Girls Write Out
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Forgive me for making my first blog on GirlsWriteOut (Oh, my goodness, I'm really a part of this now!!! YAY!!! Thank you Jesus!!!) sappy and corny, but I may as well get it out of my system now so I don't load you with it later.
It was mentioned on a post this week that we consider our readers to be friends, and I hope you realize how true that is. I also hope you realize how powerfully friendship can affect your life, and if you don't have close girlfriends with whom you spend weekly face time, I highly advise you find some fast.
I don't get nearly enough face time with Colleen, Denise, Diann or Kris. Email, yes. Every day. But face time? Maybe twice or three times a year, at most. It makes me hungry for heaven just to think about the time we'll be able to spend with one another a hundred years from now. I've known these women for years. I trust them with my heart, my deep secrets, my writing. That's a lot of trust, but they've proven themselves trustworthy.
This ACFW conference was my first, and I almost wasn't able to attend because of pain from an auto accident three years ago, which caused spinal injury. It's difficult for me to sit for long periods of time, such as when flying or driving or sitting at conference, and the pain seems to be getting worse rather than better as time goes on. Back surgery may be in the picture if I don't get the pain under control some other way. Still, I was given some new meds, and at the last minute I decided I could probably make the trip.
Enter Colleen, who moved mountains to get me there the moment I told her I might try to go. In just a few hours, I had a flight, was signed up for the conference, and had a place to stay--with the girls! The prospect of staying with my GirlsWriteOut friends was in itself enough to get me there. The DeBrand's truffles was a bonus. Honest. I didn't even know they were having chocolate!
Their caring spirits--and wildly variant personalities--helped to heal something in me that I didn't know was injured over these past years of stress. We laughed so much and so often, shared so many insights and thoughts, that I was never lonely, even when I was alone. Oh, and we shared each others' clothes and jewelry and vitamins! Such fun! We also brought other friends into our circle, which meant we all made more friends. I learned I can trust these girls to introduce me to quality women with good and creative minds.
As I said in an earlier post, when they invited me to join them on GirlsWriteOut, I said yes before all the words were out of Colleen's mouth, and then I cried. Because I realized I haven't had enough girl time these past years. They had displayed for me the nurturing spirit of love we can encounter together. I also realized I've been trying to make Mel (my wonderful, sweet, ultra-patient husband) into another girlfriend. He's too much of a man. He doesn't fit the mold. Too many times, I've said something that left him staring at the wall in wonderment as he searched for a reply.
So all that to say, never give up on friendship. Women need other women to breathe normally. We need the warmth and strength of a special kind that we can only get from one another. Indulge right here with us on GirlsWriteOut!
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 8:57 PM  
  Comments (15)
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At 9:06 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Gulping back the tears, Cheryl! Wonderful first post but did you have to make me CRY? We're so glad you're here!

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Exactly my response, Colleen!!

Wow. Thank you for putting into words what we all feel for you, Cheryl, and for our friends here. God is so good!

At 5:28 AM, Blogger Cheri said...


When, I read your post, my heart hurt. I am so sorry about your injury and pain. When life takes a turn that changes our lives, it is hard to know what to say or do.

I, too, have an injury that has left me in chronic pain. I realize I have been feeling ashamed and guilty when I can't participate in activities. Pain is not a friend I would have chosen.

I am so happy you were able to attend the conference. I am also thankful Colleen and the others helped with arrangements. Your example has encouraged me.

I just wanted to tell you how much you post lifted my spirit. In sharing your experiences you remind me to stay in touch with my friends, no matter what. I am praying God will ease your pain and heal your spine.

In Christ,

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

What a nice first post! I know God put you in touch with these ladies to fill up a part of your spirit. Girlfriends are so crucial for us to have and you have some really great ones.

I am getting ready to meet my blog partners for the FIRST time in a few weeks at a writing conference~ON THE BEACH!! I joined them a year ago and I can still remember the day they asked me! I completely write different than them and that's what they like. I bring different readers to the blog and as you, we have began to encompass all our friends into our group.

Not only do I have my besties, but I have my writing besties. Great for you and I will definitely be reading your blog!

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Great post Cheryl and we feel the same about you! Thank you, God, for girlfriends!

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Cheryl, I was so excited to see you register at conference. You came to the meal ticket table where I was helping and I was able to tell you how much I enjoyed your books. I'm so happy we crossed paths then, because we never did again after that. I'm looking forward to your posts here on the blog. Consider yourself gaining many gf's!

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

What a great post! Cheryl, it's so cool to be hearing from you each week! I loved seeing you in Denver. So glad the Lord enabled you to come.

Hugs, Rachel

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Beverly said...

Welcome, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing your story. I always love it when I hear stories of God providing for us in a way that touches us so personally.

Looking forward to getting to hear from you,


At 12:14 PM, Blogger Deena said...

You are OH, so right! I have gone into hibernation mode with my friendships due to some deep hurts and overwhelming needs, and I feel like I've just come out of a coma!!

As for back surgery, I had mine 3 years me. The girls know how to get in touch with me. And I'd LOVE to review for you some time...keep me in mind!

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Leticia said...

Hannah, what a beautiful introduction.

I agree about having good friends, I have at least two who will hold me accountable for my actions. And my very best friend is my mom, who lives four states away, but we talk almost every day.

I would like to offer some advice about your back problems. Please see a reputable chiropractor, most of them do free consults. And definitely use one that is hands on, not using a machine to adjust you. I suffered for years with low back pain (hurt my back in a factory) migraines and neck pain. I am off all meds after regular visits.

I pray you will heal soon.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Okay, guys, I just now found these posts! I apparently wasn't logged in to receive replies on my email, so just now pulled up the site and saw your replies and was encouraged.

Sorry, kind of, to make you cry, guys, but it's great to feel loved!

Cheri, I understand how it helps to have others who can empathize with your struggles. And I know how embarrassing it can be to have chronic pain.

Thanks, I have tried everything. My husband is an osteopath, so he does adjustments, and I also saw a chiropractor for several months. Nothing. I've had steroid injections. Made me sick. This great drug I'm on now does help, but I don't have as much energy, and I'm sleepy a lot. Brother. LOL. Hard to please me!

Of course, I can hike if I can get to the trail, so I'm headed there now. Sitting is my only challenge. Hiking invigorates me. Wish you guys could join me! I'll be thinking of you.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Cheri said...


Thanks so much for understanding. I am so glad your husband is a doctor and understands what you are dealing with.

I have had four back surgeries and also have numerous medical problems. Injections? Too many too count. The next step would be a pain pump they insert in my abdomen that has a lead to my spine.

As a long distance grandmother, I miss out on so much. Also, my dad just got home from the hospital. They discovered he has a clogged artery in his heart. At 89, the risk of surgery is too much. I am unable to go see him because of a fall I had two weeks ago. It hurts to know he may die without my getting to see him one more time. What a blessing to know that he will be with Jesus in heaven when he dies. My daughter, along with Jesus, will be waiting to greet him with open arms.

I just wanted to thank your for understanding and sharing your journey. I now hold my head up high and choose to no longer feel ashamed or embarrassed.

I am praying for you.

In Christ,

Don't let my experience with back surgery, make you hesitate. The only reason I had so many surgeries is that in the first surgery, the screws came loose. My family has always said I had a screw loose somewhere! LOL

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

Please forgive me for posting twice! If you know how to get the first one out, I would greatly appreciate it!!

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, feeling post. Kind of like baby steps. Once you take the first one, unless you fall down and get a boo-boo; they next get easier and easier. Thank you for sharing your life with us!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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