Charge Your Karmic Batteries: Write a Letter to an Author You Admire
Contributor

Deborah Siegel found herself so moved by graphic memoirist Phoebe Potts' infertility narrative, Good Eggs, she wrote her a letter.  And then she realized: we writers should do this more often.  It's like sending a karmic kiss.

SHE WRITES ON FRIDAY PROMPT: Write a letter to an author you admire. 

 Here's mine.  Post yours in comments or on your SW blog (tag #shewritesonfriday).  We'll tweet the best! 

 

Dear Phoebe Potts,

 

I’m so moved by your infertility memoir, Good Eggs, that I just had to say something about it in public. Today [WEDS] is thank-a-fellow-She-Writer day at She Writes, so please consider this note an expression of my gratitude.

 

Thanks for making me laugh, cry, sigh in recognition, and grieve in empathy as you chronicle your infertility journey in graphics and words.  You do what the best writers do—help us see beauty and pain in the human condition, especially our female condition—plus your writing is funny as hell and moving beyond words.  So many elements of your story resonate for me—the depression, the mother (hi mom!), the Jewishness, the loving husband, the doctors, the therapists, the friends—that at times I almost feel as if I’m reading a book written by my wiser, funnier self.  Except that I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag, so really that’s where the parallel ends. 

 

You write in a comic that we're featuring on She Writes, “tried for baby, had book instead.” You’ve birthed, written, and illustrated a fabulous book.  Thank you for that.  May you find your way to authoring that baby soon too, however the narrative unfolds.  You’re going to make one hell of a mother, I know.

 

Yours in fertility adventures and the desire to express it in words,

D. 

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Comments
  • Kristin Ross

    Here's mine, written awhile ago, but never lost relevance.

    http://baronetess.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-virginia.html

  • Nonqaba waka Msimang

    Dear published author,  I admire your work.  Can you return the favour and buy at least five books by SHE WRITES members this year, so that they can be someone's favourite author one day?  Thank you.

    www.sweetnessthenovel.com

     

  • Nansy Grill

    Dearest Ms. Harper Lee,

    Since we're old(er), I wanted to send you this one letter without putting it off another day. You know, before it was too late and all. Of course, there's motive behind most of our actions, but I'll spare you the selfish reasons and get to telling you things you may reject or deny.

    Like how popular your book is, still. I retired my 1960 edition to a framed shadow box and hung it in my reading room. Now, I read pages from a 50th anniversary copy, which I would give my box of treasures if you could sign it (the book not the box).

    My friend, who grew up orphaned, told me once that she longed for a father like Atticus. And I know a young mother who named her new baby girl Harper Lee. I've met many young girls named Scout with the most recent one being at Christmas in Kohl's Department Store. Her mother kept calling her Scout. And I just asked if she was named for Jean Louise Finch. She said she was but not the Jean Louise Finch part, just the Scout part. She said she was twelve. My point is readers love your book even after fifty years. And Scout will live long after you and I leave this old world. Why just the other day I read an excerpt from a novel by Dean Koontz (maybe you've heard of him). He mentioned Scout in the most respectable way.

    Next I want to say, in a writing class I took in college, we had to choose a writing mother, and I chose you. Not just because I wanted to write stories like you, but because your writing taught me things that parents were afraid to speak of when I was growing up. Though Scout had no mother, in many ways, your book was my mother.

    Last, in case you write back, I do have a couple of questions. I've read that you wouldn't write another book because it may not live up to the standard set by your first. Is this true? And if it is, do you regret not writing another? Now that we're old(er) an all?

    Last, I wish we were friends in real life. If a small part of you is woven into the characters of your book, I know you already. Meeting face to face would be my most prized experience ever. 

    Take care of yourself,

    A long time fan

     

     

  • Giudetta Rizzuti

    My Dear Anais Nin,

    You are my favorite author and the one I most emulate. You are my doppleganger.

    You have allowed me to enhance my life by describing it in poetry and prose, swimming in its sensuality and bathing in its beauty. Because of you I am not afraid to be known, nor make my self vulnerable, nor see profound meaning in the briefest contacts. I just said my last good-bye to a man whose depth of love and ability to express it for me delighted me for the last year. We were to be married but he died December 26 after a brief illness. I do celebrate our love and keep it alive every day in the memories of the myriad ways we loved one another.

    You must know that your showing how to give form to my experience has impounded its abiity to become part of myself and through doing so incorporate my lover inside me forever.

    Now I embark on a new love who knows your writing and expresses to me yet again the language of the skin and heart. I love you for freeing me. I love you for showing me. Without you I would have been less.

    In celebration of your life and words,

    Giudetta Rizzuti

    Giudetta Rizzuti

  • Deborah Siegel Writing

    Alright She Writers, you had me at hello.  These letters are beautiful.

