JaLind Rossetti

ON BEING A FAIR GODMOTHER

AI-generated fairy godmother

On Being A Fairy Godmother

One of the unexpected joys of becoming a romance novelist has been all the fabulous women I’ve met this past year. And one of them just christened me her fairy godmother!

I must admit, I was at first taken aback. But after about a minute, I completely embraced the label. And here’s why:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a fairy godmother is a fairy tale female creature “who acts as…guardian of a human, typically using magic to offer help, bring good fortune, or grant wishes.” Maybe no magic, but otherwise I’d like to think, well, yeah, I can check that box!

And when a woman calls you her fairy godmother, she is saying “in a slightly humorous way that you have been very helpful in her life, often at times when she thought she had problems that could not be solved” (Collins English Dictionary). And again, I’d like to check that box.

In our particular case, my friend Beret had moved into the area just before COVID. Months of lockdown left her longing to connect with other women and become involved in the community. But she didn’t know how to make that happen. And “meeting” people on FaceBook just wasn’t cutting it.

We met one night via a friend of a friend at a book club meeting. Beret happened to mention she had written a romance novel during the pandemic. So we met for coffee. We talked for a couple hours. And as other women had done for me over the past decade, I opened my virtual list of contacts and invited my friend to come along.

First we attended a meeting of  professional women dedicated to community service, scholarships, and other philanthropic endeavors. Beret enjoyed the energy and saw potential opportunities for involvement. Next we had lunch with another friend, a published romance author who’s become a sort of mentor. Beret joined us on our twice monthly get-togethers at each others’ homes, a fabulous way to enhance friendships and build trust.

My new friend plans to join me on trips to San Diego to visit a group of romance writers, both published and pre-published, who gather monthly in a meeting room near the harbor. (Who could say “no” to that invitation?) And just this past weekend, we attended a local meeting of writers and illustrators, a new group for both of us. I told Beret if the contacts I’d introduced her to in the past month were our “micro” group of romance writers, this new group would be the “macro” version, with both men and women writers, editors, marketing pros, illustrators and artists, social media specialists, and more.

And all these people were eager to support and uplift one another–especially the newbies! They’re a dedicated lot in this creatives community of ours, because they know, as anyone who has ever sat down to write–to really write–knows, penning a novel can be a lonely pursuit. It’s one that full of doubts: We’re convinced we’re not good enough. We have no idea what our next step might be. And really, why are we wasting our time trying to become a successful novelist, anyway? We have a better chance of being struck by lightning (I exaggerate, but just a little)!

We crave company. We long for encouragement and accountability. We need friends and mentors.

We all deserve our fairy god-parents!

As for me, the joy I’ve experienced in introducing my friend to my world has been remarkable. I simply feel fabulous! Apparently there’s a reason for this euphoria. Research shows that acts of kindness can reduce stress and increase feelings of wellbeing by releasing dopamine (the feel-good chemical messenger in your brain). They also suppress markers of inflammation (related to the development of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions). So yeah, this helping out a friend is good medicine for all!

Now whenever I connect with Beret, I delight in my beautiful wings and my magic wand. I appreciate and love being in her life!

Have you had your own fairy godmother experience? I’d love to share this with my readers.

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