This post is dedicated to all you guys I met and communicate primarily with online. ♥

I’ve been posting on Plurk for almost three years now. In those few years, I’ve managed to become a part of a core group, and my days feel empty if I don’t get into some shenanigans with them at least once every day. We’ve developed this little circle, and it’s awesome. We have our own words and initialisms, we have inside jokes, and sometimes we Skype. Some of them met up last September for the TOA–the Tour of Awesomeness–in San Francisco. I remember when they were talking about it as an abstract thing, and then when it actually happened? Yea, freaking cool. I missed out on that, but I am holding out that the next TOA will take place in Chicago.

We do video memes (which I am really behind on, oops). We send each other Christmas cards. One year we made mix CDs for each other. (I still owe Sun one, actually.) We’re all different races. We have different backgrounds and different professions. We’re all over the U.S. and the world. And yet, we all just mesh. And it’s good. I adore them all.

I have friends in all sorts of pockets on the Internet. I have friends who love American Girl like I do, and we talk dolls. Well, they talk dolls and crafts, I mostly listen/read and soak it all up. I have friends who I play FarmVille or Cafe World with. That’s the main thing we have in common, but I’ve seen so much generosity from people from a little flash game on Facebook. That blows my mind.

Even though I’ve been laying low on the writing front (although that’s changing with a quickness YAY), I am still very passionate about and involved with the kidlit world. It’s hard not to be, being married to an author. I met Adam indirectly through an online friend/critique partner (who is now an agent and an author). It’s also hard not to be, when I am as passionate about books and reading and teens as I am. I know that once I get back to pursuing publication, I’ll be surrounded with a lot of support from people in the industry, because that’s just how the kidlit world works.

My favorite, though? Is when fandoms cross over into personal friendships. It’s pretty easy, I mean, you KNOW you have at least one thing in common, right? Why else would you be part of that fandom? I’ve met people on the Disney World community whose weddings I ended up attending. I met a dear friend from American Girl message boards, and ended up celebrating Valentine’s Day and my birthday with both of our families. (And it’s been way too long since I’ve seen her and I miss her a LOT!) Some people I met because we started a comment thread on another person’s blog and realized we had a lot in common and a lot to talk about. The Internet has definitely made the world smaller.

I’ve known my friend Ivy since 1997. It all started because she was searching for someone who had SINGLE, NOT LOOKING at a relationship status in his or her profile on AOL. She emailed me, and we’ve been friends ever since, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding in 2008. Because of people I have met online, I’ve had the chance to travel to places I thought I’d never go. My first trip to Disneyland was because of my dear friend Amy, who felt I needed a pick-me-up when I was going through some hard times. I’ve been to San Francisco and San Jose to visit people I have met online. And if I find myself going to a city where someone I’ve met online lives, I try to meet up with that person, even if it’s just for lunch, and a lot of them have done the same for me.

I’m always finding new and interesting people online. I read and comment on their blogs, @reply them on Twitter, and sometimes end up developing some really neat relationships because of it. So, to all of you who are funny, kind, creative, insightful, and best of all, open to making new friends online, hearts to you. ♥ You’re part of what makes the Internet so fun.

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