     

    And I love this quote, Jennifer: "I believe authors who succeed in publishing their work travel in a couple of inner CITIES: Tenacity & Audacity!"  You should add it to the SW Quote Garden we've got going here.

  • Carson Gleberman

    Dear Rose Levy Beranbaum,

     

    You not only inspire me as a writer, but (of course) have made me a better baker and a better person. Your Cake Bible compels readers beyond their previously-imagined limitations, and offers solace and constructive advice for the bumpy moments in the learning process. Your clear and precise instructions and detailed explanations of baking’s science reveal the order in apparent chaos.

     

    That might be a good working definition of sacred work. Indeed, you inspire me with more than your word choice and sentence structure: you found a way to make your passion and talents into a calling. There may be many talented pastry chefs in the world. Few, if any, share your need and ability to explain, and thereby increase, the everyday miracles of protein denaturing, steam expansion, and flavor development. Every writer should have your open-minded curiosity, open-hearted generosity, and open-throated descriptive powers.

     

    I was in awe even before I read that you made the wedding cake for Rudolf Sprungli, owner of the very best (in my opinion) Swisschocolate company.

     

    Bake and write on!

     

    Sincerely,

    Carson Gleberman

  • Jocelyn Eikenburg

    This post couldn't have been more timely, Deborah! For weeks, I've been meaning to write one of my own favorite authors and tell her how much I love her work. Your words have reminded me it's long overdue to express my own gratitude for her efforts and courage.

  • Terri Elders

    I've been writing to my favorite living authors for nearly thirty years now...specifically Carolyn See and Herbert Gold, and more recently Jerome Charyn and Peter Beagle. I've found that they are not annoyed, no matter how many fan letters they may have received, if a reader points out exactly what has touched their minds and hearts. Since I've recently been published in around a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, which are reprinted worldwide, I've received fan notes from home and abroad, from Denmark, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and even from a 90 year old woman living fewer than a dozen miles from my home. I've been delighted to hear I've written something that prompted somebody to want to connect.

  • Liza Bakewell

    Dear Anne Lamott,

    I not only have loved Operating Instructions and have read it two or three times (it never ages), but I love and am so happy your wrote Bird by Bird, which I have read so many times I have stopped counting. So glad you wrote those two books. Thanks.

    Liza Bakewell

  • Jennifer Manlowe

    I love this goal and have made this particular leap into the unknown—by writing a favorite memoirist—since about 1985. I believe authors who succeed in publishing their work travel in a couple of inner CITIES: Tenacity & Audacity!

  • Allene E. Swienckowski

    I am a fan of John Grisham. His recently released "The Confession" is a tour de force and shines a very bright light on our so-called system of justice. Thank you Mr Grisham for telling the stories that need to be told.

     

    Allene

  • Sherry Christie

    Dear Stephanie Cowell,

    Thank you so much for NICHOLAS COOKE! I was totally enraptured by this story of Elizabethan England, especially as Nicholas moved into the theater world. The sensory details were fabulous, helping me get totally into his point of view. I loved the language, too: both narrative and dialogue have a strong period flavor while communicating clearly for a modern reader. This book should be reprinted!

    With sincere admiration and appreciation,

    Sherry Christie

  • Dear Alice Walker,

    Thank you for teaching me resistance.  It was so long ago when I read POSSESSING THE SECRET OF JOY, but I can still remember the giddy feeling of possibility it opened in me.  Reading your novels, short stories, poetry and essays helped me find my way through what felt like a never ending darkness.  Thank you.

     

    With Highest Regards,

    Shannon

  • Simone Dankenbring

    Hi Cathy Lamb!
     
    I'm newly transplanted here in Oregon after living my life in Southern California. I have to thank Powell's for featuring books by local authors because your book has been the first one I picked up and can't put down! I decided to start with Julia's Chocolates because: 1) I'd like to see how much a writer evolves from one book to the next and 2) anything chocolate sounds good to me!
     
    I am not only a reader but a writer and you totally have nailed it when it comes to mixing humor, honesty, emotions and spirit into Julia's Chocolates. There are similarities in my own life to Julia's life and although I don't have an Aunt Lydia, I applaud how you've given her character the ability to love and reach out without hesitance to her niece.
     
    I'm a children's book writer and would love to find local writers groups and/or critique groups. Do you have any suggestions?
     
    Thanks again for writing such an adorably delicious book. I look forward to reading the rest of your books as well.
     
    Peace and joy,
    Simone

  • Kelley Clink

    Dear Anne Lamott,

     

    Your books were my first steps on a journey toward community and recovery.  They also unearthed the tender, nearly microscopic shoots of a struggling soul I had never believed existed.  Thank you for being you, and for writing about it.

     

    Sincerely,

    Kelley