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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Little Help from my Friends - plus GIVEAWAY!

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Few songs sum up life better than With a Little Help From my Friends by The Beatles. In particular, this seems to be one of the recurring themes in both my life and career: 

*Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends*

*Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends*


Seriously – how amazing is it to have friends that you can pour out your problems to, celebrate the good with, commiserate on the bad, and truly just share life with? Never has this been more apparent than in the past year.
Last fall, my friend and fellow author, Heather Snow and I both had similar (extremely nerve-wracking) deadlines. With only weeks left, we each still had a lot of writing to do. Like, a LOT. I mean, the kind that would have sent our respective editors into cold sweats if they had known.
Alone, the task seemed impossible. With not nearly enough hours in the day to write, feed ourselves and our families, and still do things like brush our teeth, Heather and I were both feeling overwhelmed. BUT….when we discovered we were in the same boat, we suddenly found the cheerleader and accountability partner we needed.
Every single night, no matter if it was midnight or 3 am, we would text the other our word count for the day. We would call when we were stuck, the result of which was copious amounts of peptalks and butt-kickings along the way.  And when the deadlines came bearing down on us like a high-speed train in those last days, we somehow, miraculously made it to the finish line.
From that experience, SWEET MADNESS and FLIRTING WITH FORTUNE were born. Not only did we succeed in turning in the books, we actually somehow turned out good books, lol. Need proof? Heather’s SWEET MADNESS got the coveted four and a half star ranking from RT Magazine! 


Oh, I get by with a little (or lot!) help from my friends

Another case in point: Yesterday, I released my surprise novella, RUINED BY A RAKE. All along I had planned on the April 1 release, but darn if the edits didn’t end up taking waaay longer than expected. So, of course, I was literally pushing my deadline to the very last possible moment.
I had invited Catherine Gayle for Easter dinner (back when I thought the novella would already be out of my hair), and bless her, she spent half her time here helping me with my five hundred million questions (give or take a million).  Seriously - the woman was a *saint*.  I could have been stressed to the gills, frustrated and upset, but with Catherine here, she totally saved the day. What’s more, she did it with a smile.  (And not just because I plied her with ham and pasta salad). (Okay, maybe the ham had a little to do with it).
 

Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends :-)

The Beatles, with all the wisdom of a bunch of twenty-somethings, where truly on to something. How do your friends help you through your day, year, decade, or life? Who is that special person for you? One commenter will win a copy of Heather Snow’s book, SWEET MADNESS, which releases today!!

43 comments:

  1. What a sweet post, Erin. And congrats on the surprise release.

    I truly have some of the greatest friends in the world. When my world came crashing down around me a few years ago, it was my friends who helped me get back on my feet, dusted me off, let me cry, listened ad nauseam to my woes, offered to off my then husband (in jest, of course), and were my biggest cheerleaders when success found me and my life was on course to be better than it ever had.

    I would have been lost with out my friends, many of whom are fellow LadyScribes, but some who are not. They know who they are. And they know I'll always be there for them no matter what.

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    1. It's amazing how much our friends can mean to us in time of crisis- it makes all the difference in getting us through!

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  2. I am always happy to help when it's something I can help with. :)

    Let's see...before I moved, my friends were always (and still are!) excellent sounding boards for the stresses in my life. And since the move, my friends have been amazing. You and Olivia (and the Captain!) helped me to get my furniture put together when I first got here. Many of my existing and new friends here have helped me to find where to go, etc. Everyone's taken me under their wings and helped to guide me now that I'm living in a new city...heck, a new state!

    Those are just a few of the recent ways my friends have helped me, that I couldn't do without.

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    1. That was a big ole leap of faith, moving here :) I'm so glad you did! And I was even happy to help with the furniture, despite being conked on the head for my efforts ;)

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  3. Congrats again on your release, Erin! I wish you much success with it :)

    For me, I honestly don't know where I'd be without my friends. They are the ones who have shaped who I am over the years, and their willingness to hold my hand when I need it or get down and party with me in the good times has been invaluable.

    But I have to give props to Ava Stone and Jane Charles...those two have been with me since the beginning of my writing career. They've read and critiqued nearly everything I've written, and they've been my sounding boards when I needed to vent about just about anything.

