Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Annie Has Two Mommies

by Jo Robertson

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, let me explain what I mean. My baby daughter has been tending my oldest daughter’s children for eight years while Mommy #1 works. Both mommies parent in very similar ways, and the children obey both as if that person were the “real” mommy.
But there are differences.

Mommy #1 is the woman who carried Annie for nine months, suffering a bad back, gas, heartburn, unbelievable pain as Annie claimed squatter's rights on her mom's sciatica for nearly nine months, and untold other pregnancy ailments. Mommy #1 gave birth. She is the disciplinarian, the one who puts Annie to bed at night, who takes her to the doctor (sometimes) and teaches her manners (always).

Mommy #2 is the fun mommy. She romps and rolls on the floor, she plays games, and she teases. Ironically, she also is a disciplinarian and has no trouble putting Annie in the time-out chair. Annie calls Mommy #2 May-May (for Megan) and Mommy #1 Maw-Maw (for Mommy). Sometimes I can’t tell the difference in Annie's pronunciation and neither, I suspect, can Annie.

On occasion when Annie wakes up in the night, cutting teeth or experiencing a tummy ache, she’ll peek around her mother’s arms and ask plaintively, “Where May-May?” I’m sure twenty-two month old Annie knows which Mommy is her birth mommy and which is her surrogate mommy, but she also knows how to play the game. When we’re all in a public place and baby is feeling particularly diva-ish, she will only go to May-May, batting her eyes from beneath amazingly thick lashes as if to let everyone know who’s in charge.

I think Annie's pretty lucky to have two mommies.

We should all be so fortunate.

Most of us have another person in our lives, another BFF to whom we tell secrets, fears, disappointments, perhaps secrets we don’t even tell our significant others.

Undoubtedly, there’s something to that male bonding thing. That alpha-charging into war with your best bud at your back. Or slapping each other on the butt during football practice. My dad told me that you're never as close to anyone as the man you fight beside in a foxhole.

So do women have that kind of bonding?

Absolutely! In spades! And if you haven't hopped over to to witness the Bandita Invasion, stop by today and see what I mean! There's fun, wit, and prizes!

Personally, I don’t think I could manage my life without my female friends, my critique partner, and three BFF's who just happen to be my daughters.

As writers, we rely on that other special friend. We call her a critique partner. She’s unflinchingly honest and unfailingly kind. She’s the cheerleader, coach, and critic.

So my question to you is: Who is the BFF you couldn’t live without? An aunt, a sister, a neighbor, a friend, or maybe your critique partner if you’re a writer. What role does he/she play in your life?


Tawny said...


jo robertson said...

Hahahahahahah!!!! You are such a trickster, Tawny! Two days in a row. Foanna will be so p##**d when she gets up and finds you've stolen the prize from her!

Back in the morning. Gotta sleep.

Tawny said...

*snicker* I'm taking the GR on over to RNTV today to entertain us all with the willie-talk!!

Jo, what a gorgeous family you have!! You must be so incredibly proud :-)

Lessee, bff... Beth? Is that you? LOL. I'm blessed beyond words with my gal friends, Beth and Anna, my Bandita pals and my Writers At Play sisters. I can't ever express how lucky I feel to be surrounded by such amazing talent, support and love.

now... off to pet the rooster.

p226 said...

I don't think you'll ever hear me describe someone as my "BFF." That's a phrase that's just not in my catalog of words used to describe people I know. The catalog's pretty simple. It runs in ascending order something like this:

1. Any number of profanities used to describe 99.9999999% of the general populace.
2. Acquaintances that for some reason, rate NOT being lumped into #1 at least [i]most of the time.[/i]
3. Friends. Real ones. This is a very small number.
4. My wife and my son.

I have a friend. I haven't talked to him in three years. I know where he is though. And I know how to get in touch with him if I need him. And if I need him, he'll be here. Right $#%#$^& now. And if he calls me at 3AM and says "Man, you gotta get down here," I'm in the car or on the bike and I'm there. No questions asked. He's a guy that I can count on to do what needs done every time. Every time. And he knows damn well he can count on me for the same.

You talked about the bonds between military folks. Well... I guess those are there. But they're ... different. I can't explain why or how. But I can give you an idea... maybe.

Several guys in my unit, I absolutely hated. Couldn't stand 'em. Wouldn't spend a minute of off-duty time with the. But when we were on duty, and particularly when deployed, I knew those guys would have my back, and I theirs. And none of those things I hated about those guys mattered. And if you're sitting on a ship with 'em, or sitting in a hole in the sand with 'em, it's a different thing. It's just... different.

But BFF? I don't think such a thing exists for me. 'Cept maybe my wife. She truly is my best friend.

Christine Wells said...

Jo, what a great post and how wonderful for you to be able to say your daughters are your BFFs. Tawny, you take care of that GF while you're at RNTV, won't you? I think that naughty Kim has her eye on him. I'm just sayin'...

