This is a repost from 2010. I’m posting it now, because I’ve noticed that, after “pizza ovens,” “meeting my best friend for the first time” is the second-most popular phrase entered as a subject into search engines that brings readers to my blog. Curious, I thought. Then I checked the stats and this post has garnered 816 views since it was first published on Feb. 9, 2010. There must be a lot of other people out there who are meeting their best friends for the first time!
Monday was a very good day – an historic day, I should add. In the same way as the meeting between Livingstone and Stanley, Lennon and McCartney, Lewis and Clark – okay, maybe I’m stretching this a bit here, but bear with me… For me, this was definitely a significant turning point in my life, to finally meet, in person, the person I’ve long considered my best email writing friend, but had never had the opportunity to actually meet.
Darcie Hossack and I “met” online for the first time on the Humber student discussion board. Those early exchanges involved talking about food, specifically white chocolate and berry scones and an exchange of recipes, if I remember correctly, Firefly – oh, yes, and writing, too. We quickly realized that while we come from different backgrounds, are separated in age by a couple of decades and (at that time) several thousand miles physically – not to mention that Darcie’s writing is leaps-and-bounds more accomplished than mine, we definitely clicked, and became fast friends all those years ago. During the past four years (now seven!!), we’ve offered each other advice, editing, encouragement, connections, and confidence that what we write, and the way we’re writing it, is not only good, but will eventually be published. I’m so proud that Darcie is first this fall with a collection of short stories, Mennonites Don’t Dance, to be published by Thistledown. **Update – Here’s Darcie’s book on a playdate with mine, which I have since published, as well!
And read this terrific review by Jim Bartley Of MDD that appeared in The Globe & Mail.
But we’ve also been collaborating all this time on another idea. I don’t think it’s stretching things too much to say that we complement each other. And that’s what best friends should do, right?
So meeting Darcie, finally, yesterday, was just a matter of putting a physical presence to someone I felt I have really known all along. And now I have the added bonus of being able to hear her voice when I read emails she writes to me. She’s no longer my imaginary friend. But she is still my best writing friend!
But, NO! It’s not what you think! No distracted-driving laws were broken while taking this picture!
I know Lori-Anne Poirier through our mutual friend, and very great author, Darcie Friesen Hossack. Lori-Anne has created the Okanagan-based, online blogzine, The Pear Tree, and is herself a fine writer. She also has a couple of small children who keep her very busy, whenever they’re awake. Here’s what Lori-Anne had to say about reading my novel, Island in the Clouds, on her iPad…
My 2-1/2 year-old daughter has ceased napping in the afternoons. Or at
least she thinks she has, and as long as we’re at home or doing something
interesting she’s quite firm in her resolution. But on occasion, when we
go out in the car, the movement, the hum of the motor and the warm sun
streaming in her window is just too much to resist, and she falls asleep.
And I’m stuck in the car with nothing to do. Fortunately, I’ve learned to
bring an iPad along with me so I can indulge in a little bit of reading
time. So I give you Islands in the Clouds, from the comfort of my driver’s
seat overlooking Ben Lee Park in Kelowna.
And great book (so far), btw!!
Thank you, Lori-Anne, for taking part in my Where in the World Are You Reading “Island in the Clouds” promotion!!
This is a friendship that began with an exchange of recipes on the student website during the Humber Creative Writing Program in 2006. Then it moved on to lots of talk about writing, and a sharing of dreams that we would one day see our work published. “I will promote you,” I said to Darcie Friesen Hossack, oh so long ago. And I did too, and was extremely proud that she was the first of our group to land a publishing contract for her beautiful book, Mennonites Don’t Dance.
“Do this,” I would say, sending out lists of orders as to how she should be promoting her new book. Yes, I was a taskmaster, and Darcie was a trooper, getting out of bed before the crack of 11 a.m. to drive all over Alberta for promotions I’d organized for her. But we both enjoyed the results of seeing Darcie’s book gain the recognition it deserved, being nominated for prizes – still being nominated for prizes. Darcie has even become a public speaker, at my insistence. This is not an easy feat for someone who prefers the company of her kidcats and computer to anything human, other than her resident chef-husband. She has done so well with this first publication and I am as proud as a mother hen, let me tell you!
Darcie has also been extremely supportive of me in all my efforts to get Alberta Books Canada off the ground and then to write Island in the Clouds (she was one of my early readers) and publish it. She’s listened to my concerns, worries, excited exclamations – all through email – and shared in the overuse of exclamation marks and capital Es many times over the years. And it all culminates in this – the publication of my new eBook – EEEEEE!!!!!!! (See what I mean? I can’t help it!)
So here is Darcie’s entry for the Where in the World??? promotion. Thank you Darcie Friesen Hossack – for everything!
Susan! I’ve been hearing about Bequia for so long, I loved finally getting to go there via Kobo and “Island in the Clouds.” I’ve been craving chicken roti ever since, and coveting a “copper” of my own. Here in Kelowna, everything outside is brown (still February), so I didn’t take “Island in the Clouds” outside. Instead, this is your book at the antique shabby-chic desk where I work. ~ Darcie