Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Jill

Dear Jill,

God, I've had such a hard time writing this. I've re-written it 4 times - well, the first two was because Word kept crashing on me. So I'm typing this straight on blogger - which is not my favorite thing to do. There's also a reason I write romantic comedies ...

How to express what you've meant to me without sounding melodramatic? I'm not exaggerating when I say that you have had a huge impact on my life. It began as a simple email: "Dear Ms. Shalvis" They were the hardest words I'd ever written. I was contacting an author, someone whose books I admired, and it was one of the most nerve-wracking things I'd done. I recently re-read that email (yes, I keep everything - not just yours, so put down that protection order) and thought - wow, this is the most rambling, incoherent piece of ... But you responded, and you were so nice. Then you said something that changed my life forever: "you need to come to my journal/blog on my website." Blog? Wasn’t that one of those chat room type things? I mean, I’d vaguely heard of them but had no idea what it was. So I went. What? Type stuff so that people can see every mistake that I make? You have got to be kidding. So here I am – um, 6 blogs later. You got me into blogging and because of that I have so many wonderful friends - that would never have happened had you not invited me to yours. Small thing, right? No. One day on the blog someone asked if I was a writer. I said no, but I'd like to be one someday. It wasn't long before the following email arrived: "You are so a writer! Just because you're not published doesn't mean you're NOT a writer!!" (I kept that one for obvious reasons. *gg*) I was a writer. My world hasn't been the same since.

You are one of the most gifted, compassionate people God ever created. You bring laughter, romance and excitement into so many people's lives. And you call me your friend. Wow. That overwhelms me. To those that know me, it won't come as a surprise when I say that I have a pretty low self-esteem, so it's hard for me sometimes to imagine that I really matter to most people. You make help me understand that I'm important to you - your email check-ins when I don't come around, your interest in what I'm doing, the cyber-hugs when things get tough. You laugh with me, put up with me when I get manic, encourage me to pursue my dream. Other than Bebo, you have had more influence on my writing than anyone ever has. I have no way to adequately thank you for all that you have done. I hope you know how important you are to me. Have a wonderful birthday Jill, you deserve every happiness life throws your way.

22 comments:

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

*sniff* What an absolutely wonderful e-mail. Hugs. Happy Birthday to Jill!

ruby55 said...

That was a great blog to Jill. I think I upset her in one of my early e-mails because I didn't quite know the rules and said something I shouldn't have.

However, just a few days ago when I made a comment for which I expected no answer, Jill wrote ma a little note--oh, yes, about her Brava books not going into mass market--that it showed me once again how caring she is. Certainly not everyone would expose their bloopers the way she does. I'm glad that she has been such an encouragement to you. In everything that you do here on the blog your qualities as a true writer shine through though you may be totally unaware of it.

ruby55 said...

Ugh, that should be "I upset her in one of my early comments..." not e-mails. I was mortified after I wrote it but she just quietly erased it and I felt better.

Michele said...

OH Cool! I third the "Happy Birthday" to Jill, your mentor Muse!

That is a beautiful sentiment you voiced, Bailey. I think that it's a gift in itself to her.

And you got me reading her books soo..after reading your blog, I can see why I too now like them.
The wonderfulness that is Jill shines through.

I'm SO glad you have her to guide you through your writing goals.
I won't say dreams because goals come true and you are on your way.

Brandy said...

I'm blubbering. That was one of the most heart cliching letters I've ever read and it couldn't be by a better person, to just as wonderful an author/friend/mentor. *sniff, sniff* It's so sweet!!

Happy Birthday Jill! You deserve it.
Thank you for being such a great friend to Bailey!

Jill said...

I don't even know what to say except to tell you that there is no greater bday gift than your letter. I'm the one who is blessed, Eve. You have gone through so much and you still keep us smiling and laughing. Thanks for the tribute, it made me laugh and cry. You are truly the best. Love, jill

Jill said...

ps Ruby, you've never upset me, I love have you, all of you, at my blog every day. Sometimes I might get too swamped to answer personal commens, it is not intentional, I promise.

Lis said...

Awww, what a great tribute to Jill :o) well done Bailey!

Lis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dru said...

WOW..That was a beautiful note to a fine person. Happy Birthday Jill!

--Dru Ann

Bailey Stewart said...

Jill wanted me to correct her typos on the answer to Ruby, but I don't think blogger has that capability (although I did delete the double comment by Lis), so I will just tell you what she said - it's hard to type when the screen is blurry. I didn't mean to make you cry sweetie. I think everyone can figure out what you were saying.

Devon Ellington said...

BEautiful post. And happy birthday to Jill.

Meretta said...

Happy Birthday, Jill! I hope your day is wonderful.

That's a lovely thing to share, Eve. You're a good soul to do so. A lot of things in life go unsaid and they shouldn't. Good for you!

christa said...

Happy Birthday Jill. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Beautifully said Bailey.

bebo said...

Happy b-day Jill!! And don't you dare send any bears to TX no matter how many times Bailey says she needs one...

;>

Carol said...

That was so beautiful! Happy Birthday, Jill!

Dennie McDonald said...

How sweet B - lovely!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JILL!!!!

Jordan Summers said...

Happy Birthday, Jill!!! Love her stuff (and like her too). :) Great email.

Susan said...

Happy Birthday Jill!

Jill, I have to thank you for your great blog. After lurking there for months I final got the courage to actually post. The first person to welcome me was Eve followed shortly thereafter by the fabulous author herself! I have you to thank for the wonderful friendship that I now have with Eve and you make me feel like I have a friend in you too.

catslady said...

Oh goodness, I am really blubbering. Your original post and all the other posts are so touching and I agree with every one of them.

Happy Birthday Jill! You bring so much humor to all of us, not only in your books but especially your blog every day. And you are one of the few authors to bother emailing us personally.

And, Bailey, you know we all luvs you just for being you. You mean a lot to all of us and for that I say a big thanks!

Kelly Parra said...

That's such an awesome letter, Bailey. Happy Birthday to Jill!

Susie said...

What a wonderful tribute. And here's a huge HUG to Jill for reaching out to my friend. There is no greater blessing than to have friends that reflect for you the beautiful person you are.