Monday, January 25, 2010

Grade School All Over Again

“I have no friends.”

How many times did I whine to my parents as we moved around the globe? Globe may be a slight exaggeration. Two continents, three countries, but pretty nomadic for a kid. In hindsight of course I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but making new friends was always tough.

I’m having flashbacks now that I’ve entered Blogworld, Tweeterland and the Republic of Facebook. It’s scary and humbling. I look at my friend list and wonder, will I ever be one of the popular kids? Do I really care?

I love flash fiction. (I digress, but you’ll see why soon.) I stumbled upon it a few years ago and I’m addicted. Love to read it, love to write it. I’ve even published some of my flash fiction online and have a few stories in print, so I guess I’m pretty good at it.

There are many writers of flash that I really admire but one talented lady stands out – Linda Courtland. I’ve never read a story of hers I didn’t like. She can pack so much into a few words she’s like the literary equivalent of a contortionist. One story from a book of flash fiction she recently published starts like this:

The Most Friends Ever
By Linda Courtland

“We’ve identified you as the person with the fewest friends on Facebook,” the email said. “But don’t worry, help is on the way.”

It was high school all over again, and I was being cyber-bullied by a social networking site for not being one of the cool kids.

I typed in my user name and password, fully intending to delete my dreaded profile. An instant message box blocked my progress.

“You don’t have to do that,” the words said.

I clicked on the “X” in the corner, but the application wouldn’t close.

“Who are you?” I demanded.

“I’m your fairy friend-finder.”

I clung to my pride. “I have enough friends.”

“The median number of friends on this site is 198.” The screen zoomed into the Friends section on my profile. “You have two.”

“I used to have three,” I typed.

“Until your Mom unsubscribed.”

“Some of us value quality over quantity.” I stormed into the other room and the phone rang.

“I can make you popular,” the voice purred.

---End of Excerpt---



While I don’t want this particular fairy friend-finder to help me out (you have to read the rest of the story and you’ll see why) I do enjoy the possibilities of these networking sites. How else would I be able to ‘meet’ people from around the world without changing out of my fuzzy bunny slippers?

I may not have the most friends ever, but I’ve met some talented writers and really nice people.

So .. get Linda’s book. I promise you’ll be entertained. You can find out more about her on her website.

www.lindacourtland.com

Later friends.

~Cat~

5 comments:

  1. Your Fairy-friend finder found me! It's funny, I joined facebook, initially to keep tabs on my teen-son's on-line activity. However, I guess the fairy-friend-finder found me, too. I have re-connected with old friends and networked with writers from all over the world. It's really amazing.

    Good luck with your cyber-click. And know, you've got a friend in me.

    -Lisa Lipkind Leibow
    www.LLLeibow.com

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  2. Hey, Cat,

    Intriguing story, which speaks to how we all feel when we first get our feet wet in the networking world.

    And see there now, you already have more followers here than that woman in the story. Enjoy! I'll be sure to check in on you.

    Joy

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  3. I liked the story. I've often ducked people 'friending' me on other websites, including a nutty one from work...hah.

    A few good friends are better than a lot of so-so ones.

    T

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  4. I do have friends, yeah! Thanks guys. And Tirz .. right on .. a few good friends are so much better. : )

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