Thursday, March 5, 2009

Old Friends are New Part 1

Hi. Missy Tippens here. I had the craziest thing happen a few years ago. But let me back up even further... Nearly 20 years ago, I had a friend named Belinda (Lindi) Peterson in my Sunday school class. And I really liked being around her on Sundays and at class social functions. But then she moved and I moved, and we lost touch.
Now, jump ahead about 7 years. I had been writing romance for a while. And I had joined Romance Writers of America, then Georgia Romance Writers, my local RWA chapter. One Saturday at a meeting, I looked up and saw someone who looked so familiar. And the name Lindi popped into my head. It was her! We were so shocked to see each other. Neither of us knew that the other one was a writer.
And then began a great friendship. Eventually, we ended up in a weekly critique group together. And we began attending conferences and rooming together. We brainstorm and critique together. We talk on the phone a couple of times a week. And even though we live two hours apart now, we try to get together whenever we can. We know we'll usually see each other once a month because we serve together on the board of our local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. And of course we usually email almost daily!
I'll be a substitute poster tomorrow, so I'm going to share a short interview I did with Lindi about friendship. I hope you'll come back. She tells a secret on me! :)
So, now your turn. What do you do if you have friends who don't live near you? How do you keep in touch? How often do you get together? Has distance been hard on your friendship?


  1. Missy -- What a great story about finding your friend again. I have a friend who moved three years ago (way across the country to the east coast). We talk several times a month on the phone and were able to spend a weekend together in NYC last year and will have another weekend this year in DC.

  2. Hi Missy:

    I think distance is the great silent killer of friendships. There are many different types of ‘distance’ however and each type is capable of eroding the bonds of friendship.

    'Physical distance' is hard on friendships because it cuts off the many reinforcing ‘in-person’ interactions friends enjoy.

    'Spiritual distance' can also drive apart friends when their souls begin to travel in different directions.(To and away from God.)

    'Social distance' can open a gulf between the upwardly mobile and the economically settled when their circle of acquaintances no longer overlaps.

    'Situational distance' can happen when one marries and has children while the other remains a single career woman. (It is said that you becomes a different person when you become a mother.)

    'Emotional distance' can turn a friend into a stranger when she reacts far differently than you would to life’s various challenges.

    With so many forces working against friendship, is it any wonder why having one true friend in lifetime is so valued?

    I think there are many who will envy your friendship Lindi.

    I enjoyed your post. It is very thought provoking.


  3. Great post. What a neat story!

    I have many online friends all over the US. I hope to meet them at various conferences, but if not, we'll just keep on chatting on like (FaceBook and blogs) and keep growing the friendship. Maybe even some phone calls.

    It's tough, but it's almost is always around. No driving, planning, etc. BUT, then again, it's nice to have the face to face over coffee and brainstorm, talk, etc.

    Great post today.

  4. Janet, how exciting! My college roommates and I used to meet halfway in Chattanooga, TN. We'd spend two days together shopping and hanging out in the hotel room. I've missed that since it ended when the two of them had babies. But now that the babies are getting to be school age, we're already talking about meeting again. :) (We did meet for lunch over Christmas. I see them anytime I go home to my parents'.)

  5. Vince,

    You gave some very interesting points about the different kinds of separation. You know, in looking back, I think I've experienced every type, and it's so sad when that happens.

    I do feel very blessed when I find a friend who's a friend for life no matter what the circumstances!

  6. Lynn, I have really loved meeting people online, and then getting to meet them in person. Such a thrill!

    I was a member of the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter for a few years before I attended an RWA conference. When we had that first FHL general meeting, and I met several online friends in person, I cried! I was so embarrassed! LOL But it was such a joy.

  7. Missy, what a wonderful story! I didn't realize this about you two.

    I think that distance does adversely affect a friendship...but thanks to the Internet, IM and e-mail and of course the old-fashioned phones and snail mail (LOL!) I do think it's very possible to stay close from afar.

    Though it takes a lot of work on both parts. Valuable friendships are worth the effort.


  8. Missy,

    Sorry I'm late as usual!! Missy and I did lose touch when we moved, but when I was at the GRW meeting and saw her, I was excited. Like she said neither of us knew each other wrote---so how fun to find this out. Then to be critique partners---and now, best of friends. I know God wanted us to be together.
    And I'm thrilled.

  9. Cheryl, I agree! It does take work--but so worth it! (Just like a marriage!!)

    Hey, Lindi! I'm glad to see you here. Thanks for letting me tell our friendship story. :)