Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The People You Meet . . .

In the interest of clearing out the attic (a project near and dear to The Prof's heart), we have been going through old piles of records and tossing them out.

Some of them need to be shredded because in the Good Olde Days credit card numbers were on everything. So I'm shredding. And that means I have to open things before I shred. And a good thing, too, or I'd have missed a letter that got filed with the 1998 tax stuff.

It was a sad letter in some ways because it about about the death of a good man. But it was a joyful letter because if ever there was a man ready to get on with eternity it was the Reverend William J. Kitto.

I knew him as Bill. And I only knew him because I wrote books.

Back in 1993 I wrote a novella in Harlequin's Valentine anthology, My Valentine. Mine was called "Simple Charms" and it was about a 2nd grade teacher named Jane Kitto who got a charm for a charm bracelet every year on Valentine's Day from a "secret admirer." As romance novels are, it was about love and hope and finding the right person who completes your life as you complete theirs.

And because of that story, I got a letter from Bill Kitto. He'd been given the book by one of his daughters, he said, because of the heroine's last name. We corresponded a bit, and then we moved to phone calls. And while we talked about last names (Cornish last names in fact! I have a Kitto line of my own) and family history and all that, what we ultimately ended up talking about was love.

The love of Bill's life had died not long before. They'd been married over 40 years and he was quite a bit older than she was and had very much expected to be the first to go. He was pretty disappointed that he hadn't been. He was finding life without her lonely. But he never gave in to that loneliness. He cherished the years he had with her. He relished the memories and was delighted to share them.

He thought books celebrating the finding and cherishing that sort of love were wonderful. And he was glad that my story about Jane and Zack witnessed to the beginning of that love. I was glad he bothered to write and share his life and his story and his love with me. He was one of the world's real life heroes.

Bill passed away a bit over ten years ago. I still think of him often. I have several notebooks of his poetry that he sent me which I still dip into. The letter from his daughter, sent on the occasion of his passing, included several I didn't have.

They remind me again of the power of words to reach out and touch our lives even when the people who have spoken them are no longer with us in person. Their spirits, like their words, remain to sustain us, encourage us, give us joy.

Bill was just one of many people whose lives have intersected with mine since I began to write. I cherish them all.

If you drop in here and read my words, thank you. If you comment or write me an email, thank you. If you read my books and find something in them that speaks to you, I'm delighted beyond anything I can say.

I love writing. I love the people I've met through my vocation. I can't honestly call it work -- not every day. It only seems like work when Christo and his friends are making trouble!

wordle courtesy of wordle.net

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Blogger Patricia said...


what a touching post. I often think about people who have touched my life and made an impression. I think about all the years and words that I've enjoyed at the hands of many talented authors just like you. Thank you for the spirit of the written word. I can only hope to spread the same joy to readers that read my stories.

16 September, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thank you so much. I look forward to the day when your books are on the shelves and I can read them, too. It's an amazing connection that establishes itself between two people through the medium of the written word.

16 September, 2008  
Blogger Patricia said...

Thanks Anne. I now have a book entitled Engaged to a Spanish Billionaire on the shelves. It was released at the end of August and is published by publish america. It is up at Amazon. I have two book signings scheduled. It's so exciting!! My goal is find a home with Harlequin Presents someday. Here's hoping;-)

16 September, 2008  
Blogger Kate Walker said...

What a lovely post - like you I value the wonderful friends that writing has brought me. The ones who just pass through and say Hi on a blog or 'I loved that book' in an email or the ones that stay around, befriend yur cat(s) and steal your photos of Hugh-in-a-Towel

Thank you for your friendship - can't wait to see you soon. (Sid too)

Patricia - congratulatins! I owe you a reply to your email but life got in the way


17 September, 2008  
Blogger Patricia said...

Thanks Kate for the congrats. There's so much more to the job of writing as you well know. I'm trying to sharpen my writing claws to prepare for crossing the line into the world that's M&B. Have fun in London a city I hope to visit someday.

17 September, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Ah, Patricia, I didn't know! Congratulations. After I get back from England I'll get a copy. Thanks for the heads-up.

And Kate, yes, I totally agree that all sorts of friends are nice -- including the ones that offer you copies of Hugh-in-a-towel and then say you "stole" him! ;)

Have fun in Lunnon!

17 September, 2008  
Blogger Patricia said...

Thanks girls,

You're going to England. Oh, the envy. My travel partner, my husband, is a stick in the mud. He doesn't like to leave Nebraska. Imagine! Have fun and may you get lots of inspiration.

17 September, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Patricia, I love Nebraska. Go Big Red. That said, I still like traveling -- and so does The Prof, though he's teaching this time and I'm going by myself.

17 September, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

carolc said...

What a lovely and moving post Anne. I love fated friendships in life and you were lucky to know someone so special.

Waving to Kate who's post nudged me in this direction, although she will be in the middle of AMBA celebrations right now.


18 September, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Carol,
Good to see you here, and thanks to Kate for sending you. I am sure she's enjoyed her AMBA experience.

You're right, I was fortunate to know Bill and his friendship has always given me the encouragement to reach out to people I haven't met but who have somehow touched my life. The rewards are tremendous.

18 September, 2008  

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