Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fan Letter

Dear Rob Lowe,

I have made it a habit for the past seven years to write letters to authors whose work moves me. You are my next recipient.

While I've always known who you are, I only became familiar with your massive talent as I binge-watched Parks and Recreation on Netflix. I am literally late to every pop culture party, but once I arrive, I'm all in!

I am writing a new script for myself: a newly divorced, Midwesterner who shares custody of my nine-year-old daughter. I have more time on my hands than I have had in years. I am adjusting to this change, and the cast of Parks and Recreation has offered me company and laughs that have kept my spirits afloat more often than I can count. Thank you.

I stumbled on your memoir on audiobook at the library. I was not prepared for the beautiful work of art and masterful craft you demonstrated in your autobiography. I loathe my commute to work and home, but during the few weeks I listened to you tell your stories I relished every moment I could be in my car. The stories of JFK Jr. were particularly poignant.

I was fascinated to learn about your writing career and the people who encouraged and inspired you.Writing is my raison d'être. Draft two of my first novel is challenging everything I know about myself as a writer and a woman. The writing process is also an apt metaphor for settling into post-divorce life. In both pursuits, ample doses of faith, perseverance, gentleness, and grit are required.

While our stories are vastly different, I recognized my story in your reflections on people pleasing and boundary setting.Your memoir reminded me that there are many universal truths in our diverse human experience.

While I allow my protagonist's story to continue to percolate and my heart to heal, I am exposing myself to art in all its forms. I am feeding my muse with the artistic expression of many, and your memoir was a feast. 

You talked about how true connection was an important part of changing your life--it is the same for me. I have been sustained during this difficult period by my friends and loved ones.

Thank you for sharing your stories. Your amazing impressions during your reading was a delight.  You have gained a fan.


Julie Steele Mahoney

PS: I've begun watching The West Wing on Netflix and am hooked.
PPS: I really hope you write more stories you only tell your friends.

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