Monday, September 28, 2009

Friends, Buddies, And Sidekicks

Elizabeth Bennett had Jane.

Maverick had Goose.

Shrek had Donkey.

Every hero or heroine deserves a loyal sidekick–a friend to help navigate choppy waters, provide comic relief, and be a sounding board. (Pretty much what the Seekers do daily!) In romance novels we writers understandably zero in on the love relationship, but friendships can add depth to our characters and our stories. Just like in real life.

I started thinking about friendship in romance novels over the summer. My husband–we’ll call him BACKYARD WARRIOR–was taming the jungle outside. In brutal heat and humidity, he chopped down dead trees, dug up ancient fence posts, and made the deck safe for bare feet. I wanted to help, but there were power tools and sweat involved–two things I admit I find most unappealing.

I was determined, however, to contribute something to the project. I don’t mean to brag, but I wield a pretty mean paint brush, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone more skilled at sandwich runs. My favorite job this summer, though, required me to leave the air-conditioned house and brave the sauna outside--with my trusty spray bottle. Just a few squirts to the Warrior’s brow gave him strength. Strength to resist the allure of the big screen TV, to pick up the chain saw, and jump into the fray once more. I dubbed myself SPRIZTER GIRL, and each time I went outside armed with my potent cooling mist, I envisioned a red cape billowing behind me and heard the Indiana Jones theme song playing in my head.

By Labor Day, the mission was accomplished. My husband emerged from the backyard victorious, and when the neighbors came over to exclaim over his handiwork, he clearly deserved the glory. He even had a few new scars to show off. But as I gazed at the potted geraniums (that had not yet been devoured by deer) and admired the pricker-bush-free lawn, I knew my spray bottle and I had had a little something to do with it.

That’s true of the sidekicks in our romances too. They may not be in the spotlight, but they play an important role nonetheless. What can buddies do for your story?

Inject some Humor into a Dark Plot

In her book “How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author,” Janet Evanovich says supporting characters should be interesting and help move the story along. She also recommends making them unforgettable in some way. This could be an unusual physical trait or mannerism, like an eye twitch, or it could be the way they speak. Maybe their favorite expression is “Holy guacamole, Batman!” They may not get much time on the page, but the reader should instantly recognize them.

Be a Conscience

In “The Hero’s 2 Journeys,” Michael Hauge describes the job of the hero’s “reflection,” or sidekick, as being a conscience. Someone who can motivate the hero and occasionally say to him, “Hey, you’re not acting like yourself.” Since the friend knows the hero, she can also provide the reader with insight into any flaws or hang-ups. For example, the hero might be a brooding, sullen type, but the sidekick knows it’s only because his father disowned him. The friend knows the good guy lurking underneath and finds a way to bring him to the surface.

Another job Hauge assigns to the reflection is that of mentor or coach, someone who’s cheering for the hero and helping him achieve his visible goal. Remember how Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel to fend off the bullies? Wax on, wax off. Classic.

Be a Hero-in-the-Making

Stephen King warns against labeling our characters as “the bad guy” or “the best friend.” In “On Writing,” he reminds us that “in real life we each of us regard ourselves as the main character, the protagonist, the big cheese; the camera is on us, baby.” That’s how we should think of the supporting characters we create. They may not be the stars of this story, but if we remember they could be headlining in our next book, we’ll be less likely to make them flat and unforgettable.

Of course, there’s a bit of a balancing act to perform here, as we would never want the sidekick to steal the limelight.


Once in a great while, you come across a sidekick so cool, so compelling, you know she’s destined for heroine status. Never fear–her time will come. And when she finally arrives, don’t be surprised to see her wearing a red cape . . . and clenching a spray bottle in her fist.

Thanks so much to the Seekers & friends for having me here and for showing what friendship is all about!

Here’s what I’d like to know–
• How do friendships enhance your stories?
• What are some of your favorite friendships from books or movies?
• If you were a sidekick, what would your official name be? (Bet it’s better than Spritzer Girl!)

