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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

denise laughing “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne

I said goodbye to a dear friend less than a week ago. Not a fare-thee-well because she was moving to the midwest — though she’d done that about a year ago. Not a see-you-soon because she was going on a trip to a distant land for several years — though she’d done that decades ago when she taught in Japan. Not a see you next year on vacation at Lost River State Park (if not sooner) — though I’d done that nearly 60 times. Not even a thanks for letting me stay at your place, but I need to get to the writing conference on time so-long — though I had spent a night with her when she lived in Virginia before going to a writing conference. No, I said goodbye until I see you in heaven.

Some of you reading this might not believe in heaven — but I do, and so did my friend. So when I thanked her for being such a good friend for over 50 years, and told her I’d miss her for the rest of my life until we met again — for me, and for her, it was true — we will meet again.

Which brings me back to the opening quote from A.A. Milne — for me, and those of you who have wonderful people in their lives — how lucky and blessed we are to have had friends, partners, and family whom we care about so much that it hurts to say goodbye.

And so, in honor of Denise, I will end, as I began — with a quote from A.A. Milne:

“‘We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. ‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”

 

 

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“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” — Woodrow T. Wilson

Friends are on my mind today. Two of my good friends, Karen and Wendy, have birthdays this week. Just last week, I had the opportunity to spend several hours (including lunch) with Patti, a friend who I haven’t had a chance to visit with in-person for two years. I chatted with dear friend Kelly on the phone just the other day. And I’m looking forward to spending time with more friends this summer.

Besides family, I think friends and their friendship are the most important thing holding my world together–which is why friendship often plays such an important role in my stories and books.

BeyondSheercliffs_Balticon Like the unlikely group pulled together in JRR Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring, sometimes the friendships we forge because of a common goal turn out to be the most meaningful. At their core, Star Wars and Star Trek, are also about unlikely friendships. As is JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. For “Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend.” [Bill Watterson].

The concept of friendship growing from a common goal (and enemy) led me to cobble together several groups of seemingly dissimilar individuals in my epic fantasy novel, The Enchanted Dagger (Book 1 of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir). And the idea of friendship is also playing an important role in my current work-in-progress novel, Beyond the Sheercliffs (Book 1.5 of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir). 

The fight against evil; the quest for an item or person of great value; shared hunger, thirst, and danger; a common goal; and unexpected circumstances that link characters together are all wonderful devices in storytelling that can be the seeds of friendship. And best of all, readers understand friendship. It is something we all have in common.

A great majority of us desire strong friendships. We all have known the pain of a friendship that has ended. Many of us have watched a friend grown apart from us or change in a way that makes them a different person–and one which we no longer want to be friends with. Most of us remember the joyful feelings of realizing someone has moved from friendly acquaintance to friend. And we embrace the truth of Helen Keller’s sentiment: “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

And so, as I shape and polish the various friendships in Beyond the Sheercliffs, I urge you to reach out to your friends. Take the time to phone, message, or better yet, visit with your friends. Or maybe, make the effort to develop a friendly acquaintance into a friend. Because “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out” [Walter Winchell], and we could all use more of those sorts of people in our lives.

 

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