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In Praise of Snail Mail

Originally posted on March 14, 2014

No writer is everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve been blessed to have my share of fans for my debut young adult novel, While I Danced. In emails, reviews on the web, and phone calls, folks have told me that reading my story moved them emotionally. They cared about these characters. Me too!

As a writer who’s had plenty of practice coping with rejections and “thumbs down” on my work, these comments have meant more to me than I can possibly say.

A letter from a fan this past week was especially meaningful. It’s one I will save and treasure for years to come.  Not only was the letter beautifully written, but it came via snail mail, buried between the bills and requests for money that arrive in our mailbox with alarming regularity.

What a thrill to open a personal letter written in cursive in which a 90-year-old  reader talked about how the book reminded her of “being fifteen, being in love for the first time, and most especially dancing.” She went on to share her own delightful memories of dancing as a child and teenager.

Whether it’s the tactile experience of opening a handwritten letter and fingering the pages, or the knowledge that the writer took time to make this thoughtful gesture—all I can say is it feels different.

In fact, it feels quite wonderful. I’m not a big resolution maker, but this lovely reader has inspired me to resolve to send more handwritten notes to folks I care about and who’ve made a difference in my life.

Long live snail mail!

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