Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Butt pats and blog love

I often write blog posts the night before and set them to go live at 2:30 a.m.

I went to bed after writing the lousiest blog post I’ll ever write and lay there fretting.

Was it OK to share so much? How would people react?

I woke in a panic a few hours later and grabbed my iPhone. I get an email every time someone comments here, and though the post had only been up an hour, I was nervous.

And then I was overwhelmed. By kindness and compassion and humor and love from people I’ve never met in my life.

I’ll admit it, I bawled. My mom emailed to say she’d gone through an entire box of Kleenex reading the comments.

My brother called that evening. “You’re like a cult with all those people saying nice shit about you,” he said. “If it means your books will make a lot of money, how much do I get if you die?”

Thank you for that. For making my mom cry and my brother plot my untimely demise.

Your support and wisdom and laughter and friendship gave me more strength in a single day than I could get from a lifetime of steroid use (and without the unfortunate growth of facial hair and testicles).

When I began confiding in people about my crumbling marriage, I think you all held a secret meeting. Never mind that most of my friends and family and online pals have never met each other. I’m certain a major planning session took place.

“OK, so who’s offering her helpful encouragement?” someone yelled.

“I am. How about butt pats and wine drinking?”

“Over here. Anyone doing tough love?”

“Check. Male bashing?”

“Got it. Who’s going to make her laugh?”

“I'm on it. How about feeding her so she consumes more than red wine and asparagus spears?”

And on and on, until all my needs were met by an entire army of loved ones.

Well, not all my needs (though author pal Jeffe Kennedy gave it a damn good try with vivid tales of my new millionaire husband, Xavier, and the sensual tricks he learned in Thailand).

Where was I?

Right.

Friendship. Support. Kindness. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me that in spades through your blog comments and private emails and tweets and Facebook messages and mental telepathy (though whoever that was with the image of the nipple clamps and the oatmeal, the restraining order is in the mail).

When blogging experts talk about the importance of building community, this is what they mean. I don’t get credit for that, you do.

Thank you.

Xavier and I are eternally grateful.

19 comments :

Linda G. said...

Whew! Thank goodness Jeffe set you up with Xavier. For a minute there, I thought I was going to have to be nice and hand over Daniel C. And he's gotten so comfortable in my basement... ;)

Trisha Leigh said...

So many of us have been there - and while all those experiences are different, the core is similar enough to feel your pain. Seriously. You. Me. Harley. 3way and alcohol.

And a fair share of those kudos go out to YOU for building this wonderful, supportive community. It's not easy, to bare enough of yourself day after day to make people feel like they know you, and to want the best for you. It's a talent.

Loves and Hugs.

kmullican said...

Yay - we helped you and increased stock price of Kleenex!

I like that comedy runs in your family...very familiar for me.

Until you find the fork in the road, there are always more wine bottles to take to recycling!

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Ah, Xavier - can't wait for you to meet him! The question is, should the wedding be in France, Thailand or Kauai? Decisions, decisions...

Matthew MacNish said...

Whoa. We're allowed butt pats? Awesome!

Just kidding.

I was actually a little worried that you might start getting stalked by creepy internet weirdos, but then I realized you might like that.

If anyone does start getting out of line though, just let Simon and me know, and we'll go make him an offer he can't refuse.

lynnrush said...

I love this writing community. Just sayin'

Sarah W said...

I'm afraid the oatmeal and clamp thing was probably me . . . I'm beta-ing an erotic novel for a friend and some of the scenes are, ah, hard to shake.

Sorry.

(oddly, enough this is true, except for the oatmeal)

Geoffrey Cubbage said...

Red wine and asparagus spears? Now you're just inviting pee jokes.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You radiated warmth into the blogoshpher first; what you're getting back now is just a reflection.

therese said...

{{{blog hugs}}}
I can accept your virtual garage porn may be sparse now but I'm sure you'll find a way to fill the cracks with more risque business.

Megan said...

Oh wow, I miss your blog one day and I apparently miss huge things! You're a tough woman, and these things are so hard. Rent movies that will make you cry regularly, invest in wine, and spend lots of time with friends. You'll get through it (especially with Xavier's help)! You have a wonderful community to help you as well!

SM Schmidt said...

And if Xavier doesn't work out the are other floor models on display for you to choose from. Ignore the pool boy who's job it is to clean up the drool.

K.B. Owen said...

I don't think Tawna should marry Xavier, Jeffe. She should just keep him as her boy-toy. Oh, and SM, that wouldn't be the pool boy - he would be the "drool" boy. Ok, you can stop groaning now. Couldn't resist.

Stay the strong and lovely lady you are, Tawna!

Christi Goddard said...

The banana and the goat, Tawna. I'm waiting to hear about the banana and the goat. Don't start being a slacker.

kd easley said...

I've blogged and blogged and stopped and blogged and once I had five or six followers. I've watched you build this community. I've read and laughed and cried at your posts and I'd have to say I'm seriously jealous of your writing talent and your ability to show so much of your personality through your words.

I love this blog, and I can't wait to read your books, and I just know that this chapter in your life is going to end with something amazing. Can't wait to find out what it is.

Anne said...

This is where I say something witty yet swet...

...I got nothin'. Oh wait! That's YOUR job. I just owe you a pinch (from St. Patty's Day) and a drink in NYC. Should be a fun evening!

susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick Alan said...

Just to be clear, how long can a hand remain on the butt and still be counted as just a butt pat?

I'm thinking about Harley May here.

Anne R. Allen said...

I missed the post because I was focused on a new project this week. So, so sorry to hear the sad news. The writing life can be hard on relationships.

You're right about the writer/blogger community. I don't think any of us had a clue how strong and supportive it could be when we started a writing blog. But humans are tribal animals, and social networking allows us to form tribes in an otherwise fragmented world. When you hurt, the tribe feels it. I hope we can help you get past it.