|Izzie, Dizzie, Chi, and Ray|
Last year if you told me I'd find great friends on the internet, I'd have said you were nuts. After all, I'm more of a face to face type of gal, and the thought of getting to know strangers by tweeting them was just was flat weird.
However, about six months ago Hope Collier tweeted me razzing me about my name (@kailmeyra). She hadn't read The Light of Asteria, and so she didn't know of it's significance. She said she kept pronouncing my twitter name chimera, and so she'd just call me chi (pronounce Kie to her, but not knowing the root word that the name came from the rest of the world now calls me a tchee :-). I razzed right back, nicknaming her Izzie because her avatar looks just like the character Izzie Stevens from Gray's Anatomy. Soon Italia Trent joined the fun. At first, we called her Vamp because the woman never sleeps, but I thought it sounded a little trashy, and so we changed it to Ren (short for Siren, because she's the siren's call for creativity). And thus began the standing tradition of nicknames on twitter. Jennifer Sprague soon joined the group. We all agreed Jenn sounded cool the way it was, and Chirenjenzie was born!
Over the past six months, our group has grown to over sixty members. We've shared laughter, heartache, dreams, and most importantly manuscripts. I think I'm one of the older dogs in the pound, but age doesn't seem to matter to anyone. I'm closer to these people than some family members or colleagues I've worked with for years. I suspect it's because of the personal nature of writing. Reading someone's creativity is an intensely personal experience.
Last night, Regan Coomer, Megan Curd, and I met Hope in Lexington for her birthday. We talked for hours, had a few drinks, followed by a few laughs and texted Italia often. I haven't had that much fun since the book signing in Chicago (and that's saying something!)
As I hugged Izzie one last time in the parking lot, I realized that most people would probably think we're strange. I really don't care.