Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chick Lit Cheerleader: Back to the Beach

Did you miss our Chick Lit Cheerleader last month? She and our Go-to-Gay are taking turns posting on a bi-monthly basis, so Jen will be here during the even months, even if she's a little odd at times. Today she's making us jealous by talking about the annual beach trip she takes with some fabulous chick lit authors. Melissa A. even hopes Jen will sneak her into her luggage next year...

Time for a vicarious vacation!

Beach Babe Bound

The more years that pass by, the less adventurous I consider myself. Ask others who know me well and they’d probably disagree. That tells me my powers to go full hermit, without interference, are going according to plan. Is it just me, or did you just envision Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants wickedly wringing his hands, too?

It’s not that I’m afraid of adventures, just know that if the confetti and mischief flies beyond the hours of 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM I’m going to tap out. I keep Amish hours. Nothing good happens after 9:01 PM, people, and if it does? —there’s a DVR for that. Too much Golden Girls perhaps? Naw… they have way more spunk than I do.

Yet leave it to a distinct group of ladies to keep me up past my bedtime; wicked city women! For five days out of the year, I kick my stick-in-the-mud self to the curb, and live the life of sun, sand, and heart-sisters.

L to R: Josie, Eileen, Me

Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy. Wait—sorry—that’s Charlie’s Angels. Sorry, Charlie. Once upon a time, there were seven women who were all writers: Eileen Goudge, Francine LaSala, Meredith Schorr, Julie Valerie, Samantha Bailey, and Josie Brown. One from the Midwest, three from New York, one from Virginia, one from Toronto, and one from the hills of San Francisco. They were each assigned very hazardous duties: writers, full time jobs, client wranglers, freelance content spinners/editors, hubbies, children, carpool, jogging through the streets of Manhattan. But Eileen Goudge took them away from all that and now they work for her … happily in the kitchen while consuming wine, staring into the ocean surf on the California coast, every January.

At Karen's house for tea. Top (L to R): Francine, Josie, Me
Bottom (L to R): Karen (Eileen's sister), Julie, Meredith, Samantha, Eileen

Do you have a friend who simply “gets it”? You share common interests, common occupations, or even common life paths. There’s immediate understanding. No need to explain why you give a hoot about metadata, works in progress, or the thrill of a new storyline.

But there’s more to it than that…

What if sharing a profession, being social media hounds, and part-time wine lushes made you aware of someone, yet genuine love is what keeps you together? For me, I connect deeply and can’t imagine my life without their friendship, loyalty, trustworthiness, the no-holds-barred/no phony baloney honesty, and the safety I experience being myself even when I might—or might not—wear a bra or shower for a couple days. Sprinkle in the unconditional love they selflessly give in the midst of my joy or tears and that’s pretty freaking special, isn’t it? Something I cherish and hold in my heart until we Beach Babes gather same time next year. Only 11 months and an extra day to go. Curse you, Leap Year!

Front to back: Francine, Meredith, Josie, Me

As I slip and slide through my daily hustle-bustle, I do realize how lucky I am. A group of women I admire more than words could say, my Beach Babes, are plucking along in their day-to-day lives, too. It’s amazing how time seems to stand still when we reunite—like never left. They’re a text, tweet, or phone call away and sometimes, that’s just enough knowledge for me to cling to when I need them most. And right now, that person is Meredith Schorr. She’s the only Babe who understands we must fight the dead and fear the living! That’s right friends…it’s time for The Walking Dead season premiere. See how I brought it all back around to TV? You’re welcome.

Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of SaltIn September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at TwitterFacebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.


Janine said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun.

Samantha Stroh Bailey said...

Jen Jen, this made me cry! I miss all of you so much. You are simply one of the greatest joys in my life, and that trip together, oh, that trip, infuses me with so much energy and inspiration. I write so much better after five days with my Beach Babes. Damn that leap year! Awesome post, Blondie. xoxoxoxoxo

Meredith said...

I love you Jen Tucker!! And the Beach Babes have truly changed my life and made it much much better. And, holy crap, THAT was a mid-season premiere if I ever saw one!

Eileen Goudge said...

You said it best, Jen Tucker. I have nothing to add except I love you back. All of you. We are the Beach Babes and we RULE. Like you, I keep Amish hours, but I will stay up past my bedtime and throw all other rules to the winds during our annual Beach Babes weekend. I will even flash my boobs - wait, did I just admit that? --drink wine and tell embarrassing stories about my past, knowing what happens in La Selva, stays in La Selva. Already counting down the days till Beach Babes 2017.

Josie Brown said...

I finally crawled out of my writing cave, to find this beautiful love letter to our group friendship. Thank you for this, JenTuck! I am honored to be included on this annual gathering, and feel blessed to have such returned with such wonderful memories (Thankfully, not of Eileen's flashed boobs. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd have gone COMPLETELY blind.)

Here's to another great year of stories that satisfy the readers who pick them up, and our personal need to write them.

Unknown said...

Jen, my Beach Babe roomie (along with Francine),

I love, love, love this post and I miss, miss, miss you and the other Babes.

I came across a quote by Robert Brault who is the author of Round Up the Usual Suspects - Brault is credited with saying, "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." And while that quote certainly applies to the Beach Babes, another thing Brault said helps capture what makes the Beach Babes gathering in January and throughout the year so special:

"I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar."

I value the time we set aside every January - and sporadically throughout the year, when schedules and location allow us to be together, but I cherish the friendship that exists between us when we're apart. The drop everything, check in, 'How can I help?', 'What's up with you today?' vibe that exists between us is so precious. Something I value and cherish.