This is more of an observation than my typical (and patented) letter-and-response combo.
The absolute truth is that I have a long and sordid relationship with fan mail. I’m grateful for every letter, of course, and I do my best to reply in an authentic manner to every one. I’ve had lapses along the way, times when I’ve gotten behind, felt overwhelmed. That is, my record is not entirely spotless. So I have a degree of guilt. Every piece of fan mail demands my time, effort, and often the cost of a stamp and envelope.
The important thing is those times when all that gets pushed aside and I recognize, “Wow, this is really beautiful. How lucky am I?”
This week’s most favorite thing? When young people send me a long, two-sided letter and at the bottom of page one there’s instructions for what to do next, just in case I couldn’t figure it out on my own.
For example, this one, from Nicholas in Illinois:
Isn’t that great? So sweet.