Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

This is going to be a big slush fest so prepare yourselves. I debated about posting that last blog (look down…not at your lap, at the blog below this one) and worried it would come across once again as me whining. But then I thought maybe someone else could be going through a similar experience and by reading my blog, could see that they weren’t alone. I also admit to the selfish idea that putting all that down in writing would be therapeutic and help me feel better. I should have known better.

Not that typing that didn’t get it all out, but that the help wouldn’t stop there. I want to thank everyone who offered support, advice and understanding. Those who shared their own experiences, either in email or in comments, and those who were just here. I have been lucky enough to virtually meet the most amazing women (and the amazing Q!) in the last couple of years. I will never regret getting bored one hot July night and wondering onto the Eloisa James (then sans Ms. Quinn) Bulletin Board and entering this crazy world.

I can never thank you enough and I only wish I could give all of you the hugs you deserve. Some of you I have been lucky enough to hug in person, some I will soon, and yet others I just know I’ll get to eventually. At least I hope so. For now, you’ll have to settle for this giant, slobbery, virtual kiss [MWAH!!!] .

For fun, how did you find your way into this giant online community we’ve built? Would you have ever imagined a virtual family like this? I know I didn’t. But I’m sure glad I found all of you!

29 thoughts on “Get By With A Little Help From My Friends”

  1. Renee says:

    I guess I’ll jump in here, since I’m procrastinating.

    About a week before Avon Fanlit, I had jumped over to Victoria Alexandra’s site and I followed a link to Avon Fanlit.

    I had always dreamed characters, and once or twice I wrote them down, but I never made it past a couple of pages before I’d throw them away.

    I met a lot of wonderful people through Avon, all of my CPs have come from there, even one who couldn’t participate because she lived overseas.

    I’ll never regret putting myself out there to be judged.

    This writing community has to be the best ever.

    Renee

  2. terrio says:

    Renee – Isn’t it amazing how many people took part in fanlit and are still virtually hanging together? LOL! I was in fanlit but hardly anyone knows it. I had a totally different alias and since Regency wasn’t my thing (even before I had a *thing*), I was only there for fun.

    Either way, I’m glad you followed those links to get to the fanlit site!

  3. skirbo says:

    I actually found Avon FanLit through a link from a previous FanLib production with the L Word that I participated in. I consider myself enormously lucky to have found it, it has been life changing.

    I was not good about staying in touch after FanLit-everyone started groups and sites and I just worked, worked, worked at the new part time job with FanLib and moved forward with my plans to adopt.

    Now that I’m writing again and trying to stay in touch, I feel like a bit of an outsider, but that’s okay.

    Sarah

  4. Renee says:

    Terri,

    What was your alias, mine was completely different too.

    Sarah, you’ll never be an outsider. You should stop back by Fanlit Forever, we’d love to see you again.

    Renee

  5. terrio says:

    Sarah, that’s ironic you say that since I think of you as the ultimate insider. LOL! You’re in the group and you’re not going to shake us. Sorry. 🙂

    Renee – I was Josie Langham on Fanlit. Can you tell that was around the time Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James came out? LOL!

  6. J.K. Coi says:

    Well Terri, I didn’t meet you at fanlit, since I hadn’t even heard of it until it was all said and done. But wherever and whenever it was, I’m glad that it happened!

  7. Stephanie J says:

    I’m one of the lucky ones who got a hug in person! 🙂

    And can I just say that I love how Q always gets his own shout out? Such a popular one that Q!

    I started getting into the online community after discovering that Mary had a blog. I was basically one big copycat in everything she did for a long time. She started a blog, so I started one. She got into fanlit, so I started following fanlit. But look at where all that copycatting got me to! I would not have met the wonderful you and all the other great blog friends. I feel corny when I say it but I do feel blessed to have discovered all of you!

  8. Stephanie J says:

    Sarah, you should never feel like an outsider! I never even submitted anything for fanlit, I just followed everyone else and rated and yet I’ve somehow weaseled my way into the fanlit family and no matter what they’ve always welcomed me. I think that’s part of what makes the fanlit family so great.

  9. terrio says:

    JK – you know, I’m racking my brain trying to figure out where we met and I can’t remember. LOL! I’m guessing it might have been over at the Vagabonds. Hmmmm….

