Celebrating Friendships!

Toy storyNicola here. Today I’m celebrating the power of friendship as yesterday was International Friendship Day. The value of friendship has been recognised since people first walked the earth – and it’s pretty strong between some animals too and between humans and animals. Greek philosopher Herodotus wrote “Of all possessions, a friend is the most precious.” More recently, the lyrics of the song is the Toy Story movie say “We stick together and can see it through, ‘Cause you've got a friend in me.”

What is friendship, really? A dictionary definition calls it “a state of mutual trust and support” but it’s so much more complicated than that sounds. Some of Friends us are lucky enough to have friends we have known since childhood, others from school or college. I’m part of a group of college friends who first came together almost 40 years ago and we still meet up twice a year as a group. It's lovely to have such enduring relationships with people I know so well and feel I can pick up with so easily. Then there are the other friends we make at different stages of our lives. You don’t even have to see each other that much, though when you do, it’s special. The Wenches are an amazing group of friends scattered across three continents; we don’t get the chance to see each other much but we’re so supportive of each other through the thick and thin of writing and life. In fact, being an author is a wonderful way to meet friends across the world, through readers’ and writers’ groups.

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The Gift of Friendship

Close-upAndrea here, As we head into the holiday season, with its festive gatherings replete with oodles of sweets treats and bubbly libations, I find myself thinking not only of all the scrumptious ways in which I can consume chocolate (okay, okay, I tend to think of that in any season) but also of the far more important meaning of the season. It's a time to reflect on the gifts we have in our lives. And one of the gifts for which I'm most grateful are my friendships.

Yale pals 2Friendships lie at the heart of the books I write. My plots deal with solving a conundrum—usually one that starts with a murder—in order to ensure that Good triumphs over Evil. But one of the major threads that weaves through all the stories is how friendship—love, loyalty, trust, camaraderie—is key to giving my main protagonists the strength and courage to overcome daunting challenges and solve the crime. They can’t do it alone . . .

But I am digressing slightly from my main topic, since what sparked my musing today is not fiction, but real life.

Just recently, I went away on a long weekend with my college roommates. We’ve known each other since the first day of freshman year. It’s been a long time since then—don’t ask!— and while so many things have changed in our lives, what is an elemental source of joy that we are still the best of friends.

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True Friends

Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt

Me and BFF

Me and my BFF

We all need friends and there has seldom been a time when we’ve needed them more than we do right now. The pandemic has really shown us the value of true friends – mine have definitely kept me sane throughout the lockdown and without them it would have been easy to sink into lethargy and depression. With the days blurring into one another (my husband has taken to calling every day “Blursday”!), having a weekly FaceTime chat or Zoom meeting to focus on has helped me to stay motivated. After all, when your friends ask you what you’ve been doing, you don’t want to just say ‘vegging out’! And emails from lovely friends lift the spirits no end, not least when you hear that they are safe and well and you can breathe a sigh of relief.

I’m thinking about this today especially because it happens to be the birthday of my very oldest friend – happy birthday G! – not in the sense of her age but the length of time we have known each other. And it’s made me reflect on the huge importance of the kind of friends you can really be yourself with and who probably know you better than you know yourself. Those are truly special.

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The Joys of Friendship

5 wenchesAndrea here, thinking today about the joys of friendship and all the special ways it can enrich our lives. Here at the Word Wenches, we all write books that have friendship and love at the heart of our stories, though we play with those elemental tropes in our own individual styles. The beauty of friendship is that it has an infinite number of ways to weave us all together.

4WenchesInCTIn our occasional blogs on craft, we’ve talked a lot about the solitary life of a writer, and how we spend a lot of time in the “writing cave” with just our characters for company. (Trust me, there are times I wish I could send them back to their own abode and get them out of my hair! But as with all friends, you quickly learn to love their little quirks . . .)


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Lessons in Life

Andrea/Cara here, musing today not on writing (though that comes into play) but on Life. On our Wench e-mail loop, we often share with each other things that tickle our fancy or strike a deeper chord as meaningful wisdom. And just the other day, Anne gave us a link to a speech called 9 Life Lessons given by Tim Minchin (a comedian /musician who is described as “sublimely talented, witty, smart and unabashedly offensive" ) on receiving an honorary degree from a Down Under university.


Some of you might have seen the link on her Facebook page, but I thought I’d share it here too. I hope you’ll take the time to have a look.

I don’t often feel compelled to share videos from the internet (there’s a lot of wonderful stuff, but a lot of noise out there too, and I try to be careful about both listening and imposing those “time sucks” on my friends.) But I found this one profoundly moving—wise, funny, and filled with advice that resonated with me. Perhaps it’s partly because of a confluence of events that had me very much thinking about a number of the points on which he touched:

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