Family by any other name

by Jodi Anderson

JodiNewJodi Anderson, understanding I’m up to my eyelashes, bailed me out as our guest blogger today. I’m so glad she did. Ms. Anderson always has something poignant to say. Maybe that’s why RWA National chose her as one of its workshop speakers this year in San Antonio. If you’re attending National be sure to say hello. You’ll learn lots, plus you’ll want to call this fantastic lady your friend. Please welcome Jodi Anderson, and Jodi, thank you! ~ Donnell

Blood. Lots of blood. Oodles of blood. Puddles of…well, you get the picture. This is not the scene of a crime or the opening hours of Black Friday, it is simply a reference to the size of my ‘blood’ family. Not that I’m saying size matters.

In my nuclear family we have my frisky parents, we five children (though in middle age it feels like a bit of an oxymoron to use the word ‘children’ in reference to this motley group), and our collective twenty-three off-spring. All those years mom begged and whined about being provided grandchildren?

They paid off.

Many of these children are biological, but we are also proud to claim a couple of adopted and step youngin’s in the mix. We don’t distinguish between them. It doesn’t matter.

How does this relate to romance (besides the obvious subject of conception)? It touches on something I hope we all have in our lives. Family. Whether by blood, by choice, or by fate, the concept of family in our real lives and in the fiction we love to read and/or write is a major part of living.
When joined by spirit, friendship and even a touch of our soul, we may all lay claim to ‘family’ of choice. Reach out in your community or on-line to find your ‘family’. Those on a similar journey, those with common interests or causes and those who are waiting to be found. My critique sisters and other dear friends are found family in my life. Different online communities and real life groups have touched different parts of my journey.
None of this negates our family of birth, rather it can enrich it. While our blood family may love us despite ourselves they may not understand (or care about) an area or passion we want in our lives. So, go out and find a ‘soul family’ that will ‘get’ you.

Magick Rising Cover
Reading romance that includes family in all its lovely forms grabs me. Writing romance that includes multiple layers of family is part of who I am. My latest release, a novella in the anthology Magick Rising with Bell Bridge Books, is not simply a romance, it is about family. My current series in progress is about family, three sisters and their free-spirited mom. All I can say it that I’m loving every minute of writing their quirky, sassy stories.
When presenting my workshop at Romance Writers of America National conference this July in San Antonio, I’ll be talking with another one of my families, my romance writing family.
How do you define family? How have these ‘found’ families enriched your life? Have they added texture that has opened your eyes to so much more than you knew was out there? Share, please. I love stories about family.