|from front to back, Geoff Herbach, Christina Mandelski, Amy Dominy|
and me in the white shirt, signing books.
This weekend I had the treat of finally meeting in person friends who, before now, I've only communicated with online: fellow Class of 2K11'ers Amy Fellner Dominy (OyMG), Christina Mandelski (The Sweetest Thing), Bettina Restrepo (Illegal), and Geoff Herbach (Stupid Fast). Of course, I had met Alissa Grosso (Popular) recently at an author event in NYC.
The crew has converged on New York City for Book Expo America Week in NYC and we have several events planned together around the city this coming week (see the right sidebar of my blog for places and times or click on the link above to go to our facebook event page). But first, Amy, Christina, and Bettina flew in to Long Island for a slumber party with me, and to attend a local event at the Huntington Library on Sunday, which Geoff and Alissa then joined us for.
We ate pizza and drank wine (and Amy D. and I may have eaten a full vat of three-flavor popcorn ourselves) and then woke up the next morning and drank coffee and had a slumber-gab in my basement on blow up mattresses. We even took a walk around my hilly neighborhood trying to work off the pizza and the full vat of popcorn (only to follow that up with bagels by the pool).
And here's the thing we kept marveling at: as I greeted each new face, previously seen to me only in photos on facebook or small square images on Twitter, it felt like I had known them all my life. There was no awkwardness. There was no sense that we didn't have a long, in-person history together.
We all kept commenting excitedly about how we felt like giddy school girls together, old friends reunited after a few years apart. Yes, even Herbach felt somewhat schoolgirly with us, but only in the most complimentary way. ;)
Of course, I had experienced this before when I met my dear ABNA friends in real life, so I knew it to be possible.
Still, it keeps on amazing me how truly connected we can become in our virtual lives, in a way that transcends the screen and cements relationships in "real" life.
Coolio, people. Coolio.