Tuesday, May 06, 2014

"Friendship is born of that moment when you say, 'You too? I thought I was the only one!'"

 Wherein Jack talks about friendships

 (And is random, because she is always random.)
 When I turned thirteen my former babysitter told me I was entering the clumsy teen years. She said I'd be knocking things over and running into them all the time because I was going to grow suddenly and I wouldn't be used to it. 
 This didn't happen. I wasn't a graceful teen, that's never been one of my strong suits, but I didn't crash into things and drop things and knock things over. My teen clumsiness took a holiday until recently. It has suddenly jumped on me. 
 (This might be one reason everyone thinks I'm younger than I am. One reason. The other might possibly be because I act like I'm ten sometimes. Just a hunch.)
 Lately I've been knocking over almost everything I attempt to grab. I run into things even when they are right in front of me.I'm always losing my balance and stumbling around. I think I amuse my fellow co-workers. Or they think I'm one of those girls who sees a guy and forgets how to function. I'm pretty sure this is payback for all those times I snickered at teens when they ran face first into walls.

 Now that I got the randomness out of my system.

 I've mentioned before how I like friendship stories out of romantic ones. I've also said I put a little bit of romance into some of my books sometimes but it always drifts in the back. I only have one book planned that has about as much romance as friendship. And the only reason I think I might be able to do it is because it still does have strong friendships in it. (And brothers. Three fun brothers whom I love and want to strangle all at once.)
 Given the choice though, I will always pick to read or watch a friendship story over a romance. And I always have to have friends in the books I write.

 When I was little I was the odd kid. The one who sat alone under a tree with a book rather than talk to girls my own age. Someone said hi to me and my brain shut down and I couldn't even remember my own name, let alone what to say in response. Everyone told me I'd grow out of it.
 "I was shy when I was your age, look at me now!"

 When I became a teenager and I still didn't know how to carry on a conversation I was discouraged. The brilliant change hadn't come, and I was slowly becoming odder than I had been when I was younger. No one wanted to be my friend then, it would only get worse now - so I believed.

 This was when I started to write and take it more seriously than I had before. I even got my first blog and met three girls who liked fantasy and dressing up and all of those fun things. I formed a friendship with them, one in particular. She was as different from me as anyone could get, or at least I thought so.
 I'd always been a tomboy, partly made to believe all girly things were bad and should be shunned. I was supposed to be another one of the boys but with longer hair. Spending time with my new found best friend I began to realize I loved being a girl. I liked painting my nails and wearing pink sometimes and dressing up. (I still climbed trees, thought boots were the coolest shoes ever made, and never missed the chance to fence with sticks. Still do that.) But I was more willing to try new things, and many of them I liked.

 For awhile I felt like I was living in those books I used to read when I was younger. (The Story Girl. Little Women.) I'd go on adventures with my friend which consisted of walking to the park ad dipping our feet in the fountain, or going down to the bakery and talking about characters we liked. I even went to the Renaissance Faire and tripped Robin Hood - not on purpose.

 I got my first real experience at having a friend, and I was able to write friendships much easier. (This was about the time Peter and Tony came into existence.)

 Things happen though. I think they have technical terms and are often explained by, "We grew up." "Our interests changed." And so on. But it isn't one of those things that need details. Things happened, and one day I realized that my best friend and I were no longer friends.

 That was almost impossible to get over. She knew everything about me, and if she didn't want to be my friend, there couldn't possibly be anyone else in the world who would.

 I decided I didn't need friends. Not if it meant losing them and things being worse when they left. I wasn't even going to try and find friends. (Melodramatic on my part. There was a lot of other things going on at the time and I wasn't really a fun person to be around then.)

 This was just when I was getting close to publishing my first book and I was keeping up on my blog because I didn't want to lose the few people who were interested in my book. And...to make sure this doesn't turn into one of those boring stories I have been known to tell before I catch myself and shut up...I met several good friends who showed up to comment. And I was reminded of one friend who hadn't given up on me even though I'd turned into an odd ball.
 (I won't list names. You likely all know who you are so I will just wave.)

 The weird thing about these new found friendships is none of them considered me odd. They didn't call me strange or remind me how normal I'm not. How abnormal I am? Whatever you call it. They just accepted me. It still has been something I have trouble accepting and sometimes feel like hiding under my blanket, scared I will frighten everyone off.

 My point is though, since meeting some of these wonderful friends and realizing they really don't care how strange I am, they like me for being me, I've been giving a lot of thought to friendships and how important they are. I think they might be the most important relationships we can have. (Even more than marriage, but only because I believe a husband and wife should be best friends as well. I can't speak from experience since I've never even been in love - if God has someone picked out for me hopefully I will someday know - but it is just something I've observed. Husbands and wives who are best friends just seem so much happier then those who aren't. But....if you don't trust me, ask married couples.)

