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My 1st (Virtual) Christmas

Here we are - me in front of my big Mac, you in front of your tech tube, connecting again via the dub-dub-dub. Though the world wide web and e-mail have been around for me since 1993, I feel like this is my first e-Christmas. Sure, I've got real life plans here in the real world, but I'm gonna be straight up Midwest honest with you now: my e-life is much bigger and sexier than my real life. I know. Shocking, right? I mean, what's not to love about my toddler chasing the shih tzu around the house right now? Who doesn't appreciate that you get to work all day in black work-out pants and a cotton T? I don't have a lick of makeup on, and my hair is in a ponytail. My "real life" friends are either working or caring for their kiddos, or like me, both.

But on the web? Ooh, baby. On the web, I can be superwoman 24/7. Author Malena always has her hair done, her makeup on, her smile stuck on her powdered face. (Sure, I'm tiny - on Facebook I'm a 1/2 inch square.) But I'm saying witty things my toddler could care less about. I'm beaming into lives through my videos. I'm talking about the JOY PROJECT on my web site in writing and on videos. It's bits of me, captured in time. But it's more than that. It's Connection 2.0. We don't have the time or the time-traveling abilities to get to know everyone on Facebook or Twitter or the WWW in real life, but we don't need too, either. I treasure when I can meet an e-friend in real life, but that doesn't mean that our virtual relationship is fake, either. We can send private messages, we can share posts, favorite links, notes and more. That's real. So when I post my family greeting card on my social networking site, the meaning is the same as if I snail mailed you one to your home. Consider yourself welcome to e-seat yourself in that real-life chair in my library pictured in this post.

So to my e-friends, I treasure you. To my real-life friends and family far away - I'll be Skyping you to see what Santa brought you for Christmas. I'm toasting us and our virtual holiday season with some Sooner Champagne - 1/2 pomegranate juice and 1/2 champagne. Yes, serve it at your next real life holiday gathering, but tell everyone you learned about it from your cool e-friend with the non-stop smile.


  1. Happy holidays to you my Sooner pal! Glad we got to meet online and in person this year! And here's to e-friends, who make the lonely life of a writer more bearable through their love, their support, and their ability to "get it" like no one else in our lives ever could.

  2. Happy Holidays, Malena!

    I don't know what I'd do without my e-friends most of whom now I've met in person. Even my friend Suz from Oz! LOL

    I'm so glad to have my e-friends and my Casababes. They truly make life more fun, especially when I'm on the computer wearing Green Christmas pjs with Grumpy of the seven dwarfs fame all over them!

    LOL Hugs.....Robin :)

  3. OMG, Robin! Where can I get me some GRUMPY Pjs? My family would DIE of laughter! Always in my PJs, always grumpy! Perfect combo!

  4. Hooray for e-friends! I love having not just a great group of authors to talk to all day, but a great group of friends :)

  5. You said it about the e-friends! What did writers do before we could live in one another's lives as we can now? I would never have gotten this far without the constant help and support of people I have never met face to face--but whom I've grown to love. Now I'm made even richer by my Casababe e-friends.

    You're also right about the double lives we lead. I'm arrayed in glorious beige sweats and my hair hasn't seen a comb this day. My bottom grows wider every day I sit in this chair, while, I assure you, I've grown no taller.

    Happy holidays, Malena!

  6. What you said, MM:-) I don't know what I would do without all of you! I would be depressingly lonely and disheveled, instead of just disheveled. I'm in my Ministry of Silly Walks sweatshirt, and I probably ought to just go ahead and pull the hood over my hair, because it's already given up for today.

    Happy Holidays, Malena! I'm happy to count you as one of my friends:-)

  7. Without a doubt, the CasaBabe connection is something I'm not sure I would have survived without. I've learned so much from all of you, about the publishing business and so much more.
    Through my writing, I've also been in contact with people in Australia, Bulgaria, and Singapore, not to mention a number of states I've never visited. The web is truly one fantastic way of bringing all the people of the world together.

  8. Efriends are wonderful and even better when we meet in person, so I was very glad to meet you in SF.

    And relaxing in that chair sounds like a great idea.


  9. I used to be skeptical about whether real relationships could form via the Internet. My thought was that, sure, you could "meet" someone but you could never really get to know them without a face-to-face and the relationship would be superficial. Not so. If the last year has taught me anything, it is that the people you meet online are as real and can become as important as anyone you can reach out and touch. We are social creatures; we can't help ourselves. Oh, and your recipe for Sooner Champagne is new to me, but something I must try.

  10. So glad you all dropped in today. It's icy out there in the "real world" and had to get the real pet groomed (My dot just wouldn't go for a virtual pet any longer!) and kids warmer coats. It's 28 degrees outside but always perfect 69 degrees in the house for writing!

  11. As I said not too long ago in a Casa essay, the true life-long friends and connections I have made through my writing endeavors are the very best part. That support has kept me sane and on track so many times! Some are more casual, and that is fine. But several have become very, very close. Meeting them all would be icing on the cake, but not necessary I think as I know our friendships are as real - and in some cases more real - than people I have met in more traditional ways. The internet is a powerful thing, in many ways, and I do not think I could now live without it.

    Great essay Malena!


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