Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saying Farewell to the Wheel of Time: Ruminations on Friendship

Doctor Brother and I have been reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series for over 20 years.  So when I let him know the final book came out this month, it didn't take him long to get us both copies.
I've finished mine, but this isn't a book review.  Not really.  Nor is it commentary about the nincompoop publishers withholding the ebook version for now.  Nope, not going down that road.

I'm not even gonna get into the whole "Did Brandon Sanderson do a good job?" controversy.  Promise.

Doctor Brother stays really busy with work and family, but he always finds time to text his baby sister.  (I've had to promise not to reveal any spoilers to get him to talk to me about the book because he's only 200 pages in.)

And here's what we realized - we've known these characters longer than almost everyone in our lives other than our parents.  I have a few childhood friends that I've known since 7th grade and still talk to, but at most that's a total of 5 people I've known longer than Rand and Egwene and Perrin.

I was 14 or 15 when Doctor Brother mailed me the first book.  I think the first 3 books were out when he discovered the series.  I have lots of memories of going to the bookstore to get the latest release and trying to decide if we needed to buy 2 copies. 

Doctor Brother was an adult already, but I still lived with our parents.  My dad followed the series with us so he and I would tussle over who got the book first.  (I usually won because I read faster.  And cuz I was sweet AND sassy...)

Anyhow, Jordan's world has been a part of our world for as long as we can remember, over 20 years.  So diving back in and reading the end of the story was like attending a family reunion. 

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that when you spend so many years following a set of characters, they become very real to you, a part of your life.

Friends come in all sorts of forms.  Let's do a list with bullets, shall we?  (No pretty colors this time though - I'm not in the mood.)
  • the friends you see and talk to every single day
  • your work friends
  • the friends you inherit because they came with your significant other
  • the friends you may not talk to often, but you know you could call them at any time and they'd be there
  • the parents of your kid's friends
I'd go so far as to add characters from your favorite books to that list.  You can't see them in real life or talk to them or go for coffee with them.  But they touch your life regardless.

The whole concept of friendship is one that M and I think about a lot.  Our book (which will be out soon!) revolves around two women who are sisters of the heart.  Although the two main characters, Delie and Chloe, aren't us, their bond is based on the relationship M and I share.

Moonlight Call is about more than friendship - we've got a pinch of the paranormal, a dash of romance, a hint of mystery, and lots of southern sass - but the soul of our story is wrapped around the relationship of two women who are always there for each other.

What I hope we've done with Delie and Chloe is make them the type of characters who become your friends, who you want to cheer for and cry with, characters that touch your heart and remind you that there is still good in this world.

And that life is so much better with a loyal friend by your side.  (Especially if she likes strawberry daiquiris as much as you!)

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