Today I received what I believe is my first fan letter (email) from a complete stranger. Yes, I've received many lovely notes from people I know - childhood friends, writing friends, friends of friends. Indeed, it is more than my heart can hold sometimes when I receive a sweet message, a surprise review, or a shout out on Twitter of FaceBook. Folks are generous with their praise. I've been blessed a thousand times over.
So what made the note today special? It came from a young mom who found Chasing Lilacs in her local library and she picked it up thinking she might have time to read a bit on vacation - something she has little time for as she has four very young children. She confessed when she wrote that she'd never written an author before and went on to say she loved the book and could not put it down. This touched me for a couple of reasons. She took the initiative to find out how to contact me AND she emailed me. This no doubt busy mom took time from her day to tell me she appreciated my book. She didn't have to, but she did.
I'm tickled to have a fan (oh, how I've dreamed of this day!), but I am also humbled. Feeling a little sheepish. How many times have I thought - I should send Aunt Gabby a card and tell her how much I enjoyed her pickled rhubarb? Or thought of sending a birthday card/anniversary card/gee-I-miss-you card to a friend I haven't seen in a while. You know what I'm talking about. A quick email that just says "hey, how are you?" A funny Hallmark greeting that would brighten someone's day or let them know you appreciated them for no reason other than because they exist. I don't do it nearly often enough.
I know why I don't. I'm rushed. Forgetful. And selfish.
I want to do better at the art of appreciation. Capture those good intentions and send them off before they have time to become only a memory of what I should've done. And I want to be worthy of having a fan who takes the time to say "thanks for the good read."
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