I first met Jo Ann about 13 years ago, I think. Maybe 14. We met at a writing conference in a workshop we both attended. Something clicked, and we've been friends ever since. Jo Ann and I share high internal thermostats, so when the others are whining about the room being cold, Jo and I just smile at each other and nudge the thermostat a little lower. In spite of her love of air-conditioning, she is happiest when she's nursing sick cattle or mending fences, or taking her turn with the irrigation water. She thinks a town with a population of 100 is seriously overcrowded.
Teresa came along a couple of years later. She joined our local writing group and volunteered to be my Vice-President the year I decided I'd be President. What can I say? It's a small group and it was my turn. Nobody actually "runs" for office, we just agree to do the job. Anyway, I made a big mistake with Teresa. She looked kind of quiet and shy and withdrawn, and I wasn't sure she'd have enough oomph to be an effective Vice-President, but she was the only willing sucker to step up to the plate, so I welcomed her with open arms. Turns out, looks can be deceiving. Teresa has more oomph and gumption than five people her size, and she's an extremely effective leader. She has my vote for any position she ever wants. She is, to use an old, tired cliche (because it's midnight and my brain feels old and tired) dynamite, pure and simple.
|Not Angie's actual guacamole.|
The point is, after a good 8 years or more together, the four of us have become extremely close. For all our differences, we also share a good many similarities. Top priority for our group is absolute honesty so we can have absolute trust. These women are the members of my critique group, and we do write. We even critique each other's work from time to time. They'll be telling me what they think of the opening scenes of Peppermint Twisted this weekend. But mostly the Firewalkers is about trust and about laughter (lots of laughter) and about chocolate, and about having a soft place to fall when the world gets too rough. And, of course, it's also about Angie's guacamole.
photo credit: OMG GUAC via photopin (license)