Everyone who comments today will have an opportunity to win these cute notecards:

Anne Barton has at least three separate, and equally troubled, identities. By day, she's an elementary school teacher/modern-day governess. By night, she's the not-so-tortured writer of Regency-set romance. And, of course, when duty calls she's . . . SPRITZER GIRL.


  1. Hilarious post! I just realized, I stay out of my husband's way when he's outside - I'm known as Water Girl, fetching the water bottles - and my husband stays out of my way when I'm involved in indoor chores. He's known as Strong Man, when the time comes to lift or move something really heavy.

  2. Where did anyone come up with the chores that the guys don't have to do? I know it use to be that way, but it never is that way in our house.

    Coffee's on and my wife made blueberry cheesecake cups.

  3. Walt.

    I want your wife. Seriously. No writer should ever be without a wife. The physiological impossibility of that for we women is not lost on me, but for a while last year, while my beautiful niece lived with us, I had a "wife".

    Best three months of my life. Clean clothes. Clean counters. Clean dishes. Food. No dust. And she was great with power tools to boot. Should'a married her while I had the chance!!!!



    I love this and it's so amazingly true and wonderful, you talented thing!!!! I love sidekicks, and quirky characters.

    In one of my favorite books (of my OWN books), my hero's sidekick is a homeless guy who saves the hero's sorry behind and leads the way to HEA...

    And in another it's a woman, a former army sergeant who smacks the hero around figuratively because she's older, smarter and maybe even tougher.

    He's not sure and doesn't want to find out, LOL!

    Love this, Anne, and thank you so much for being here!!!! Go you!!! Grabbing coffee, thank you Walt and thank the wife for the muffins. I love her from afar.


  4. Hubby's superhero status is Errand Boy. I guess that would make me List Girl. If he doesn't have a list, Errand Boy can't do his job. He likes to call me Big Bully though because sometimes Errand Boy doesn't want to play superhero.

    As far as friends go, Stephanie Plum and Lula come to mind. Lula is a very unique character with her own voice, but I really don't think I could handle her as a main character in her own book.

    In my novel, my characters' friendships help them see through the deceit in the spiritual lies they believe. I guess they're my characters' Voices of Reason.

    Great post, Anne!

  5. Good morning, Spritzer girl.

    I love Seekerville because we know how to train our guests to make their own coffee!! Thanks Walt.

    Hiya Christy!!

    This is such a great post! Being a Michael Hague fan I so agree..but I love what King says. It is so true.

    Make those secondary characters big, bold and real..but don't let them take over. Save that for their own starring role.

  6. Yes, Lisa, I love Stephanie. I like to write mentors in my stories.

    They are also an easy way to share backstory without dumping.

  7. Good morning! Walt, thanks for the coffee and the blueberry cheesecake treats. Yum! Definitely makes it easier to face Monday.

    I love, love, love Seekerville, and am so excited to be here. Tina, a special thanks to you for having me.

    When I think of this place, I think of friendships, so it seemed like a fitting topic. (The superhero thing was out of left field. Whatever!)

  8. Welcome to Seekerville, Anne! What a great post to start the week : )

    Can't we all envision Spritzer Girl in our hearts? Ooo, I'm applauding your bravery in battling the humidity and sticker bushes : ) Who could ask for anything more?

    Great points made, Anne. No man is an island, no mans stands alone. What's a great story without the supporting cast? Especially the BFF?

    But you're so right. Give them a reason to be there. Give them a stake in the final prize. But don't let them overpower or out shine the main characters.

    Who says writing is easy?

    I made apple crisp in honor of our crisp fall morning here in Colorado. Ice cream will come this afternoon : )

    Thanks for joining us, Anne!!

  9. Christy, aka Water Girl, you and I have similar powers! Maybe we're long lost sisters. Or, we were both hit by the same meteor.

    I like how you and your husband take turns being sidekicks, depending on location. How nice to have Strong Man on your side. :)

  10. Walt, "Chores that the guys don't have to do?" Hmmm, I am unaware of any such list. Does not compute.

    Except perhaps childbirth, and that is enough. ;)

    Please give my thanks to your wife--I love dessert for breakfast!

