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The morning was a bright one. The sun all but shattered eyes as it danced across the surface to strike the Revenge. Hellion groaned as she stirred from the captain’s cabin, a hand at her forehead.
When she was able to open her eyes again, she saw Chance setting up the bar, humming a happy tune and dancing as she did so.
Chance looked up to see the Captain gazing at her. “Mornin’, Cap’n! Grand day has begun. Would ya like ta try me new drink? I call it Jane’s Common Sense. It be full a’ fruit juice and the dark spicy rum I know ya loves.”
“You named a drink after Lady Jane?” Hellion took the proffered tankard and sipped with appreciation. “A nice one, Chance! Why the honor?”
“Well, ya ‘member how I returned from me Orlando convention brimmin’ with success and confidence? Today, I be payin’ tribute ta the lady whose straight talkin’ ways and sureness set me on that course.” Chance tapped a button on her shirt. It sported a take on an oft bandied about faith based statement.
“What Would Jane Do?” Hellion chuckled. “How did that go over with the Lady?”
“Oh, she growled at me, but she were secretly flattered.” Chance smiled. “I follered me own advice and it made me braver, Cap’n. Ev’ryone needs a friend like Jane!”
Chances enthusiasm mad the Cap’n smile, it was truly contagious.
Aye crew, I be talking ‘bout the friends ya make as a writer. The ones who share yer successes, talk ya through the failures, pour the rum, share the chocolate. They read yer missives and offer sensible critique, whether what ya write be a normal part a’ their library or no.
I gots Jane. Who I met at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Pittsburgh, just last year. We both took the beginner writer’s course, met first through the bulletin board Judi McCoy set up. And we hit it off afore we met in Pittsburgh. I was feelin’ a bit peevish in Pittsburgh, first foray after me brush wit’ death and all. Jane and I, we both went home a bit overwhelmed, but stayed in touch.
I celebrated her success wit’ enterin’ contests, though found meself wonderin’ why she got all the nice judges! And she held me hand over the internet when I was crushed by ‘nother contest. She read me stuff. I read ‘er stuff. Neither of us is great at grammar, but we knew how ta talk ‘bout what was missin’ and we ‘elped each other out.
Jane-o and I, we don’t write the same stuff. We don’t read the same stuff. But we wanted ta be there, one ta the other. So’s we made it work. Havin’ different interests ‘elped us keep some distance. And so we worked tagether. And we played together. (Else why would I be wearin’ me red bad dog pajamas and a tiara ta the Saturday book fair?)
And in Orlando, we both got requests after pitchin’. I looked at an editor, sittin’ in a hallway and thought… “I can’t bother ‘er. She’s busy. But she said ta pitch ta ‘er wherever she be…” I looked at me button and read it. “What Would Jane Do?” And I walked over, asked ta pitch.
No, she weren’t interested, but it got me ready fer the agent pitch, minutes later. And it got me the name a’ another editor ta query. And it made me feel powerful. I had done what Jane would do. And it felt right. I went on ta other successes, sharing me new motto wit’ those I met.
Because Jane? She’s brave. She pushes forward, she politely finds her way till she be sittin’ ‘cross from famous authors at lunch, getting’ advice. Jane ain’t stymied by bein’ a newbie. As she say, we all starts somewhere. She’s gonna be famous one day. And there I’ll be, wit’ me pin, right next ta ‘er.
Sing the praise a’ yer partner, crew! Today be BFF day! Do ya have one like Jane? Will she let ya take ‘er picture without smirkin’ at the camera? I tell Jane-o, she gots ta learn how ta relax, ‘cause ‘er fans be wantin’ ta take ‘er picture one day.
Do ya have a critique partner that makes yer day? Someone yer able ta share the ups and downs a’ yer writin’? Or jus’ someone ya can talk books wit’ who understands the madness? Do they read or write what ya read or write? Do that ‘elp? Have they ever given ya advice that rings so true, ya feel like ya could touch the stars after readin’ how great yer next edit be? Share!