Friends I'd Never Met

I had a wonderful afternoon/evening with friends I’d never met before.

For some years now, I’ve had a newsgroup over at Over the years, I’ve met a number of wonderful people there. Occasionally, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with them face to face at conventions or signings in other cities. The last time I went on a book tour, I posted on my newsgroup that I’d like readers to join me after the signing for coffee or a light meal. Those gatherings were great fun. Austin in particular was a blast, for we took over the restaurant and were the last folks to leave at closing time. But those opportunities are few and far between.

Today, about 4, I met Dave, Chris, Heidi and Linda. I know the first three from on-line correspondence and posts, and Linda I met just tonight. Dave furnished me with a lot of excellent and helpful information for The Soldier Son Trilogy. We’ve written one another for some years now, so finally getting to meet him was a special treat. Chris and Heidi are from the newsgroup, and Linda is Heidi’s friend and fellow reader. Also in attendance were Duane and Art from University Book Store, my assistant Kat, Erik who pitches in on computer technical advice and just all around ‘fix it’ stuff, and Soren who, at 3, is our professional heller-upper. Except that tonight he was on his best behavior, which included shaking hands with everyone as he bade them farewell.

It was great to eat good pizza, and talk writing and life in general with real live people. It makes me realize that I spend far too much time alone with my screen in the basement.

SO-ooo. I’m going to try to figure out a schedule and make this a regular event for myself. Some years back, we had SFWA pizza every month or two. I seldom made it clear up to Seattle for that, but I really enjoyed it when I did. And I’ve had such a good time meeting readers and other writers after out-of-town signings that I’ve decided there has to be a way to duplicate that experience.

I’m going to check around Tacoma for a good venue, and see what I can set up on a bi-monthly basis. I’ll post info here as I manage to make a committment to myself. And if any of you reading this are from Tacoma or the local environs, don’t hesitate to drop a line and let me know you might be able to attend.


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