  11. Ruthie, your niece sounds like a doll.

    I love your sidekicks. A wise homeless man and a kick-butt female army sargeant. Cool. Any chance you could throw them together in the next book?

  12. Oh, WOW, what an EXCELLENT post ... no, really, one of the best I've read here, Anne. It's something as writers that we don't always think about, but it's SO incredibly true!!

    You asked: How do friendships enhance your stories? As a family-saga romance writer, I am HUGE on subordinate characters, their quirks, their flaws, their support for those main characters we fall in love with. To me, it's almost like another POV or direct insight on the hero or heroine, another way to get into his/her head or life, deepening them, enriching them.

    In my Daughters of Boston series, the main hero in book 1, Collin McGuire, is in business with his best friend and war buddy, John Brady. The relationship between these two men not only serves to deepen my respect and admiration for the hero, but sets John Brady up for his role as hero in book 3, A Passion Denied. At the time that I wrote book 1, I had NO intention of writing John Brady's story, but in making him the "friend, buddy, sidekick" to flesh out my origianl hero, I ended up with an amazing man who literally forced me to shine the spotlight on him for book 3.

    Thanks for spending time with us in Seekerville, Anne -- truly an excellent post!


  13. Fun post, Anne!
    I love the friends in my books. In my latest finished book, the heroine's sister is a sounding board and provides a vivid contrast to the heroine. She's also the heroine in my next book.

    In the book I've just edited for the millionth time, the heroine's best friend gets her own romance as a subplot, which weaves in and out with the main story line. I had one reader tell me that that subplot itself makes the book worth reading.

    In my new book, I'm not sure what to do with the heroine's best friend, not sure how she's going to interact with the main story and characters. It's still TBD (To Be Determined).

  14. Lisa--LOL on Errand Boy and List Girl. Maybe if you promote him to Errand *Man* your husband will want to play superhero. :)

    I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read a Stephanie Plum novel. (After hearing Janet Evanovich speak at Nationals, however, I must.) In Janet's book that I mentioned, she describes Lula "Stephanie times two." She sounds hilarious.

    I like that you use your hero/heroine's friends as the Voice of Reason. We all need that sometimes. :)

  15. Ruth, I forgot to say I love your new photo. So adorable.

  16. Tina, you're the one who recommended Hero's 2 Journeys to me and I'm so glad you did. Every time I listen to those DVDs I get something new out of them, so thanks!

    I'm guilty of letting my secondary characters take over on ocassion. I can't help it. I think I identify more with them sometimes.

  17. What fun -- sidekicks!

    As far as Deckand and Spritzer Girl ... DH is Bee (Bug or Hornet) Killer in our house.

    They don't bother me, but DD screams for Dad if there's a UFO circling her bedroom light. Killer lady bugs are in season now ;-)

    In my WIP the side-kick is an old mountain man who can't get around so well anymore, but dislikes how settled the country has become. I have enjoyed reading about them.

    A re-enactors group from that time period occasionally came to the restaurant where I work. So vivid to see real people portraying those eras.

  18. Morning Anne, Thanks so much for joining us at Seekerville. Love your post and reminding us that friendships are important in our stories just as in real life.

    Walt, tell your wife she's welcome anytime with those cheesecake cups. The coffee's good too. I have some fresh blueberries you all can smother on top.

    And yes, don't you just love when a strong friend in a book you just hate to have end turns up the hero in the next book? yay!.

  19. Audra--You are so sweet. Thank you for seeing the heroine in Spritzer Girl. (And no, it wasn't easy going outside in that sort of humidity. You should have seen my hair.) My husband is a lucky man indeed. ;)

    I love your point that "no man is an island." And the way the hero relates to those around him reveals so much about his character. I'm thinking of Ruthie's example of the homeless man.

    And you're right . . . this writing thing isn't always easy. But it sure is fun, esp. here in Seekerville.

