I cringe everytime I get a gift. Not because I don’t enjoy presents (oh, I do!) but because chances are I will once again fail to write a thank you note. Ironic isn’t it? I consider myself a writer, but have some sort of mental/physical/emotional block that keeps me from sitting down to write a thank you note.
Perhaps it’s that I can’t ever seem to write something that conveys how truly grateful I am for the kind gesture of another (not to mention the limitation of space on a notecard is daunting). It is a subject that causes my mother much angst. She who dashes off thank you notes before the wrapping paper is off the present–had to have a daughter like me. (I am so sorry, Mom).
But today I am trying a new tactic. There is someone I’ve owed a thank you note for a long time. I think about it often, but with each day that passes, it seems more awkward. Today is the day I will finally thank the incredible novelist who took time out to help me–a struggling, unpublished writer.
One day, after years of writing, I realized that I could no longer look at my manuscript. Literally. I had come to a point that I could not make sense of the mass of words and I could barely stand opening the document. I knew I needed professional help (mostly of the literary kind) but did not know which way to turn.
That’s when I stumbled upon an e-mail address for Ron Hansen, a profoundly talented and successful author, and shot him a Mayday. He didn’t know me from Adam’s house cat, as my mother would say, and yet he responded! And he not only responded, but actually took the time to find the right editor for me.
Thanks to Ron Hansen’s kindness I was introduced to Paula Huston, a fabulous writer, speaker and all-around wonderful human being. She gave me the confidence and critique I needed to make my manuscript better.
So, here goes:
I will always be grateful for the helping hand you gave me when I most needed one. I cannot thank you enough and look forward to a time when I can extend the same kindness to another writer in need.
PS–Congratulations on the great reviews for A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion !
ED Note: Yes, Stephanie, that is the real name of Ron Hansen’s newest novel–what makes it even better is that Hansen is a devout Catholic! Who says we can’t have fun?!