In writing, my BFFs are Denise Rossetti (crit partner, pom-pom girl and all round good sheila--ha, she'll HATE me calling her a sheila) and of course my dear Foanna, who listens to me whine and has critiqued both my Berkley books when I've needed her. I'd say Fo and I have emailed each other almost every day since we 'met' a few years ago now.

And then there are my wonderful friends I made at school, Vikki Ben and Yas who are always there for me. We've shared many terrible holidays together. Don't ask me why these things happen to us, but we've bonded over many a horror-filled vacation and re-tell the stories to each other over and over.

Christine Wells said...

Hey, P226, send me your details! You won my horror holiday blog contest, so plse contact me at christine At christine-wells Dot com.

Christine Wells said...

But BFF? I don't think such a thing exists for me. 'Cept maybe my wife. She truly is my best friend.

Oh, now I've come over all mushy. *G* That's so sweet, P226. You wanna watch out or you'll end up i someone's book.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, clearly you are a woman of great perception! Tawny, I still fink you are a wotten, wed-handed, willy-wivered wooster napper!

P226, for a big tough guy, you sure know how to make my eyes mist up. And not just with envy over Tawny nabbing the wooster under false pwetences!

Christine, you're so lovely. Actually, you're right. Rarely a day goes by when we don't talk or email! I'm really grateful we met. My CP is Annie West, as many of you know. Another person I'm in constant contact with. Honestly, don't know what I'd do without my writing buddies. And that includes the fabulous Banditas. You girls are the best.

Jo, great post!

flchen1 said...

Ooh! Very clever, Tawny! :)

p226--awwww... just awwww!!! (In the best possible way :))

Jo, what a lovely family you've got! And your daughters are truly fortunate to have you and each other!

I am so blessed to have several good friends I know I can count on, and the very best of the best is my sister--LOVE her and she's the first person I call for just about anything from venting to gossip to celebrating!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, meant to say gorgeous pictures!

Helen said...

Jo I love the pictures and what a lovely post children and grandchildren are just the best aren't they.
Congrats Tawny on the GR again have fun with him
I am lucky enough to have 3 sisters and four children and two beautiful grandchildren and a wonderful husband but my best friend is my neighbour Barbara who has lived a couple of houses away for about 28 years we are so close we have no secrets from each other and are always there for each other thru thick and thin we laugh and cry together and I really don't know what I would do without her.
Have Fun

Haven Rich said...

I seriously don't have a BFF. I'm a very solitary person and with the exception of my husband and in-laws I don't talk much on the phone or go much of anywhere.

Now online friends, I have several that I consider really close. But none I would count as my BFF.

Somewhat like P226, I consider my husband my BFF :D. Of course, I'm currently taking applications for the BFF job, so I can gossip, rant, whine and tease about my husband. He doesn't like it when I talk about him, to him. Hehe.

Christine Wells said...

Haven wrote:
He doesn't like it when I talk about him, to him. Hehe.

Snork! Haven, mine tends not to like that either. Men!

Caren Crane said...

Tawny, you are a Rooster thief! Isn't there a statute of limitations on claiming the GR?! Ah, well, I know he doesn't really want to leave anyway...

Jo, as to my BFF, it is my friend Suse. She is so wonderful to me! She is snarky and has great taste in books, movies and music. She also loves all three with the passion of a thousand burning suns (like I do).

She is also incredibly helpful and eases me over those bumps in the road - like throwing parties and decorating the house for Christmas. She is a much better friend to me than I am to her, I'm sure.

I love you, Suse! Rock on!!

Caren Crane said...

Haven, I just saw your comment. You crack me up! Much as I love my husband, he would never qualify as my BFF. I mean, really, he has appalling taste in reading material, barely appreciates a chick flick and has NO TASTE in shoes - or hair!

No, he is delightful in many ways, but lacks essential BFF qualities, I fear. But he's really cute and folds laundry like nobody's business!

Buffie said...

My sister is 11 years older than me, so she is actually like a second mother to be. She gives me advice, has helped me with my two boys when they were newborns, and is my boss!!! She is wonderful!

My BFF is Beth. We have been friends since the 8th grade. We have been through weddings and births and funerals together. I can remember us as teenagers complaining that we didn't have boyfriends, and now we complain about what our hubbies don't do :) We both have two boys and our oldest are about the same age and our youngest are about the same age. We are growing another generation of friends!

Beth said...

Aww...what a wonderful post, Jo, and what gorgeous pictures!

Yes, Tawny, that's me *g* I would definitely call Tawny my bff - she totally rocks! I'm so lucky to have Anna as a dear friend along with the Bandits and Writers At Play. I don't know what I'd do without them :-)

I'm very close to my younger sister as well and my family adores her kids. It's always a lot of fun when we get together (usually once or twice a week)

Haven, I'm a pretty solitary person too - most of my friends are online. I have to convince my family that yes, these ladies really DO exist *g*

Now I'm off to see what sort of trouble Tawny and Joan are getting into over at RNTV!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I was/am a solitary person, I like people, I just never learned to socialize. I was raised alone with no children in the area so school was a major shock to my system. I was reading at the age of three and there was my friends. 50+ years later, the books are still my friends.

