I wrote a letter (longhand) to Anne Lamott tonight. I'm going to mail it tomorrow. So quaint. Cute little stamps on it and everything. I even licked the envelope. Weird how a letter can make you feel like you've fallen through a wormhole into an earlier decade of things like dial phones and windup clocks.
If you don't know Anne Lamott's writing, you should. She's local (Marin) and wrote "Operating Instructions," "Bird By Bird," "Plan B," as well as wonderful fiction. She's famous for quotes like:
"A hundred years from now? All new people."
"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do."
My plan was to just write her a light, breezy, carbonated note telling her how much I enjoy her books and asking about what recommendations she would offer a writer just starting out on her career. Instead I poured my heart out to her about Mom and asked for her advice about how to avoid being totally disowned by my mother for exposing our family's deep dark secrets for the world to enjoy. An appalling lack of impulse control, if I say so myself. On both counts.
I'll let you know if I hear from her.
Meanwhile, I started writing my book proposal today, based on Michael Larson's book, "How to Write a Book Proposal." My writing coach, Lisa Tener, recommended it. Super-straightforward, the book walks you through each step and explains why it's important. For those of you who don't know (and I didn't until a few weeks ago), most non-fiction books are bought by publishers based entirely on the book proposal, a thirty page summary of who you are, what the book is about, who you're going to market the book to, and how you are going to promote it. Sounds pretty simple, right? Except for when I get to the part where they assume you are already a famous published author. "List here all your previous books... all your national speaking engagements... your vast international network of publishing contacts... your telepathic communications with technologically advanced extra-terrestrial life forms." Okay, I made the last one up. But seriously. I have to be famous already to publish a book? I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that and move on. La-di-da. How's the weather?
When was the last time you hand wrote a letter? Blessings to you all... may all your letters reach sympathetic ears, may all your wishes be heard by the universe and return to you a thousandfold.