Tag Archives: friends

Reverb10: Friendship

16 Dec

The inimitable Gwen Bell and two cohorts started a month-long initiative to reflect on 2010 called Reverb10. Each day one person contributed a prompt for bloggers to jump off from. And today was my prompt. So I thought maybe I should, you know, also reflect upon it.🙂

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

Whenever I encounter the question “What couldn’t you live without?” my answer is my friends. And I’ve been very lucky in my friendships. I’m still friends with the girl who was my very first friend. (Our moms became friends when they were pregnant with us, and her birthday is almost exactly one month after mine, so we have known each other our whole lives.) I’m still friends with the girl who would come to my house after preschool till her mom got off work when we were three. (We also took ballet together until we were in middle school.) I’m still friends with my clan from high school. I’m still friends with my crew from college. And I have made so many friends in this New York part of my life, too, both within the publishing industry and outside of it. And when I say I’m friends with all of these people, I mean really friends, not just casual acquaintances who still keep in touch occasionally. They are my people; the ones who have been beside me in both the worst and best times of my life; the ones who I will stand beside through anything that happens to them. No matter what. Because once people matter to me, they matter forever. I get attached, and I’m incredibly loyal, and I can’t ever stop caring about people. So my friends are stuck with me. I think they’re okay with that.

But that’s not really what the prompt asks. It asks specifically about this year. And in this year, I have been constantly blown away by how we all can change and grow and yet stay connected and never lose ourselves.

Suddenly, I’ve hit the time in my life when my friends are getting married and having babies. Three of four of my high school girls have all had children in the past year and a half. How odd to be the parents when we all hang out rather than the kids! Everything has changed . . . and yet nothing has changed either. We’re all still the same girls we were at sixteen hanging out in our own parents’ basements, watching scary movies and over-analyzing the boys we had crushes on.


Sadly, I don't have any high school pictures of us scanned (yet), but this one's a few years old. It'll have to do.

And one of my best friends from college got married over the summer, which meant I got to see a big bunch of my college people all at once. Again, so much has changed, and yet, we’re all just as comfortable and ridiculous with each other as we always were. It was like no time at all had passed in the nine years since we all saw each other every day. And this new guy, whom my friend loves and who loves her just as much as we all do, was instantly part of the circle from the very first moment we all met him.

It makes me laugh every time.

These are just two call-outs of so many I could choose from. I hope that every single one of my friends knows how important they have been to me in 2010 and how much they make me look forward to 2011.

So. Now you know why I’m always saying that I love books with strong friendships in them, too.

Where I’ve Been

13 Jun

I’m embarrassed how neglectful I’ve been to this blog, lately. But I have good excuses, I swear!

I was acquiring a new sister:

High-five for wedding success!

And then one of my best friends got married, too:

All the Dickinson alumni at Deb's wedding!

Other exciting things were happening, too, though. Like Leah Cypess’s debut novel, Mistwood, was published.

And so was Jody Feldman’s second novel, The Seventh Level.

And I was busy at work on some fantastic novels that you’ll be able to read in 2011. (Or maybe later this fall, if you’re lucky enough to get an ARC.) I’ll be telling you more about those at a later date.

Happy summer!

Big City, Small World

12 Oct

The first year I lived in the city, whenever I went back to my small Pennsylvania hometown for the holidays, I would hear from high school classmates, “Didn’t you move somewhere crazy?”

On one hand, sure, I guess I did. I got run into by an old man in a wheelchair the other day (being pushed by a teenager) while I was standing perfectly still on a street corner. Which is only the most recent in strange things that have happened in the last eight years–and one of the most mild.

But New York, and especially Brooklyn, most of the time feel even smaller than my hometown. Even though there are millions of people in this city, and even though I see so many different ones every single day, I also see familiar faces. I can get on the subway and it’s not all that unusual for one of my best friends to get on the same car. Walking from one of my favorite indie bookstores to the B&N down the street, recently, I ran into another friend and we stopped to talk books and art until we both got too cold. And, of course, children’s publishing is an even smaller world, where everyone knows everyone, and you’re never at an event by yourself. Occasionally even when that event has no relation to publishing (but of course everything to do with good taste).

