It was a regular February day.
I sat at my desk dividing my time between the things a paycheck dictated I must get done and the things that I daydreamed about, while I navigated the daily spider web of Twitter conversations.
I stumbled upon a friend’s blog post following it to another site where I was greeted with lovely words and a prompt that turned into a piece that I wrote fast and furiously, hitting publish before I could think about what I was doing.
It would take me another two weeks to actually link anything in a little box at the site, instead of just lurking around it, sighing with awe at the words of other writers who made me weak with envy.
Winter turned into spring, spring gave way to summer and twice a week I would be inspired and drawn into the stories of these amazing authors. Little by little, I found a circle of them, the small boxes and avatars that I searched for among the sea of colors and titles, who became teachers and motivators. By example they drew me out of my comfort zones and pushed me to let my imagination run wild.
While they spun their yarns, my own basket overflowed with ideas and thoughts. I would hit publish and wonder what they thought, their critique and comments becoming the ruler by which I measured the effectiveness of my words. I yearned for their approval, I longed for the judgment they would bestow and hold my breath until their appraisal was handed back to me.
Even when their less than flattering comments and suggestions filled my inbox I just wiped away tears but went about my day, reforming the sentences and rewriting the words in my mind eager to please them, I found myself a willing student at the feet of the women whose words I worshipped.
By the time autumn had turned the leaves scarlet and gold, my everyday was filled with concern, support and critique from at least one of them. Acquaintances had become friends that I stood on a solid if not quite equal plane yet.
These were my heroes, the hearts and minds I aspired to be.
It was from them that I learned how to unravel my own stories and to allow the voices in my head permission to talk to me.
Every week the short and the tall, the amateur and the experienced, the blondes and brunettes, the educated and the very green came together in a community of love for words.
Every week each one of them took me somewhere meaningful.
So that as the year came to a close and February drew near again I smiled with the warmth I felt within their fold.
I can never thank them enough for igniting this spark inside me and showing me how good everyone looks in a RED DRESS.
My THANKS to every one of you for allowing me the ability to read your stories, gobble up your words and send you my own pieces to read before I hit the publish button.
Your talents, mentoring and passion have changed my life.