Amigas is launched.
Early this morning there was a little candle-lighting, a little clinking of virtual glasses, a flurry of laughing emoticons between Argentina and New Zealand, and a message from Doug to say that the new website pages are live.
With this celebration of our friendship comes an avalanche of gratitude:
Mine to Elena for being the true and generous friend that she is. Amigas was her idea. She has always said yes to every challenge, has always believed the best of me and my capacities, and made sure — somehow — that everything we did was fun. Beautiful woman, outstanding writer, exceptional friend — gracias.
Thank you to Creative New Zealand who sent me first to Iowa and then to Argentina, and to all involved in the Iowa International Writers' Programme itself. To Christina and Beatriz who translated our texts from one language to the other. To Emma who made a detailed and indispensable assessment. To Pablo for our striking cover, and Caroline for her stirling design work. To Jason for patient file-making, and Doug for meticulous website management. To Coral and her class for marketing plans. To Jane for help with enacting them.
Friends and family have enthused from the very start about Amigas. Several have read it and given invaluable feedback, here and in Argentina: Claire, Christine, Elizabeth, Barbie, Raymond who also proofread, Marcelo, Irène, María Andrea, Raúl, Beatriz, Jorge, Tati, Gigliola y Alejandra. I'm afraid of leaving names off if I list friends who have been always alongside — wings or feathers aiding our flight — so I'm going to make this thanks both general and particular: you know who you are and we embrace you. Without friends, this work would be empty of meaning.