Island Life (from Lisa Wingate)

Happy Monday everyone! I don’t know what your porch looks like this morning, but on the porch here, it’s sunny, wintery-warm, and… to tell you the truth… a little too quiet. I’ve just come home from an action-packed weekend of books, readers, and writer friends at the Pulpwood Queens  annual Girlfriend Weekend book and author extravaganza in beautiful Jefferson, Texas.

The Pulpwood Queens extravaganza 2013 in Jefferson, Texas -- good books and good girlfriends. What could be better?

The Pulpwood Queens extravaganza 2014 in Jefferson, Texas — good books and good girlfriends. What could be better?

I’ve been flooded with story, and writer talk, and the stories behind the stories, but more  importantly, I’ve been reminded that In this busy, speed of light world, where so many things are ours at the touch of a button, face-to-face human connections do still matter.

Perhaps, they matter now more than ever.

The wonderful Judy Christie -- authors and friends don't come any better!

The wonderful Judy Christie — authors and friends don’t come any better!

In this modern world, it’s easy to live the island life–to let connections drift and disappear as we stare at our computers, and tablets, and cell phones, our minds and eyes rushing from one screen to another, always keeping up, but never looking up, so entangled in our own tasks and issues that we miss the ships passing by our secluded islands of self.

For me, Girlfriend Weekend is always a reminder of the importance of taking time to build, and nurture, and maintain friendships. It’s impossible to watch book clubs like this one and not realize that these friendships, these sisterhoods, these ties that bind women in their similarities in their differences, are manna for the spirit.

The Pulpwood Queens of the Red River.  Does this look like a great group of girlfriends, or what?

The Pulpwood Queens of the Red River. Does this look like a great group of girlfriends, or what?

Literally, the deep, lasting friendships of women are soul food. Without them, some part of the heart grows hungry. It can’t be fed by pixels, and diodes, and backlit screens. The heart needs flesh and bone, shouts and whispers, the brush of shoulders, the embrace of arms, the sudden smile, the wink, the nod, the laugh, the shared story.


BelleView girls — Kellie Coates Gilbert (who will be joining us next month), Julie Cantrell, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, and Lisa Wingate. Laughs, hugs, and time to talk about stories, books, and life over the weekend! Times like these are a gift!

We are, none of us, meant to live long on our electronic islands of many tasks. We are meant to wade out through the currents of busyness, ford the shoals of stacked-up To Do lists, swim past the rocks of maybe I shouldn’t take the time for this, and meet those passing ships in the clear, clear blue. We’re meant to splash around in life together, to laugh at the waves, and float along beneath the clouds, and cling close to one another during the storms.

We may survive on our own, but we don’t thrive on our own.

This morning, I find myself once again affirming it as I think back to the fun and fuel and late-night conversation that was Girlfriend Weekend 2014. I almost missed the party this year — too many obligations, both work-related and family related. Too many reasons to stay home.

Now that Girlfriend Weekend has come and gone, I’m so glad I didn’t miss out.  I’ve come home refreshed, renewed, filled once again with the true understanding of the life-changing power of girlfriends and stories 😉


The Prayer Box — Selected as One of Booklist’s Top Ten of 2013!


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Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate weaves Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "Lyrical and beautiful." She is a seven-time Carol Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. She once dreamed of making the Olympics and winning the National Finals Rodeo, but was thwarted by an inability to do a back flip on the balance beam and parents who wouldn't finance a rodeo career, so she took her first-grade teacher's advice and became a writer instead ;)

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  1. Colleen Richardson says

    Reading this post reminded me so much of all my girl’s weekends we had at the beach in Florida. We would look forward to it all year long and when it finally arrived, we were all just so happy, relaxed and had so much fun. There is nothing compared to a really good girlfriend and spending time with her. and I completely agree about our technical age we are living in. Of course, I read this on my computer and am answering it on here but I don’t live connected to mine all day long. I don’t even own a smart phone which seems to be the minority these days lol. Last year I moved away from my girlfriends and I cannot tell you how much I miss them. My husband and I are best friends but it’s not the same. I hope that my girlfriends and I can find a place to meet this year as I miss them terribly. Thanks for sharing this post Lisa. I know you understand. You are a wonderful writer and a beautiful woman, inside and out.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Colleen, it’s so good to see you here. I really do hope you can plan a getaway with those girlfriends. There’s nothing better that happy, relaxed time with good friends (and nothing harder than moving away).

      Enjoy that trip together when it happens!

  2. Rachel Hauck says

    Oh how fun!!! Jealous (in all the good ways lol). Want to be there with you all! Love seeing your smiling faces.


  3. says

    Hallo, Hallo Ms. Wingate! :)

    I loved reading about your adventures and seeing the pictures of the Belles!! I think its smashing that you all get to attend the same events (sometimes!), meeting up in real life, and enjoying the company of each other! I feel like its been half a proper age since I’ve dropped by the Porch! Looking forward to getting to know the next new Belle, as well as catching up with the Belles I’ve come to know over the past year! Such a promising year, eh!?

    I completely agree about taking time out for ‘self’ and restoring the internal balance of what makes each of us kinetically in tune. In the clogged wheel of living, each of us must always strive to pause, reflect, and notice the simple joys which when reflected back upon make up our fondest memories! Here’s to always finding the ways to interconnect with others, and reminding ourselves that all work and no play isn’t the healthiest way to live!

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