The Letter Project

July 8, 2012

Special Delivery (327)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 10:17 pm
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A letter from Suzy Anderson to Whitney Reinhard about the writing life:


18 June 2012

Dear Whitney,

I was so excited your letter was a puzzle! It is colorful and fun to put together. Thank you so much for taking the time. I’m glad you loved the birds. They were fun to make and write on. “Dead Poets Society” was a great choice of your class movie. I have not seen “The Shipping News” yet, but it is on my list. I’ve never thought of headlines as miniature poems before, even though i consistently use poetic devices to create them (like alliteration and word play). Give long poems time or maybe you’re supposed to write other poems, like Theresa with fragments and me with short poems. I have confidence you’ll figure it out. Deadlines are sometimes useful for me, but I’ve noticed that I spend a large chunk of my time thinking about it and brainstorming (esp. stories) before I put anything down unless the line is so intriguing I don’t want to forget it. I think my best work comes when I least expect it and when I don’t have any walls up. One wall might be, so readers prefer logical leaps? I’ll make it logical and have 1+1=2. No! Sometimes I just write without expectation and censorship and then I’m so surprised and excited by what I wrote I’ll attempt to remove barriers again. One short story I’m working on is similar to “Lolita” with the open discussion of sex, and at first I wasn’t sure how others would take it or if they would even like it. I showed the beginning to my roommate Mary and she loved it! It was just the encouragement I needed to keep going. Although I am concerned if a magazine would be interested in printing it. It’s not erotica, but it addresses sexuality as a basic part of life that shouldn’t be shut in the closet. I’ll send the story to you when I have a nicer draft. I loved “Peacock at a funeral”! You should read Raymond Carver’s “Feathers” short story. There’s a peacock in there too. 🙂 I will definitely use your prompt. I think it will help Charlotte a lot since her novel is journal entries and it would help me finish the third draft. I do wonder how hoarders don’t go mad. I think it’s because the pattern seems to be people with mental illness (who can be deemed mad) tend to be hoarders, like borderline, bipolar, and depression. That’s a generalization, of course. I wish I could lift a car! Haha. When I got my car inspected I got to walk under it so the man could explain what was wrong with the tires. Such a strange experience to be below instead of inside! Week days are better since I typically work nights on the weekend, so like Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I can make pierogies, and mashed potatoes and green beans, and other things, or we could even try a new recipe! I want to make gumbo and cornbread after I had it in New Orleans and Irish Stew and other dishes I’ve found in some cookbooks. I’ve seen “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog” and I also love it! I’m glad we both love “Firefly” and “Serenity.” Yuck for using ammonia on your teeth. But I guess if it works, so be it. Just a sign of the times. 🙂 I’ve read Fire Wind by Yvan Yauri, Rubiyat of Omar, The Ms of MY Kin by Janet Holmes, The Tale of Despereaux. I’m working on Carson McCullers’s short stories, poetry by Robert Frost, Octavio Paz, and Sharon Olds, and Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell. “The God of Small Things” is on my shelf waiting for me. What is “The Virgin Suicides” about? That is a beautiful description of “The God of Small Things”!  Exactly about the baby photos! Yes, I still have the same face, but I’ve definitely grown. I do think about what was going through my head. And where I was and if I was visiting someone or had a memory associated with the trip. I think the person in the photo would be proud of me today and would encourage me to reach even higher and keep writing and keep moving forward and take risks. I do use books as coasters (but not for very long) but I move them to the rag rugs my Grandma gave me. Currently my books are bookends for some of the tomes on top of my bookshelf and a table for other papers and books and notebooks. I bought a necklace that says “Create” on one side and has this symbol with a green bead. It’s a reminder that I love creating pretty much anything. I can’t wait for you to see my closet because I hung up my art work and I want to hang up more. It will remind me I am creative and able to make art and write too. Have fun in San Diego, and see you when you get back!



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