Gannon Carr said...

Jo, what a beautiful family you have! The pictures are lovely.

I would say I have two BFF's. The first is my eldest sister. Unfortunately, she lives on the other side of the country, but we talk nearly every day. I don't know what I'd do without her!

My other BFF is my friend Lori. We met in Monterey, almost 15 years ago, when our husbands were attending the Naval Postgraduate School. We had an instant connection. We've been through so much together: miscarriages, family deaths, numerous moves, deployments, and our eldest children learning to drive (yikes!). She's not just a friend, she's like another sister.

Beth said...

This is an interesting post because I have been thinking a lot about this lately. My husband without a doubt is my BFF, but he is a spouse so it is not quite the same as a girlfriend. I used to have a BFF, we went through a lot together and our friendship weathered some really troubled times. I thought it would be a lifetime friendship, but apparently she didn't. I did my best to keep in touch, but after so many unreturned phone calls, etc. I even got the hint. It really made me angry that she got to decide that the friendship was over. There was no big falling out, no scenes. I actually would have prefered that instead of a slow death from neglect. It takes a lot of work to be a BFF. I hope I get the chance to have another one because it is great when you do. Is this a familiar story to anyone else?

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I did have one very good friend years ago, she ended up with my home, husband and my daughter. Tends to make one skittish.

brownone said...

Again Tawny??!! :-)

My BFF is my sister. She too is like a second mother to my children. Actually, when we all go out together, people think my kids are hers! Its a funny thing because she just had a baby and when I'm holding her son, people think he's mine.

doglady said...

Nice snatch of the GR, Tawny. Congrats! Jo, what a lovely family! I have two BFFs that I call my sisters because I never had sisters. Gaill and I met at work and found out we both loved to read. She is my picky editor when it comes to my writing, but she is always there for me no matter what. My other BFF is my CP Erin McClune. She is such a sweet, generous, fun-loving person and she gives me a nudge (sometimes a kick) when I fall into a writing slump. Gaill and Erin are the two people I talk to every day about anything and everything. They are such a blessing to me. I have been so fortunate to make so many friends since I started this writer's journey and that includes the crew in the Bandita's Lair. You ladies (and p226, I add my awwww to the chorus for your wife as your best friend)have been such a great help to me and can make almost any bad day better. Of all my online writing buddies I have to say Anna Campbell and Gillian Layne have meant the most to me. They inspire me, encourage me, listen to me whine, and give me hope for my future as a writer.

jo robertson said...

P226, I think the BFF thing got overdone and angst-ridden with Paris, Brittany, and the gang. Yikes!

I find it fascinating how men bond differently from women. Much less chattering and emotion. My husband's friends are mostly golfers, and when he spent two weeks in the hospital, every single one was there at least once.

No casseroles, no gifts, no flowers, just a quick "Hey, dude, what's happenin.'"

I guess when crisis strikes, we all put our petty differences aside. Perspective, huh?

jo robertson said...

Yes, Fo and Christine, I agree that p226 has revealed his true core -- wife and son -- so sweet. Maybe he's a romance writer at heart? (Ducking as lethal projectile whiz by head).

jo robertson said...

Hey, gang, we might have to do a final raid at RNTV to insure that the Golden Rooster makes his way back to the Lair.

Tawny's in "Depp" mode and who knows what's happening to him over there??!!

jo robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christie Kelley said...

Jo, what a lovely post. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Being an introvert, I've always kept a small circle of friends. So suddenly having 19 Banditas that I can tell anything to has been a little strange for me (in a very good way).

My critique partners are great friends and I trust them completely.

Joan said...

I have BFF's for every occasion.

There's Mary. BFF #1. Been friends since surviving Sr. Mary Eugenia in 6th grade. Bonding experience I tell ya. She shared her children with me, listens to me no matter what I am yapping about. Puts things in perspective.

Then my CP TL. Doesn't put up with any c*ap on my part. Gets me at a level no one else ever has. Gets my writing.

The list goes on and on.

jo robertson said...

Flchen1 and Helen, yes, I thank my lucky stars every day to have such wonderful daughters. Uh, the sons too, but you know we girls like to natter and giggle.

Grandbabies are great. They don't sass back like your own children.

I only have one sister who lives on the opposite coast, so we don't get to connect as much as we'd like. Hi, Linda, waving to you, sis!

Helen, I envy you having a friend for so many years! That's amazing that you've been able to stay close. We've moved so much in our married life, I think that's why my girls are my BFF's.

And of course, THEY GET ME!!!

jo robertson said...

Oh, yeah, Haven Rich, you gotta find someone to vent to when husband goes emotionally AWOl or something. Much healthier for the marriage than telling HIM :-D.

That's the only flaw to having daughters as BFF's; you really DON'T want to hear them complain about their husbands and they just cover their ears if you say something negative about Daddy.

Daddy is off-limits!

jo robertson said...

Caren, how wonderful to have a friend like Suse. And with the whole trifecta of movies, books, and music going for her, she's a shoo-in. Can I steal her?

jo robertson said...

