Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Here's to you! by Diane Perkins

Today I am going to tea with my friends, Julie, Lavinia, and Mary (Mary Blayney -- see her “Poppy’s Coin” in JD Robb’s April 2006 anthology, Bump in the Night), a Christmas tradition. Last Saturday, I had lunch with Julie (again), Helen, and Virginia, more writing friends, the ladies to whom I dedicated my first book. And after Christmas when it isn’t so hectic, I’ll have lunch with Lisa, Darlene (Darlene Gardner, Million to One, Dec 2005) and Karen (Karen Anders, Give Me Fever, Dec 2005). How lucky I am!

One unexpected benefit to writing Romance has been the friends I’ve made. At this time of year when we remember friends with Christmas Cards (I never get around to sending cards!) and gifts, I want to acknowledge them all. In fact, I started writing this blog acknowledging them all, but it got way too long!

So let me go at this a different way. What is it these friends have brought me?

One thing is a feeling that I am never alone. There are other people in the world who also have stories running around in their heads, who love love stories, who believe in the happy ending. They totally understand and accept me, and when I am with them, the shyness I’ve lived with all my life just disappears. I love being with writer friends. I love talking about writing, about Romance.

They’ve given me courage. Had I not had this foundation of friends, I am not sure I could have weathered the inevitable rejection and discouragement that this business brings. I have always had examples of others who have “made it,” who have reached whatever new goal I’ve set for myself. They inspire me, make me believe I can do it, too. Encourage me to Never Never Never Give Up (Winston Churchill).

They’ve given me support. My friends have sustained my belief in myself as a writer. Before I sold they helped me believe I could be a published author. Now they help me believe I can still write books that readers will love. At last year’s RWA conference, when I learned that Warner had passed on my latest proposal, the Warner Women on this blog gave me hugs, told me their similar stories, brainstormed with me, and their belief in me helped me get that new contract. More Warner books from me, folks!

They’ve given me fun. With who else could I rave on about my obsession with the new Pride & Prejudice movie! My Romance writing friends understand the enriching value of fantasy, how even we happily married adult ladies can fall in love all over again, and laugh about it, and be totally silly.

They’ve opened the world to me. Through this writing life I have made friendships with people from all over the world. Some of my dearest friends are in Australia, including Melissa James who has written Silhouette Intimate Moments and is about to launch Harlequin’s new Tender line. She and I are in nearly daily contact through the wonders of Instant Messaging. My writing for Mills & Boon (as Diane Gaston) has given me friends in England and as far away as Egypt! Through the writing I’ve also traveled - to England twice on Novel Exploration tours geared toward Regency Writers (and which have given me another new set of friends)

I am so grateful to my Romance Writing friends. I wish this New Year’s I could be with them all at midnight, toasting them all with a glass of bubbly champagne. I’ll toast them, I promise, though we can only all be together in spirit. But that is what is so wonderful -- my friends are always with me in spirit.

Here’s to you, my friends!

(for more of Diane's musings on friendship read her Wet Noodle Posse blog, http://wetnoodleposse.blogspot.com/ )

No comments: