One thing I love about our online community is the instant connections, the immediacy of communication regardless of distance. I have cyber friends in places throughout the world I’ve never been except via my computer.
There is an illusion of personal friendship based on non-existent real time associations. How strange! I care about the hardships and heartache in the lives of people I’ve never met… care enough to shed tears, to pray with fervor on their behalf.
A recent message from author Jane Kirkpatrick invoked those feelings. I’ve read Jane’s books, exchanged occasional e-mail and blog comments with her, but we’ve never met. And yet news of her husband’s lacunar infarction [stroke] brought me to tears.
Two years ago I posted words that return to me now: “With [imagination] the writer’s mind creates people who don’t exist, places that have never been, events that didn’t happen, and somehow combines them to create a world that readers accept as real.” But Jane and Jerry Kirkpatrick exist, as do my other cyber friends. They matter to me because their written words have made them a reality in my life.
That is the power of words. It’s what we strive for in our novels, too — to create characters and situations that become real and matter to our readers. We want them to care about the outcome.
Jane and Jerry aren’t fictional. This is a painful interlude in their lives. It is also a stress-filled work time for Jane as she has a new book being released this month. In addition to her books Jane maintains three blogs, one of which is her “Words of Encouragement”. It is a place where Jane offers “insights… and an intimate look” into her life as a writer. Her recent entry brings us her concerns as a wife. Perhaps you’d consider travelling to visit her via cyberspace; click over to Bend, Oregon and offer her your own words of encouragement as a fellow writer.
In what ways have cyber associations and friendships affected you?