    Throw them in the mix with my other writing sisters (many of whom are Lady Scribes) and I'm pretty sure that makes me one lucky gal :)

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    1. I, for one, am very glad for your friendship with Jane and Ava - otherwise I never would have found you and the critique group!!

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  4. Congrats on your release, Erin. I cannot wait to read your novella. The cover is totally gorgeous. :)

    I love having different types of friends, to help me get through different bits and parts of my life. My author friends (many Lady Scribers) are totally able to relate to deadlines, writer's block and general writerly stuff. While I have friends that I know without a doubt I can get mommy or wife advice from. I just hope I'm being a friend in return. :}

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    1. I love seeing all the groups and loops out there - from mommies to dieters to foodies, there are so many ways to meet friends these days!

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  5. Great post Erin! Congratulations on the release! It is already in my loop, waiting to be read. You are lucky to have such tremendously talented friends!
    There is an old saying I love-"You don't make a friend, you recognize one." I have been lucky to recognize some amazing people.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy :) And yes, I am very lucky. What a great quote - I hadn't heard it before!

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    2. What a lovely saying, Nancy...and so true! Erin and I hit it off the moment we met, and I cherish her friendship very much :)

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  6. Congrats on your release!!!!

    I don't know where I would be without my friends. Jerrica and I met in one critique group that wasn't working and formed our own. The first to join was Ava and it grew from there. Without each lady in the group, many also a LadyScribe, I know I would not be published. The ladies in the group have become more than just a critique partner, but some of the best friends a person could have. No matter what the distance, the relationships have gone far beyond writing.

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    1. I swear, I don't know what writers did before the internet! Isn't amazing how we have all these amazing, supportive friends who are hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away?!

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  7. That special person for me is my sister. She helps get me through all the little and big things in life. Even though we're far away from each other, thank goodness for phone, email, text and FaceTime. :D At work I have my next cubicle over friend, she helps get me through the day by chatting about the little things going on day to day.

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    1. That's awesome that you and your sister are close! I feel much the same way about mine - and she's an entire continent away from me!

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  8. For all that writing is a "solitary battle", I can't imagine really doing it alone without the support of friends, without those life lines to my author pals or those close buds who understand why I'm in tears about imaginary and uncooperative characters. And when I think of those helping hands, I can't help but think that the best way to honor those women is to try to make sure my door is always open in return. It's a tough business and a heartless world sometimes...

    But friends make it not only survivable, but all the sweeter.

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  9. Congrats ladies on the new releases!!! I don't know how you do it! Deadlines would turn me into a fainting goat ;)

    I have 2 best friends I've known since high school... about 13 years... thick and thin, good and bad, we've always been the 3 amigos. Now one of us is battling cancer and it's scary that our 3 some might be broken up... But optimism is our focus and we know we can lean on each other!

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    1. Wow - want an amazing trio to have such strong ties over a dozen years later :) I'm sure your friend will have all the hope in the world with the two of you by her side.

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  10. I teach middle school and I think we only survive with the help of fellow teachers.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh my, Debby - you are a stronger woman that I! Kudos to you and your colleagues for keeping each other sane :)

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  11. I'd definitely be a little lost without my friends! I have 4 close friends from secondary school, and even though none of us live near each other, I know they're always there for me!
    Also, I can't wait to read Sweet Madness!

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    1. Thank goodness for modern technology that we can email/skype/facetime/call each other in a matter of seconds and be connected across the miles :)

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  12. Congrats on the release, my dear! I agree about the friends. And I believe that writers need friends that are other writers and also those who want nothing to do with the writing world. :)

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    1. That's very true, Hanna - though I find I'm less and less able to carry on a non-writing related conversation these days! lol

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  13. I envy a little those who have long-standing, long lasting friendships. I married a career military man so we picked up and moved every four years or so, and if we weren't moving, our friends were. Then he because a United Methodist elder and so we've continued to move (and will again this June). A few friends we have kept up with over the years (or reconnected over facebook), but for the most part, I do not have strong friendships.
    Now, that having been said, I have to say that everywhere we've been, we have made friends and they have been wonderful and great help to us.
    But I do have to say, my sister was a super friend and a great help 4 years ago when we moved here. I had had hip surgery a few months before the move, she so came to help me unpack and settle. Then I had the 2nd hip replaced a few months later and she came back to help.

