Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Nope. This isn't about the television show of the same name. In fact, I think I'm the only person in America who never watched that show.

This is about writing friends. They are friends who understand that you have voices in your head and don't think you should consult a psychiatrist. They are friends who understand that just because you work at home in your pajamas that doesn't mean you don't really work. And it doesn't mean that you're available at the drop of a hat to pick up their kid from school, take off on a shopping excursion to a nearby outlet mall or write their Christmas letter because "you're just so much better at it than I am."

They are friends you can call upon to rant and rave about the injustices of the writing world, the hero who won't cooperate and the plot holes you could drive a Peterbilt truck through.

Writing is lonely. It's you and the computer and, if you're lucky, those voices in your head.

My writing friends come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors and socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities. They live in all parts of the world. They also come in a variety of success levels -- from just-started-putting-words-on-paper to USA Today, Waldenbooks and New York Times bestsellers.

Yet regardless of their level of success, the sincerity of the friendship is the same. Maven Beverly Barton commented that someone said writers were crazy for training their replacements. BB scoffs at that idea. So does Po Bronson, co-founder of The Grotto, a writers' community in San Francisco. He says that writing is not a zero-sum game. Your sale doesn't automatically put a minus in someone else's scorebox. Your success doesn't mean that someone else won't succeed. There is room for everyone and the absolute best way to work toward success is to support each other.

I have my friends here at the Writing Playground. I suppose you could call them my playmates.

Uh... not that kind of playmates. More like this.

They're cheerleaders and butt-kickers. They're confidantes and advisors. They're problem-solvers and trouble-makers. I can tell them absolutely anything and know that "Vegas Rules" apply: what happens on the Playground, stays on the Playground.

We share our toys.

Girls, girls, girls. Not that kind of toys.

We share our joys.

We share our woes.

We share our toes.

We don't really share our toes, but it made the rhyme work and I had an appropriate photograph.

They're wonderful friends who hopefully understand that I love to put words on paper but am still trying to find my niche. How was that pronounced, teacher? ;-)

Noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, "The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."

A friend will believe in you, and that's a priceless gift.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I'm thankful today, tomorrow and always for my wonderful writing friends. They make my world a better place.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Playground Monitor.


Problem Child said...

You can pronounce it any way you like because your post made me all teary-eyed.

I (heart) all my playfriends...and I'm thankful to have y'all around.

Beautiful post, PM.


Maven Beverly Barton said...

There are so many cute little sayings about friendship and most of them are so true. Take your pick. Friends are sisters of the heart. They’re the ones who know you, love you, and stand by you whether you’re right or wrong. A true friend brings positive energy into your life. Friends make you laugh, and when you cry, they cry with you and comfort you. To find one or two genuine friends who are also writers is a blessing beyond compare. Over the years, there have been times when I’m not sure I’d have made it without my best buddies, Linda and LJ. They’ve been there for me to celebrate the good times and to console me in the bad times. I know that no matter what, I can count on them. --BB

Maven Linda Winstead Jones said...

I'm supposed to be busy in the kitchen, making desserts for the hoardes -- I mean my family -- who will descend tomorrow. And here I am instead, slightly teary, and kinda laughing.

Slightly teary, because what you say about friends is so true. I would not have made it in this business, emotionally speaking, without Beverly and Linda. They remind me to be patient, and they allow me to rant when it seems appropriate, and we laugh. We laugh a lot.

And I'm kinda laughing now about the sharing toes bit because apparently Beverly and I DO share a foot. Near the end of one conference, years ago, when I had been taken over by conference fuzzy brain, I said that Beverly and I were going up to the room to put our foot up.

So yes -- I am deeply and truly grateful for all my friends, old and new.


Problem Child said...

Now that I'm not misty-eyed, I see you made us the Ninja Turtles?!?!

MUTANT Ninja Turtles at that.

Surely we can come up with something better--Spice Girls comes to mind cause they get to wear such cool shoes.

Turtles...grumble, grumble.

Playground Monitor said...

"A good friend is someone who will bail you out of jail. A great friend is someone sitting next to you in the cell saying 'Damn, that was fun.'"

But let's not test this theory, okay?

Playground Monitor said...

Stop grumbling. You were originally a group of very tacky Barbie dolls.

Problem Child said...

If I remember correctly, you insisted you would NOT bail us out of a Reno jail...


Playground Monitor said...

Oh... yeah. I forgot about that. Just wanted to take a tough stance up front with you kids. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Instigator said...

I love you too Marilyn! And I love the rest of the children also!
I'm absolutely lucky to have found such wonderful friends, confidants, supporters, and ass kickers who are happy to share this experience with me!

PC - wonderful blog and I don't mind being a ninja turtle I happen to like the idea that we can kick butt. And absolutely it's better than barbie dolls (but don't tell Sierra I said that)


Angel said...

Well, I've spent the past few days feeling really overwhelmed by the many things going on in my life and frustrated because I can't seem to find and adhere to all the d*#m rules for my Golden Heart entry. Then I realized I hadn't checked out the blog today.

Thank you, Marilyn, for putting things in perspective. I'm certainly grateful for others who understand what I'm trying to do, despite not being paid or validated much. For those who understand that being a writer is what I am. I couldn't quit if I wanted to.


Instigator said...

Okay, that should have been PM - sorry!

Smarty Pants said...

What a great post, PM. I moved to Alabama from Las Vegas almost five year ago, and honestly, in that time, I have not found as good of friends here as I have since I joined Heart of Dixie. With the children and the mavens I feel like I finally have people who understand me, support me, and love me despite my quirks. I'd gladly share a small bathroom with any of you at a conference.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you survive the hordes, LJ.