Remember how fun slumber parties used to be as kids? We’d stay up into the wee hours of the morning telling stories, playing truth or dare, and pricking our fingers with pins to become blood sisters. There was something magical about sitting in the darkness pointing our flashlights up at the ceiling to create just the right ambiance. A feeling of safety shrouded such events and we shared our secrets, dreams, and plans for the future.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to do that all over again. Two of my online writing friends and I decided to go to a conference that dealt with the world of publishing. With the advent of self-publishing, the industry has been flipped on its ear and we wanted to get a feel for trends, perceptions and to figure out the best way for us to proceed with our current projects. All of us had meetings with agents to discuss our work as well as to pick their brains for a bit of direction in the changing world of publishing. The best part of the entire three day conference occurred when the three of us went back to our rooms, got in our jammies, and converged in one room to sip wine and hash through the day.
Conversations about writing and publishing soon gave way to personal anecdotes. The later the hour and the more wine we sipped, our personal anecdotes became a sharing of our fears, our secrets, and our dreams. I found myself nodding in agreement, feeling the warmth of empathy, and the camaraderie of good friends. We may not have pricked our fingers to become blood sisters, but we did raise our glasses to toast each other…often.
As the weekend drew to a close, we spent our last night dishing in our jammies. Our conversations became more personal and the world of writing and publishing was set aside. I’ve “known” these two women for a couple of years online and we’ve spent many hours critiquing each others works, chatting about our families, discussing personal obstacles, and helping mutual friends. Meeting each other in person, sitting around with our faces freshly scrubbed, we exposed our vulnerabilities, and we reached a new depth of connectedness.
Maybe it was the shared conference experience. Perhaps we all felt overwhelmed by the new information and found comfort in each others’ ignorance. Better yet, it might have been the shared energy of hope given to us by the contacts we made and the people with whom we met. Whatever the reason, our nightly slumber parties forged a deep and abiding friendship. Not only do I have two friends with whom I share the same interests and common goals, but I’ve made friends with whom I can share my soul.
Slumber parties — they’re not just for kids anymore.
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