    Either way, I’m SO GLAD you found us or we found you or that we all found each other! LOL!

    And I think you were the first to publish anything. Yay you!

  10. terrio says:

    Steph – You’re a copycat?! I had no idea. LOL! Then I’ll say a bit thanks for Mary giving you something to follow. I had the best time hanging with you in SF and I can’t wait until DC. We’ll get a better picture, I promise. LOL! (Surely I can lose weight by then….)

  11. skirbo says:

    Aww, thanks guys.

    I still can’t believe they took it down and aren’t doing another one.

    I *should* stop back by FanLit forever. Now that I’m writing again, especially, I’ll feel like playing.

    Sarah

  12. Mwah right back at you! I used to visit the Avon Bulletin Boards, then became a regularish person on Eloisa’s, although I can’t ever seem to break 400 comments—they keep deleting me, LOL. Anyway, I wrote ( a brief note) to Eloisa, and she wrote (a brief note) back, which floored me. So then I went to her BB, and discovered Drabbles. The rest is history, LOL. The 2 writing years since FanLit have been completely unlike my writing years before them. All you cyberfriends (hell, I’m just gonna call you friends) have changed everything in terms of my own GMC. Kisses and hugs to every one of you.

    And thanks so much Terri for putting me in the “squee” column. It’s so wonderful to share the writing life with people who understand. XXOO

  13. terrio says:

    Maggie – The drabbles were the beginning for me! I remember when I got up the nerve to finally write one and by some miracle, it won that week. I was floored.

    And it was totally the drabbles that taught me how to get to the point, say what you want to say in as few words as possible. I know they were for fun but they were great learning exercises.

    And I’m just happy to get to SQUEE for you. I know I don’t have your contest finals in there but I was going to run out of room if I put everything. LOL!

    Here’s to SQUEEE-ING for that first sale!!!

  14. Janga says:

    My only connection to Fanlit was as voter and cheerleader, but so many of my friends for whom we have all been squeeing this past year were participants that I feel connected to it.

    My romance circle of friends predates Fanlit. It actually started with Squawk Radio where I first met Manda, Kim, San, J, Hellion, Pixie Sara. PJ, Julie, and lots of others–readers and writers. From Squawk Radio, I wandered over to Eloisa’s original bulletin board where I found Manda, San, Pixie Sara, etc already there. As the EJ bb expanded, so did the circle. And those friends had friends that they brought to the bb or to other online groups that had formed, and the circle just kept growing.

    The drabbles and character interviews set me to writing romance. The encoragement and expectations of those friends keep me on task.

    If you are taking requests, DJ Terri, please play Natalie Merchant’s “Kind and Generous” and dedicate it to yourself and to all our other online friends.

  15. Quantum says:

    I also stumbled into the EJ bb and was sort of ‘grabbed’ by hundreds of charming ladies.

    At first I was looking for good book recommendations and then caught the drabble bug.

    I now have more romance books on my TBR pile than I can possibly read and now that the drabbles have folded I have sort of drifted away.

    The ‘pirates’ and ‘vagabonds’ are the two romance sites that I still visit regularly.

    I like to follow budding authors struggling with their creativity and I still dabble a little with creative writing when I have time, so can understand a little of the problems they face.

    It also helps one enjoy reading the books, knowing something of the effort that went into the writing.

    Terri, I consider it a privilege to count you as a cyber friend!

    Can I join Janga and request Bob Dylan’s “blowing in the wind”

  16. terrio says:

    Janga – I think I was the only late arrival to Squawk Radio. I didn’t realize you were there before you joined the board. And I forgot about those character interviews. That’s where Celi & Bryan were born!

    Here’s a bit of your request…
    Oh, I want to thank you for so many gifts you gave with love and tenderness,
    I wanna thank you
    I want to thank you for your generosity, the love and the honesty that you gave me
    I want to thank you, show my gratitude, my love and my respect for you,
    I wanna thank you

    Good choice!

  17. terrio says:

    Q – another of my board finds. I do wish you’d stop by the board more often as we could so use your alternate perspective sometimes. But I’m very glad you still visit the ship and my little blog here. You always raise the level that extra notch we need. 🙂

    Here’s some of your request…
    How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before they’re forever banned?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Very fitting for today.

  18. skirbo says:

    No, no. The answer is 42.

    Really.