This is so true, ladies, about the BFF and husbands or boyfriends. The essential qualify that, uh, disqualifies them for BFF-status, is probably the very thing that annoys them about us women LOL.

But, the important thing is that they'll always have your back. Cassondra knows what I mean.

jo robertson said...

Ooh, Buffie, tell us more. Your sister is your boss? I take it you mean that literally, not metaphorically?

jo robertson said...

I know what you mean, Beth. My husband is still wondering how I can be best friends with someone I've never actually met!

It's the whole instinct thing, I think. You can tell a lot about a person by what she/he writes. I really rely on my gut feelings when it comes to people.

jo robertson said...

Dianna, Emily Dickinson wrote a beautiful poem that starts, "this is my letter to the world that never wrote to me." I think if she'd lived today she'd be sitting alone at her 'puter, connecting with the world, but rarely seeing anyone.

Man, I love Emily!

jo robertson said...

Gannon, and everyone else, thanks so much for complimenting my family. They're mine, so of course I think they're boo-ti-ful!

No bias there, nosireee!

I love friends who are like sisters, but not sisters, because they don't carry the family baggage that we sometimes have. And really, don't you think some people were MEANT to be sisters or brothers and just got the whole heredity thing mixed up?

jo robertson said...

Oh, Beth, I'm so sorry. That happened to me once. Valerie was the best friend I EVER had, truly. Then we moved 150 miles away and I tried so hard to keep the relationship up, drove down every month to visit, wrote, called, but she didn't want to play. I think she didn't want to put the work into the relationship. That was 20 years ago and I'm still sad about it. I'd like her children to know and remember my children.

jo robertson said...

Dianna, I don't know what to say, except that I think there's a special place in hell for that kind of betrayal. So sorry.

jo robertson said...

And aren't you so proud of that, Brownone? I know my Megan is happy to claim Shannon's kids as her own!

Yes, doglady, writers make the best friends! I think it's because this business is so different from other kinds of jobs where you work hard and get rewarded. In writing, you can bust your butt and still not see rewards. That's when your writing friends are special. They've walked the road and truly understand.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Jo, as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I am still kicking so I can only assume I am stronger. Other than my daughter preferring her step mother to me (or so it seems) it really worked out for the better. They both met their match *EG*.

jo robertson said...

Does everyone know Christie's book has been sighted?? Yay! I imagine we Banditas are overwhelming in full Bandita mode.

I used to be shy and retiring and look at how they've corrupted me LOL!

Joan, I KNEW you'd have a BFF for every occasion! It's the friendly face.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Awww, Jo, that's so sweet about your daughters being your BFFs. I adore my mom. If I could grow up to be half as wise, patient & generous, I'd be thrilled. I also have 3 sisters who keep me in style, in touch & very, very humble. :-) If I could talk them into moving to my beloved city & having children, I'd do day care for them in a heartbeat.

But since that doesn't seem to be happening, I've found myself a pseudo sister right here in the neighborhood. The kind of friend who watches your kids while you go deliver a baby, who you could call on in the middle of the night & would come running. The older I get, the more I understand how rare such friends are, the more I appreciate the ones I have.

And a post about cherished friends wouldn't be complete with mentioning my critique partner, Kirsten. I've heard some writers talk about how they don't like critique partners, how it stifles their creative process or something, but without Kirsten's unfailing honesty, insight & cheerleading, I would be mired in the Pit of Despair writing solid crap. Sometimes even with her help I write solid crap. But sometimes, just sometimes, I rise above & write something gorgeous. And if I ever hit the jackpot & publish something, you know she's getting a shout out on the dedication page.

Keira Soleore said...

Tawny, woo-hoo! You saved the GR from Foanna's clutches (last blog). Go forth, GR, and entertain us all at RNTV, too.

Jo: You and your daughters are incredibly lucky to have such a fabulous relationship that is continuously evolving as you get older and change. And what a comfort for Annie to have such fabulous role models for her and so much love.

P226: my husband also has friends like that. He might not meet them frequently. He might not talk to them every week, or every month. But they will move heaven and earth to help each other if anything is amiss. Female friendship is so different. We seem to need frequent contact.

Haven said, "He doesn't like it when I talk about him, to him."

Yeah, what's up with that? My husband's the same.

Buffie: What a gem of a friendship you have and the best gift you're giving your two boys.

Dianna: Amen to books being our closest friends!!

Beth: I have an incredibly difficult time explaining how some of my online friends are just as close to me as the other friends whom I meet on a semi-frequent basis.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tawy, you wicked girwl, swiping the wooster fwom right under FoAnna's cwutching gwasp. :> Okay, that's all the Elmer Fudd I'm up for. Heehee. I'm better at wabbits than woosters anyway.

Jo, you have Gawwwwgeous daughters! Wow. You and Boyd do pretty work. Grins. Are the sons that handsome? Wait. Sorry, can't ask you, you're biased. Have one of your daughters reply to that and tell me if their brothers are as good looking as their sisters. Grins.

