What I want to talk about today, though, is, again, friendship. And today I want to talk about my friend Joanne.
Joanne and I met online at AbsoluteWrite.com. She's a seasoned freelance writer and a novelist (speculative fiction) and I was just starting out, trying to get my first novel published and slogging through the first draft of my second novel. Jo and I hit it off immediately. She has a great sense of humor, a free spirit, and the kindest soul I know. She's also extremely talented, helpful, very much a smart cookie.
What I didn't know at the time was that she had had some serious setbacks in her life, which she blogged about. Eventually Jo and I started chatting in real life and I got to know her better. Jo was involved in a serious car accident. She had suffered from strokes that wiped out her ability to walk, talk, and write. She had to relearn everything and it took her years, but she did it. "Perseverance" is her motto and she's a living proof of that. In recent years, she's been caring for her mother who has Alzheimer's. Again, perseverance.
Jo and I met in real life for a few times. My first impression of her is "What a fun, cute (and short) great lady!" The Jo I met had class, poise, a great sense of self-deprecating humor, and she was everything I thought she was, and then some. She was extremely encouraging of my writing and publishing endeavors, and she offered me plenty of sound advice. She even offered to review my novel when it came out, and she promised me she would be fair and honest. Jo wore her heart on her sleeves and I appreciated her honesty and genuineness. We became even better friends when we started to chat and critique each other's works online. We pushed each other to write, what with my procrastination and her hardship in real life. I wish I could do more to support her, but I also know that she's surrounded by a lot of love. It's hard not to love her back.
Jo's courage and resilience and kindness and love is inspiring. I wish I were half the person she is, and I'm deeply in love with this human being.
I haven't heard from Jo for a while now. The last blog entry of hers was posted in March this year; she was having a tough time. My heart goes out to her and her family and every day I think of her and send her my good vibes, and every day I hope to hear from her again. In the meantime, I have to respect her privacy.
I wish her all the best, and I can wait to hear from her, and push each other to write.
200 words today, 7500 words total
348 days and 178000 words to go