Thursday, September 20, 2012

1 and 2

1. Cathy Kelly

Today I wrote a letter to one of my favorite authors. 2 years ago Paul suggested I write a letter to one of my other favorite authors, Maeve Binchy. I wrote it, printed it out, got a stamp and never sent the letter. I have had that letter and the stamp for two years. This summer Maeve Binchy died. I never got to tell her how much I loved her books and respected her career. So as I finished the newest Cathy Kelly novel and had such a great experience reading it, I knew I needed to write to her right away. So I did. 

Here is that letter:

Starting a letting to you is quite tricky. Reading your books I feel like I somehow "know" you or something, so it feels like I should start the message "Dear Cathy". But since I really actually in no way know you, I suppose I should address it "To Mrs. Kelly".

Either way, I wanted to write to you and tell you how thoroughly I enjoy your books. I discovered them because I'd fallen in love with Maeve Binchy years ago (very sad to hear of her passing) and was quickly running out of her books to read. Someone suggested that you wrote just like her (though in your own way of course :) ). Well I am so thankful to have discovered you. Your books are a real treat. I think it's been about 7 years since I picked up my first Cathy Kelly book. I look forward to them and whenever you put out a new one I have such anticipation and excitement to read it. Especially because I have enjoyed every single one of your books and own them all (which over here in Canada can be tricky at times but I've prevailed). Since I loved your books so much and would always quickly run out of them to read and have reread most of them at least 5 times (they've begun to feel like old friends) I've had booksellers recommend Mirian Keyes and Jill Mansell. When I go to the bookstore I look for new books from all four of you -   with excitement to see if there's a book I missed or a new one out - and you should know, my joy is always biggest if there's a new Cathy Kelly out. Though the others are also very exciting.

I feel a bit silly writing, since I assume you receive a lot of love from your readers, but in case you don't and because I like to say nice things when they're deserved, it seems important to write. So, you are a wonderful writer. You have a gift at creating characters that have depth. You weave story well. You have the reader racing ahead through the words to find out the ending, while enjoying getting there - that's a tough thing to do! Also your characters don't annoy me to no end, so that's a positive as well :)

I just (5 minutes ago) finished reading "The House on Willow Street" and loved it, as per usual. I find often I will like author's first or last books best and be rather indifferent about the ones in between but from the first ones I read "Best of Friends" and "Just between us" up to "Homecoming" and "The House on Willow Street" I'm just as taken with your characters, your writing style and the stories you weave. You make me want to visit Ireland and live in a tiny town there, though when I did visit there I didn't know what to see since so many of the things you  make me love about it are all about the people, or really made up people!

Anyways, I'm not sure what else to say, because I'm not entirely sure how to really impress upon you how thankful I am that you write, and that you continue to write. I love your books. I recommend your books. I lend out your books. I have a whole shelf dedicated to your books, though of course my Kindle is starting to burst as well with them.

Thank you, and my prayers are with you for inspiration in writing, safety and love in life and good happy times! (That sounds far cheesier than I'd intended it to)

Cheers, Tara

(Also I love when you have a Tara in your book - finally my Irish name is around! Doesn't happen much in Canada)

2. Jory Mitchell

Last night was my Dad's birthday. 61 years old. I don't know if that should be old or young, but regardless I love him and I'm so proud of him. He is a wonderful father to me and Jenna, a great uncle to my cousins, a great friend and leader in our church and a wonderful, wonderful husband and caregiver to my Mom. 

I love my Dad. A lot. He taught me what to expect from a man, how to be treated, what to strive for in a relationship. I have found that with Paul - and what's better is my Dad sees that too. So cool!

My parents and Paul and I on our wedding day. 
My Dad never seemed that small until I married Paul.

You can see my Dad helping me get ready in the background.

The big aisle walk.
We both felt awkward with everyone staring, haha.

Our family, pre-alzheimers.
How you'd often find us in the Port Alberni house, gathered around the table playing cards.
Wow, you can even see my sweet old flip phone on the table.

There's my Dad, rocking a pink shirt.
Our family at Coombs. 
I'm the blonde in the back holding up a picture.

In Europe; Venice, Italy.

Dad and I this past Christmas at the church banquet with Austie-Bear

In the Port house with friends - my parents were always the first to tell us to invite people into our house and extend love and warmth. They taught us to be loving and kind and generous and to always value relationship. That is a legacy worth living out.

Happy 61st Dad - love you tons!

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