    Sarah

  19. irisheyes says:

    I found Eloisa James through Julia Quinn’s website. I sent her a fan letter and she replied inviting me to come visit her site and join in. I loved her interactive reader’s section where she would throw out a question for discussion and join in with her fans. I thought that was so awesome. From there I followed her to Squawk Radio, which just so happened to have another of my all time favorite authors – Lisa Kleypas. Then I followed her back to her brand spanking new bulletin board.

    It took a year or so for me to get up the guts to post. I remember posting and waiting for someone to reply and I think it was Christina Dodd – agreeing with me. It was a very heady feeling. Along the way a lot of the names became very familiar to me and I would look forward to hearing certain opinions, comments or recommendations.

    I not only found my love of books to be a common ground, but past experiences and attitudes about life in general. I found a really special, generous and welcoming group of ladies (and Q!) and I made new friends!

    I didn’t participate in FanLit or any of the writing sections at the bb but felt the connection nonetheless. My writing has tapered off some recently but feel the connection nonetheless. I think the connection is friendship and am grateful for it.

  20. irisheyes says:

    Oh, I forgot… smooches and hugs right back at ya, Ter!!!

  21. terrio says:

    Irish – I think Squawk might have been the first blog I ever saw and I remember the first time one of those ladies answered directly to one of my comments. It was like getting accepted by the in crowd on your first day at a new school. LOL!

    I’m glad you got up the nerve to post and to keep posting. We’d be missing so much without our Irish Eyes!

  22. Diana says:

    I’m late but I’ll put in my two cents.

    I found my circle first through the Eloisa James BB. I don’t quite know how I ventured onto the board, but I know part of it was driven by lonliness in a new state. Needless to say, I immediately fell into loving and gentle hands. Hands that always seem to lift me up and make me feel strong and whole. I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through Texas without their hands holding mine.

    As for fanlit, I was on there mainly as a cheerleader. I’m really good at that.

    And I’m going to post my own request because it’s impossible to find otherwise.

    Grateful-John Bucchino

    I’ve got a roof over my head
    I’ve got a warm place to sleep
    Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
    Instead of counting sheep

    I’ve got a heart that can hold love
    I’ve got a mind that can think
    There may be times when I lose the light
    And let my spirits sink
    But I can’t stay depressed
    When I remeber how I’m blessed

    Grateful, grateful
    Truly grateful I am
    Grateful, grateful
    Truly blessed
    And duly grateful

    In a city of strangers
    I’ve got a family of friends
    No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
    I know that they will stay until the end

    I feel a hand holding my hand
    It’s not a hand you can see
    But on the road to the promised land
    This hand will shepherd me
    Through delight and despair
    Holding tight and always there

    Grateful, grateful
    Truly grateful I am
    Grateful, grateful
    Truly blessed
    And duly grateful

    It’s not that I don’t want a lot
    Or hope for more, or dream of more
    But giving thanks for what I’ve got
    Makes me so much happier than keeping score

    In a world that can bring pain
    I will still take each chance
    For I believe that whatever the terrain
    Our feet can learn to dance
    Whatever stone life may sling
    We can moan or we can sing

    Grateful, grateful
    Truly grateful I am
    Grateful, grateful
    Truly blessed
    And duly grateful

  23. terrio says:

    Di – that is a gorgeous song. I need to find that on iTunes. And you are a treasure. I’m so glad you made your way to the BB no matter how it happened.

  24. Beth says:

    I’m totally late to the party. Glad you are feeling better Terri. Life can get overwhelming at times and I think your body was telling you that it is time to take a breather. I started my online life at EJ’s bb and then at Squawk Radio. I really miss that place. I’ve had a lot of fun online mostly because of the lovely people I have met. And I am one of the lucky ones who has hugged you in person!

  25. terrio says:

    Beth – I think you were the first Bon Bon I ever met in person. You and Mander/Amanda. That was such a great day. We need to do that again soon. 🙂

  26. Beth says:

    Definitely! Keep an eye on Nora’s book signings and the next one that looks good come on up.

  27. Marnee Jo says:

    MWAH! I have nothing else to offer but a giant smooch back. I’m sometimes MIA, but I hope you know I love you. 🙂

  28. terrio says:

    Beth – I’ll keep an eye on the schedule!

    Marn – I love you too!!!

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