups, we became The Brazen Hussies. It would be many months before I recognized that moment for the blessing it was.
From that small beginning, some warm and deep friendships have developed. We "talk" to each other on line (both in the group and individually) nearly every day. And I've actually talked on the phone to one or two of them as well.
Writing is a lonely business. Of necessity, it's done by yourself--even when you have a writing partner. When you surface from your manuscript, it helps to have someone with whom you can talk about the day's work.
Over the last two years, I've come to rely on my writing friends for support, encouragement, advice, and sometimes just an ear to listen. I've celebrated their successes and mourned their momentary setbacks with them, and they have offered the same gifts to me.
I've talked in this blog about the need to find critique partners and the need to find professional groups. It's also very important to find writer friends. People with whom you can share your fears, your hopes and your rejection letters. People who will understand. My loved ones try to understand, but they just can't. Even the brother who is a columnist doesn't really understand.
On this day when my friend Marie is once again struggling to care for her father, I send love and thanks and prayers her way. Take care, my friend.