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Remember the days of going to the mailbox and finding a handwritten letter addressed to you? You’d stop whatever you were doing, find the letter opener, settle into your favorite chair, slit open the envelope, and begin to read.

Those were the days, my friends, before emails. So imagine my excitement last October when I received a handwritten letter. It arrived in a white business-size envelope, postmarked North Carolina, with my name and address sprawled happily and confidently from side to side.

My pulse scrambled as I thought of possibilities! Not formal enough for a real business letter. Too large for a “regular” letter or thank-you note. I didn’t sit in my favorite chair and make a ritual out of reading the letter. I ripped it open while sitting in my study at my computer and started reading:

Dear Lois the procrastinator,

Wow. Who would dare call me that? The audacity! Did I want to read further?

By the time you receive this, I expect that you will have written the stories on the “Letters” document that remain to be written.

Who even knows I’m writing those stories?

The same expansive handwriting told me I should have those stories typed, revised, and collated into a notebook by Christmas. I couldn’t believe the tone of the letter. My best friend lives in N.C., but this was not any variant of her handwriting, nor did it sound like something she’d write.

That’s it for now—I think that’s enough to tell you. I’m sitting now at Wild Acres at a desk facing a window. It is dark. I can’t see the trees I know are there, but I hear the z-z-z-z sounds of crickets holding an animated conversation.

Uh oh. I knew. I read on.

It’s been a great week here at the Powerful Narrative conference, wonderful warm sharing participants, effective teachers creating a trusting atmosphere, and beautiful soul-felt writing.

Be well and get crackin’—as they say down here in the south.

Love, Your Working Self!

Yes, during a final session at that writing conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the teachers, Bill and Carol Henderson, asked us to write ourselves a letter listing our immediate writing goals. Carol promised to mail them to us in a month. A month had passed. I had forgotten.

And guess what. Today, January 4, 2014, I have unearthed that letter once again from piles on my desk. It won’t be necessary to make New Year’s resolutions about writing goals. I found one. And I have to be accountable to my “Wild Acres” ebullient self, the self that always appears after an inspiring week at a writing retreat.

On Way to Wild Acres with Marianna Crane

On Way to Wild Acres with Marianna Crane

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