January 10, 2011

The Beauty of Letters

One wonderful thing about getting older is a lot of my friends and associates still mail cards and letters hand scripted. Now I know that's not faddish, but when I was younger, we would examine handwriting for character analysis, somewhat akin to how people study body language. The way the writing angled to the right or left or slanted upward or downward on the page meant something. Every curlie-Q, every letter drawn tight to another or the shading or pressure had us all in deep conversations about the person writing. Who was the person behind the pen? Artist or serial killer. You won't begin to imagine all the hype surrounding those conjectures. But, then again, I guess that's going by the wayside. Who can see all those little nuances on Facebook, Twitter or email?

Over the past several weeks, I've received many notes and letters from people all over the country who have written about Depression Cookies. I'd like to share a few of those comments, and before I forget it, thank every reader who has taken the time to encourage us and be honest about it. In fact, as book club junkies, Tia and I often find it exhilarating to bite our teeth into a healthy discussion of reasons not to like the book.


"I have just finished the book and then read the article in the paper. I feel as if I have a celebrity for a friend. I could not put the book down - reading it in just a few days. It was so true to life and I loved the characters, such as Quillie. I do hope and pray that you are doing well. You have certainly been a blessing to me. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book."

"Just started the book and am enjoying it already. I'm sure our daughter will be able to compare with her life growing up. We only moved seven times, but each time had its ups and downs."

"The book was interesting, but Abby had a problem. Did you ever think about writing in a psychiatric visit for her?"

"I am reading your book and must say it brings back so many memories that I had stored in my head. Never realized how much we had in common - family, life, death and friendships. Oh, so much of it overwhelms me. It makes me wonder how I ever did it."

"Is this you, Angela? I mean it kinda sounds like your life, but were you that anxious? I always saw you as laid-back. Also, the ending bothered me. Every time I look at my minister, I'm wondering if he's as genuine as he acts. Now I'm questioning everything. Yikes! Now, I'm sounding like Abby. Come to think of it, at 35 I was questioning. Oh heck, I'm Abby, too!"

"I haven't laughed or cried so much in my life! Did you attend Quillie and Dickie's wedding? Was that not the most wonderful wedding ever? But I do wonder... what was in those Dixie cups?"

"Did you realize you misspelled a word? Should you have a gotten an editor? How long did it take to write the book? What did Dallas think about Bob? And Drake? Is there something, after a 25 year friendship, that you failed to tell me? Oh, I loved the book, but it doesn't add up. It doesn't follow your life at all. So I'm clueless. Are you Abby or not? I should at least know that. Tell Dallas and the children Hi and you'd better call me and talk plain about the book."

"Honey, bless your heart, most of us keep our 'Drakes' in the closet. Mine is stuffed with them, but I don't think it's proper to flesh it out in black and white. What would your grandmother say? By the way, who is Drake? Is it that cute little blonde who used to work at Leggett's Drug store? I dated him. He wasn't all that."

"Dear Angie, we both loved reading the book! Today we are getting a couple more as gifts. It is so descriptive of a loving family. You and Tia's writings left us with a clear understanding of the characters and their relationships with each other. It has so many great descriptions of everyday American life. The humorous parts were just hilarious. I wanted so much to read these parts to my wife, but she refused to let me. She wanted to read things for herself. Our sister-in-law flipped out when I showed her the part about Doodle Hill. She is from there. Congratulations to both you and Tia for the great job you've done putting this book together."

Please keep the letters and cards coming as well as the Facebook posts, blog comments and emails so that we hear from all generations.


Dana & Keith Newbrough said...

Haha - I loved these comments. I have thought many of those things. I think Drake will remain a mystery and tucked safely behind the sealed lips (and perhaps journals) of Angela. What a beautifully written story, whether true or not it is one we can all relate to.

Anonymous said...

A post comment from Angela:

Drake - while a seeming mystery, really isn't one at all. Don't we all wish the love of our life was a work alcoholic like Bob and as sexy as Drake? Don't we all wish after a horrible day at work your man would come home and want nothing but your attention and affection? That is after he patted the little ones and tossed them a kiss. But from that moment on, he was all yours, from the intimate looks to a trail of lost clothes to the bedroom?

Anonymous said...

Chuckling to beat the band....from Angela again.

Well, I'm keeping Tia's kids for her to go out to Denver. Her five year old has kept me up for two nights, lovingly that is, but I am still half conscious. So, I look back at the posting above and want to giggle myself silly. "Work alcoholic" ... now, that's the pit for a glowing Bob report, isn't it? And for the life of me, I cannot find a dictionary to see how you write workaholic. Is that right? You caught me being me. When I'm writing I just keep going. Later when I review it, I laugh myself silly at the misspellings. I'm my own comedy corner, I guess! Don't tell Tia that Mama messed up, again!