  20. Hi, Julie -- you are too kind. Thanks for chiming in on the topic, too.

    You said, "To me, it's almost like another POV or direct insight on the hero or heroine, another way to get into his/her head or life, deepening them, enriching them."

    Wow. Um, yeah. I wish I'd said that!

    How cool that John demanded you shine the spotlight on him for book 3? And isn't it easier to write a book when you already know that character and their backstory?

    It's nice to know that sidekicks can get their happy endings too.

    p.s., HUGE congrats to you on winning the ACFW Debut Book of the Year! An amazing accomplishment and well-deserved! Did you get to give a speech? It is all a blur?

  21. Anne,

    It was fun thinking about sidekicks as I read your post.

    Is anyone else old enough to remember the movie "Working Girl" with Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford? Remmeber her girlfriend, with the long hair she would have in multiple colors, like pink?

    The sidekick in my WIP boosts her confidence and has insights into her behavior.

  22. Melanie -- It sounds like friendship is an important theme in your stories too.

    That was nice of you to give your heroine's best friend her own romance in a subplot. You don't see that too often, but I like it.

    I remember reading a Regency-set novel by Stephanie Laurens, called "Four in Hand" that actually had romances for all four sisters. It was great, but I'm guessing pretty hard to write.

    Good luck figuring out the heroine's BF in your new book, cause maybe she'll star in your next . . .

  23. Ann -- LOL on the killer ladybugs. I don't know why they're so bad some years. In my neck of the woods, we're dealing with stink bugs. Ick!

    So glad you've got Bee/Bug/Hornet Killer in your house!

    Your old mountain man (in your WIP, that is!) sounds like a great character. I love ornery old people who complain a lot and parse out wisdom.

    Very cool that you get to see re-enactments from that era too. Good luck with the writing!

  24. Sandra, thanks for having me!

    You said, "don't you just love when a strong friend in a book you just hate to have end turns up the hero in the next book?"

    Absolutely! It's like running into an old friend, isn't it?

  25. Hey, Anne ... Uh yeah, well, I wish I had written this post, so we're even! :)

    Thank you for the congrats on BOTY Debut Author of the Year -- a TOTAL SHOCKER for me, I assure you. Not only was I going up against fellow Seeker Janet Dean (who, by the way, soundly beat me out in several other contests), but other amazing authors I'd heard rave reviews about as well. In fact, I was SO sure I wouldn't win that I didn't even write a speech. And, yes, it was/is STILL all a blur ... but a beautiful one. :)


  26. Oh, Anne, how fun!! I loved your post. :) Thanks for being with us today.

    I had a best friend in my second book, His Forever Love, that a reviewer said was too overpowering (a know-it-all I think she called her). I really loved the chick! But I toned her down a little bit in book 3. :) I sure don't want a character taking over. I guess I just had too much fun with her. :)

    Great points you made on sidekicks. I'm doing a workshop with my cp, Lindi Peterson, at the Moonlight & Magnolias conference this coming weekend. I was just adding something to my part of the workshop about mentors and had recently reviewed my notes from The Heros Two Journeys. :)Such great stuff!

  27. Hi Cathy -- Oh yeah, I remember Working Girl with Melanie Griffith. Those funky, outrageous types of friends are sooo fun to write and read about.

    Everyone should have a friend like that in real life too!

  28. Welcome to Seekerville, Anne. I loved your insightful post! Our hero and heroine's buddies add tons to our stories when we do as you say and give them role or purpose that moves the story along.

    The hero's best friend in an as yet unsold manuscript not only knows what drives the hero, but his affection makes this wounded hero more lovable to readers. Or so I hope. He's got the potential for a story of his own.

    In one of my favorite books, Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell created Mammy, a wonderful secondary character who loves spoiled Scarlet and is won over by Rhett. Mammy acts as a conscience and adds humor while she walks off the page and into my heart.

    I've been gone for a couple weeks. Boy, have I missed Seekeville! Walt, thanks for the yummy cheesecake cups and the delicious apple crisp, Audra.


  29. Hi Missy -- It was great meeting you in person at Nationals this year. (I was but one of your many adoring fans at the booksigning.) You and Janet were just as nice in person as you are here.

