This is sort of a sad post. Just warning you. Well, not sad exactly. Just bittersweet.
Over the years, lots of readers have written to me telling me how much they’ve enjoyed my books. They’ve been mostly women, and they’ve had straightforward names like Linda and Cindy as well as lighthearted email handles like cupcake4you and queenoflaughter. Many asked if I would send out an e-newsletter to keep them informed of my writing projects. As a result, I kept a list of their email addresses on the off-chance that I might actually produce a “Hi, here’s what’s new” notification at some point.
Now that this Mainly Jane blog is up and running and the web site has been all dressed up, I thought, Why not send everybody that “Hi, here’s what’s new” email after all.
At first I worried that the sheer volume of the outgoing mail would cause my server to shut me down for conducting a spam operation. But then came the bounce-backs. You know the ones. They say “Undeliverable.” And “Returned Mail.” And – this is the cruelest cut of all – “Failure.”
Not every email came back, but quite a few of them did, and the whole exercise reminded me that people’s lives change. I mean, really change. They graduate from college, move to another house or another part of the country, get married and/or divorced, lose their jobs and/or find new ones. And some die.
Whatever happened to that nice woman named Donna who used to write to me so often? And how about Samantha, who had broken her leg and asked her mother to set her up in bed with a bunch of my books? And what about Ronni, who liked to confide in me, a perfect stranger, about her troubles and tell me how my stories cheered her up? Where did they all go while I was so busy leading my own life?
I’ll never know. But I began the task tonight of deleting the no-longer-viable names and addresses from the Word document that’s been sitting in my computer for the longest time. Wherever they are, I hope my old friends have a book in their hands (or on their Kindle). That’s one thing I do know about them: they love to read.