**Cross-posted at MBT Ponderers.
When I started watching JAG in 2001, I found an online message board dedicated to the show. Through that board, I met a zany cast of characters that was any writer’s buffet of personalities. Through the years, many board friendships have faded, but a few have remained—Carolyn, Amanda, Sara and Shane.
We’ve been friends for the past 11 years. But, with the exception of Carolyn, I haven’t met the rest in person. Someday… For now, we stay connected via Yahoo IM.
I met Carolyn in person in 2003, and she didn’t run away screaming, so I guess I wasn’t one of those scary online horror stories. Carolyn was the first person to read Lakeside Reunion in its infancy. She watched me grow as a writer. She cried when I announced my book contract and attended my Lakeside Reunion book launch party.
Amanda is my cyber daughter—we met while she was in college, and I gave her motherly advice. She is now a career woman, homeowner, and mom to furry Emma. She scored points by reading my book twice!
Sara was a senior in high school when we first met—the same age as my baby is now! Now she’s establishing her business career. She makes me laugh and shares my passion for romantic comedies, especially those with Ryan Reynolds.
Shane is my go-to computer guru who flies his Canadian flag with pride. A fellow Apple lover, he wears sarcasm like a designer suit and reminds me daily that I’m old. He’s so eye-rolling patient with me, especially when I need male POV insight for my novels.
My cyber pals are single college-educated professionals who encouraged this old married lady’s writing dream from the moment I was brave enough to share it with them. When I learned of my first book contract, they were among the first whom I shared my news.
We’ve been there for each other through the laughter, the tears, the scary stuff, and just the everyday mundane.
Recently someone asked me what my priorities were, and I said, “God, family, friends.” I simply can’t function well without my friends.
We may not be able to meet in person for some time (someday?), but they’re just as important as my face-to-face friends, and I love them to pieces. Yes, Cranky One, even you.
Your Turn: Do you have online friendships that have lasted through the years? How did you meet? How do you stay connected? Have you met in person yet? Did meeting your online friend fit your expectations?
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Nearly 9 years ago, I was one of several hosts giving Civil War trivia in a history chat room – "chat room" seems so ancient now!
I met another fellow history buff and Civil War reenactor, and his wife through the room. We kept up with emails long after the chat room folded. My hubby and I first met them face to face in Gettysburg in 2006. We've been great friends ever since. We still meet in Gburg now and then.
Oh yes, I have a dear friend who lives on the east coast. We've been friends for years and met through an online TV show forum. We keep in touch via phone, Skype, IM. We've met in person once.
You know how much I love you, Lisa! You've become such an important person in my life…especially as I made that crazy transition from "college kid" to "grown-up"!
And I read it a third time not long ago…do I score bonus points for that?? 🙂
Loree, that's so cool about your chat room friends. I love how you've kept in touch, and now you are able to meet.
Erica, your experience sounds like mine. Those online friendships add such value to your life, don't they?
Amanda, most definitely bonus points!! You are so sweet!