Maureen needs to forgive me– I forgot to add to this list of good good things, heartening things, her generous interview with me in July– see Interview link at top of home page.  xxxj

I’m a bit choked up.  Here you get down and feel sorry for yourself and think you don’t have any friends…

Of course that isn’t true: I have Jack Douglas McArthur Brooks and John Stevens with whom I recently interacted, my dear brother Stuart Codington Andrews… and

At this moment, since joining Facebook last night, about 100 online friends and contacts and people who care about me and that I care about.  Wow.

I’ve been so alienated and withdrawn from my community that it’s a true pleasure to put first one toe and then a foot in the water of social networking to see what will happen.  It’s a bit daunting and scary, because you can “friend” places/people that are very big deals in the world of Arts & Letters…

Where did it start?  A year ago, after things went badly awry on the Red Room for me (I had commented on someone’s profile photo of himself holding a gun), saying that it was “off-putting” and got jumped by the CEO of that site– I could have given up and gone back into hiding: I’m that sensitized to rejection in all forms.

I had already become estranged from the local literary community over some misunderstandings related to my MFA and fallings out with people I’ve known for years.  It’s been extremely difficult and truthfully, I’ve felt so very worthless at times.

But, instead, I started this blog, and went looking for other writers on WordPress.  I met Patti McCarty…and then I joined She Writes and met Maureen Doallas.  A year later, I’ve been so encouraged and felt so supported not just online but by Doug and others including my brother Stuart Codington Andrews, that I currently have the besetting “problem” of:

In December “A Bowl of Red”, my essay about my father, came out in the Oil and Water anthology— see link on sidebar.

Also in December, the Liza Dawson Agency in NYC asked to see my memoir, Nightfall in Verona.  I haven’t heard, but I won’t give up.

I have three new collectiions of poetry, one of which is out at two publication prizes– big ones.  We’ll see.  Remain undaunted, I tell myself.

I am the founder and moderator of Poets on She Writes, where we do quite a bit of commenting on each other’s work and our writers are improving seemingly hourly and posting amazing things there and on their own blogs.  We’ve gone from two members to 215 and counting.

I now have three blogs– one on She Writes, this one, and La Parola Vivace, where I post new poetry for comment.

And– ummm— I launched the blog A Tu Placer for literary erotica last week– there’s a link at La Parola– not brave enough to link it here…  gotta let the old grey hair down, sometimes, yes?

Maureen referred me to One Stop Poetry and I have been receiving a whole lot of support for my work in response to various prompts and challenges; we all need that to keep going. It’s a wondrous thing.

My friends Tom Wayman, Andrea Cooper and the beautiful Caroline Marshall have continued to encourage me: thanks to you!  And now, the plethora of people from all venues and over the years on the giant octopus of Facebook!  Egad!

The process of friending absolutely terrifies me because, over the past few years I had a best friend bail on me and move to Montana without so much as a word. Another very longterm friend was warm and nurturing and very present and vanished.  I know why and have asked that we talk about it to no avail.  She went from hot to cold.

I do pick people that go from hot to cold and I suppose that in some ways I can do that dance myself, although I hate it when I do it and try to make immediate amends.  It was done to me, you see, to such a great extent by a rejecting and abandoning mother that it went into my survival kit for how I keep myself safe– just drive people away and then presto- no problem.

Thankfully, you don’t have to endure much of that online–or do it to anyone–although we do open ourselves, out of necessity,  to connect.

Sometimes,  as I’m sure many of you would agree, it’s all a bit much, this caroling to one another in the treetops of cyberspace, and it’s time to be about the business of living out of the virtual zone.  I’ll do that soon, just throw the circuit breaker of my psyche and rest, and nurture me, which is my job– but welcome and thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart.  Write on, fellow sojourners across the sands and seas of time!

Jenne’ Andrews