I write a fair bit, parent a lot, work in a bookstore, read, review, and kvetch, not necessarily in that order. Am an old GEnie user.
Re: Friends list. I think of the friends list as a list of journals I read. I don't know some of these people in real life; some, I know by name, but have never met, and some I know only by their LJs. But I find the sheer number of people overwhelming, and if I haven't added you to the list, mean no insult by it. If you know me, you know I'm perfectly capable of deliberate insult, and usuallly don't bother with subtlety <wry g>.
Please feel free to friend me if you'd like -- this is a public forum, after all. Introduce yourself or not as you please (I've done my share of lurking, and often tend to lurk in places for months before I put a toe in the water), and if things are boring, unfriend; while I'm easy to offend in certain very particular circumstances, this isn't one of them.
If you're here because you're one of my readers then a) I love you and b) there's book discussion going on in the Yahoo group (MichelleWest@yahoogroups.com); I don't tend to talk much on LJ about what I'm writing -- this has become more a business of publishing set of rambles, with the odd sideways diatribe thrown in just for fun.