Tag Archives: cyber friends

Cyber Friendships: are they real?

Tonight I commented on a thread over at Agent Query.  A few minutes later, my cell phone chinked, indicating a new email.  I knew without checking who it would be.  And I was right.  I’d received a PM from a dear friend of mine based on my comment.

There, I admitted it.  I don’t live in the real world.  I talk to my cyber friends as if they were right here with me.  We joke, laugh, poke fun at our foibles and support each other during some pretty rough times. 

I adore my writing friends, and since I don’t know many writers personally, my fellow scribes live mainly in my mind and on the internet.  And yet I care about them in the same way I care about my real life friends.  

I’m quite certain my DH thinks I’m mad and I keep peeking over my shoulder so he doesn’t slip on my little white coat.  After all, it’s probably not normal to talk about people who I’ve never met as if we just left the bar together two hours ago. 

My kids probably think I’m the biggest hypocrite alive.  

“Don’t ever talk to people you don’t know online.”  Oh yes, I’ve said this more than a hundred times.

And yet, here I am, sharing life and passion with complete strangers whom I call friends.  Heck, I’ve prayed for them, danced the happy dance for them and gotten my feathers ruffled when I felt an injustice had been done to one of them.

Is this wrong?  Can you truly be friends with someone you have never met?  Will likely never meet?  If  no, why not?

I’m it. And you get to read about it!

No, I don’t have a big head and think I’m all that and a bag of chips.  Instead, I got tagged by a good friend and fellow writer, Jemi Fraser.  On her blog, Just Jemi, she tagged me to share a little bit about my writing by answering multiple a handfuls of questions.  And since you’re here, you get to read about it. 

1)What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
The last thing I wrote was my National Novel Writing Month Young Adult novel: Whispering Minds.  The first thing I wrote that I still have in a box in the basement is a short story about an alien attack on Earth.  In it, the MC learns that fear of the unknown can be far more dangerous than reality.  I was in the 5th or 6th grade and the handwritten-in-smudged-pencil story still sends a slight shiver down my spine. 

2) Write poetry?
I try really hard not to, though I may qualify as an oral poetry teller.  I make up goofy, rhymy stuff for my kids all the time.

3) Angsty poetry?
I don’t remember being an angsty kind of kid and I certainly never wrote poems about puberty and boys and other angsty stuff.  Ugh!

4) Favorite genre of writing?
Anything juvenile.  I love bullies, mysteries and a little hint of romance.

5) Most annoying character you’ve ever created?
A parrot who never shuts up.  He sings annoying little ditties throughout my chapter book, Treason on the High Seas. 

6) Best plot you’ve ever created?
I think the one I just finished.  I love the mystery and the intertwining of reality and mental health in Whispering Minds.  However, my all-time favorite story is Treason. 

7) Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
The last line of Whispering Minds.  It blows me away and makes me want to double check my sanity.

8) How often do you get writer’s block?
I never have writer’s block in the sense that I have no ideas.  They proliferate faster than caged rabbits.  However, there are times when my current WIP is sluggish.  I’m learning to get around that by writing a quick idea or two and skipping forward to the next vivid scene.  This approach seems to help.

9) Write fan fiction?
Never.  Still not exactly sure what that is…

10) Do you type or write by hand?
Laptop.  I actually got a netbook from my loving and wonderful DH.  At two pounds I can about put it in my pocket.  And the pages never rip out!

11) Do you save everything you write?
No.  I cut ruthlessly and move on.  I know it’s a big no-no, as everything can potentially be used again, somewhere, but I feel it’s a little like losing a page and trying to rewrite.  It never ends up the same and often lacks magic.  Starting from scratch always works best.  Especially since the plot bunnies are so prolific.  I never lack for words…

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
I choose not to “abandon” any of my writing.  I let it simmer–sometimes for years.  It’s like a Thanksgiving dinner.  The turkey takes longer to finish than the corn.  It’s all a matter of timing and putting my efforts where I’m most effective at the moment.

13) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
I have three, so not really a good answer. 

  1. My chapter book, Treason.  I love the humor and fun narrative. 
  2. My middle grade, Postcards from Reading Camp, for its impact on literacy and humor.  Always humor and mystery plus a bully.
  3. My newly finished YA, Whispering Minds.  It has rounds of edits to go through, but I love the psychological thrill it gives me.

14) What’s everyone else’s favorite story you’ve written?
Treason.  My kids LOVE it.  Even my big ones.  So do my crit buddies.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Until Whispering Minds, I wrote for the younger crowd.  The love was hinted at through a little tension and a peck on the cheek.  I guess I have one angsty book but it’s a middle grade and not really drama-filled.  Please note above my love of humor.

16) What’s your favorite setting for your characters?
Camp Crusoe from Postcards from Reading Camp.  Who doesn’t love a good ghost story around the bonfire, quirky bunk mates and irresponsible camp counselors?  Not to mention I was a camp counselor in Northern Minnesota and there is no better place in the world than the BWCA.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Too many to count.  I’d say roughly eight, between the various editing stages.  I have no current WIPs in regards to actually writing a rough draft, though a prompt from a writing friend is compelling me to begin a new one. 

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Several.  Nothing big or impressive.  Mostly fun stuff.  My favorite was a book from a blogger buddy.  I choose to believe it was my stellar writing and not the buddy factor or significant lack of other entrants that earned me the award…

19) What are your five favorite words?
Scooch.  Scrummage.  Prolific.  Curmudgeon.  The most beautiful is family.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Probably Gemini Baker from Whispering Minds.  She’s got a lot of stuff to work through that stems from my love of psychology and child advocacy.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
They call to me.  Seriously, a phrase or sentence comes to me as plainly as if someone shouted it.  It’s the voice that brings the characters to my writing.  I can have an idea stewing around for years and never write it until the right voice waves its metaphorical hand at me.

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Ironically, my first published-for-money short story was the product of a dream.  Almost in its entirety.  It must have been a good dream because it made the annual “Best of” anthology.   : )

23) Do you favor happy endings?
Absolutely.  I write for kids and if there is ever a need for hope and happiness, it is for this age group.  Though I guess Whispering Minds kind of breaks this warm fuzzy pattern with it’s last line…

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Definitely.  My internal editor never shuts up.  I did learn to pass on plot holes this NaNoWriMo season, though I can’t pass up a misspelled word, etc…

25) Does music help you write?
No.  I am auditorally-challenged.  I get sidetracked within my own head.  To deliberately encourage outside noise would be intollerable. 

26) Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops in your head.
“It is better to die right than to live and be wrong.”  Junior from Treason.

Told you it was a lot of questions!

And now I will tag three bloggers you may not be familiar with.  For other awesome blogs, check out my sidebar.   

  1. Greenwoman is a NaNoWriMo buddy.  Michelle has an amazing outlook on life and a talent for photography that stuns me.  Her blog is filled with slices of literature, beautiful pictures and humorous insights into life. 
  2.  The WriteRunner holds a special place in my cyber heart.  In part because Andrew is one of the most honest and  helpful critiquers I’ve ever had and also because I love his whimsy. 
  3. Dirty White Candy inspires me.  With nearly a dozen published novels, Roz Morris provides great tips from a writer who’s gotten somewhere. 

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my writing life and will also check out my cyber buddies along the way.  Writing is a community and any support is greatly appreciated.  Even if it’s a quick jaunt to check out a new blog.  You never know what fun and exciting stories are a mere key stroke away!