    You said: "I had a best friend in my second book, His Forever Love, that a reviewer said was too overpowering (a know-it-all I think she called her) . . . I guess I just had too much fun with her. :)"

    Well, phooey! I don't think you can have too much fun with a character. And for that one reviewer there were probably a hundreds of readers who loved your know-it-all. :)

    Hey, good luck with your workshop, and have a great time at the Moonlight & Magnolias conference!

  30. Hey, Janet -- Thanks for the warm welcome, and welcome back to you, too!

    You said, "The hero's best friend in an as yet unsold manuscript not only knows what drives the hero, but his affection makes this wounded hero more lovable to readers."

    *sigh* I LOVE a wounded hero. And the best friend is probably one of the few people who understands him, right? I'm sure we'll soon be reading both their stories.

    And thanks for sharing the example of Mammy, from Gone with the Wind. Awesome!

  31. Oooh, love the wounded hero..Bruce Willis!!

  32. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for a great post today filled with so much info!!! Sidekicks are important, aren't they?

    At ACFW, Donald Maass talked about having the best friend make the fatal mistake while the heroine stands firm and does the "right" thing. An example he provided, as I recall, was a YA plot where the best friend succumbed to the charm of a high school player and ended up pregnant. The heroine of the story held firm to her virtue and won the hero!

  33. Walt and Missy,
    Looking forward to seeing you at M&M this weekend. Will anyone else from Seekerville be there?


  34. My favorite wounded hero--Russell Crowe in the Gladiator.

  35. Hi Debby -- Thanks for sharing the great tip from Donald Maass' workshop: "hav[e] the best friend make the fatal mistake while the heroine stands firm and does the "right" thing."

    One spin on this that I see in historical romance is when the heroine's friend, sister, etc. marries for wealth and/or a title while the heroine holds out for true love. But I always feel badly for the friend stuck in a loveless marriage!

    When I was doing research for this article (obviously, I use the term "research" loosely!) I consulted Writing the Breakout Novel, and Maas said certain types of novels lend themselves to sidekicks better than others. Crime fiction, YA, and quest fantasy for sure. In stories where the big problem is personal though, he recommends isolating the hero. (Poor hero!)

  36. Speaking of M&M, my *fabulous* CP, Keli Gwyn, is up for an Inspirational Maggie. She won't be at M&M, but maybe Debby, Walt, and Missy can give a little cheer when they see her name and picture are on the screen!

  37. Hey Spritzer,

    I suppose if I was anyone, it would have to be Wonder Woman herself... Yep that's me.
    I run power tools with the best of them and can weild pretty mean hammer ( or fry pan). Help with mechanics. Boost his ego with a wink. Bring him iced tea. Mow a lawn, grow a garden, then we own our own business and I do the paperwork,(Government paperwork for the FAA) the books (which is nice I get a raise) and that's on a slow day when I'm not watching grandkids.

    Whew no wonder I'm tired.


    I have side kicks for my characters. A brother or sister, cousins, and friends. Do children and animals fall in that category as well? Cause one of my characters has a temperamental, whiny cousin, and a temperamental horse. Both of whom add comic relief.

  38. Anne,
    I met Keli in person at ACFW, and she's a doll! Yes, Missy and I promise to cheer when her picture appears on the big screen. Walt, will you be staying for the Awards Ceremony? If so, join us so we can all cheer together!!!

  39. I totally enjoyed reading this "friendship" post. I laughed a lot!

  40. Anne--Great reminder of how to enrich our stories. I loved meeting John Brady again in Julie's series. Have you read any of Patricia Veryan's Georgian series? She builds great sidekicks then brings them in as main characters with later novels. I jump at the chance to read a great sidekick's story scripted just for them. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Wonder Woman! (Tina P.) I'm feeling like a total slacker right now. You're good with power tools, the frying pan, AND paperwork? (Wonder Woman, 3; Spritzer, 0.)

