Community

 

snowmanLast night on my mountaintop, it snowed so hard that frozen weirdness accumulated on the windows, then congealed into flat icicles that slid down the glass. The horizontal, driving snow created a white out, which essentially is a blinding sandstorm of frozen particles.

To paraphrase a line from The Abominable Snowman, it wasn’t a fit night out for man nor beast.

I was glad to be inside, working on the third book. Saving my protagonist as she rescued her family and they preserved the world. I also was thinking about a young blogger who enthusiastically reviewed the first and second books.

She happened on a display of my work in this valley, and said she excitedly pointed out When Camels Fly and The Brothers’ Keepers to her mom. Bloggers and reviewers who join authors early in their journeys often take proprietary interests in the authors’ successes.

Her parents live here, and she and I arranged to meet over a cup of tea when she came to visit. She usually doesn’t read suspense because there is a dearth of intelligent protagonists (according to her, but she’s right). But then she read When Camels Fly and discovered archaeologist Grace Madison and her daughter, hydrologist Maggie Madison. She thought, “Well, there’s hope for this genre.”

We talked about her education as an aeronautical engineer. (Thank goodness my daughter is a geological engineer, so I could relate to her brain.) Her work as an IT specialist. Her love of reading. Her dreams about blogging. We connected.

Which returns me to last night on my blizzard-shrouded mountaintop. I’m aOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA hermit to the marrow of my bones, but this writing adventure draws me out. I’m surrounded by readers and “followers,” a term that makes me cringe because it sounds conceited. I have a marvelous literary agent, fellow authors represented by the agency, artists, editors, and beta readers.

We form a community of people dedicated to telling stories, reliving experiences—even if they involve a lot of snow!—and sharing lives. Via technology, we reach beyond our local environment to create a web that in some small way strengthens the fiber of humanity.

The thought of these talented, committed, creative individuals warms me on a cold winter night.