Writing is a lonely occupation. When I’m not by myself at my lap top writing, I’m in my head “conversing” with my current lineup of characters, who really don’t cut it as far as companions go.
For years I wrote alone, embracing my editors’ brief one-line emails as pretty much the only writerly contact I got in a day. But now, things are different. I’ve been graced with a whole a cast of real life characters—all writers who make my professional world a little less lonely.
And so today, I’m bringing you into my lucky world and sharing some of the people who’ve joined me on this writer’s journey….
Marydreads (aka Marybeth Jeitner) is a sixty–something writer, working on her first book, inspired by her struggles and triumphs with alcoholism. She wears her hair in fuzzy, grey dreadlocks. Sometimes when I look at her I get the feeling that she’s just emerged from the forest, he mossy hair twisting atop her head. Her writing is deep and dark and sad, bringing to life the pain she’s been through. But in spite of what she’s seen, she’s got a golden laugh that can, without hesitation, fill a whole room with brightness.
I suspect Michael Ray King is an old school romantic. (His blog post of undying love poems to his sweetheart Michele sort of gives that away) The contribution he’s brought to the writing community here in Flagler beach is immense. He MCs and manages The Inspired Mic, a highly valued, community based open mic, that encourages writers to overcome their fears and get on the stage. He also owns a grassroots publishing company that has fostered a number of blooming writers.
I met John Pascucci at the Inspired Mic. His tough, tattooed, New York Italian exterior was an instant curiosity to me and so we started hanging out. He’s the author of Jethro a sci-fi book that features his own dog as a superhero of sorts. John is gentle and thoughtful and has the uncanny ability to tune in very closely to people’s emotions, which surprises me, given that… well….he’s a guy. Due to a mishap with a back surgery John has been in chronic pain, yet he rarely complains. He keeps on going, charming folks wherever he goes.
Dima Zales and Anna Zaires come as a team. I rarely see them separate. In fact I swear they almost move in sinc with their sleek (vegan fed!) bodies. Together they pour out sci-fi, romance, and fantasy books that tantalize readers around the globe. They are a marketing machine, working Amazon and other author friendly sites with heartfelt ambition. Anna spent her teenage years in Florida, but her early years in Russia, leaving her with an ever so slight accent that can’t but help enhance her natural beauty. Dima, from the Ukraine amazes all of us with his acts of mentalism–card tricks that make it appear that he reads our minds. We’re always careful what we think around him.
Then there’s David Karner. Since he was a kid he’s been making horror films, but when you meet him, you’d never guess this guy likes guts and mayhem. David is a kind, gentle man, a solemn listener who has taken on the task of being a stay at home dad to two little ones, but then somehow finds time to not only write screenplays but direct and produce his own horror films. David is not only very talented, he is also immensely supportive of us writers, and on several occasions, when I was feeling weary of my work he’s given me the lift I needed.
And then of course there’s Tim Baker. If you follow my blog you’ve heard his name before. Tim writes a series of popular thrillers featuring a motorcycle riding, ex-navy seal named Ike that apparently the girls go gaga for. Tim has become a good friend. We hang out, tease each other, and discuss whatever is going on in our writerly lives. What I value most about Tim is that he always straight with me, giving me his frank and honest opinions (even when I’m not quite sure I want to hear them). Because of his advice, he has pushed me in ways as a writer that no other friends have. Tim is a dichotomy. On one hand he’s this rough around the edges , Rhode Island, tough guy who rides a Harley but the truth of the matter is (and don’t tell anyone I told you this) he’s really just this sweet, gentle good guy, who genuinely cares for the people in his life. Pretty much everyone who meets Tim likes him, drawn to his honesty and unabashed willingness to be just who he is, and nothing more.
And so I end this blog with one word: Wow!
I am amazed and awe struck that I have made so many wonderful friends and colleagues who support me and love me in the work that I do.
Thank you guys! I am very grateful.