Happy Thanksgiving, Melanie and Jen!

Posted on 16th October, 2014

Last week, Jen Gilroy posted a blog about Thanksgiving, describing her memories of the celebrations at home in her native Canada. She ended by sharing what she feels thankful for this year. It was such a warm and intimate blog that it has inspired me to write something similar.


Like Jen, I am thankful for the support I've received online, both through Twitter and through interest in my blog. Special thanks go to those people who have left comments on my blog, especially Jen, whose continuing support is much appreciated.


For me, writing has long been a solitary venture, but that has now changed. Together with Jacqueline Farrell, author of the paranormal Sophronia books, and writer and comminication coach Lizzie Gates, I have started a new RNA chapter for the Wirral and North Wales area and we will be having our inaugural meeting later this month. I'm delighted to know that I'll be meeting up regularly with other writers - me, who used to be such a hermit!


I'm also thankful for a special relationship I'd like to tell you about. Over the past year or so, I've enjoyed the company of Melanie, who is a writer I met through doing NaNoWriMo. We came across one another in June 2013 when writers were introducing themselves in the various forums. I mentioned I was in the process of moving to Llandudno - Melanie's grandmother came from Llandudno - and hence we connected. That was at Camp NaNo. We met up again in the 'real' NaNo in November and have been in touch ever since.


We've never met in the real world - we live on opposite sides of the Atlantic - but that hasn't stopped us from forming a strong friendship.


Do you have a best friend? Someone who knows where the bodies are buried? Well, Melanie is my best writing friend. She helped me prepare this year's book for the NWS and she was at the other end of the line when I opened my returned book and read the critique. In fact, we hijacked the noticeboard in our virtual cabin in July's Camp NaNo and messages flew to and fro as I shared my reader's comments and Melanie responded.


Recently Melanie encouraged me through a pretty grim writing time. Her experience as a writer, together with her natural compassion, helped me see the best way to approach a particular problem that had seen my output grind to a halt. With her generous support, I've emerged feeling optimistic and knowing what I should do.


But we don't just see each other through writing's ups and downs. We email about everything - pets, gardening, the weather, choosing a paint colour, family concerns, you name it. Friends are friends, no matter how they meet or how they communicate, because it is through being like-minded, caring people that friendships grow.


Jen, I wish you Happy Canadian Thanksgiving for last Monday; Melanie, I wish you Happy American Thanksgiving for November 27th; and to all you writers out there, my wish for you is that you, too, can have a best writing friend.



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Comments (4)

What a touching post, Susanna. You are so lovely, supportive (and funny!) on Twitter; and I can imagine that you are a wonderful writing friend to Melanie. xx
Hope the new RNA chapter goes well. I attend the Birmingham chapter and find everyone lovely, supportive & friendly.
Jen, what a generous comment. Thanks so much.

I'm glad to know that you, too, have a best friend you are close to. You are right. Distance is no barrier to staunch friendships.

I hope you and I will get to meet in the real world one day!
What a lovely post, Sue. I'm touched and humbled that my blog inspired you.

I'm sending a virtual wave to Melanie too. I'm glad she was able to help you through a hard writing time and you now have new focus and direction.

All good wishes to the new Wirral and North Wales RNA chapter. Although I can't attend many meetings of my local chapter, the RNA, both at chapter level and nationally, has been a huge support to my writing career.

As for best friends, I'm blessed to have one in my cousin. She's been there for me through many of life's ups and downs and despite the geographic distance between us, we're always close in heart.

I'm thankful for the virtual writing friendship you and I are developing too. xx