P226, I think, as someone said, the BFF thing's been a bit diluted by texting, but its a "got your back" thing at heart. Good on you that your wife "gets you" and you have her. :> Congrats.

As extroverted as I am, with tons of acquaintences, I keep a close circle of friends, which totally expanded when I became a Bandita. How cool is that? As to the non-Bandita's though, one of my BFF's calls it "Jeanne's Five." The first is my awesome Sis. The other, my pal Leah who commented on the RNTV blog laaaaate last night. Ha! (Night owl, like me) My demolition and design BFF Malena - we love demo! My darling friend Donna, who started out as my boss. My neighbor Vas.

And then there's my wonderful "foxhole" friend, Babo. As P226 said, with Babs, I may not talk to her for six months, but if I called for help? Or she called me? In the car, on a plane, there I am.

Dianna, I second what Jo said. And I REALLY liked your deserving interpretation. *EG* You deserve better and WILL find it.

Okay, off to RNTV....

jo robertson said...

Susan, you've got a keeper in our Bandita Kirsten. She's a honey!

Keira, gosh thanks.

And we barely foiled the attempted rooster-napping by Bandita Foanna who THOUGHT she'd captured the poor fellow when she'd only commented on an announcement. I'm fairly sure the Rooster Rules clearly state: thou shalt win the GR only on regular blog posts.

Thanks, Tawny, you've saved the day!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Jeanne, fabulous post you and Cassondra did on RNTV yesterday. Sooo funny AND informative.

Yes!! -- she says, beaming proudly as if SHE had anything to do with it rather than random genetic matching -- the boys are as handsome, if not more so, than the girls. Shhhh, did I say that out loud? Pretty is as pretty does and the girls are beautiful from the inside out.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, then, like I said, Jo. You and Boyd do pretty work. Grins.

p226 said...

You won my horror holiday blog contest,

I did!? Woohoo! Details inbound!

Trish Milburn said...

I love my Bandita sisters as well as my wonderful friends of the Wet Noodle Posse. The person I check in with every single day is Mary Fechter (writing as MJ Fredrick). We bonded after the Wet Noodle Posse GH year (2003) when we were both being considered by an editor at Intimate Moments before that editor left and we both got rejections. We've been on a very similar path to publication, and we've discovered we have a freakish amount of things in common (husbands who play guitar, obsessiveness over actors, our mutual lovefest for the show Supernatural, etc.). Seriously, I went to visit and we had the same pajamas. :) Each of our first releases, both coming out this year, have firefighters as heroes.

There are so many other writer friends who are very, very dear to me, but I don't want to run the risk of leaving someone out so I won't start naming names. They know who they are.

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, no cock shall crow on RNTV! And I thtill fink Tawny is a wotten wooster wustler.

Anna Campbell said...

You know, it's interesting, but I suspect if Emily D had the Internet, she probably wouldn't have written the poetry. It's like the Brontes - without that weird-ass upbringing, I don't think we'd have those weird-ass but extremely amazing books. I wonder if the Internet is killing potential Brontes and Dickinsons as we speak.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Pam, you inspire me too! Don't do an Emily Dickinson and go into hermitville, right, bud? And hey, I want to come and see the antique spinet!

jo robertson said...

Trish, now that's just freakish. The same p.j.'s!!??

Actually, I never knew what I was missing until I hooked up with our Bandita Buddies!

jo robertson said...

Anna, I wonder about that! Dickinson was a woman so far ahead of her time; her poetry is so modern. I think that's why contemporary students like her. She's deceptively simple and it's so much fun taking students on their journey to her complex underpinings.

BTW, I found a Jane Austen action figure on line. I think AC and I might give it away on RNTV next week. Looked for Emily, but alas, none.

p226 said...

if the Internet is killing potential Brontes and Dickinsons as we speak.

Well.... not killing them per se. Except maybe virtually. They're all probably too busy fragging each other online with Call of Duty 4 or some such. Or busy wrestling with their myspace layouts. Or... posting comments on google blogs.... er... um... Forget that last part. *g*

Anne McAllister said...

What a great post, Jo. And lucky Annie. Your daughters are lucky, too.

I feel much the same about my own daughter. Don't know what I would do without her. She's such a good friend as well as having been a good kid. Now that she has a 7 year old of her own, we talk a lot about parenting. Truth be told, she has more work to do with one high maintenance kid than I did with four, but she's up to the challenge.

I have so many good writer friends, too, and my friend "Nancy the cat slayer" whom I went to Ireland with last year (my husband teaches and couldn't go in the winter). Nancy didn't really slay any cats, but we have a photo of her with a very nasty looking razorish sort of thing in one hand and bending over to pet the cat at the B&B with the other. It makes you wonder!!

And thanks to everyone who has come by my blog today to discuss what makes a good hero. I've really loved having you. What a great bunch!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, a JA action figure! I want one. I saw the librarian action figure at our state library the other day when I went down to see the big Andy Warhol exhibition. Are you SURE Banditas aren't eligible to win over on RNTV? Pretty please with sugar on top?

