I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Connected By a Mouse

Photo Credit
by Lisa Jordan

Anyone who knows me—really knows me—knows I have a slight adoration for NCIS. Yes, I love me some Gibbs. But before NCIS, I watched JAG, the show that NCIS is a spin-off.

When I started watching JAG in 2001, I found an online message board dedicated to the show. Through that board, I met a zany cast of characters that was any writer's buffet of personalities. Through the years, many board friendships have faded, but a few have remained—Carolyn, Amanda, Sara and Shane. 

We’ve been friends for the past 11 years. But, with the exception of Carolyn, I haven't met the rest in person. Someday… For now, we stay connected via Yahoo IM

I met Carolyn in person in 2003, and she didn’t run away screaming, so I guess I wasn’t one of those scary online horror stories. Carolyn was the first person to read Lakeside Reunion in its infancy. She watched me grow as a writer. She cried when I announced my book contract and attended my Lakeside Reunion book launch party. 

Amanda is my cyber daughter—we met while she was in college, and I gave her motherly advice. She is now a career woman, homeowner, and mom to furry Emma. She scored points by reading my book twice!  

Sara was a senior in high school when we first met—the same age as my baby is now! Now she’s establishing her business career. She makes me laugh and shares my passion for romantic comedies, especially those with Ryan Reynolds.

Shane is my go-to computer guru who flies his Canadian flag with pride. A fellow Apple lover, he wears sarcasm like a designer suit and reminds me daily that I’m old. He’s so eye-rolling patient with me, especially when I need male POV insight for my novels.   

My cyber pals are single college-educated professionals who encouraged this old married lady’s writing dream from the moment I was brave enough to share it with them. When I learned of my first book contract, they were among the first whom I shared my news.

We’ve been there for each other through the laughter, the tears, the scary stuff, and just the everyday mundane.

Recently someone asked me what my priorities were, and I said, “God, family, friends.” I simply can’t function well without my friends. 

We may not be able to meet in person for some time (someday?), but they’re just as important as my face-to-face friends, and I love them to pieces. Yes, Cranky One, even you.

Your Turn: Do you have online friendships that have lasted through the years? How did you meet? How do you stay connected? Have you met in person yet? Did meeting your online friend fit your expectations? 

Lisa Jordan


  1. You probably never had Pen Pals, but that's what the web reminds me of, only better. It can be instant communication instead of waiting days or weeks for a letter. lol

    About 5 years ago I joined an ACFW critique group, I think there were 7 or 8 at one time. We are now 5 and have become really good friends, praying for one another, critiquing each other's ms, sharing each other's joys and disappointments. I've met 4 of them at different conferences, one of them for the first time when I was in Florida for the first DT. (I thinks she's coming next year)
    And when we met in person, because we've spent so much time together,they were exactly what I expected! :>)
    And I met you on line before I met you in person. And you were the same giving, kind person in real life as you were in cyber life!

  2. ...are the same giving, kind person in real life as you are in real life. lol

  3. For me it was kind of opposite. Most of us met as Ponderers at the first StoryCrafters and exchanged contact info. You don't learn to know each other well during two intense learning/writing days, but in the 2 1/2 years since, posting blogs, exchanging emails and face to face meetings has produced some of the finest closest friends on the planet. I didn't see this coming but am so grateful for the neat thing God put together.

  4. I love reading about your cyber-friends, Lisa! I don't really have any friends I've met and become friends with online, but developing friendships with people I've met in person, especially through writing and seeing the friendships grow through online connecting has been fun.

  5. I've met so many wonderful people online. I have only met one of them in person. But my goodness, when some of us meet face to face, it's gonna be a par-tay! :)

  6. Pat,

    I had a pen pal or two when I was younger, but those friendships faded.

    When I joined ACFW, I had a crit group, which is where I met Roxanne for the first time online. Meeting her in person was a delight. And since then I've met many writer friends online and had the pleasure of seeing them in person too.

  7. Dee, I never expected the bond that would happen that weekend either, but I'm so thankful for it. You girls have become my writing support group and a necessry part of my writing team. I"m so thankful for each one of you!

  8. Jeanne, I'm so thankful for the power of the Internet that helps us stay connected with a single click. My friendships have deepened even though miles separate us.

  9. LindsAy, when I've met online friends in person, the par-tay was super sweet. And saying goodbye makes it so much harder. I hope to meet you in person someday!!

  10. Yes, I've met random people online that I can't wait to meet in person! AKA Lindsay Harrel, Jessica Patch, Katie Ganshert, Keli Gwyn...and others!

    And...I have to echo Dee. I met so many of the Ponderers at that first retreat, and then others at the next one. And while we only had a weekend to get to know each other in person, our friendships have grown online. I can't thank God enough for that!!

  11. Can't wait to meet you too, Lisa!! ACFW? Will you be there?

    And Mel, we're gonna par-tay on. Like ca-razy.

  12. Melissa, I'm with you on LindsAy and Jess. Keli and Katie are delightful, even better in person.

  13. Yes, LindsAy, I will be at ACFW!! I'll be sure to find you. :D

  14. I love that you're capping the A, by the way. Just thought I'd let you know that I noticed. You finally figured out how to spell Lindsay correctly. ;)

    And yay that you'll be at ACFW!

  15. I've met some awesome critique partners online, and finally met two of them at an ACFW conference. Pretty cool! I met you Ponderers in person, but we keep connected online. I'm hoping to meet all of you in person when ACFW has its conference in Dallas.

  16. Teri,
    I'm so excited you'll be at ACFW in Dallas. Or else be close enough for us to see. And that's very cool about your crit partners. I know meeting my online crit partners face to face for the first time was an unforgettable experience.

  17. Fun post. I know you have lots of online friends, but had no idea about your passion for JAG.

    We met as online friends first too! Was it in 2004 or 2005? Though we're still long-distance, you've helped me through my trials and shared my joy. I'm so thankful for you!