A culmination of events brings me to my posting today about connections, and I wish I could get the friendship song I learned in Girl Scouts out of my head. It’s a great sing-songy tune, but just not when it’s on constant play:
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.
So, know that’s the background music for this post.
Last Saturday, I attended a Georgia Writers Association seminar where Lisa M. Russell discussed Bonding, Branding, and Building: Connecting in an Authentic Way. I really appreciated her comments about authentic connections, about how social media is not a non-stop flashing billboard to sell folks stuff.
At the seminar, I sat with Leslie, a woman and business owner I met through a critique group I discovered on Meetups – the world’s largest network of local groups. Across the isle at the seminar, Lisa waved at me. I met Lisa through an Atlanta Writer’s Club critique group. Afterward, we chatted and exchanged blog addresses. Then, as a result of my blog post from last week, I met a friend-of-a-friend, Janey. We shared a great email exchange and even shared submissions for a short story contest, critiquing each other’s work. Janey is a freelance writer growing into a fiction writer.
I love connecting with folks, and not just writers. Today, I’m going to see my chiropractor. My personal trainer has the appointment after me. I introduced my trainer to my doctor.
To continue that thread of connection, on Sunday, a friend of mine is arriving in Atlanta from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Many, many years ago, she and I lived in the same neighborhood in Orlando, Florida, but we didn’t know each other then. Fast forward to 2009. We lived in the same dorm across the hall from each other when we attended Jodi Thomas’ Writer’s Academy at West Texas A&M. Romney and I have been good friends ever since.
Now, at that very same Writer’s Academy, I met Jan Morrill who lives in Fayetteville, AR. She’s friends with Maria, who lives about fives miles from me in another Atlanta suburb. Maria and I met over breakfast and occasionally get together. I think next week, when Romney is here, Maria is going to yoga with us. Then Romney, who is friends with Jan, too, will also know Maria. They’ll all get to meet Lisa, my trainer; she’s also my yoga teacher at Core Bodyworks.
My final example of connections in my writing world: I joined Georgia Romance Writers. Our current president is Anna. I put out a call within the GRW for a critique group, but nothing materialized, so I found an online chapter – Romance Writers of America–Women’s Fiction. There I connected with two writers of women’s fiction and we started a critique group: The Cross-Country Trio. (We have since added a fourth person. The group name still sounds like a country western band, however, Cross-Country Quartet just doesn’t have the same ring…) Therefore, fate being what it is (I don’t really believe in coincidence.) one of the group members, Jane, lives in the Kansas City area (where I moved from a year ago and our paths never crossed) and she is the sister of Anna, GRW’s president.
I have many more connections I could share. But what about you? What are your connection stories?