P226, should have known you'd take my 'kill' literally. But I think some of those really amazing, original thinkers are so much a product of their circumstances and their isolation is one of the things that leads to their uniqueness.

Anna Campbell said...

On that subject, I just looked up an amazing quote by Joseph Haydn, the composer, who developed the basis for Western classical music in many ways. When he was young, he was stuck out running the orchestra at the hunting lodge that belonged to Prince Esterhazy. He was miles from anywhere, certainly from the heart of musical fashion, Vienna or Paris or London. He said, "I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." Interesting, huh?

p226 said...

OMG, I just got off the phone with my wife, after calling to tell her that she has Bandita Booty en route. I forgot to mention something in the holiday horror story.

Remember how she was stuck at home, alone, the first time she'd ever been more than 60 miles from her family? Well... I forgot a tiny lil detail.

She was 9 months pregnant at the time.

jo robertson said...

OMG, p226, ONE LITTLE THING???!!! Nine freaking months pregnant?

Honestly the prize should go to HER. Seriously.

p226 said...

He said, "I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." Interesting, huh?

It's so hard to be original musically. It's probably just as difficult to be original in literature. I can't pick up my guitar and play without hearing my influences. I've sometimes cursed them. They interfere by inserting their melodies and styles into any original work. I bet there's a very close parallel in writing. All the authors you've read influencing your own style. It's probably a formidable obstacle. Seems like you'd be faced with blending your various influences in a way that works for you, or fighting off those influences in an attempt at originality.

That happen to you guys when you write? Sure happens to me when I play.

jo robertson said...

Ah, Anne, you've mentioned Nancy the cat-slayer. She's one we'll keep our eyes open for LOL.

Different rules for different times, honestly, I'd be scared to death rearing kids now! What are they saying? Greatest generation gap since rock and roll?

Uh, yeah, Anna, I'm telling you. If we weren't storming RNTV, I'd have gotten lots more writing done this week.

The Jane Austen action figure is accompanied by Will of Shakespeare fame and Anne Bonny, whose appearance might be especially appropriate for our Bandit Booty!

jo robertson said...

Okay, now Anna, that's just quadruple freaky -- that you'd know that quote.

But seriously, so true. One of my sons has an IQ of 150, which isn't Mensa type I don't think, but is certainly very, very smart. He struggles with the rest of us mortals because we're always lagging behind him mentally. If he lived in an isolated era, I think he'd be more comfortable. BTW, he's a brilliant writer, but alas, an engineer by profession.

jo robertson said...

Yes, p226, it's very much like writing music. After all, there are only so many notes, chords, dissonances, combinations you can make.

I have a very good memory for the written word, so I'm aways afraid I'll "accidentally" borrow someone's arrangement of phrases or clauses. And after all, the only new words are the ones we're making up right now LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, speaking of things to do with writers, I'm going to do some shameless promo hoing here. Don't miss out on the Romantic Inks auction where you can pick up some wonderful crits at (at the moment) ridiculously cheap prices. There's also signed books and other stuff that you can bid on. Great cause - they're setting up scholarships for people to go to Nationals in San Francisco. The crits are from wonderful writers like Nicola Cornick, Christie Kelley, Christine Wells, Candice Hearn, um, ME!!!

So why not check it out?

Joan said...

Hey, why don't we all get PJ's with golden roosters on them for San Fran????


Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh, Jo, your daughters and grandbaby are so beautiful!

As for BFF...My CP Sandy Blair and I have bonded deeply since we started this journey through RWA almost the exact same day! In fact, she's helping me redecorate my new dining room by making the curtains!! Who knew the woman could sew? I have another friend you've seen pop up on our blog from time to time, Jo Davis. Wicked sense of humor and we find our selves laughing over the craziest things. And sexy writing.....OMG wait till you meet her firefighters on our blog in July!!

Then there's my daughters. Love them to death, and enjoy them for so many reasons. It's been fun watching them become such cool adults!

And lastly, I'm lucky to still have my mom. She's the one who taught me to read, shared romance stories for year with me and is currently my biggest fan, (Sandy runs a close second!). She's also a retired nurse, so I can vent freely to her. We talk about every week. She's in Ohio and I'm down in Texas.

shannon said...

Jeanne, YES! our brothers are quite handsome. Four of them. And when we first moved out here the oldest of us were teens and when we walked into church one sunday (all 9 of us total) and took up an entire pew, you could feel the air move as the heads turned. It took me a while to realize why all these older girls wanted to be my friends...hmmmm. But thank you for the complements! The girls in the family really didn't grow into their looks until their 20s and 30s. And then the boys got ponches and thinning hair! Ha!

About the BFF thing. Mom, you are RIGHT. There is only ONE setback to having your mom or sisters as BFFs... not being able to really vent about your husband. Well, the girls... we vent all we want to each other, but poor Mommy... you are NOT allowed to complain about Daddy because, well... Daddy is perfect, you know? And of course you canNOT talk to us about SEX either, because, well.... Ewwwwww!!!!

