After too many years to count deeply involved in writing, and mixing and associating with other writers has arguably been the most rewarding experience of my life.
I read once that a philosopher said...and I've long since forgotten who... claimed that for a person to know true happiness they needed to accomplish three things.... Plant a tree...Have a child...And write a book.
By that definition I must be the happiest person on the planet... I've planted literally thousands of trees written several books and had nine children....and buried five of them...three of them in infancy.
This has taken an enormous personal toll on my husband I...and our surviving children.
It is so against natural law for a parent to bury their children.
And during the very trying time after our twins sons died it was friends and family who were our salvation... and our writing community.
Not long after we buried our second twin Daphne Clair contacted me and said she had a vacancy in an advanced class at Kara School of Writing.... Did I feel up to attending? Looking back now I realize this hand of friendship extended across the abyss of grief not only saved my marriage it saved my sanity.
And I will be eternally grateful to Daphne and Robyn and that weekend... I'm sure they never knew how close I came to tipping over the edge...and that long weekend of learning, focusing on writing, the camaraderie and their unspoken but gentle sympathy tipped the balance for me in the right direction.
It was normality in a world far from normal.
The most comforting words during those very dark days was penned by a very dear friend....a friend whose only brother was shot down in Korea an hour after peace was declared.
She penned me a note that in essence said... Be glad you have to get up in the morning. Make a meal. Wash the dishes... these small steps towards normality lead you slowly back towards the path of living.
I still take comfort every day from that small letter worn thin with time and buried under the paper in my handkerchief drawer along with two other treasures....my last two cards from my boys...
Writing and the many dear friends I've made on this journey is a reward in itself.
I've never met another group of people more willing to share their expertise, pass on hard earned knowledge and writing tips, applaud other writer's successes and commiserate with their disappointments.
In all the years belonging to Romance Writers of New Zealand I've never heard or seen one nasty word or action or experienced any of the infighting and backstabbing so prevalent in other organisations. Our writing community is a jewel to treasure...
Jean Drew created a gem when she had the courage and foresight to create a fledgling organisation that has grown into a beautiful and graceful swan.
It's strange this post turned out much differently than the one I intended to write ....but rest assured it flowed straight from my heart to the page.