 My friends and I have been talking a lot lately about Rodgers and Bucky's friendship in the Captain America movies. (I even got new ideas for how to fix Peter and Tony's friendship, which kind of fell apart in book three. I was writing it when I lost my friend, not the best time to write about friendships.) But all of the talk about their great friendship reminded me of the wonderful friendships I now have. And just why they are so important.
 Maybe we won't be going to war and need a friend beside us to keep an eye out for us. But we will all face times when we need a friend at our side. It can be anything - facing a daunting school task, a new job, a bad day, writing a book...there are moments in our lives when we need someone there to lean on. Someone who will make a cup of tea and listen to a long ramble about how horrible their day was at work.

 I suppose what I mean to say by all of this is that I've discovered in about a week just how important my friends have become to me. A reminder I think I needed. Because it reminded me why I write about friendships.

 I had a better ending for this post, but I always get awkward when I talk about myself. But...there it is. A reminder, maybe, to be grateful for those special friends you'd take a Nerf Bullet for. They aren't always easy to find, and sometimes might take years, but they are worth keeping.

 Now I need to go and do some beta reading because I spent most of this evening laughing insanely with said friends.

 Quote is from C.S. Lewis.

 ALLONS-Y!

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9 comments :

  1. I like to have friends in the stories I write, too. In my current WIP, I kind of smashed a big friendship and haven't yet worked out how I'm going to repair it—or even if I will repair it.

    I shall let the pen decide.

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  2. Great friendships are often the foundation of great stories. (See: Frodo and Sam, for one prime example).

    And I think you're quite normal... but then... I'm probably fairly strange, so my measuring rod might be a bit warped! hahahahaha :)

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  3. Love that quote! Is it from The Magician's Nephew? I can't remember exactly which book, but the quote felt like coming home. :)
    And yes, friendships are vital. My hubs is my best friend, and I'm blessed by his friendship.

    I'm glad you found some friends again. *big hugs* I hope you have a chance to laugh and spend time with them more often. :)

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  4. This was an amazing post, Jack! I actually almost got a little teary. :-P

    But yeah, I know how you feel going through friendships and finding that you've "Grown up" and it's just over then. That hurts. But the friendships that last over rocky ground and stormy seas are the most amazing friendships ever.

    And it gives you such great fodder for friendship in stories. :-) Unfortunately the story I'm working in is very particular about how the awesome friendship that will be made will NOT be made overnight...in fact, I haven't even introduced the second character yet! :-P I need to get writing. Thank you, as always, for inspiring me!

    And by the way, I bought your books (Haphazardly Improbable and Abolished Impracticality) on my Kindle (my sister's Kindle, but nuance) and am sooooooooo excited to read them but my sister is making me read another series first. So yes. I'm chomping at the bit. :-)

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  5. I like it when you talk about yourself! This was a really fun post, Jack. Creating friendships is something I struggle with--I think it's easier to write romance, but I'm working on a friendship now that I hope I can pull off… :)

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  6. Well said, Jack! Friends are important. Glad you've found friends again.
    Never thought you were odd. And I like the tomboy in you. My wife is a tomboy.
    Yes, husbands and wives should be best friends. And I do speak from experience.

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  7. Oh, Jack! You are perfectly normal! (I'm going to go so far as to say that compared to me, you are veeeeeerrrry normal.)

    ~Robyn Hoode

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  8. Friendshiiiip.

    Don' you just love people who tell you things like that? "Oh you're almost a teenager. Let me tell you things that CAN go wrong, maahahaha."

    Hmph. Payback or no, teens running into things is hilarious, and anyone who doesn't laugh has no sense of humor.

    There are different kinds of shyness, and there are some you never grow out of, so EXCUSE YOU for being like me and always being shy. I think we're Shy Introverts. (because introvert and shy mean different things)

    I think you're a nice mix of tomboy and feminine. You're not girly, and that's nice. You, and.. all of us Delallos... we all remind me of Jules, with the "Guns, fights oooooh nail polish." lol.

    You tripped Robin Hood?! *giggles* I must hear this story.

    Things are awful when they happen and make relationships awkward. *offers cyber hug*

    I KNOW who we are!! lol. You still didn't like Psych when I first started following you. lol.

    Anyway listen, there's no chance of you frightening us off. We were more scared that we would frighten YOU off.
    And you're not abnormal. You're totally normal too us. You're awwwesome.

    I like it when you talk about yourself. XD

    FIGHT THE FAIRIES

    Witch

    Jerk

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  9. Trust me, friendships are sometimes harder for outgoing people. Despite having lots of friends throughout my life, even several "best friends" I was never close to any of them. When I was little, it wasn't bad, but as I got older and became afraid of scaring them off by being myself (which happened frequently). Eventually, I drifted away from most of my friends.

    You don't see so many "friendship" stories in my writing because I'm not sure exactly how to write one. What you will see, however, is family stories. I have a weird family, and it's bigger than it actually is for the simple reason that good friends are almost invariably adopted (not legally, but we consider them aunts, uncles, and cousins). I'm sure it's the same bond, deep down, but I much prefer writing the family angle.

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