Where Everybody Knows Your Name

No, it’s not Cheers, although for some of us, it is indeed a bar. My husband owned a bar like that for over ten years.

But in this case, I’m talking about a place, or a group of people, where we feel like we belong. Some people can find this almost anywhere. But for misfits like me, it’s unusual and special.

I can find that in my RWA chapter, now that I’ve been part of it for over ten years. And this, I think, is what makes writing groups something special, far beyond the learning craft and business that goes on there: we’re with people who understand us. Who don’t give us weird looks when we say a character started talking to us the other day. Who understand when we don’t want to stay out late partying, because it cuts into the writing.

I have another group like that too, and it took even less time than the writing groups. These are people I can talk about cars with to my heart’s content, and their eyes don’t glaze over. We understand one’s excitement when a small change made to our car makes it sound just a little different. We nod knowingly when one of us describes our Christmas wish list that’s half car swag (or more). We compare notes on the best cleaning products, waxes, and little cosmetic extras we can get for our cars to make them more “ours,” and compliments on our four-wheeled babies are always abundant.

The past Saturday was what’s become an annual event among my local Camaro friends: Mod Day. We gather at one friend’s huge pole barn that’s outfitted with heat (unfortunately needed yesterday), a lift, all kinds of power equipment, and best of all, friends to help each other with small projects or maintenance work.

Of course there is a lot of socializing – in fact that’s all some of us do. Many of us have other things in common – several of the Camaro friends work in the IT field like me, for example. But the talk always comes back to the cars sooner or later.

Another fun thing about spending the day with my Camaro friends is it gives me an excuse to put cool Camaro pictures on my blog!

A really cool surprise awaited me when I arrived at the garage this year. One of my friends had bought a paperback copy of Time’s Enemy and brought it there for me to sign! I’m not sure if he was aware, but yes, there is a Camaro in Time’s Enemy. (It’s also in Time’s Fugitive. 🙂 )

I’d love to hear from you! Did you do anything exciting this weekend? Do you have a special group of friends who just “get” you? Please share!

16 Responses to \

  1. Beautiful cars. How I wish I could talk about them intelligently. I know where the key goes and that’s about it.

    I totally get what you said about being a misfit. For me I had to start an RWA chapter to find a group where I felt at home – other writing groups didn’t cut it for me. Funny how that label of ‘misfit’ applies to so many writers. I am just getting that this minute, Jen. Thanks for the insight.

  2. I usually prefer hanging out with people I know really well–it’s easier and then that makes it more relaxing. But this weekend my husband and I hung out with some friends who brought their friends (ones I didn’t know) and it turned out to be a lot of fun. My normal instinct would be to resist that and go “where everyone knows me.”
    Cool cars, but I am like Louise, I don’t know much about them! 🙂

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  4. Beautiful Cameros. I feel the same way at my writers meetings. They all know I’m goofy and accept me the way I am. They let their own silliness out, too, and we have lots of laughs. And serious discussions, too. We’re are very comfortable with each other. So I spent my weekend at my meeting, then making revisions to my chapter book, then reading more of Time’s Fugitive. Amazing plotting, Jennette. I’m totally digging your time travel books!

  5. Okay, I’m jealous! I want me some Camero action. Very nice photos!

    I had my RWA chapter meeting on Saturday and it was fun. I always go home inspired and jazzed up to write. You’re right, they “get” me. We all get each other. It’s so encouraging to have those folks around to share that common thing.

    I have a few friends like that in the legal realm where I work too. We often send e-mails to each other complaining about our clients because no one else understands like another legal professional who deals with the same type of stuff. We share stories about our . . . um . . . dumb, for lack of a better word, clients. Not so much that they are dumb, they just do idiotic things and we like to get together and share a laugh at their expense. It sounds childish, but we just have to vent our frustration somewhere. People do some crazy ass things and then expect a lawyer to bail their butts out. Always makes me laugh.

    Thanks for the fun post.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. Carrie – I have to be careful on my car forum, or I’ll start looking through pictures and next thing I know, it’s midnight. Thanks for stopping by!

    Louise – LOL, so true! I think we writers get that label because we’re spending time dreaming up stories instead of doing classwork! Running an RWA chapter is a lot of work – I can’t imagine being a president, much less starting a chapter! – but it’s so worthwhile! I’m very lucky to have a wonderful one.

    Coleen – I’m the same way! Going to writers’ conferences is scary, but fun if you make the effort! At least you know you have one thing in common. The car stuff is the same way!

    Lynn, you are so right about our writer friends! And thanks so much for reading my books – so glad you’re enjoying them!

    Patricia – you might be surprised, I’ll be there’s a Camaro gathering in your area, too. Most of them meet first online, as I did with these friends! LOL about your work stories – my husband owned a bar for over ten years, and guess what our dinner conversation was often about? Dumb drunks! Many of whom aren’t ordinarily “dumb,” but add alcohol… Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Beautiful cars.

    They growl, right? Love a car that growls. This weekend we’ve been doing family stuff and out in the yard (garden) before the storm hit on Sunday.

    Great post, Jennette.

  8. Jennette, I started salivating the second I opened your blog. Wow! I so get this post. I haven’t been a member of RWA long enough yet to have that kind of connection there. I’m sure it will come in time. But I used to have the connection with my car club before I got married and whisked away. Those were good times. Took my car out a few days ago. I mentioned to the hubby that my club always had their big annual show in May and we should look it up and go this year. Maybe I will. 🙂 What fun you must have! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Debra, I thought of you when I posted this. 🙂 You should totally go to your car show! I’m psyched that cruise-in season’s finally getting started here!

  10. Rock on Jen! Camaros belong in your books! Just sayin’. That was so cool for someone to bring a book for you to sign. Love that! Ah, yes, you belong! FYI, I have a Camaro in my WIP too! 🙂

  11. It’s one of the best feelings ever to connect with people who “get” you. My local RWA group is that for me. It’s inspiring to read of a person’s passion, and I see Camaros represent one of yours, Jennette. From now on, every time I see one, I’ll think of you.

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