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    1. My goodness, Donna - I can't imagine moving so much! I bet you guys have perfected the art of making friends :) I'm glad you sister is there for you!

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  14. Congrats on your new release, Erin! I have a couple friends that I know I can count on for anything. One I haven't seen in years, but I have no doubt we will pick up right where we left off when we finally manage to get together in person again. It's a very comforting feeling to know she's there.

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    1. Ha - I love those kind of friends! I have one in particular from high school. I can literally not see her for five years, but when we come together it's like we never separated :)

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  15. I have so many special people in my life. I don't know what I'd do without my writing buddies, lots of Lady Scribes, of course. I also have a great group of girlfriends from elementary school that are always there for me. Then I have my best work friend who makes work so much more fun. It helps to have someone else who knows the craziness that goes on in our office. I think you have to be there to believe it. LOL

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    1. No one can ever appreciate office politics quite like a fellow coworker!

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    2. Samantha, you have become a great sounding board for me, when I've needed it lately!

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    3. Misty,
      I'm so glad we met. I can't thank you enough for reaching out to me like you did. You are such a great source of support, and you have been so kind to help me with my limited computer skills. Plus, you're very patient about it. :)

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  16. Oh Erin,
    You have no idea how perfect it is for me to finish my day with this great blog post! Samantha said it perfectly; my writing partners have been my cheerleaders, supporters, friends, as close as sisters...I couldn't get by without A LOT of help from such an amazing group of ladies.
    My husband is also my hero; he props me up and is really like my compass...
    and I have a tremendous group of friends in my infertility network who have provided some much needed support in my life.
    I love this question.
    Hugs!

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    1. It sounds like there are many people who love you very much, Christi :) Soak up that love and support when you need it, and give it back when you have extra to spare.

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  17. Congrats Erin on both your books. I can't wait to read them. Loved More Than a Stranger.
    For me, it would be my family. They are always there for me regardless even if it's to tell me I'm being a right royal pain in the a**. :p

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    1. Thanks, Linda! And lol on the royal pain - ain't that what family is truly there for? :P

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  18. Just showing some love to both you and Heather! Already read Sweet Madness and loved it!
    Book hugs to both of you!

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  19. Hi Erin!

    Congratulations to both you and Heather on your wonderful releases!

    How would we ever get through the "tough" times without a little help from our friends! My two best friends are my husband and my friend Sheilah.

    With both of them I don't think I would have had the courage to face finding out I had cancer. At the time I was only in my forties and had two sons, one in college and one getting ready to go to college that fall. With their help and never ending support I was able to make some tough decisions and plow ahead with the attitude that I was too busy to be sick!

    When I had the surgery my oncologist told me I couldn't drive for "at least" 5 weeks. Because of their support and encouragement 5 and 1/2 week later I jumped into the car and drove from New England to South Carolina to my younger sons "parents day" week-end at The Citadel.

    Several years later I was finally told I was cancer free and it felt like my life was back on track. One week later my friend Shielah had surgery for cancer. While I was sitting beside her in the hospital room when her oncologist came in to set up her chemotherpy treatments. She looked at me, leaned over, picked up her purse and took out her day planner and told the docter "I.m too busy to be sick, I have places to go, people to see and a life to live and looked at me and smiled! Sheilah was given less than a year to live but she beat all olds and four years later stood by her youngest son's side when he got married. She died about a year later but the memories of her strength and encouragement throughout her fight will stay with me for a lifetime!

    With a little help from our friends we can "dream the impossible dream" and make it come true.

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    1. Wow, Jeanne - how incredibly inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing :) It sounds as though your and Shielah's attitudes made all the difference. Even though she's no longer here, clearly she's still with you :)

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  20. Hi Erin! Sorry to be so late getting by...release day fun, you know! I can't believe we survived those weeks. Wouldn't have made it without you :)

    I'm very blessed in my friendships, many of whom I've met through my writing. Very grateful for the people in my life.

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  21. We have a winner! Congratulations to Debby! Heather will be in touch with you shortly :)

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