Saturday, November 20, 2010

Going through it together

Lately I've been thinking about how much the BRGs have gone through together: all the big things of life -- a VERY big one is happening this weekend but I will let The Party Most Concerned tell about that when it's over. We've been to each others' weddings, and a husband's funeral. We've counseled each other through serious illnesses and injuries. We're there for each other about lighthearted and happy things, too -- choosing dresses is just one of many. Sometimes we email each other several times a day.

We help each other: not just about our books -- Meghan has been coaching me with photography,

(her very helpful comment on this one: "The photo of just the trees and grass has really nice lighting but there's not focal point to it. I may have walked closer and zoomed in on one of the trees or something like that. Or turned the camera and centered the grass walkway in the middle of the shot.

I really like the close-up of the turkeys. The only problem there...." I was and am incredibly grateful for these comments and will post more pictures and the comments on Thursday.)

To continue with the list: we send covers for comments; read each others' mss.; get each other invited to shows and conferences (thank you Elaine for the one that all of us except Alvina attended in Massachusetts), and advise on everything. When I bought my new glasses, I took pictures and sent the choices to the BRGs and got their votes before deciding. Luckily. Without them I would have chosen these:

(And yes, I do have blue glasses but much smaller ones.)

I honestly don't think I'd keep writing without the BRGs: it would be too isolating....but because we email each other so much (and see each other, too, but that's more rare), I don't feel like I'm doing this by myself. I'm NOT! We're going through it together.

And if this is as boring as some award speeches are (where they thank everyone): sorry! But I really do feel grateful for the friendship and support we have, and wanted to put it in words: we're lucky. I'm lucky. Few people ever achieve anything in the arts alone. Without the help, it wouldn't happen: even people we usually think of as working alone (like Jane Austen) had incredible support -- in her case, from her family. I hope everyone reading this has people supporting her or him: and if you don't, start a writers' or illustrators' group! There was one where I grew up that eventually boasted, with good reason, everyone in the group sold something to a major publisher. Everyone in the town was incredibly proud of this writer's group, as you might guess from the fact that I'm posting about it decades later.

But even if the sales don't happen, the support and the friendship are still there -- and count for more in the end anyway.


Meghan McCarthy said...

This is a lovely post Libby! And I usually say the word "lovely" in sarcasm but this time I'm not!

Libby Koponen said...

Thanks Meghan! That means especially a lot, coming from you. Thanks.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I agree that having friends to support and encourage us is important. Grace was the person who helped me to publish my first poem in a children's book. Janet Wong has also given me valuable advice and helped me to make connections with anthologists who have bought some of my poems. Both Janet and Grace have done critiques of my work that have been most helpful.