Two days ago, the last day of the year, I received a wonderful surprise: a two-page (nearly) handwritten letter. I say nearly, because it was typed, but it was not a form letter. It was from an old friend . . . sort of. The letter, full of news of my friend’s life, was from someone I’ve never actually met. You see, we met as bloggers. Or maybe it was because her daughter read my book and she commented on my blog. But it’s been at least five years since then and we’ve been in touch online and by snailmail before, but it’s been a while. What a pleasure to receive the letter!
It got me thinking about the other people out there that I know only long-distance. There’s Jemima who lives on another continent who I’ll likely never meet. But she retweets me on Twitter often and leaves encouraging comments on my blog. There’s Michelle who I often emailed with all kinds of questions when I first started out as a self-publisher of middle grade books. She was always quick to answer and share what she knew.
And then there are the people who I met online and then later got to meet in person. Andi in Texas who was the very first blogger I sent my book to way back in 2012. When she said, “If you’re ever in Texas…” I remembered and a couple of years later we met in Houston! There’s Carol in Florida, a Master Gardener who read my book and later emailed me. We met last year at a Master Gardener conference.
As the old year ends and a new one begins, the letter I received reminded me how wonderful it is to hear from friends, and how sometimes we can still look forward to meeting friends for the first time.
A toast to friendship, near or far. Blessings in the new year.