People who have read early drafts of The Strings of the Violin have said one thing repeatedly to me: That is that it is wonderful to read about a group of teenage girls who are friends. Not just friends, but true, strong, friends who support each other no matter what . This is what I hope to instil in my readers. Having good girl friends, as a young woman is important. My best friend has been with me since we met in junior kindergarten what feels like a million years ago. I rely on her for so much. It is disheartening to read and see friendships depicted in literature and in the media as being disposable. Girls toss their friends aside for boys, for social status, for the most mundane reasons. I grew up watching shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reading books like The Hunter's Moon and the Harry Potter series, and generally like my female protagonists to be strong, to be caring, to be intelligent. This is what I want my own daughter to see and read. This is the kind of character I want her to look for, and this is the kind of character I want my sons to see as well. I don't want them to see women as fickle, weak people who need protection. I want them to be pillars of strength, humanity, and intelligence
This past week has been anti-bullying week. Girl on girl bullying is a horrible epidemic, and while in school, and in the online communities, we should wish on our daughters, sisters, and friends the kind of friendship and support I had from my best friend, and from my family. I was bullied in school. My own personal bully seemed to find it mildly amusing that my friend and I could fit inside of a locker. We therefore spent a large amount of time inside of them. If it wasn't for her, I don't know how I would have dealt with that. So, let's take the time to be the kind of friend you want. Let's support each other and be kind to each other. As my bubbie said: "Be a mensch."