Sunday, July 22, 2007
Goodbye To A Friend
(Photo: Candace Havens, Me, Ronda, Linda Castillo)
I lost a long-time friend this month. Bestselling Romance author Ronda Thompson passed away on July 11. I will never forget Ronda's unique sense of humor and what a dynamic presence she was. The first time I met her at a writing class in 1993, she walked in late--a tall, (REALLY tall from my perspective!) leggy blonde-- and stirred things up. Class instantly became a lot more interesting with Ronda's wry perspective added to the mix! Soon I considered her one of my best "writer friends." We spent countless hours on the phone, in cyberspace and at coffee shops and restaurants plotting stories and navigating the confusing maze of the publishing industry together. We shared successes and heartaches and so many laughs. Before long, I realized we had more in common than writing alone, and she became of of my best friends, period. Ronda was first and foremost a mother and wife. She loved her children and family with her whole heart and soul. Over the years, we shared the joys and worries of motherhood, too. And the joys and worries of life in general. Ronda wasn't prone to judge. She listened, comforted, related and accepted. Even when we hit roadblocks in our relationship, we always found our way around them and returned to our friendship. Whenever I recall the good times we've had together, I know I'll smile. Our trips to Walmart when each or our first published novels hit the shelves, how we stood in the book section admiring our names on the spines, unable to contain our excitement. Our up-close-and-personal Brad Pitt sighting in L.A. Trips to conferences together. Sitting side-by-side at numerous booksignings hoping someone, anyone, would show up to buy a book. The times we met, either alone or with other writers, and ended up laughing so hard we drew stares. Ronda was a hoot, a person like no other. I'll miss you my friend.