Continuing on in my Month of Thanks, here is my letter for October 5th.
To Mindy Hayes, Michele Gano Miller, Tess Watson, and Sarah Ashley Jones,
This might come as a surprise to you, as you probably weren’t expecting me to include you in this series, but here it is.
I’m a very self-conscious person. I am always at odds with whether or not strangers will like me or accept me for who I am (and who I’m not). Three of you I met at UtopYA this summer, and one I only know through her bubbly additions to our endlessly running Facebook group chat. At first, I felt like I’d forced my way into your little group and that you were only humoring me because you were nice. But I wanted more than anything to belong. You felt like that elusive group of popular kids in high school, and I was back there wanting to be one of them all over again.
I don’t know when the switch happened, but that’s no longer the case. Now, I can’t imagine going a day without our constant conversation. With little in the way of adult company right now, that outlet has become a rock for me; a thing I know I can depend on when I just really have to not talk to children anymore. You guys get it. You are writers. You know how it works.
There’s so much more to all that, but I want to take the time to thank you all one by one.
Despite that my writing isn’t probably something you ever would have picked up on your own, you decided to give it a chance. I absolutely adore the way you’ve fallen for Jackson and the wonderful praise you’ve given me on my writing. You may not think your input was overly helpful, but you are wrong. It is because of you, and people like you, that I keep going with my crazy can’t-put-it-in-a-box ideas. And then there’s the trust you’ve shown in me when it comes to your own writing. Despite what you think, being able to critique your novel was a pleasure. That you were open to my advice and suggestions makes me feel about ten feet tall. I love being able to help others get to the next level, and I hope I’ve done that for you. FIX ALL THE THINGS! *pumps fist*
Again, as with Mindy, you’ve demonstrated a great deal of trust in my skills in allowing me to offer small critiques on your works in progress. Whenever you guys ping me with a question in the chat, it always makes me smile. It means I’m bringing something to our relationship that you value. Who wouldn’t get an ego boost from that? I came into this feeling like a total nobody, and you’ve helped make me feel like an integral player in the game. It also doesn’t hurt that you’re almost as in love with my superheroes as Mindy (although I think she might surpass me in that regard, lol).
You’re not around in chat as much these days, but I imagine with your classes starting up again you’re very busy. Still, you’ve had your effect on me as well. Your blog tour for Nemesis put me in touch with several new book bloggers, and you’ve even provided research assistance for me with my writing. Really, you’re an invaluable resource and I’m so thankful to have gotten to know you better.
Woman, you are a source of non-stop entertainment. I know that if I ever need an odd idea for something, you are the person to ask. We share a similar sense of humor and your fashion sense is always inspiring. I have to say, I’m honestly looking forward to working with you for your cover. There’s nothing I’d like more to give you a beautiful image to match your words. Truly, I will bring my A-game for you.
All four of you are small blessings in your own right. My life, my writing, my outlook are all changed and made better for knowing you. Thank you for bringing me into your little circle and valuing me as a person, a friend, and a colleague.
With ALL THE FEELS,
Melissa (My World...in words and pages) says
These are the ladies you speak so highly of! I don’t think I talk to them on Twitter or anything, so I’ll have to find them (if they are there). Sounds like an amazing group. Can I join?
michele miller says
All the feels!! There is something to be said for a group of ladies whom i can’t go a day without speaking to. I don’t recall exactly how we meet at UtopYA but I guess that is the point of it all…we are kindred spirits and we will continue to “lift as we climb”.
Ps..whomever makes it to the top first must send a helicopter down to grab the others!
Mad love for you Starla! (and your superheroes, even if I’m not “Mindy” crazy) xoxo