Remember, as a child, how you could never go swimming without pairing up with another kid?  Never mind that neither of you could save the other if you were drowning.  At least your buddy could yell while you thrashed about.

The buddy system works in many instances in life. I’ve had a tough time embracing such a concept, being my mother’s independent little trooper.  She taught me well and to this day, that woman continues to dole out the support while retracting into her turtle-shell when she needs a hand. Heaven forbid that anyone but her should ever be inconvenienced. Ah, well, what are ya gonna do?  Parents are so hard to train.

Back in the early ’90s, I discovered what a great shot in the arm the buddy system was for my writing, which was flowing like sap in winter. I met two fellow aspiring writers at a literary conference, and we formed a triumvirate to review one another’s work and hold each other’s feet to the fire to keep writing. By the time our little Five Points Literary Society dispersed, I had produced nearly thirteen complete chapters of my sci-fi novel. But without my buddies, I soon fell back to my slothful, excuse-ridden ways. (Something even better came out of that alliance, though — my current roommate, who is also one of my best friends ever!  Just goes to show how great the buddy system can be.)     Continue reading