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Getting By With Some Help From My Friends

Me and Julie Crime Bake 2013
Julie and Liz, Crime Bake 2013

By Liz, thrilled that it’s finally spring in New England

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships these days. Which means I’ve been thinking about my Wicked sisters, because they are among the people I consider myself closest to in the world. Bear with me for a few while I get sappy (it doesn’t happen often).

I always had lots of friends growing up. People to hang out with, to shop with, to eat dinner with, etc. In my youthful naiveté, I called pretty much anyone I had some kind of social relationship with “a friend.” Of course, some were closer than others – my select few “best” friends over certain periods of my life, my go-to groups for different activities. I trusted people immensely. I threw myself into my friends with gusto, always making myself available, rearranging my schedule so I could be at their beck and call, dropping everything if they needed something.

Liz and Edith, Writer’s Police Academy, 2011

I considered myself abundant in the area of friendship, so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about the concept. 

But then the time came when I could’ve used a few good friends, and found out I didn’t have as many as I thought. I also realized I hadn’t necessarily been choosing my friends wisely. Or setting the right boundaries. 

So I went to the other extreme after that, as I tend to do. I decided I didn’t need any more friends. At all. Aside from pets, of course. The first job I got after I moved to Connecticut was in a newsroom. Like most newsrooms, it was full of reporters who liked to go to bars and hang out after long days and nights of work. Being a friendly bunch, they often extended the invitation. I usually declined. (Don’t worry, I eventually got over being an extremist and found four or five new friends.) 

Liz, Sherry and Sheila, Malice 2014

Then I got my agent and my contract to write the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. Edith Maxwell, who I knew from Sisters in Crime, had also just signed with John Talbot and gotten her contract. She brilliantly connected me and Jessie Crockett, the first of any of us to sign on for a series, and suggested we all start figuring this writing thing out together. The Wicked Cozy Authors were born from there when Barb, Sherry and Julie joined the soiree.  

Barb and Liz, Malice 2014

And so were friendships I had never imagined. Right from the start, we were more than just blog mates. We were support, both in and out of the writing world. We were cheerleaders. We were shoulders to cry on. We were friends. 

We are friends. 

All of us, 2014 retreat at Old Orchard Beach

I once said to them that being with them, even when we’re simply sharing experiences over email, is like going to a family dinner – one I actually look forward to. Even when they put me in book jail. 

They are all unique, amazing women who I’ve come to depend on. When something happens, funny or sad, I immediately think, The Wickeds will get it. They always do. 

I guess that’s what happens when you find real friends. 

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