In his masterpiece, Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee William's character Blanche says she's always relied on the kindness of strangers. I've alway relied on the kindness of friends.
All my life I've been blessed in this way. What I've lacked in beauty, talent and monetary wealth has been overshadowed by the quality of my friendships; indeed the quality of the people I've met along this path of life . These friends dwell all over the world and thanks to Facebook I've found many I thought were lost to me because of time and space.
This weekend I'll be at the Suncadia Lodge in Cle Elum, Washington for a reading and book signing. Three of my friends will be with me for a girls' weekend; a chance for me to thank them for all their work on my behalf. I call them my entourage, not because they're anything like the characters on the HBO show (or me as rock star fabulous) but because they've been with me through thick and thin, during all the hard times and the glorious times of this ride that's been Riversong. They've planned events, sold books to everyone they know, and before, during the darkest of moments, encouraged me to keep writing.
Another friend is planning the Portland event on the 27th at the Libertine Deli. She offered, no strings attached, just because she wanted to do it for me. The night of the event a friend from high school is bringing a bunch of her girlfriends to buy books and hear my reading. And it's her birthday. Sounds like a birthday present to me.
I could go on and on. My Oregon hometown supporters, my high school friends, my new friends here in Snoqualmie, Talus friends from our former neighborhood, my college buddies, my twitter writing group (go #pubwrite and #amwriting), actress friends, former colleagues from my corporate days, church friends. Everyone spreading out their arms, flinging copies of Riversong into the breeze. One thing I know for sure - if Riversongever reaches the bestseller category it will be because of these grass roots efforts. Because of the kindness of friends.
All of which tells you the kind of friends I have in this sweet ol' world. Beyond the mundane, the trivialities of life, the difficulties along the way, and whether I'm successful in the traditional sense or not, I know this to be true: these relationships forged over years and miles, connections that sustain me in good times and bad, there is nothing that matters more.