Certain days stand out among the masses we’re gifted to get. I had one of those today, and not just because I got presents. I met with friends over a late morning cup of coffee – friends I’d never met before.

Although we’d never laid eyes on one another, I knew them, especially Mary. I knew her warm personality and caring nature. Yeah, words are that powerful.

I met Mary via our sites, hers is Piles of Smiles, aptly named, by the way. We both call Arizona home, Mary, and Tom in the high pine country, me in the sweltering Valley of the Sun. The “I-17” connects us, but before it was blacktop, it was the internet. Kinda reverse how it used to be.

I walked in a few minutes late only to be greeted by Mary’s brilliant blue eyes and contagious smile. Then the hug, despite my slightly sweaty shirt, to let me know I was among friends… family really.

Tom, Mary’s husband, reminded me of my cousins; a Vietnam veteran at ease in his skin. The type of man you look up to, and not just because of his imposing stature.

We chatted about life, family, of course, writing, and God, along with our mutual understanding of His sovereignty.

Here’s the thing about real friends; they give it to you straight. They warn you upfront that they’re being honest, which I’ve come to figure out the only kind of honesty there in in this world is what we call the “brutally honest” type.


A Hillbilly Memoir

Over the years I’ve had a lot of friends, and family for that matter, discard my words, had more than a few unsubscribe from this site for various reasons. I’ve learned or instinctually developed calluses when it comes to feedback regarding my writing.

But writing and editing are different than asking an acquaintance, “How you doin’ today?” The obligatory, “Fine, how are you,” expecting the same generic response won’t do for someone trying, as Mary says, “to polish their writing.”

Of course, Mary’s words have merit. She’s kind, generous, and gifted with wisdom from God. Mary spent so much of her gift of time on my words that she spoke in detail about the manuscript that she edited for me. The good stuff first… followed by the truth.

I left my pride and ego in my truck. Funny how those traits distort hearing… then understanding… and finally wisdom.

Mary’s edit is going to cause me a boat load of work… but I do believe the manuscript will be better because of her work and honesty.

A good friend will do everything they can to deliver truth as gently as possible. I didn’t even need a Kleenex. Of course, Mary and Tom’s gifts of cookies, pumpkin biscotti, and a book for my new grandson helped.

Isn’t that just like a good friend? Even if I did just meet them today.

Stop by Mary’s site here. Tell her that her friend Floyd sent you.