May 6, 2011

Friends of the Heart

Michelle, Rachel & Emily, 2009.
Yesterday I had lunch with the gorgeous Robyn Grady, fellow LoveCat and friend. It was a 5 hour lunch (which is kinda short by our standards). We talked about writing and life and families and publishing and books and all good things. I had a deadline a few days ago, so this was *exactly* what I needed to relax afterwards.

Nikki & Sharon on ferry to lighhouse.
Regular readers of the blog will know that a couple of months ago, I went on a writing retreat to an isolated lighthouse with Nikki Logan, Sharon Archer and our friend Alison. We got a lot of writing done, but we also had fabulous fun - curled up in the little loungeroom watching movies at night, on our lighthouse tour, at gin o'clock.

I have a couple of other get togethers planned soon with other lovely friends and the RWA conference is only a few months away where I'll see even more of my friends, so I'm feeling especially spoiled in the friend department at the moment. And it got me to thinking about the role friends play in our lives. Good friends, the ones we turn to when things go wrong, the ones we want to celebrate with.

LoveCats at conference, 2010.
Tell me, do you have people like this in your life - friends of the heart? Are they people you meet face to face, or mainly know them online? Are they people you've known since you were kids, or more recent acquisitions? I'm just in the mood to talk about friends!


  1. Hi Rachel,
    Those long lunches with friends are the best tonic! Long phone calls/emails are good... but nothing beats food and friendship.

    I've moved a few times and it always surprises me who I keep in touch with after the move. It's usually not the people I think I'm most friendly with but someone on the outskirts. I like collecting friends, they're invaluable. My sisters laugh at my enormous Christmas card list - which has people I've been sending cards to for over 20 years. When I do my world tour, I intend to catch up with all my friends who have moved overseas. Then my Aussie tour will have me catching up with the rest. (Oh, these tours are for when I am rich - not sure when that will be!).


  2. Cath, I've found the same thing interesting - the people I've ended up staying in touch with over the years aren't always the ones I would have predicted. But I'm glad I did keep them!

    I've been very slack about my Christmas card list for the last few years, so I'm in awe of your long list. Maybe 2011 is the year I get it back on track and do the actual mail out...

    Love your phrasing, "I like collecting friends, they're invaluable." Yes!

  3. Loved your post, Rach (and loved the piccies too)! Where on earth would we be without friends of the heart? And marathon lunch and coffee sessions are one of the best ways to celebrate such friendships. Have to say that I wished you lived closer so we could do the lunch and coffee thing :-).

    Girls nights (or weekends) are another favourite of mine. Good food, wine and chocolate... a game or two of truth or dare. What's not to love about that :-). Perhaps we should organise one soon.

  4. Michelle, I wish you lived closer too!

    Love this: "And marathon lunch and coffee sessions are one of the best ways to celebrate such friendships."

    You're right - we should celebrate those friendships that make us happy!

  5. Rachel, I love those friendships. Where else can we let our hair down and have indepth discussions - or not -and chocolate and wine? I love how friends are just there whenever you need them. There is a special bond between women and their friends. and a lot of laughs.

  6. Lovely post, Rachel! Wasn't it fab getting nearly all of us LoveCats together together at the conference. And I have to say that the trip to the lighthouse was just the most awesome time!

    These days with the Internet and email it's so easy to keep in touch with people. Which is great because y'all live so darned far away!

    One of my oldest friends was someone I met when I applied for a job as a flight service officer - we just clicked! We sat a series of aptitude tests together and bonded in the tea breaks. Sadly, she now lives on the other side of the world in Wales so we can't do wonderful lunch-time bonding like we used to. But I only have to pick up the phone and an hour can disappear in the click of my fingers!

    There's something very comforting about knowing friends are there whether it's close enough for coffee or an email away or the dialling of a phone number!


  7. Sue, I think that's true - there's a special bond between women and their friends. And yes, chocolate is definitely involved!

  8. Sharon, that's such a fabulous story about you and your friend in Wales! Who would have thought that meeting someone in a setting like that would lead to a life long friendship? I'm feeling all warm and gooey just thinking about it. :)

  9. It *was* a wonderful lunch. And, yes, much too short, lol.
    From buddies, to family and children, or even pets, true friendships are precious for so many reasons. It's great to sit and talk to someone and never run out of things to say!
    I have a good friend who lives in Canada. We've never met face to face but she is the biggest sweetie, and a person I know I will always respect and treasure. In fact, she's been a little quiet of late. I'd better email tonight!

  10. Robbie - only 5 hours? What were we thinking? Next time we'll plan it better. ;)

    Your friend in Canada *is* a sweetie. I have a friend in Australia who's from Canada and I've often thought that I'd like to visit her home country with her one day - perhaps I could drop in on your friend then too. What fun!