    And I LOVE your ability to boost a guy's ego with a wink. That is a superpower indeed. ;)

    Sure, animals and children count. (LOL at your hero's tempermental horse and cousin.) Shrek had Donkey. I can't think of an example of a kid sidekick . . . maybe a single parent looking for love type story?

  42. Wanda -- I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for stopping by. You and all other commenters are in the drawing. :)

  43. Wonderful post, Anne! One of my favorite movie friendships is the one between the lead characters in When Harry Met Sally... There's so much between them--affection, attraction, conflicting worldviews--it made watching their interactions so rich. And then, of course, there are both of their sidekicks--Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby's characters--who are just hilarious and supportive in their own neurotic ways. I love everything about that film (!!), but I watch it again and again just to see these relationships at play. :)

  44. Anne ~ aka Spritzer Girl,

    Funtabulous post. You really know how to tell a great story, but as your CP I already knew that. *grin*

    I have an unusual sidekick in my WIP, the heroine's mother-in-law. While they don't start out as pals--quite the opposite in fact--the growth in their relationship was a blast to write.


    Thanks for calling me a "doll." However, I can't claim the honor, much as I'd love to, because I wasn't the person you met at ACFW. I know, cuz I wasn't able to attend. Someday I will make it to an ACFW conference, though, and I'll make a effort to meet you.

    Perhaps you met the wonderful and talented Kelly Ann Riley, who is one of our 2008 GH Pixie Chicks, the 2009 GH Ruby Slippered Sisters, and a total doll.

  45. A.A., I haven't read any of Patricia Veryan's novels, but they sound great.

    I'm with you--I love the chance to get to know a secondary character in his/her own right. Esp. when I learn something about them that's completely unexpected . . . and explains so much.

  46. And thanks, Debby, for your willingness to cheer for me when my mug is flashed across the screen at your wonderful M&M conference. Sure wish I could be there with you, Missy and Walt. Instead I'll be hanging out in California awaiting a call from The Walt Man.

  47. Hi Anne,
    Great post! And congrats again on your Contest Diva status.
    I like using friends/sidekicks/secondary characters as main characters in sequels. The reader feels like she already knows them. And they can be so much fun to set up with some memorable quirky trait.

  48. Marilyn, When Harry Met Sally = a GREAT movie.

    You said, "There's so much between them--affection, attraction, conflicting worldviews--it made watching their interactions so rich."

    How wonderfully put! Those interactions are what make them human, and they make viewers/readers want to know them.

    Thanks for the insight.

  49. Spritzer,

    Wonder woman's weakness is water, as in a warm bathtub of... I'd melt. My defenses would take a major tumble. so you'd win.

    And the FAA might question how well I handle the paperwork. They are such a finicky sort sometimes. (Disclaimer.. if there are any FAA Inspectors lurking on this loop, I was not talking about you)

    You're right you did mention animals as sidekicks and it went right over my head.

    As for child sidekicks. Paper Moon with the Tatum and Ryan O'Neil's. The Champion, about the boxer and the little kid.

  50. Hi Keli! Elenora's MIL is a wonderful character, and now that I think of it, her daughter, Tildy, is a fun sidekick too. :)

    With all these superheroes flying around, it's no wonder we had a case of mistaken identity. But I can vouch that you are a total doll, and one of the real-life friends that makes this journey so much fun.

  51. Ruthy (and everyone who made comments about the woman I married), that is the one thing I always hear from people (okay, female writers) is how much they want a wife. My response...go get your own. You can't have mine. :-)

    Anne, as far as chores not done by guys, my wife doesn't let me do the dishes because she says I can't pack a dishwasher.

    Also, Anne, when it comes time for the Inspirational Maggies, I will have Keli on speakerphone on my cell.

  52. P.S. Please leave me out the notecard drawing. No offense, but they're too girly for me.

  53. Hey, Diane--I love quirky characters too. Makes me feel more normal. :)

    Thanks for stopping by.

  54. mental note: Wonder Woman's kryptonite is a warm bath

  55. Walt, every hero has his fatal flaw, and if yours is you can't pack a dishwasher, consider yourself lucky. :)

    How cool that Keli will have an on-the-scene correspondent at the Awards Ceremony? You rock.

