Someone made my day

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions — the little, soon-forgotten charities of a smile, a kind look, a heart-felt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

IMG_1787Every author I know enjoys getting mail from readers who found that his or her book “hit home” or touched them in some way.

But to wake up on New Year’s Day to discover such a note in your email — first thing in the morning — is just as sweet as finding a bouquet of spring blooms or a box of Gayle’s handmade truffles on your doorstep.

And so it was that I “met” Tina, a kindred spirit who happens to own the Paperback Book Exchange in Neenah, Wisconsin. Tina explained in her email that she’d purchased my book, Writing Home, while visiting Michigan a couple of years ago. She’d put it aside until she found time to read it, picking it up late last year. “I didn’t want it to end,” she wrote. “Many of your pieces touched home with me.”

As if that weren’t lovely enough, she also asked if I had any promotional bookmarks or materials she could share with readers who visit her shop.

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll want to “like” Tina’s Facebook page for the Paperback Book Exchange. As you’ll see from the shop’s cover photo, there’s even a resident cat — which made me wish I lived closer to Neenah, and could visit the place right away. For now, it’s on my Midwest Travel Bucket List.

All said and done, Tina’s email got me thinking — especially since I’m still composing my list of New Year’s resolutions. Maybe I could “pay it forward” and start writing notes to brighten someone else’s day.

I’m also reminded of Carloyn See’s Making a Literary Life, a book stuffed with great advice for writers. See suggests writing what she calls “charming notes” to poets, novelists, editors, or artists whose work you’ve enjoyed or admired. (We’re all too quick to criticize — and too slow to pay compliments — she explains.)

But the way I see it, there’s no reason to limit the practice to authors or artists. Why not write a note to anyone who’s sweetened or changed your life somehow? Maybe you could thank the mail carrier or the pet sitter or the waiter who serves your coffee at the local diner? All kinds of wonderful things will happen, Carolyn See promises. At the very least, you just might make someone’s day. — Cindy La Ferle

Artwork: Cindy La Ferle


7 thoughts on “Someone made my day

  1. That was a nice way to start your new year, Cindy. I still write notes, a habit I started as a young child and have continued. Today I wrote three thank you notes, a birthday card, and a new house congratulations note. It lifted my spirits, and if it makes someone else smile that’s a great bonus.

  2. Sharon, thank you notes are a wonderful “habit” to keep. My mother made me write them to everyone, for even the smallest favors. I have to say, it’s a practice that delights and astounds most people today 🙂

  3. Our ‘notes’ are jars of homemade jam which Hubby and I pass out to many we come in contact with. We can in the summer and give it away in the winter months. It makes us feel good to know that we can acknowledge others kindness.

  4. I just saw this little piece you wrote last week and am smiling at how you have made MY day Cindy! Thank you so much! My hope this year is to do little things now and then to make someone who needs it, smile. Unknowingly at the time, the first person was you! I look forward to staying in touch.

  5. Tina shared this and I thought it was wonderful. She is truly a sweet lady. The kitty she took in was my favorite at a local shelter. Sadly I was unable to adopt her (Boo) but I think she was meant to become the bookstore kitty anyway. Boo passed away but her spirit lives on forever in our hearts and the little bookstore! Thank you for paying tribute to Tina!

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