friendship is my foundation — and my salvation

Season’s Greetings, everyone! It’s hard to believe we’re at the final post of 2011. You have been my inspiration over the past (nearly) two years I have been writing this blog.

I recall making my first post in February, 2009 following the TMAC conference at which we were told that absolutely every writer should be on Twitter and have a blog. It took me  several months more to get on Twitter, but I did launch this blog immediately on my return from Richmond.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has subscribed to the blog, posted comments and joined the “tribe” of merry followers. I’m so grateful that we are all in this together!

I’d especially like to thank my PWAC friends, who as fellow writers, have supported my efforts through each further foray into social media. They posted their pictures in the tribe of followers to give me encouragement and show their support. They took the time to make comments in response to my posts. Their support has been the foundation to the structure that has built my now firmly established “author’s platform.”

my writer friends are very important to me.

my writer friends are very important to me.

This reflection made me realize the importance of friendship. I feel so blessed to have an extensive network of strong friendships that have helped me take the baby steps, strides, and now leaps of faith as we forge ahead.

I cherish my friendships so deeply. Perhaps more so than others because I am less fortunate in the “family” department. My parents have been gone a very long time (mother in Jan 1970 and father in Dec 1994.) I only have one sibling and unfortunately, we are cut from a very different cloth and rarely see eye to eye. All my aunts and uncles are gone. Most of my first cousins are gone. And the cousins that remain seem too busy or distracted to forge strong relationships with anyone outside of their inner circles.

So I raise my glass to you, my friends, and thank you for your words of wisdom, your encouragement, and your hands that have held me through times of turmoil, trauma and triumph.

Happy New Year, and may we continue to enjoy this journey together.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

22 Responses

  1. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks so much, Mariellen. I, too, am glad we have met and become friends.

    And thanks for explaining the difference between extrovert & introvert to me. I am energized by people. My brother is drained by them. It is now obvious to me that introverts (like him and like you) need time away from people and that it is a strain against the grain for you to spend too much extended time with others.

    We never can learn too much about human dynamics, can we?

  2. BreatheDreamGo says:

    Lovely post, Doreen, and I echo the others who said you have a knack for friendship. You are such a warm person and I am so glad I have met you in person and not just on the PWAC listserv.

    As an introvert, I am sometimes envious of extroverts and their ability to socialize without having their energy flag. I would love to have more friends, but I get tired around people and need to retire to my quiet room to re-charge. And that is the classic definition of an introvert.

    Also, I don't have a lot of family either (I'm close to two of my siblings though).

    So I am so glad to know warm-hearted extroverts like yourself Doreen!

  3. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for the comment, Suzanne. It's always great to hear your thoughts.

    You're right! PWAC has been a wonderful place to meet other like-minded people. I/we have made so many wonderful friends over the past (nearly) 15 years. I really think that joining an association where you have a strong common interest with others (be it PWAC, Toastmasters or other great orgs) is an excellent place to build strong, long lasting friendships.

    So glad we met, and have been roommates for many terrific conferences.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Wow, so many posts. You really hit a chord here, Doreen.

    I remember so many years ago joining the PWAC national Board and Doreen e-mailing me to ask "would you be my roommate?" as we shared rooms to stay within budget. That was the best idea, as it turned out. Doreen and I have been friends ever since!

    Here's my quick story. I never had a lot of friends. I have lots of family though. But I felt so different. No one really "got me." Then I forged into freelance writing, joined PWAC and instantly connected with like-minded people. Now I hav so many friends. Timing was perfect too because the Internet was taking off, we had listserves and the connections continue with Facebook, etc. But, I count you as one of the first and most important friends who got the ball rolling for me, Doreen.

    Happy New year!

  5. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Esther.

  6. Satinka says:

    Happy New Year Doreen!

    I look forward to yet another year of your blogs.

    With love from one of your busy cousins. 😉

  7. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks so much, Lisa! Your heartfelt words brought goosebumps to my arms!

