Friday, May 29, 2009

That's My Friend, Sarah

Almost three years ago, I was paging through the local shopping news when I came across a list of online classes available through our area technical college. The Beginning Writer's Workshop (available along with many other classes on intrigued me and I enrolled in the six-week session scheduled to begin on September 20th. I'd been tempted to take a writing class several times over the years, but never did until I discovered I could do it all at home on my computer.

I assumed the class would be small and made up of local residents. Wrong. The class numbered over 300 and we came together online from all over the United States, including Alaska, and as far away as Australia. One woman did some of her assignments on her laptop in a cafe perched in a huge oak tree on the island of Trinidad in the West Indies. Her husband was working on the island at that time.

I had the time of my life during those six weeks. We posted our assignments in a discussion area and then commented on each other's writing. The group of aspiring writers in that particular session of the workshop couldn't have been a more gregarious bunch. Many of us became good friends and continue to hang out through our blogs or writing websites.

One of the writers I met was Sarah. Sarah has always had something to say about my writing, starting way back in 2006. No matter what I wrote, Sarah thought it was fantastic and she lavished me with praise. I could do no wrong. She made me feel as though what I wrote was something I should be proud of. She made me believe in myself.

After a few weeks, I discovered that Sarah presently lives with her husband only ten miles north of where I live and that she grew up less than half a mile from here. Sarah is much younger than I am so she and I didn't grow up together. It's mind-boggling that we should come to know each other and become friends under these unusual circumstances. Sarah and her husband and Lon and I have gotten together on several occasions and our friendship has grown.
If you read the comments on my blogs, you will almost always see something supportive and encouraging written and posted by someone with the name, Sarah. That's my Sarah. I'm not so sure I'd still be writing if not for her.

(In the photo are the backup files of my memories of the aforementioned classes. The cases hold printouts of the lessons, copies of all of the 500 word final assignments submitted by those who completed the class, and miscellaneous printouts of the great discussions and fun we had in the discussion area).
In the past three years, I've been encouraged to keep writing by friends and relatives. I won't mention each and everyone right now, but you know who you are and that I appreciate you. My Aunt Babe always likes to read my blogs and anything else she can get her hands on that I've written. You've seen her name in the comment boxes. Another fellow classmate from 2006, who goes by the nickname, Gullible or Gully, and lives in Alaska , is still a close online friend. A very likable fellow who goes by the nickname, Walk, keeps us all in stitches with his sense of humor and warms us with his kindnesses. He, Gully and I have fun goofing around in the Ann Linquist Writes website. By the way, Ann Linquist was and still is the instructor in the BWW online class.


Sarah said...

You're writing IS fantastic! And you can do NO wrong my Shaddy! I think you'd be surprised at how much I go back and read the things you've written my dear. Lately, I've been reading parts of the New England trip again...ugh...I love that piece so much. And do you remember the piece you wrote about Elmwood Ave.? I just pulled that one out again's so sweet.

2006, are you kidding me? Has it been that long?! Wow, the time has flown by. That class was the gift of a lifetime wasn't it? (every new writer should take it at least once) It was wonderful and so full of talent - Gully, I'm lookin' your way too my dear - but the most fun for me was watching you come out of your shell more and more every week, Shaddy. As the weeks passed, you blossomed into a full-blown storyteller. It really was a remarkable transition to watch, and it still inspires me when I think about it.

Gully's no slouch herself. That blog of hers is gorgeous, and she makes me laugh out loud just like she did back in BWW.

Thank you for the kind words Shaddy, you're so sweet.

Now go, write :)


K.M. Weiland said...

What a neat story! The Internet's a great place for connecting with people. They go from being utter strangers to "e-friends" to irreplaceable members of your closest circles. Great, isn't it?

Gullible said...

Hey! Is that Sarah88?

Shaddy said...

I'll ask her, Gully. I don't recall the name she used, but I think you're right.

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