on the interwebs again, my friends!

When I showed my husband the new gigantic interview with yours truly, “Breakfast with Leslie,” at Creative Construction: Life & Art, he said, “Yeah, so you’re on the Internet again.”

I’ve made a lot of contacts over my four years on Flickr and various discussion boards. I learned when I was fourteen and had a lot of pen pals that knowing people from all over gives you a place to stay when you travel. Seeing the world was a goal of mine in the olden days, when I slept naturally, all the time, and didn’t have to think about it. My husband still likes to go, though, and I like that I’m able to hook us up with Stewart Green, a writer and climber living in Colorado; or Penny, who lives in the West Kootenays, off the grid in Canada (she has a pet crow); or cybergeek and runner Steffen, in Vienna; or the lovely Gabi, who’s trying to be in Rotterdam most of the time; or the insanely funny Martin, in County Cork.

And I love that Fran stayed with me and has sent me her book. I love my friend Derek, who is so thoughtful that has sent me cards for every occasion, including my birthday, Halloween, my book, and no reason at all. And I love that I can visit Sarah Bloom an hour and a half away in Philly (and even take in a Bahhhhhhhb show together in November). And one of my best friends in the whole wide world is Jennifer König, who thinks all my thoughts at the same time; we have visited each other, with our families, and we work in virtual cubicles next to each other—and next to one of my all-time favorite humans, Patrick T. Power.

This cultivation of friendships with faraway people is selfish. I feel like I get everything, even when I’m commenting on blogs and photos, emailing them when they are sick; celebrating with them when something cool happens, like when Cory got her new tattoo; and supporting them in times of crisis, like when my Jackson Heights friend, Jodi, lost her beloved Molly, or when Susan in Jersey and David, a Canadian teaching English in Korea, lost their fathers. Being their friends is rewarding, and I spend a lot of time doing it.

My husband works hard at his job. He’s a middle-school teacher, and sixth grade is his homeroom. Do you remember sixth grade? It was the worst year of my life. I had breasts. I got my period. The boys at my table called me “Moose Miller,” after the comic, and I was teased because, well, I guess I had “it” goin’ on. The hormones are insane in sixth grade. Marty teaches Catholic school, and many of the families are conservative, so add that wrench to the psyche of the unreligious, left-leaning, peace-loving man. Then throw seven preps a day in math and social studies on top of the mix, and you have an overworked dude who’s not going to be too thrilled when you show him the gigantic interview about you, which appeared because others felt your Internet presence.

This morning, I gave him an example of why it’s so important and why he should be pleased about this news. Fellow Goucher Gopher, and now Flickr friend, Kimberly Hosey, told me that she was so excited about my book that she would buy 100 copies. I reminded her that even on Amazon it would cost her $1,700. She agreed she’d probably only buy one or three, but she’d make 100 others buy the book.

My husband thought this was a good thing. He’d like nothing more than for me to be a successful writer and sole breadwinner, while he home-schools our daughter and takes her on field trips to Korea. (It’s not likely to happen. But that will be our little secret.)

In the meantime, though this may just sound like the politics of P.R., I want everyone to know that when I talk about my 120 Flickr contacts or my twelve Square One-ers or the people on Facebook, 37 of whom wrote me Happy Birthday greetings the other day, I start every sentence with “My friend….”

And, my friends, when I say, “my friends,” I actually mean it.*

*Unlike that other one.

P.S. Thank you, my newest friend, Miranda, for the awesome interview at Creative Construction.

* * *

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  1. jodi October 10, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    i am very glad to be your friend. and i really appreciate all of the love & support you've given me this year, even though you've had a tough time yourself. hope to see you in nyc soon. xoxo

  2. Sarah October 10, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    I am a perpetual teen, I swear. I squealed inside when I saw I got a mention. 🙂

    Yay friends!

  3. jennifer October 10, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    ditto, my friend. ditto. (it’s funny, but i was just thinking this yesterday, how you’ve become one of my bestest friends.)


  4. Anonymous October 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    ….chopped liver?

    seeing if you get the first part….;-)

  5. andy66 October 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    Published the same month as my birthday.
    I’ll get a copy or two.

  6. Fran October 10, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    Awww, thank you for including me in the batter, er, mix of friends.

  7. Miranda October 10, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    It was great getting to know you just a little bit, Leslie! Thank you for being so generous with your time — and self.


  8. Esther October 10, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    *le sigh* 😉

    you, good lady, are the shizzle times about infinity. xo

  9. Leslie F. Miller October 10, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    No one I know is chopped liver. I just wanted to say that (Teena). I couldn’t fit everyone in, and I love Andy66 and Esther, too. And ya’all. All o’ ya’all.

  10. Kim Hosey October 10, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    I got all happy to get a mention too. You rock, as a long-distance friend, or, I’m sure, a close-distance one. It’s funny; I was just talking about your book and photos to my husband the other day, and totally began “My friend Leslie…” Online friends, pen pals, long distance friendships and see-them-every-day types are alike in that you totally get out of it what you put into it, and you put in a hell of a lot.

    And I think it’s awesome that your husband is a sixth grade teacher; I never knew what he did. My dad was a sixth grade teacher, an awesome one (like seriously — as much as it is possible to be a celebrity sixth grade teacher in a small town, he was). It’s a really important age. I bet Marty’s an awesome, awesome teacher too.

  11. Anonymous October 11, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    I love to tell my friends around here about my friend Leslie that wrote a book about cake. I think I’ve got about 5 books sold…I’m working on some more.


  12. lysandra October 11, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    I’m glad to be your friend. Yay for friends!

  13. Cybergabi October 11, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    The good thing about it is that we’re, in a way, so much closer on the Internet, even when traveling.

    And I love you too.

    Other than that, I’ll try to be in Rotterdam tonight.

  14. Elena October 17, 2008 at 12:56 am #

    Happy belated birthday.

    Just dropping by to say, I was Anon, but I did actually sign my name with the actual link to my blog. I have no idea why Cecily removed it. Wasn’t my idea.

    Have a good one.

  15. Aunt Teena October 17, 2008 at 12:56 am #

    My Hmpphh just turned into an Aaah.

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