In a Writer’s Life—as in every life, I think—we have family, we have acquaintance-friends…and we have friends upon whose shoulders our souls rest. The first group can be frustrating, disappointing, distant. The second, indifferent. The third group owns our hearts.

These last are the Family We Choose.

I am very, very lucky in this last group. I am a person who counts her friendships in calculations possible on fingers and toes, not by a pocket calculator. If an entire year goes by in which I have gained a single good friend, I am astonished and amazed. Those friends I cherish are people I mentioned often, here. I won’t name them again—they know who they are. But I will make note of a trio of chosen-family: The Salon.

The company of these folks is one of the few places (not counting these posts) in which I feel comfortable bringing the spotlight squarely to my writing; a place I am willing to discuss ideas-in-progress, the joys, frustrations and fears associated with it.

It’s a kind of halfway house for the writerly crazies: a place I am sheltered and free at the same time. I know I will get honest feedback here. I know I will hear questions. I know I will hear the delights and frustrations of their work as well as my own. I know I will be fed by thoughts and answers. And last night, I was fed in another way entirely.

Mel and Blake and Kristina had a birthday dinner for me: a multi course extravaganza of extraordinarily flavorful offering. Whoa. And wow. An evening spent with thoughts in my head, love in my heart, dogs at my feet, deliciosity on my tongue, and the energy from three exceptional minds full in the air.

Thank you for the journey—for however long it lasts. Thank you for being the ongoing food of my spirit. Thank you thank you thank you. For being the Family We Choose.