I’ve had a really unusual weekend for me this weekend – I’ve actually been out for dinner on Friday and out for lunch today and neither of them were with family or for a family thing.
I was out with friends.
It’s not that I don’t get out, but it’s not something that happens a lot and for it to happen twice in one weekend and not be a family thing is really quite amazing.
Friday night I caught up with some old school friends. It has been 25 years since we were at school together and we have made an effort to keep in contact and catch up at least 3 or 4 times a year. Sometimes we’ve gone to see a movie, sometimes out for dinner, sometimes for a party, but it is always fun and amazes me how easily we slip back into that knowledge of each other. We all do such different things and lead very different lives, and yet we have that thing in common (all those years at school together) that help us to relate on a level that means it doesn’t matter how long it is between seeing each other, it will always be comfortable and fun. Shia and Marianne had both been to America on completely different kinds of trips, so much of the chat centred around their trips, but we all talked work, hobbies, kids, family, movies, books… managing to get through an amazing amount in four hours as we always do and we didn’t even cover everything.
One thing is certain when old friends get together – there is no end to the chat.
Today I was out with a group of new friends (the Destineers – fellow writers published by Penguin’s Destiny Romance) and while the dynamic is completely different from when you’re with old friends, it was still stimulating and fun and I had a really lovely time and was sad when we all had to wrap up and get back to our lives.
The fun thing about making new friends when you’re older (once you get past the terror of wondering if you’ll fit in and if you’ll have anything in common and will anyone like you – no, none of this changes from how it was at school as you get older, I think you just get better at covering up the insanity that is social uncertainty!) is that you’ve got all this stuff to learn about each other and there are endless topics of discussion and the discovery of people’s interests and the things that you’ve got in common and what you don’t have in common but are fascinating anyway.
With the Destineers there is of course the bond of us all being authors and trying to figure out how to be a writer in the ever shifting sand that is publication today, and an outsider would imagine that this is pretty much all we talk about – but they would be wrong. We all write different genres – contemporary, rural, novellas, paranormal, historical, chic lit, erotica, suspense – so while there are things we can talk about, I’m not about to yammer on about my Witch and Were characters to someone who doesn’t read or write paranormal, just like I wouldn’t do that to my old schoolfriends. And they don’t yammer on to me about what they’re writing – it’s not that it wouldn’t necessarily be interesting, but we discuss writing issues with each other in our FB group. We don’t need to do that face to face.
So, what do a group of published writers stand around talking about if not 100% about writing? Well, just like my old schoolfriends, we’re a group of women, and the idea of sticking to one topic is just impossible. We covered travel, food, moving, families, camping, sports, Scrivener, sex and erotica (not to mention the unfortunate use of goldfish – something none of us are going to be able to forget without having a horrified laugh) books, movies, TV shows, favourite YouTube clips (I have to look up Luke Ball dancing on YouTube according to Mary and Carol – apparently pretty sexy), social media, holidays and more that I can’t even remember now. Nobody really talked about their WIP’s or about the book they’ve got coming out, but we did talk a little about the industry and how changeable and volatile it is at the moment, but how exciting that makes it too.
Everyone bought something to eat and drink, so we had a really yummy nosh and some good wine (I’m still full) and I feel completely relaxed (even though my boys are running around yelling and doing a great impression of wild beasts) because I had a lovely catch up and time out not once but twice this weekend.
I think I need to do this more often. 🙂