I met kyrielle online somewhere between fifteen and eighteen years ago, which is positively terrifying if you stop to think about it. We were MUSH* buddies, on a variety of games, as well as being chat/IRC friends and just general companions. She has been there, pom-poms waving, since the start of my career, and well before it. She is smart, sweet, sensitive, sensible, and an amazing mother to her two boys. I sort of feel Ralph-ish where she's concerned: if this girl likes me, how bad can I be?
And then there is saendie . We went to high school together. We wrote for the same ElfQuest fanzine, back in the days of paper fanzines (sort of like fanfic.net on paper, where it could be confiscated by your teacher). We did drama and hung out in J Hall and fought and made up, and she was like, seriously, one of my very first cheerleaders. She was there when I drew a thing, or wrote a thing, and while she wasn't slavering with her praise, she was always ready to be amazed and applaud me for blowing her away. That makes more difference to someone just starting to gain confidence in themselves than I can say.
Happy birthday, ladies. May you continue to be amazing, incredible, and all-around superb for the next year, and for many years beyond.
I am proud to call you my friends.
(*Multi-User Shared Hallucination: a form of text-based RPG.)