I speak with my good friend Mr. Yang most every weekend.

Yang (because we’re two halves, you see, and I, the older one, fancy myself more dark and mysterious, FINE, negative) is a writer just like yours truly.

We chat, I complain, he smiles, I feel emboldened; it’s everything free therapy with a writer friend should be, and I’m grateful for a friendship I’d likely otherwise pay for.

Then, usually within hours of our chat, I’ll jump onto Twitter and see that Yang posted a new short story, usually days before that afternoon’s discussion.

While I consider myself his fan, this ninja-like publishing method baffles me. If i write something new, I usually create graphics, plan an ad campaign, maybe even send myself balloons. This guy just hits go and doesn’t even tell his good friend about his accomplishment.

His writing is sparse, and while I’m not quite to a Dickensian level of pay-to-play word jumble, my prose, well, this sentence kind of shows it, is not.

(Hemingway would hate me, not least of which because I’m Yin, the feminine one, but I digress.)

So what I’m faced with is the following: My point, quite clearly, is admiration, and it’s tempting to call this something gained in spite of clear differences. But that isn’t remotely the dynamic.

This friendship, this mentorship is valuable PRECISELY because of our differences. We’re sharpened by that which might otherwise oppose us.

So, embrace what may seem foreign, and appreciate that which might seem readily available. Friends and mentors are hard to find, which is why I’ve taken the chance to thank mine here. (Not that Yang will necessarily care, as I’m fairly sure he and Hemingway are off hunting rhino or some crap anyhow.)