I'm traveling. This time I returned to Canada to visit one of my dearest friends. I have known her since I was 11 years old. We met when I was in 4-H. We still know the song. We aren't 4-Hers anymore. We are still friends.
We've watched each others' children grow up and become adults (again, we are extremely young mothers). We've been on vacations together. She to our neck of the world--to Dollywood, to Knoxville, to Washington, D.C., to Williamsburg, VA, to Busch Gardens (where I rode my first coaster--it was her first ride as well), to mountains, to Georgia, to Alabama, and more. I've visited her in Canada with my daughter. We've been to Vancouver Island, ridden ferries, played on the beach, gone to the Aquarium, Stanley Park, White Rock, and more. We've shopped together, rearranged furniture together, cried together, shared secrets together, laughed together, made meals together, and played together.
We've got a lifetime of memories. All stored. All wonderful. And we continue to build on those memories. We plot and plan our next visit together. We hope to see each other more often than less. We dream of shrinking the continent. We can keep our lives intertwined because of the joys of modern travel and communication.
During this trip, I received the best news ever. It affirmed all my hard work as a writer. And she was here to share it with me. I was so glad. She was one of my first readers. She was the person to call me up and say, "You know I wasn't sure I'd like your story. What if it was bad? What would I say to you? But I liked it. You did it. You're a writer." Now she is here with me when I get letters from editors which say "Hey, we like your story, but it needs work. If you work on it and send it again, we will look at it again. You have potential. We want to see if you are up to the task of meeting our requirements." Wow. I am over the moon. But as important as that letter is to me. And as eager as I am to work on this task and fulfill the editor's requirements, I am ever mindful of the fact that my first reader was my best friend. And she liked my first story.
She saw the potential in my writing and encouraged it. She was there in the beginning. When I had no critique partners, when I wasn't a member of RWA, and when I had no clue about the publishing business I wasn't really alone.
I had a friend who believed in me.
And she still does.
Never, ever lose sight of who is there for you now, regardless of where you are in your journey as a writer. Be mindful of the people who believe in you no matter what. Hold them close. Hold them dear. Hold them in your heart. Hold them because you know they will never let go of you.