I always get a warm glow when I run into someone I know. It leaves me smiling. Seeing friends when you expect them and when you least expect them makes this vast city cozy. And surprising, and familiar, and, yes, strange. And it makes it home.

Cue Cheers theme song.

With a Little Help from My Friends

21 Sep

“A friend is one who walks in when everyone else walks out.”

“Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.”

“Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world.”

“A best friend, in my opinion, is someone who you can be foolish in front of, you know, be yourself.”

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can hope to find in our travels is an honest friend.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

” ‘You have been my friends,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.'” –E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web

“To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise.” –Samuel Johnson

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” –Aristotle

“The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved–loved for ourselves, or rather, in spite of ourselves.” –Victor Hugo

“Friends may change and friendships evolve, but they never truly end because they are not merely the destinations of a passing moment but the journeys of a lifetime.”

“A friend is a person who reaches for your hand and touches your soul.”

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

“There are not many things in life so beautiful as true friendship, and not many things more uncommon.”

“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.” –Walt Whitman

“The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man’s success in life.” –Edward Everett Hale

“I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage. When the are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know.” –Emerson

“Nothing makes the earth seems so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and the longitudes.” –Thoreau

“It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” –Marlene Dietrich

“My God, this is a hell of a job. I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends, my goddamn friends. They’re the ones that keep me walking the floor at night.” –Warren G. Harding

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” –Bernard Meltzer

“If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friends, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” –E. M. Forster

“Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.” –Jean de la Bruyere

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” –Mohammed Ali

“The most beautiful discover true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”

“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.”

“Friendship is certainly the balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” –Jane Austen

“Meaning that if someone is really close with you, your getting upset or them getting upset is okay, and they don’t change because of it. It’s just part of the relationship. It happens. You deal with it.” –Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

“It struck her that she was very lucky in her life’s people.” –Kristin Cashore, Fire

Adversaries, take 2. The nicer take.

17 Apr

“This isn’t romance. This isn’t a declaration of love or affirmation of friendship. This is something more.” –Melina Marchetta, Jellicoe Road

It occurred to me after reading the couple of comments on the adversaries post that the same dynamic is important in non-opponent relationships, too. Finishing Jellicoe Road recently also underscored it, as I watched how Taylor and Griggs’s opponentship and relationship unfolded.

The people who a protagonist spends time with, whether as friend, enemy, family, or love, have to be people worth that time for both the character and the reader. The king and queen of Attolia are one of literature’s greatest couples because they challenge each other both as opponents and as lovers. Nick and Norah (of the Infinite Playlist) work because they challenge each other. Mildred and Jacob in Me and the Pumpkin Queen are such great friends because they understand, support, and complement one another. The same with Billy, Tommy, and Ernestine in Tracking Daddy Down. And Toot and Puddle. The most compelling relationships are the ones in which the characters are different, but equal.

Maybe this is the germ of a future conference talk, but I’d love to hear what others have to say.


27 Nov

I am thankful that I woke up to the smell of the turkey cooking; that both of my siblings and I were all able to come home for the holiday; that we still put the Macy’s parade on while we make coffee and help around the kitchen and generally putz around; that everyone still stops for a minute when Santa comes at the end; that my cousins and their kids joined us; that we sit around, talking and listening to each other; that Thanksgiving is a day to slow down and catch up with life; that my parents’ home is a warm, inviting place full of life shining in a dark, snowy, starry night.

I am thankful for a job that I believe affects people and makes the world better; that I help to bring kids and teens the kinds of stories that will stick with them and help them figure out life, choice, love, school, friendship, independence, and so many other things; that I get to know and work with awe-inspiring, creative people; that what I do is all about connection.

I am thankful for amazing friends who are funny, smart, passionate, giving, strong, and generally incredible people.

I am thankful.

A Moving Day in the Life of an Editor

26 Aug

When does being a bookish person and having a kickass library have a drawback? When you’re moving to a fourth floor walk-up. Sigh. Luckily, I also have kickass friends.

My move in numbers:

1: splinter

2: times I bumped my head in the same place

3: pizzas eaten post-moving

10: friends helping move all those books

16: boxes of books

Countless: bruises


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