|L to R: Kathleen, Pam, Cindy J, Barbara, Me|
Cindy J: We always laugh that I’m Cindy B and she’s Cindy J. She’s the reason I came out of my shell and dared to have an adult friendship outside of my marriage. I was never good at having friends (the peril of extreme shyness) but she didn’t let me hide. She pulled me into her circle about sixteen years ago, and we’ve been friends since. She’s one of those creative, talented people who are to be envied, never mind that she’s drop dead gorgeous and has a body an eighteen year old would envy. She ran her first marathon at forty, and still runs them eight years later. I can laugh with her about things that would make others cringe.
Barbara: Barbara is a lot like me in that she’s pretty quiet. And yet, when we’re together, we always find more than enough to talk about. Barb is one of the prettiest women I know. She’s an original Texan, and while she doesn’t have the big hair, she has the blonde hair, blue eyed look that I associate with Texans. She’s live in Utah long enough that she doesn’t have an accent or say y’all. Barb is someone who I admire because she’s so willing to try new things as far as business ventures. Not as in, I’m-going-to-get-rich-quick-
doing-this ventures, but just in finding things that interest her and then going for it. She’s also the only female friend I have who also rides a Harley. She rode hers before I even rode mine.
Debbie: You might remember Debbie from some of my other blogs about food. Debbie is my favorite cook in the world. I’ve never yet met a Debbie-cooked-creation that my mouth hasn’t adored. She comes from a pretty harsh childhood, and yet you’d never know it meeting her. She’s one of the kindest, most caring, happy-to-give-service to others, sensitive people I know. She seems to know when someone is in need, and without any production or desire for recognition, she steps in a does something to just completely brighten your day. She’s a saint, too. Don’t believe me? Then you don’t know her at all! And that makes me sad for you, because everyone should get the chance to know Debbie.
Kat: I met Kathleen through Cindy J. Kathleen is one of those women that other women hate on first sight because she’s so incredibly beautiful. And yet, if those women knew her at all, they’d completely love her. There isn’t a single conceited bone in Kat’s body. Her inside is even more beautiful than her outside. You can’t ever see Kat without getting a hug and a huge smile. She’ll make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world to her at that moment. And you should hear her sing! I could listen to her all day, she’s that amazing. She should be on The Voice, or X-Factor, or something, seriously. Because her voice is one that should be shared with the world—and her smile.
Pam: Pam always has the most perfect hair. I don’t know how she does it—it doesn’t matter if it’s raining, the wind is blowing, you’re at the beach, whatever, it looks perfect. I think it’s afraid to be anything but. I’m not kidding. She had elbow surgery and her hair still looked perfect (thanks to her hubby. How did she train him to do that?). Even better than her hair is her ability to tell a story. Pam should be a storyteller, only in person and not on paper. She can make the most mundane, ordinary story entertaining and interesting just by her retelling of the story. I don’t know how she missed her calling as a storyteller or actress. But I’m glad she did or she might not be friends with little old me.
I just realized that I surround myself with all of these beautiful women. Shouldn’t I surround myself with less-attractive women to make me look better? Lol. No way, because as beautiful as all of these women are, they’re just so much more than that and I couldn’t live without them.
Bonus: Five Author Friends I Can’t Imagine Writing Without:
The women above are friends I’ve had for years, people I know in my personal life. These are authors I’ve been blessed to meet through my writing, and without them I’d be a poorer person (not referring to money, BTW). It was difficult to narrow the list down because I’ve met so many amazing authors over the past few years. So you might be seeing another list like this in the future.
Sherry Gammon: Sherry and I met a few years ago when she was going to be in Utah and had emailed to ask if I knew of any signings going on at the time. She came to my house for a book signing/yard sale/boutique (it’s a long story) and the first thing she did when she showed up was immediately help me work, moving heavy stuff around, without a second thought. I was impressed by this woman who clearly wasn’t afraid of a little hard work. Since then we’ve become very good friends, and business partners in Prose by Design. We Skype text pretty much daily, and while once upon a time it was mostly business, now we’re pretty much wasting each other’s time that we should be using for writing by making bad jokes. Still, I look forward to “talking” to her each day. She’s two-fingered, but she’s a funny one (inside joke). She’s also an amazing author whose book Unlovable is being made into a movie!
Camelia Miron Skiba: I met Cami before I’d ever published a word through an online class for how to write a query letter. When the class finished (I think there were only like six of us or so) she asked if anyone would be interested in staying in touch and exchanging some chapters. Little did I know at that time how very smart my “yes” would turn out to be. In fact, only me and Jeffery Moore were smart enough to say yes. To this day the three of us remain a critique group, with the addition of Sherry Gammon for the past couple of years, and our newest addition, Juli Caldwell. We’ve had a couple others in-and-out here and there, but Cami, Jeff, Sherry, and I remain the strong core of the group. Cami, who’s from Romania, constantly amazes me with how strong her English writing skills are considering she’s only been in the USA for about a decade. I genuinely can’t imagine how awful my writing would be, and how much rougher the whole writing/publishing process would have been without my chickadee Cami.
Shannen Crane Camp: I met Shannen at a book signing. She’s this cute, tiny, fragile looking girl who’s anything but fragile. Beneath beauty that puts any Hollywood starlet to shame beats the heart of an online gamer (read her latest book Pwned to see what I mean. That kind of knowledge can’t be faked). Surrounding that heart is kindness, love for others, and a positive attitude that can bring a smile to even the dourest person’s face. I love seeing Shannen’s name on an email because I know there’s going to be something within to make me smile. I love it when we have book signings together though I can tell you we spend more time talking than we do trying to get people to come buy our books. We’re both pretty reserved in the whole “sell yourself” arena, I think, so at least we can visit while hiding behind our table.
Rachel McClellan: I’ve never met Rachel face-to-face—yet. Someday soon we’ll meet. Rachel, besides being a talented writer, is one of the most innovative people I know when it comes to marketing. Marketing is one of those things we authors have to do that we would prefer we didn’t have to. Rachel makes it fun. She has great ideas. Her blog is one of the most fun I’ve seen. Her mind walks just a little on the dark side, and I like that. Her life is crazy, chaotic, and fodder for her humorous take on being a mom and working author. There aren’t many people that I call friend that I’ve never personally met, but Rachel is definitely one. I can’t wait to watch how far this particular author’s star shoots. I’ll be there, cheering her on.
Jeffery Moore: A man makes the list! Well, there’s a really good reason for that. Jeff, Cami, and I are the original members of our critique group, and I genuinely can’t imagine writing without his input. Let me begin by saying Jeff’s a seriously smart dude. He’s also one of the hardest working people I know. In spite of the many hours on top of hours that he works at his day job, he manages to find time to write these amazing, sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction books. Currently I have two projects that I’m collaborating on with him. Both are as yet untitled, but one should be out in July, and the second, which Sherry Gammon is also writing with us, should be out later this summer or early fall. Jeff brings to our group a man’s voice, telling us when our men don’t really sound like men. He also brings a poetic voice. He has a great way with words, and can always point out ways to make our writing more exciting and flavorful. And he puts up with our occasional bouts of estrogen fuelled stubbornness with infinite patience. I’m very lucky to have Jeff a part of my writing life.
I created the Friday Five graphic from an original image copyrighted by: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_10806220_number-five.html'>marincas_andrei / 123RF Stock Photo</a