    I really like that line: "Friends are the family we create for ourselves." It really hit home for me, as indeed, my good friends ARE my family.

    So happy to know you, and to learn that I have had a positive impact on your life. We're all in this together!

    All the best for 2011 – and always.

  8. Lisa MacColl says:

    Friends are the family we create ourselves. I never learned to make friends as a child, so the skill has been long in coming, but I'm getting good at it now!
    You were one of the members of PWAC who welcomed me when I joined and made my first tentative posts on the L. You are a wonderful mentor and inspiration, and I'm delighted to be included in your tribe and Twibe!
    All the best for 2011.

  9. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks so much, Jodi.

    I do wish we lived closer. It's been far too long since we've shared a hug.

    Happy New Year to you, too, my friend.

  10. jodi (bloomingwriter) says:

    Such a lovely post, Doreen. Because of my reclusive nature & my geography, I rely dearly on the connection with friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc to keep in touch for all kinds of reasons, from networking to helping out one another to just being friends. As always, I wish we lived closer, but knowing that anyone is a click or a phone call away is a blessing. Wishing you the happiest of New Years…

  11. wizardofwords says:

    THANK YOU, MARG! That is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me! Don't think I've ever been called a treasure before!

    It has been a pleasure getting to know you as well. We are so very fortunate to have connected via Twitter, FB and in the blogosphere!

    Soon to be in person! Looking forward to sharing a toast with you in early 2011.


  12. Margaret Ullrich says:

    Happy New Year, Doreen! I treasure meeting you as one of the best gifts I received in 2010. My parents both passed away in 2009 and my remaining family, for the most part, is in New York. I understand the siblings 'cut from a different cloth' and cousins busy with their own circles aspects of life.
    No one treasures friends as much as an immigrant.
    Here's a raised glass to you!! All the best, always!!

  13. Christine Peets says:

    Thanks for the mention of my blog, Doreen. I appreciate your support.

  14. wizardofwords says:

    You'll find Christine's blog at:

    You'll find it in my list of favourites under the name "With Humour and Hope." Check out any link in that list of favourites and you won't be sorry! (By the way, Elizabeth, your own site is listed there as well.)

    Christine was recently in Korea, so had blogged a bit about that, but initially started out blogging about life. Check it out for some interesting insights!

  15. Elizabeth Campbell says:

    Where is Christine's blog? :o/

  16. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for joining us on the blog, Barbara! I'm glad my post inspired you. I do hope you'll join us here again in the New Year. The next post will be made during the week of Jan 10th.

    And thanks for your greetings and support, Christine. It's always wonderful to hear from you. I'll look forward to reading more on your blog in the New Year.

    Happiness, health and prosperity to all.

  17. Barbara McDowell Whitt says:

    Doreen, thank you for your words of wisdom. I, too, am forging ahead in life without the earthly presence of a mom or dad. Mine appear clearly to me, however, as I compile daily entries from my 1960s diaries in my blog, and for that I am grateful.

  18. Christine Peets says:

    Happy New Year, Doreen. Thanks for taking me on this journey, and for encouraging me in my own efforts in the blogosphere. I hope to post as regularly as you do in 2011.
    You definitely are an inspiration, as a writer and as a friend, by showing us that when you give more, you get more.

  19. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Irene!

    I'm glad I clicked on your profile, as I thought it was Irene Gordon (another Irene writer-friend of mine!) but now realize it's Irene Levine, Travel Classics friend!

    For those of you who don't know Irene, she has a terrific blog about friendship. Find it at:

    Happy New Year, Irene, and thanks for dropping into the blog.

  20. Irene says:

    Wishing a wonderful New Year to someone who has a special knack for making friends along the way..

  21. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Elizabeth. It's funny how you can meet someone and feel an immediate connection. I'm glad you and I felt that connection in Kenora and have become friends. Thanks to the Word Fest folks for helping make that possible. Cheers!

  22. Elizabeth Campbell says:

    Cheers, Doreen! I'm sure I am not alone in feeling that your friendship has been a valuable gift to us, too!

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