I recently stumbled upon the following in an NPR story about Jack Kerouac's road to publication of On the Road: “Legend has it that Kerouac wrote On the Road in three weeks, typing it almost nonstop on a 120-foot roll of paper. The truth is that the book actually had a much longer, bumpier journey from inspiration to publication, complete with multiple rewrites, repeated rejections and a dog who — well, On the Road wasn’t homework, but we all know what dogs do." For me, the path to publication was made a lot easier by the company of writing friends. The writing group Frankie, Ally, Brett, Linda and Kath form in The Wednesday Sisters in no small way reflects my own experience with my Nashville writing group: a small band of four merry unpublished writers who now count seven (yes seven!) books published or under contract between us. When we started, one of us had a small travel piece published, and that was it. Really, there is nothing like a great friend to keep you inspired! Today is the birthday of one of us, novelist Brenda Rickman Vantrease, the author of The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller. Happy birthday, Brenda! I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful friend.