Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Last evening I drove with three writer friends, Sarah Andre, Jo Anne Banker and Kay Hudson to the release party for Shana Galen’s WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND. Hosted by Katy Budget Books, it was a wonderful event with champagne, cake, chocolate dipped strawberries and goodie bags filled with signed historical paperbacks, booksmarks, “real” diamond rings, body jewels and chocolate. 

I wish I could say we arrived promptly at 6:00 when Shana began her talk, but we didn’t get there until well into the Q&A. Given we’d driven an hour and a half in rush hour traffic, our tardiness was forgiven. Why, you may ask, did we drive that far and that long on a Monday night for a book signing? Because that’s what friends do. And many of the writers I’ve met through my local RWA chapters are indeed my friends.

And we weren’t the only chapter members to show up. Sophie Jordan, Ana Walker and Nicole Flockton were also there. After the signing, Sarah, Jo Anne and I took Kay out to dinner for her birthday. Sometime in the evening we remarked that if it wasn’t for writing and RWA, the four of us would never have crossed paths, and yet we’re sharing a journey non-writers find it hard to understand. Who in her right mind spends thousands of hours, years of her life in front of a keyboard pouring her heart and soul into a stories that may never be published? Yup, we do. Who subjects themselves to harsh criticism by contest judges, agents, editors and, if we’re lucky enough to get published, reviewers in pursuit of a career? We do.

Family and civilian friends support us, but after a couple of years with no books out on the shelves, they wonder if we’re crazy, lazy or delusional about our writing ability. Our writer friends understand the piles of rejections, the early manuscripts tucked under beds, the disappointment when our agent can’t sell a story we both love. They also share the triumphs of a contest win, a “full” request, an offer of representation from an agent, a book contract, and the release of a new book and a new series. One writer friend, Pat O'Dea Rosen, even agreed to be a part of this blog! 

My writer friends and I would never have met in our real lives for a thousand different reasons (age, geography, work, lifestyle, just to name a few) and yet they have become some of the most meaningful relationships in my life. In no other profession have I experienced the generosity, the willingness to help a newcomer along, the encouragement and empathy I have with these women. To all my writer friends I say—Thank you! You’re the best!


Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I second that emotion! Like you, Lark, I'm grateful for/count on/rejoice for my writer friends. Hey, thanks for asking me to be part of this blog, and for lending me a bit of your Carrie Bradshaw-like glamour.

Happy Birthday, Kay!

Lark Howard said...

Without you, Pat, there would be no blog...or at least nobody would be reading it. You're the best!

You're too funny! Carrie Bradshaw? Can't I be Samantha? She gets the best guys! :-)

Kay Hudson said...

Well, that's a nice surprise, opening up someone else's blog and seeing myself looking back (even next to a beauty like Shane!).

Thank you, Pat, and Happy Birthday to you, too, Lark.

I do agree with you, Lark. I've met so many dear friends through RWA, and most of them I would never have run into otherwise.

Sarah Andre said...

What a warm and appropriate post, Lark!

The evening in Katy, as well as the chapter meeting last Saturday are hours I really look forward to. Almost like someone who's held their breath too long, I can let go of all the writing 'stuff' (good, bad and ugly!)in my head, let it stream out of my mouth and know the friends around me will nod their heads in complete understanding.

Writing is a solitary activity, which is great for me, but those times I get together with friends who live this life too are treasured.


Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Wait! It's Lark's birthday? Why didn't I know this?! Happy Birthday, Lark!

Thanks for the blogging compliment, but I'm only half the reason it chugs on. Oh, and you can't be Samantha because you've got Steve, aka Mr. Big.

Colleen Thompson said...

Happy birthday, Lark! And I absolutely agree with you about writing friendships. They're magical!

Wish I could've come along for the ride Monday, but I'm reading IF YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND now. Wonderful story!

Louise Behiel said...

Happy birthday Lark. there is something special about all my writing friends, near and far.

Lark Howard said...

Thanks, Kay! And I think you look very pretty, too!

Lark Howard said...

Yes, Sarah, our writing blithering is often only intelligible to another writer. I'm so grateful for the sympathetic ear you've lent me on many, many occasions!

Lark Howard said...

Thanks, Colleen. I'm taking 2 books on my trip tomorrow to visit family--yours and Shana's. Can't wait to get started on both!

Lark Howard said...

Thanks, Louise. I'm happy you're part of this crazy writing community too.

Sheila Seabrook said...

Happy birthday, Lark. I hope you did something special to celebrate. :) The writing community is wonderful. Over the years, I've met so many people that I've kept in contact with.