Watercoolers, Sarsaparilla, and Wine

“Do you ever wonder,” a friend asked, “if Live Journal might be just a gossip mill, a waste of your writing time?”

“Never,” I said. 

Every business has its proverbial watercooler. While we might have different reasons for journaling online, this is the common area where we writers meet to exchange insider information, gossip and support. For the most intrepid and trusting among us, it’s also a safe haven for sharing angst and baring our souls. And more than occasionally, it’s a place where we start, nurture and deepen our connections with a variety of friends.

This weekend, bananagirl19 and her family traveled west for their vacation, so my husband and I arranged to meet up with them in Arizona. Ronni and I have connected at the LJ “watercooler” many times, but on Saturday, we finally got to meet face-to-face. We felt an instant in-person connection, all of us! So while her adorable three-year-old danced to Western music and chatted with his doting grandma, Ronni and I talked about writing, girly stuff, and raisin’ men. Our husbands, meantime, swigged sarsaparilla and talked about the wonders of the desert, mathematics, their wives. 

Here’s a picture of Ronni and me, taken at the Rawhide restaurant in Chandler, Arizona, just before sunset:

We’ve already made plans to get together again for wine and conversation at sunset — next time in Laguna Beach. You’re invited, too, of course. Here’s where we’ll meet:


    • We kept it a secret from y’all, ’cause we’re stealthy like that. lol

      Ronnie’s wonderful: spunky, imaginative, beautiful, FUN! I feel fortunate that we met, and that all six of us, relative strangers at the beginning of the night, felt so comfortable with each other. How cool is that?

      You and me, next?

    • Hey girl! Hope you’re having fun in Vegas. I don’t expect a report — what happens in Vegas stays there, after all — but I’m looking forward to some LJ-posted photos and stories about the rest of your trip!

  1. Loved the pics and your story. But I have to say, I’m curtailing my Livejournaling…I get started and…oops, an hour, maybe three will go by and I still have 8 critiques to do, not to mention start in on my own work.

    • I certainly understand what you’re saying here. Like a real-live watercooler, LJ can certainly be a sinkhole for time.

      Still, I’m counting on you to peek your head above your cubicle now and again, to say hello and tell us what’s up. I’d miss you too much if you didn’t check in once in a while!!!!

  2. I’m glad you and Ronni had a great time – thanks for sharing the pictures šŸ™‚

    I love LJ because sitting alone in an office all day (and most of the night) can make you feel isolated – and LJ takes takes that lonely feeling away. Plus, it’s an incredible way to stay connected to the writing world – and follow the journey of your online friends.

      • That would be great! Are you going to the SCBWI LA conference? I’d love to go, but am not sure hubby can watch the girls that long, especially since they’ll probably be between camp and school. I’m trying to work it out, though.

        • Sure he can. You could, if the situation were reversed, right? šŸ˜‰

          I’m thinking about going for a day or two — I’m not sure about going the whole time. Let’s keep in touch about this, OK? You let me know your plans, and I’ll tell you mine.

          Your icon is beautiful, by the way.

  3. I enjoy LJ — And reading what everyone is up too — my lonely office gets pretty boring, usually. Besides, it’s so easy for me to do the hermit thing!!
    It sounds like a wonderful time — sun and fun. Glad your trip went well.

  4. When i first started writing I joined a couple of online forums. This place as well as the forums are a great surplus of support and encouragement. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many writer friends face to face. It’s soo totally awesome!!

    And….for your weird files….I’m going to be moving to Chandler Az in 7 months!!

    Glad you guys had a great time. šŸ˜‰

  5. That picture again. Now you’re taunting us. j/k šŸ™‚ Missed you at PFL last week. Man there’s a lot of people showing up now. It’s good though. Hope the writing’s going well.

    What are the chances we were both in Chandler, Arizona, on the same weekend!!! No kidding. I was out there visiting my mom and pop (and grandmother who my dad flew down from Eureka, CA, for the occasion) for Mother’s Day. I’m in shock and awe.

    And how cool that you got to meet up with her!

    • I missed seeing you last night, Jonathan! Next week, I’m bringing revisions for ETK, so I hope you’ll be there to give me your perspective. You’re SO the target audience! lol

      How weird that we were there at the same time….Hmmm. Too bad we didn’t know!

      • I’m going out of town for the weekend, so since Friday is usually Lisa and I’s date night, we changed it to Thursday. Next week, I’ll do everything in my power to be there for your revisions. I can’t wait.

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