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An Open Letter to an Almost-Stranger


It was such a pleasure to sit next to you on my flight from Memphis to Washington, DC. I’m certain none of us expected to have had our 6:00 A.M. flight rescheduled to 8:45 A.M. Nor did any of us expect to have to sit on the tarmac at Reagan National, waiting for a bus to take us to the terminal. But, I’ve absolutely never had the enjoyable experience of sitting beside a heretofore complete stranger who would, as it turned out, share my passion for writing fiction.

As I said during those two hours, I have a deep and unbreakable love for my family and friends…but none of them truly understand what it’s like to look up and see a piece of sky or to slow down beside an overheard conversation and have a lightning bolt of inspiration strike. These moments occur unexpectedly, and at often inopportune times. That’s why we carry that always-handy notebook, and praise the noise-canceling feature on our Bose headphones.

It’s also why I hope you find the success in your story of the little boy, his Elvis hero, and the Moon over Memphis, the same way I hope to find my own success in my story of those two young lovers arguing on a West Country beach.

Even if you never read this, and we never cross paths again, I wish you a safe, happy journey full of the same love and support you feel now, and more. Your brief interaction made me remember why I do what I do, and why I love it so.

All the best from a fellow traveler,