S.R. Johannes is holding a great contest this week called Pay it Forward. A big part of the contest is acknowledging someone who has made a difference in your writing life, which I wholeheartedly approve of. Thanking the people who change our lives for the better is always worthwhile.
There are a lot of people who have helped me along over the past five years. My husband is a constant encouragement, and without him I don't think I'd be writing at all. My critique partners constantly challenge me and make me grow. Numerous authors and bloggers have given me great advice. But there's one person in particular who has kept me sane through all the ups and downs of writing.
Her name is Ico. She's been part of my critique group from the beginning, though I think we'd critiqued a few things for each other even before the group started. She has always had great comments for me on my writing, and even when she's had to tell me that something I've written is complete trash, she's done it in such a way that I'm happy about the critique and eager to get back to work. I'm constantly amazed at her ability to inspire me.
Ico does far more than critiques, though. We live in different parts of the country, but we chat online whenever we can. She's the first person I go to whenever I'm having a bad writing day. She's the one who always understands where I am and how I feel about my books and what I need to get me back on track. She even came to visit me a year and a half ago and then joined me at ArmadilloCon this past summer.
So thank you, Ico. Thanks for your great advice, and your willingness to listen, and for sharing the joys and challenges of writing with me. Thanks for being one of my best friends.