But seriously... my sister Megan is the most precious person to me besides my own children. Shhhh... don't tell my husband... although he likely knows. She is mine all mine and I do NOT like to share her with anyone else. I think she feels the same and the 2 of us will ALWAYS be BFFs... it is easy and comfortable and cozy to have your sis as you best friend. You know you will always forgive each other. Meg has to do much more forgiving than me because she is by FAR the better sister. But I am working on it. Mom... you are right up there a close 2nd. :)

catslady said...

I have one best friend that knows the most about me (but not all lol). We have some extremely important things that were the same in our lives so we can relate where others just wouldn't get it. I do think women need friends to talk with and get out their frustrations because it's the rare man that really listens. I know there are some out there but I just haven't been lucky enough to have any in my life.

jo robertson said...

Catslady, you are so right. I don't know if it's hormones or the feminine brain or what, but sometimes only a female will do!

Ah, Shannon, neither of you is a better sister. All three of you are wonderful in different ways. I did NOTHING to make you that way and I take no credit. Tee hee, but I do bask in your reflected light.

jo robertson said...

Before I forget, readers, don't forget to stop by RNTV tomorrow at to read Trish and Kirsten's blog at young adult/adult romances. They both write in both genres, so it should be very interesting

Cassondra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassondra said...

And Jo, can I just say...those random genetics did really good for you...and even got passed to your grandchildren! OMG she's GORGEOUS!

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Cassondra, and I do think that men are, shall we say, less emotionally complex than women? At least the ones in my life are, and thank goodness for that! One complex person in a marriage is enough!

doglady said...

You are on for the visit to see the spinet, Anna C! My mother will have her home-made maids of honor, scones, and treacle tarts at the ready! Me, a hermit? Please! I like to talk to much. And if you sit at home alone and talk all day they tend to bring on the men in the white coats with the overlarge butterfly net!

Cassondra said...

doglady said:

And if you sit at home alone and talk all day they tend to bring on the men in the white coats with the overlarge butterfly net!

Hmmmmm. Maybe I better hush it down a little.....didn't realize me and my imaginary friends...all here in our own little world...might attract THAT kind of attention...

Cassondra said...


You know, my husband actually IS my best friend.

Now, he's not a girlfriend, and doesn't fill that role. It took me many years to find women with whom I could wasn't until I started songwriting--got into the music biz and found other artistic women (but they're not freakazoid artistic, like with never combing their hair and such...because we were all working in the professional music industry, you didn't go around looking ugly much.) And in those women I found the value of friendships with women, which are often very different from friendships with men.

Then when I moved to novel writing, I found that indeed, there were those same types of women. Women I could sit down and just talk with--who "got" me. When I was a very young woman all my friends were guys--because I worked in all male-dominated fields for most of my life partly, and also partly because all the women I knew were...well...catty. I don't do catty. I just don't. And I refuse to hang with those who do. I'm way too straightforward for that, and prefer my cards to be above the table--and I don't have a knife up my sleeve when I form a relationship.

I've found that men, in many ways, are more straightforward and emotionally honest--for as deep as it gets.

But if you want to get at actual emotional honesty, you have to go deeper than most of them are willing to look. They don't look at their own, and they surely don't want to chat about yours, ya know? They tend to keep it somewhat surface.

So anyhow, that brings me back to my husband, who IS a man, and has that "somewhat surface" thing going on. But still. He's the one who supports my every effort and dream. He's the one who says "I believe in you" when I don't believe in myself. He's the one who sees me looking really ugly and doesn't run the other way. And when I've done something really awful or rotten or said something horrible....(you know, those very low moments in life--am I the only one who's ever come to those low moments?)....anyhow, he's the one who says, "it's okay", when I'm quite sure nobody else would.

I think that qualifies him as my best friend.

But for the record, I cannot look at BFF without....well, I guess it's all the military guys I'm around. If there's more than one F in an acronym, one of the Fs is followed by a u, a c, and a k.... Sorry. That's such an ugly phrase. But that's what it stands for in my world. I just can't look at it and see something else. HOW did Best Friend ever become BFF????????

Gillian Layne said...

Dear Doglady, I'm terribly honored to be on your list.

Honestly, I'm such a recluse I don't know why my friends put up with me. But I love them :)

jo robertson said...

Gillian, Gillian, recluse isn't all that bad.

Think Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson, even Elizabeth Barrett until she was recued by Robert Browning!

You're in fine company.

Kim said...

Christine--UGH! You weren't supposed to tell about my obses..facination with the GR. I almost had his fur lined cage all ready. LOL

Jo--great topic! A boss I used to have was my 2nd mommy. She taught me all about cooking and parenting and that sometimes life isn't fair but you do what you can with what you have. I dearly miss her but think of her and all she taught me nearly everyday. I even used to call her Momma Sherry:D Life's funny how it can give you a total stranger and before you know it you can't imagine your life without them.

Kirsten said...

I'm so sorry I missed this beautiful post, Jo! I am awed by the bond between your daughters, and between you and your daughters. Wow.

