Krissie: Isolation

It’s easy for writers to isolate. After all, we work on our own, just us and our computer, and to actually create most people need solitude. Jenny, Lani and I have played around with writing in the same room, with varied levels of success, and I’ve done quite well writing with my BFF, but mostly it’s alone, in our office, in our bedroom, in our basement.
And because we’re caught up in our characters and their lives, we start shutting off from other people who usually aren’t nearly as interesting.
There are other reasons for isolating. Depression. Bad temper. Inertia.
I live in a tiny town where everyone I used to do things with has either moved away physically or moved away emotionally. We were dropped by our closest friends, ones we had known for thirty-five years. Other relationships just faded as people divorced and remarried. And in a town of 700 there simply isn’t a whole lot of choice.
My BFF moved here about five years ago, but now she’s left for the winter and the birth of her new grandson, and the easiest thing for me to do is stay inside and isolate. Richie is my best friend, but … it’s not enough.
I’ve started going back to church, to get me out of the house (and I have a lot of old friends there, all of them a lot older than I am and not necessarily for doing anything else with). And encouraging Richie to take claw hammer banjo lessons, just so he can interact with someone other than me.
I’m thinking of this because I was reading www.zenhabits.net (a great site) and today they’re talking about how to get people to support you when you’re making major life changes. You need someone with similar goals, someone who’s a little ahead of you but not too far ahead, and someone who’s a little bit competitive (but not too much so).
And guys, you’re it. We all have similar goals, to reinvent our own fabulousness. I’m sure at least some of you are lightly competitive (as in, if she can do it I certainly can). Crusie and I have just about the right amount. We don’t compete with each other, but there’s a natural competitiveness that comes up. I told you guys about when I was first talking to her about this blog. I said I was afraid I was gonna die — that I was fat, high risk for breast cancer, a sort-of ovarian cancer survivor, high blood pressure, etc.
Jenny shot back with high blood pressure, her blood disease, and stage three colon cancer survivor. I said, “Okay, you win. You die sooner.” And we both laughed.
Competition takes strange forms.
So even if you guys can’t go see HUGO with me (Richie won’t because 3D gives him a headache) or drive down to Keepsake Quilting with me, or just come over for a cup of coffee or green tea, you can be here for me and I can be here for you online.
And ah, next week Crusie, Lani and I can shop and go to movies and just sit around and laugh. It’s gotta be enough to carry me through the months with no one around, and you know, it is.

Jenny: The Family You Make

I met Anne Stuart online first through the GEnie RomEx boards in 1993.  My first book was just out; she was on her . . . I don’t know, fiftieth maybe?  Of course she’d been publishing since she was eight (not kidding), and I didn’t publish my first until I was 43, so she had a headstart.  She was a role model and a mentor; she talked me through bad times, gave me great career advice, and told me who to get for my first agent.  She was wonderful.   Continue reading