  11. Until I started writing I only had two good friends who were not in my city, now I have multiple. Ironically, I 'see' more of those people because for us emailing/IMing is so normal whereas I wouldn't do that with non-writing friendds in my own town but I do get to have the face-to-face, long lunches and catchups with them that I can't have with all you guys in the East or overseas.

    It makes those rare face-to-face times like conference so much more important.

    Love me some face-time :)

  12. Nikki, that's a good point - with the age of technology, I now have friends who I only see face to face, and others I only / mainly see online.

    We just need technology to take another step forward and give us teleporting and things would be even better. :)

  13. Hi Rachel,

    Yay! For friendship! I loved your post and your photos are so warm and lovely!

    I don't have a close friend, only relatives, who always thought I'm strange, with my head in a book instead of gossiping!

    Then I discovered this world of online friends and my world has expanded now. I'm honored to be in contact with you all via email.

    Thank you for this lovely post. And your ready answers to all of my queries!

  14. I absolutely LOVE my writing friends - they have become some of THE BEST friends I have :)

  15. I don't know what I would do without my writing friends. No-one else could possibly understand.

  16. Nas, Marion Lennox talks about finding your tribe, and I think you have. We're all a little strange here... ;)

  17. Toni - that's the thing with good friends, isn't it? They understand you. And if you have friends who share a passion (writing, reading, watching Buffy reruns) then that depth of understanding just makes the friendship richer.

    I bet your writing friends feel exactly the same way about you. :)

  18. Got friends through every decade of my life, plus through every child - via kindy, school, clubs etc - plus through my jobs, and now via my own grown kids.

    And my amazing awesome writing friends too. They so get 'me' and my writerly quirks!

    But my oldest and dearest girlfriend goes right back to our first year of school at a tender 5 years of age, when we KNEW we'd be BFF!!! And we have been, and we are, and tonight she just rang full of pride and excitiement to tell me about her brand-new baby granddaughter. Special friendships are the best!

    And there's you too, Rach - the one-'n-only - and the rest of the gang (from over the sea...) Dogs and all! :-) I love my friends and would be so lonely without them... Mmmmwwwaaahhh!

  19. Lovely post, Rachel!

    Amongst my group of friends we have a saying - 'The boys come and go but the girls are always there!'

    Like Clare, I've gathered friends from most decades of my life and they are women I can talk to about anything. I value their wisdom, their friendship and their humour. I wish I could spend more time with them, but we're scatted across the globe and I'm grateful for Skype, email, FB and the old fashioned phone line that allows us to stay in touch.

    I caught up with one friend recently and her eleven year old daughter sat through lunch with us before observing 'You two even talk the same. Are you sure you aren't sisters?'

    I treasure my good friends!

  20. Wonderful post, Rachel!

    I love the really old friendships where it doesn't matter how long it's been since you've seen someone, it's like you're picking up a conversation in mid-stride when you meet them again -- as if the intervening time doesn't exist.

    And I second what Rachel Johns said -- I love my writing friends! Those friendships are some of the best friendships I've ever made. Can't wait until conference to meet with them face-to-face again!

  21. Rachel

    Long lunches and getaways with the girls are awesome and just what we all need a least a few times a year LOL. I have lots of friends that I see daily and lots of online friends that I chat to a lot as well they are my strength and we draw from each other cry together and laugh a lot together.
    Friends are like pockets everyone needs them

    Have Fun

  22. Hi Rachel,

    I love having friends who 'understand' my writing obsession, which is why most of my real friends are writers too =)
    I love meeting up, but I do prefer smaller groups (g)

    Ah, great photo of the lovecats btw - think I preferred the one with just my shoulder in it!!! LOL

  23. Clare, how cool that you have a friend from when you were 5! That's some special bonding you have there.

    And I include you among my o/s friends too! Speaking of which, I owe you an email. Stand by. :)

  24. Helene, great saying:
    'The boys come and go but the girls are always there!'

    I love skype and email and instant messaging too - they've been fabulous for keeping in contact with friends a long way away. Technology has been kind in that way.

    Love, love your friend's daughter's observation!

  25. Emily, yes! That feeling of... "it's like you're picking up a conversation in mid-stride when you meet them again -- as if the intervening time doesn't exist."

    Well put. :)

  26. Helen, this: "Friends are like pockets everyone needs them" made me laugh out loud. :)

    So glad you have people you can describe as your strength. Crying and laughing with someone you trust is *so* important.

  27. Mel, it's so important to have someone who understands your obsessions!

    There were a few photos of the LoveCats from that conference, but none with all of us together (except dressed up at the cocktail party), so I just took a random one. I quite like having all of you there instead of just your shoulder. ;)