I have a fan. Just one. But the enthusiasm of that one could compete with a gaggle of groupies. My fan reads my books, my blogs and even took the trouble to read my Christmas story, “Under the Bridge and Beneath the Moon,” published in Children’s Digest in 1988.
Fans are like fairies and elves and other representatives of good magic. They can pick a writer up when another rejection slip brings him or her low. If I had 400 fans like this one, I could die happy.
I don’t take my fan for granted. No artist should. My concern is that my talents can’t match expectations. Take, for example, the email I received from my fan the other day:
I discovered [The New Yorker’s] submission page for short stories… all they ask is your contact information and a PDF attachment… and they will read your story and possibly publish it in their magazine. Wouldn’t that be a hoot, Caroline?
Yes, dear fan, it would be a hoot but more than that, it would be a miracle. I am old in years but young in a writer’s craft and not good enough for The New Yorker. But even if I were, I’m a nobody. The New Yorker prints 12 stories a year, just 12. If Maya Angelou submits a piece simultaneous to mine, which story do you imagine will be printed? And, if Maya Angelou isn’t the competitor, thousands of better writers are in line ahead of me.
I know my place. In the words of T. S. Eliot’s Prufrock, “I am an attendant lord, meant to fill a space, one that will do to swell a progress, start a scene or two,” but I am no writer of Hamlet. Still, I ask you not to lose faith in me or to curb your exuberance. I need your dream. And one day, should I ever reach the pages of The New Yorker, I will remember your encouraging words. On that day, I will send you an email and it will read, “Isn’t that a hoot?”
(Courtesy of www.zazzle.com)