Tuesday Tidbit: Writer Friends & Giveaway

This giveaway has ended; Steph and Justine will both receive signed paperback copies of Courtney’s book and a matching bookmark! Thanks so much for visiting, ladies, and I know you’ll enjoy this story! I’ll contact you both by email.

It’s very important for writers to have writer friends. We live in caves and hear voices and while some days we can behave ourselves and pretend to be normal (I went to two actual parties this weekend, and I didn’t have to hide in the bathroom and whip out my notebook to scribble down ideas, not even once), some days it’s a lot of effort.

I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had on Twitter, some of the funniest, smartest, most emotionally tuned-in and articulate-about-feelings people I’ve ever known. I talk to them on email and on the phone and see them not frequently enough. Most of the time, they take really good care of me and pat my head and say, “There, there” in just the right tone of sympathy that also somehow implies, “Now go effing write that scene.” And most of the time, I feel comforted and go off and write. I could not do what I do without these fine ladies (and the occasional gent).

But it’s also really nice to have actual on-the-ground local writer friends you can take walks with and drink beers and write with in cafes and cry snotty tears with on a regular basis. I am lucky enough to have several of these now, enough that last week I actually hosted a party and fed them writer food (Cheetos, beer & wine, and chocolate).

Art Is the Lie coverOne of my newest friends is Courtney Cook Hopp. She’s a graphic designer and–more recently–YA writer and she recently indie-pubbed her first novel, Art Is the Lie. Incongruously enough, I met her at a Little League game. She and I agree that showing up at a kids’ baseball game after a day of sitting in your writing/design/formatting cave has a lot in common with naked mole rats surfacing from their lairs and blinking in the sudden light. It’s a huge relief to be able to turn to someone who has also spent her day communing with imaginary people and say something like, “I just wrote 2,435 words and cut 2,436” without having to explain. Somehow, once you’ve gotten that off your chest, it’s much easier to cheer with genuine enthusiasm for adorable seven-year-old boys who can only just hold their bats steady.

I would like to hear more about your day job—and HELL YES this includes stay-at-home-parenting or homemaking and anything else you do that’s important and undervalued—and who gives you the support you need to keep you from having to, say, run screaming in your underpants through the streets. Comment and tell me what you do and who makes it doable, and two lucky winners will receive signed paperback copies of Courtney’s recently released Art Is the Lie, which I read in nearly one extremely compelling sitting this weekend (she also designed that gorgeous cover). Oh, and a bonus matching bookmark! You do not even have to be 18+ to enter, although you do have to live in the U.S. or Canada for shipping purposes. The contest ends Thursday, May 29, at 11:59 PST.