A favor, please

Published 11:14 am Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dear readers:

Forgive me for giving you something different than you are accustomed in this space, but I have a favor to ask.

Several months ago, a publisher from Richmond asked to publish a book comprising about 75 of the essays you find here each Wednesday. I was honored that he would consider them worthy of publishing. We worked together to determine which essays to add and omit, to clarify some sentences, to correct some grammar (there was quite a bit of that!) and to make it as clear as possible while still preserving the intent of the writing.

We are now at the design-cover stage, and my editor has asked me for endorsements to print on the back cover. Often these endorsements are written by well-known authors, editors and others so as to sell the book. I suggested to my editor the possibility of using the readership I currently have — to use people from everyday walks of life (such as myself). He thought it was a great idea.

So here is my favor to ask. If these columns these past two years have contributed in some way to your life — whether entertainment or reflection or whatever — I invite you to send me through e-mail or regular mail a one-, two- or three-sentence comment. Hopefully, you don’t think I’m just fishing for compliments!

Understand that by submitting them to me, you necessarily grant me the freedom to print them, along with your name and perhaps occupation.

Let me also take this opportunity to say what a privilege it is to be able to share my thoughts with you on a weekly basis. Though I have not personally met many of you, I feel a kinship with you through the written word and knowing that somewhere, someplace out there is another human being with whom I might possibly connect. If only for a moment. This gives me great pleasure.

Thank you.