    Re: the notecards, no offense taken. They are sorta . . . pink.

  56. All right, hands off Walt's wife.

    Got it.

    And beware of warm bath kryptonite.

    Who has time for baths????

    Confucius say: He/She who have time for bath should be writing instead. (Only he said it in Chinese).

    And Keli, I bet it was Kelly Ann. I met her in Denver and Deb was upstairs with us, plotting the demise of some poor fictional soul, no doubt!!!!

    But of course, Kelly Ann Riley NEVER beat me TWICE in the GH.

    And since I only entered once, KG, you dusted the floor with me. Brat.

    Oops. Can I say that out loud? Ah, well, already did. :)

    I brought supper sandwiches. Pulled beef, barbecued and tugged to perfection served on broiled garlic-dusted Italian rosemary rolls. Oh mylanta, grab some before they're gone. And if you're so inclined I made fresh cole slaw to either munch on the side or pile on the sandwich. Your choice.

    Anne, what a fun group today!!!! Love this!

    Ruthy (Using too much white space again. DEB!!! Sorry!)

  57. Ruthy,

    So, I've gone from a doll to a brat, have I? Sounds like you've got my number. :D My younger siblings used that term on me more than once--among other things.

    And ya gotta get over that GH thing, my dear. It's ancient history anyhew. I got two lovely pieces of paper on the wall over my computer, sure, but who's got the contract, hmm?

    So glad you got to meet Kelly Ann in person. I've not had the pleasure, but I can tell from having interviewed her that she's a sweetheart.

    I'm out in California, and I've never heard of pulled beef. What ever do you mean? It's gotta be good, considering your calling in the Mylanta.

  58. Beef barbeque. Yum. Keli, I *think* it's called pulled because you slow cook the beef till it's so tender you can pull it off the bone. I've never actually tried this. I buy mine from the place up the street. :)

  59. This place is hopping. And so much food.

    Oh the ultimate sidekick is Rosie ODonnell in Sleepless in Seattle or Sam in Lord of the Rings, or Riley Poole in National Treasure or Murtaugh (Danny Glover) in Lethal Weapon.

  60. Hi all!
    Loved the post today!! It was a very nice relief after a long day : )

    My favorite sidekick? That's really tough! On TV, I think that I really love Chloe on Smallville. I've always loved her character and the actress that plays her(Alison Mack). that's even tougher! I think I will have to think about that one for awhile...

    Thanks for posting today!

  61. Hey peoples don't forget Friday is the last day for the Treasure Hunt.

  62. Tina, those are some great sidekicks. Yes, even hobbits need friends. ESP. hobbits on an impossible quest. :)

    Hannah, thanks for stopping by after your long day. Smallville! Combines the superhero and friendship aspects--love it.

  63. Thanks a bunch for having me, Tina, and all you fabulous Seekeers and guests. Happy reading/writing!

  64. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon together in any movie. Andy and Barney from the Andy Griffith Show. Ethel and Lucy. The Golden Girls. A true friend knows you, really knows you, and likes you any way!Characters with imperfections as well as underlying strength always make a story more interesting! My sidekick name is "Mom"-I'm the caretaker! gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  65. Anne, thanks for being with us.

    We have a note card winner, btw.

    Cathy Shouse.

    Please email me sweetie.

  66. Friendships are an important element, in that they give the hero/heroine a sounding board. They also help bring out emotions. Strenths and weknesses can be seen more clearly against the backdrop of friendship.

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

  67. I know! Smallville is great, isn't it Anne?! I LOVE it!
    Lol.... Thanks for coming!

  68. I'm thrilled to win the notecards! You should have my e-mail address now, Tina, correct?

  69. Yay, Cathy! Tina forwarded your address and I'll get the note cards out to you in the next day or two. :)

    Lynn, sorry I missed you yesterday, but thanks for stopping by. Great point about using friendships to help heighten the EMOTION. Amen to that, sister!