"I see dead people." Great iconic line from a movie ... I only see them at memorial services, etc. I don't tend to have strange encounters from the other side, unless I've lost something in my grocery cart and a clerk calls over from the next aisle to let me know.
More to my reality is that "I collect smart people."
Much more honest and a lot less creepy.
1) It is true. All of my friends are smarter than I am ... are articulate ... and are willing to share their wit and wisdom with me.
2) Did I mention that most all of them are really well read?
Yep. It is a big deal. I'm not talking about the heavy authors out there: Plato, Shakespeare, Dickens, John Grisham (just kidding). But they read a lot of different things with different points of view and different ideas of what the world should and could be.
Okay - so not everyone wants to curl up with a book and soak up someone else's ideas ... but those who read tend to have a wider world view (and in my case a larger posterior than I should, but that's another story).
3) They accept their superiority over me without making me feel badly about it.
I've been trying and mostly failing to write the 'next' novel or novella.
These smart friends of mine have helped me to let go of the stereotypes that are out there, especially in romantic fiction and in publishing in general, right now (first person is a "no-no", male POV only is "bad", sex needs to mean something in a story and should be there for formula or shock value only).
I'm lucky and am grateful I've found these kinds of people with whom to share my hopes, dreams, and stories.