up all night

You know the friends that you sat up all night talking to, gossiping with, and telling all your secrets to when you were a kid? The friends who listened with rapt attention until you fell asleep mid-sentence? The friends who laughed -- and cried -- in all the right places when you told your stories, and whose storytelling was so superb, you felt lucky to be in their presence and amazed to be entrusted with their stories?
I have friends like that. Saturday night, here in Frederick, Maryland, I sat up with some of those friends until 3am, reconnecting and catching up, and picking up where we'd left off on my last visit. Then, I slept like a baby for a few hours, in the bedroom set aside for me. On Sunday morning I savored a long, luxurious shower. I didn't even count the carbs in the fresh garlic rolls and hot coffee.

Saturday night was almost like a slumber party, like being a kid again, like having so few cares or responsibilities, that the world could slip away for some purloined hours. How rare.As the old clock on the wall tick-tocked, three of us held court in a well-loved kitchen with warm light, homemade soup, and shared history. What a gift.

Every book I write is about friendship, its joys and perils. Ruby and Melba Jane (and Dove, of course) in Love, Ruby Lavender. Comfort and Declaration, in Each Little Bird that Sings. Cleebo and House in The Aurora County All-Stars. Joe and John Henry in Freedom Summer.

And now, Franny and Margie, in Countdown.

As you read it, keep in mind: There is nothing like a true friend, to remember you to yourself.


  1. Dear Ms. Wiles,

    I brought my copy of Love, Ruby Lavander to a conservation summit where "old" (for lack of better word) people dominate. Most of the participants were late, so while i waited for the event to start, i read your book. Ruby is so full of fun i almost wished i was her (except for the red hair...won't match my brown skin).

    My favorite part would be when Ruby finally goes to the bridge and finally said goodbye to her grandpa throwing black-eyed susans to the water (I have to google actual pictures of the plants and was relieved that i imagined the right thing). Sometimes, we just need to say our goodbyes although we've felt we've said them a thousand times in our minds.

    I wish i can find copies of your other books.;)

    and warmest hugs from the Philippines!;)

  2. Oh, my. What a lovely letter. Thank you so much for these kind words. I appreciate them. Thanks for reading, too. And writing.


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