Candace Havens told her Fast Draft workshop attendees this weekend, that there are only two viable excuses for not getting your writing done.
Obviously, neither of those happened to me this past week. I have no excuse. However,one of the best things about blogging regularly, are the community of friends you make virtually. Between Twitter, Facebook and this blog, I have connected with more people than I ever thought possible. Part of my inner circle, in fact, is made up of people I have never met in person, people who might even know me better than some of my family members. Our lives are clearly defined on our blogs, conversations igniting across the country. Occasionally, some of these relationships become so dear to our hearts, that we introduce them to our non-virtual life.
This past February, Kelly, from Dances with Chaos, sent me an instant message on Facebook.
“So another random thing.. I just learned about a writing conference in Dallas this May. Don’t you think that would be a great thing to attend so you can see family and write and um… meet me?”
I had never been to a writing conference, and the idea of getting to spend the weekend in Texas was super appealing. Besides, meeting a blogging buddy in person would be awesome. By the end of the week, I had booked my conference ticket, contacted local friends, and plotted out airlines and hotels.
“So, let me get this straight,” questioned DW, “instead of finding a writing conference here in Michigan, and taking someone you know, you’re going to fly to Texas and room with a complete stranger?”
“Um, yes,” I said.
And he says I’m not adventurous.
Over the next few months, Kelly and I had phone chats to plan our weekend together. Although the conference didn’t start until Saturday, I decided to come in on Thursday afternoon, so I could see my friend and her family for dinner. That also gave Kelly and me Friday to hang out, getting to know each other a little better. We planned to meet at noon.
Unfortunately, Kelly had some minor car trouble and wouldn’t be able to get to Dallas until closer to 2pm. I used my extra time to relax, read, call my mom and then take a 9 mile run. Finally, she arrived. Stepping out of her car, I immediately recognized her from her profile picture, and rushed to greet her, with open arms.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, “I wasn’t expecting you to be so short! You look a lot taller in your head shot.”
Our conversation flowed easily, as if we had been friends for years, exchanging stories about our family, friends, and writing. And what do two beautiful ladies, without children, out on a Friday night do together? They go to the gym and take a Zumba class, of course! By the time our workout was over, my legs were wobbly, my knees knocking together with each step. Kelly suggested we sit in the steam room so that my muscles didn’t seize. I’ve never been in a steam room. I pictured it smelling like sweaty butts, and rather large women sitting around with just a towel covering their lower extremities, boobs resting on their knees.
“Um, I think I’ll pass,” I said pulling clothes out of my bag for dinner, the showers calling my name.
“Really!” she insisted, “you’ll love it!” and proceeded to hand me some towels while she started to strip down.
A few seconds later, I found myself sitting in a steam filled room, breathing eucalyptus deeply, clutching my towel tightly around my body.
“This feels pretty good,” I remarked surprised, relaxing a little, “who would have thought.”
“Yeah,” Kelly giggled, “who would have thought that just four hours after meeting each other, we would get naked together!”