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  • I slide a finger across to the Notes application, and my eyes flash to a familiar greeting: "Hello Brittany-Megan". The hyphenation of my name brings a smile to my face because there's only one person who has coined this phrase. In a short letter, Ashley, tells me that I'm an awesome person, sister, and writer. She tells me that I can do the one thing that frightens and exhilarates me most...write.

    This has been our dynamic since we were kids. I'm four years older than her, and in some cases, life could force a wedge between people with years like street blocks sandwiched between them. But, this never happened. At any given moment, we could find ourselves in a room blasting "Zoo" by Dog is Dead, and acting like complete fools. I remember being twelve years old, clutching a blue spiral notebook in my hands, going over to Ashley's house, and telling her about this new play I was writing. I just knew I would be able to quit Middle School and push this on Broadway. Ashley still remembers the play, and still thinks its more awesome than I think it is. Five years ago, I told her about the novel I'm working on, and in ways I'll never quite understand, she loves it with her heart.

    So many things fuel writers to keep going. Sometimes it's a vial of gold from an exotic river, sometimes its a jubilant mentor who would fight critical nemeses for you if it meant your growth and success. In my case, it's a cousin, who's the sister that God knew I needed. I liked to think that God made me an only child because He knew He created Ashley, and her brother, Ricky. No matter how much I doubt my abilities, or cry, or throw my books down because I just know I'll never finish this novel, she reminds me that if I just trust God, and trust the talent He's given me, I can write a masterpiece. Now that I'm 5 1/2 years, 65,000 words in, and have too many characters/scenarios to count zipping through my mind, I know I have her to thank for it. There are aspects of the piece that I couldn't have even conceived without having her mind to bounce off of, and it doesn't get any better than that.

    I can only hope, that when it comes to the dreams that set Ashley on fire, I offer the same love, the same support, and sisterhood. She is more special than she knows.
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