“Tirzah”

Rather than turn to my trusty dictionary, I’ll let a dear (and fully material) friend of mine define this word for you:

            “My name is Tirzah. It’s said Teer-zah. It’s a Bible name. It was the name of a city. It means Delight. Or Cyprus Tree.

I met a kid. After observing me for a few months, he made a decision.

Tirzah should be a word. A word meaning Weird, Strange, and Unorthodox.

He started using the word. His friends started using the word. I started using the word. My mom started using the word.

I am not sure what I think.

‘Hi, I’m Tirzah.’

‘Tirzah? Like the WORD Tirzah?’

Yes. Very like the word.”

            Thus did this particular young lady introduce herself in her NaNoWriMo author bio. Even so, it was several weeks before I thought to call her Tirzah, referring to her instead by the fond epithet SlytherinFox.

            It was actually a fox that brought us together – her thief lord character whose name, in his language, means “fox”. I read Tirzah’s description of him in one of the many NaNo forums; he intrigued me (foxes? Thieves? Let me in on it!), and I contacted Tirzah to tell her so.

            The rest is well-documented history. Brief NaNoMails turned into lengthy NaNoMails. (Yes, we’ve saved them all.) To this, we added emails, later segueing into Facebook messages and phone calls. (And if the transcripts of those extensive phone calls ever fell into the wrong hands, we could both of us end up convicted of anything you like.) We shared our NaNo novels in progress, other stories, songs, and poetry. We drew the first-ever fan art for each other’s MCs (meaning “main characters”, everyone, not “masters of ceremonies”). I fell for her thief lord, she fell for my minstrel (my minstrel fell for her…), and over the course of it all, I arrived at a conclusion:

            Everybody needs a Tirzah in their lives.

Someone with whom to share your passions (predominantly writing-related, in our case, but by no means limited to that).

Someone to laugh with you at everything and nothing (predominantly nothing, it sometimes seems).

Someone to listen while you cry, or cry while you listen.

Someone to rejoice with you during your highs, and encourage you during your lows (or to give you a kick in the pants, when a soft touch won’t cut it, apparently).

Someone to be so blatantly positive that you’ll want to shake them silly.

Someone who’s seen you at your ugliest, and likes you anyway.

            Keep your unorthodoxy and cypress tress – to me, “Tirzah” means “Friend, capital ‘F’”.

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