Packages in the Mail

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

When I first started writing back in the dark ages – well, maybe not that long ago but well before the electonic age – I typed my first stories on a manual typewriter with carbon copies. I had strong fingers and correcting mistakes on those carbon copies developed my patience or drove me completely bananas. There was no e-mail or electronic submissions. Everything went out in the mail. I carefully put my work in manila envelopes and enclosed a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope for the possible return of my article or story. More like the probable return. A manila envelope with my address in my own handwriting is not what I wanted to see in the mailbox. I wanted to see white business envelopes with my name typed neatly on them. Of course then there were the manila envelopes or large white envelopes with my name typed on a label. Those were fun to get because that could be copies of some magazine that had published one of my stories.
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Times have changed. Often as not everything is done via e-mail these days. But the memory of hope whenever I went to the mailbox is still entrenched in my mind. So a week or so ago when I opened my mailbox to see a large white envelope with my name and address on it definitely not in my handwriting, it brought back memories. I had no idea what I could be getting. A calendar perhaps with a request for a donation? An advertisement for a stove that would cut my heating costs in half? A very long letter from a long last friend?
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Do you do that? Study the writing on an envelope along with the postmark to try to figure out what’s inside when all you really need to do is tear the envelope open to find out. I do that all the time. Makes mail more fun. And this particular piece of mail turned out to be fun. I did finally open it up and inside were three copies of the American Christian Writers magazine, Christian Communicator. Staring up at me from the cover was – me. A big picture of me smiling out at everybody.
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I don’t suppose I had any reason to be surprised. Mary Gaskins, the friend with me in the picture above, had interviewed me for the article that day we were at the Shaker village, but that had been a while back. Mary had already published an article about our day at the village on the internet and I completely let it slip my mind that she had submitted another article to the Christian Communicator. But she did a great job writing about me being a “Homegrown Writer.” That’s definitely what I am. Homegrown. I improved my writing by trial and error practicing. I did the same with publishing. If one thing didn’t work, I looked around to see if I could write something else that might.
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I also got another exciting package this week. This one from FedEx. My first copy of Angel Sister. They sent two copies hot off the press so I could share one with Mom whose stories of growing up in the thirties helped make my story come to life. More about that in the weeks ahead. Release date is February 1.
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Hope you get many good packages and letters in your mailboxes whether electronic or the real thing – a tin box on a post out by the road like mine. Thanks for reading.