The thing that struck me most about this blog was how selfless Mommy 1 is to allow her child to develop such a powerful bond with Mommy 2. It would be so easy to get jealous or threatened and try to impede the intensity of that bond. I know for my own petty self, it isn't easy AT ALL to hear my daughter cry for her day care provider (and adopted-grandma) at night. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I am totally traumatized. Brings up a truckload of working mom guilt and drops it right in the middle of my emotional doorstep. ;-) I know it's healthy and good for her and I love that she's cared for by such a loving and wonderful woman. But it still hurts a little.

My BFFs are a group of women I lived with in college and still adore (and am going to see in a couple of weeks for a baby shower! yay!); a couple of good buddies from law school; a husband I adore (but fills a different role, cause he's a man and all); and last but definitely NOT least, my incredible CP, who has walked every step of this writing journey with me, and I could not live without.

Haven Rich said...

Haven, I just saw your comment. You crack me up! Much as I love my husband, he would never qualify as my BFF. I mean, really, he has appalling taste in reading material, barely appreciates a chick flick and has NO TASTE in shoes - or hair!

No, he is delightful in many ways, but lacks essential BFF qualities, I fear. But he's really cute and folds laundry like nobody's business!

Sadly, he is all I have and he generally tolerates my blabbering on romance novels, clothing and shoes. However, I'd never let his opinion on what I should wear hold any credit. Love the man, but the's not happening!!

I've also had the problem with explaining to family about my "online" friends. Hubby gets this, which is nice.

I do have friends that I chat with often, but I don't normally gush all the info to one person.

Plus, most the people I chat with are published authors and I still carry the complex of published authors are better than I am. *bows and chants "I'm not worthy!!"*

I would love to have someone to go to coffee with or take to the mall in search of a dress and shoes for the RITA awards, but sadly, don't know any near me.

I am, however, very friendly :D. And I love making others laugh.

(((Hugs))) Anna, thank you for mentioning our Auction over at RI! The items are slowly picking up, Yay! I've added one new one...a lunch date with Elizabeth Boyle at conference.

Have a great evening...
Haven *off to review BFF applications* hehe

doglady said...

Of course you are on my list, dear Gillian! And you are not a recluse. You are just busier than the devil in a high wind! And we love you too!!

Cassondra, ever wonder how I KNOW about the men in the white coats and the butterfly net?????

jo robertson said...

Kim, that's so sweet. How wonderful to have a woman like that in your life.

Kirsten, my daughters are incredibly confident. I could never figure out where they got it from -- must be from my husband, certainly not me. I'm fraught with insecurities, or at least I was at their age.

Oh, two of them has pyschology degrees so they know the stages of childhood development better than me!

jo robertson said...

Yikes, I'm too anal to let that grammar error go. "Two of them HAVE psychology degrees."

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Pam, is that a saying? Busier than the Devil in a high wind! Love it!

Denise Rossetti said...

Late again, as usual. What a lovely post, Jo. You and the DH obviously have superb genes. You do very fine work indeed!

Ms Wells, I am NOT a sheila!!!! Aaaargh! I'm not, I'm not! *stamping her feet in red stiletto heels*

When I had a big birthday party, one with an 0 in the year, I loved that all the different circles in my life came together. My work fiends, my family, my old school friends, still a close circle, now a book club. All the kids know each other, we used to take holidays together, like some sort of crazy commune, until we reproduced too many times to maintain sanity.

My BFF and I have been friends for more than 20 years. We met at work and still walk together twice a week. We're "sisters in spirit" and that really came home to me when she redid her will before an overseas trip. She's left me part of her estate. She's single and an only child, but I was gobsmacked. Got all teary.

One thing I wish I understood was the sibling bond, especially at that visceral (brawling & loving) level. I'm 11 years older than my sister and though we're close, we didn't really grow up together. But our daughters are of an age and they're great mates. Nice.

In fact, my DD has just moved out of home and I miss her. If I ask, "Does my bum look fat in this?" she'll tell me the truth. Nicely. Worth more than gold.

My Beloved and I are enjoying being "just us" again and it's so good to be able to find my favourite tweezers and the tape measure and, and... But I miss her. *sniff*


Caren Crane said...

Jo, a late post to say, no you can't have my BFF, Suse. But you have Aunty Cindy, so I think it's a fair trade! I mean, she may jet off to an exotic locale every month or so, but she still counts! ;-)

megan said...

to reply to jeanne, yes my brothers are gorgeous too! and to correct shannon, only two of us girls took time to grow into our looks until the 20s or 30s. we look back on pictures and say that so and so went through an ackward stage at such and such age but can we honestly say that about any of MY pictures?
Mom, thank you for putting me with my sweet annie in your blog. shannon's kids hold a special place with me. shannon and I are lucky to have each other. many many many people tell us they wish they had a sister that close and not to take it for granted. yet, we do. a lot. just this morning she called me to tell me she'd be late because, in her cute voice, "i got poo poo..." and i said "ok" and hung up on her. who else would i dare talk to like that? sorry by the way.
she said some very sweet things that made me cry and i am blessed to have her in my life, especially as my BFF!