Friends. We all have them. I hope you have many. Maybe you have one or two lifelong friends that have been with you from birth until whatever age you are at the time you read this. We all have grade school friends. Neighborhood pals. High school friends. College buddies. Friends we work with, go to church with, go to the gym with. Like I said, I hope you have many friendships in your life. Life is a pretty sad circus without them.
But sometimes, if you are lucky, you become part of a group of friends that goes beyond the typical. A circle of friends that, from the outside may seem inexplicable and even downright outrageous. But from the inside, from the core of this group of mismatched travelers, it is nothing but pure magic. I was and still am a part of one of these groups of the best kind of friends. The truest of friends because, at the center of it all, was the unspoken understanding that we were all brought together though we can't explain how or why. It just was. And that was only the start of the "magick". We were and are and ever will be the Zoo Crew.
Where did the nicknames come from? I would like to take credit for them, but they just were. And they are more our true names than our given ones in my opinion. QZ and The One. Duck and Demon. Boo and Spike. Wings and Songman. Eight mismatched pairings if ever there were ones. But somehow when we became friends my junior year in high school, our friendship took on a life of its own. We transcended the status quo and social rankings of high school. We infected the entire class of 1991. We were untouchable. The "magick" had found us, and we embraced it. We had adventures and parties and life was golden. And believe me or not, but it still is.
We are spread across the country, but get together still whenever possible. We are not eight anymore, unfortunately. One of us walked down a dark trail and lost his way. But he is still with us in spirit, and for two of us, he still lives forever in the stories we create.
My best friend is Jay Taylor. He is the author of The Rise of Majick and blogger at The Fiction Hole. He is amazingly gifted and I am so proud of him. I got the copy of the book he sent me from California today. Jay has always been the fearless believer who pushes me when I get hesitant. Jay tells me I am a natural with "majick". I know it is true, but I sometimes doubt myself. Jay feels he has to work harder at it, the "majick", but he always believes in it. And that is what makes him a natural at it, I tell him. We have inspired and cheered each other on in our creative endeavors. The stories we tinkered with in high school continue to influence everything we write. And our friendships as well.
These friendships heavily influence the characters in my current WIP, "One Running." This is the story that had its beginnings in high school, and has been shaped by experience and time until the moment when, just like our friendships, the "majick' found it. And I fully intend to embrace it. Life is golden. It truly is.
Zoo Crew Forever.
Keep believing things into existence. Keep making dazzles.