Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Miss Mail Manners

Digging through the paper correspondence pile, I find an envelope made of some beacoup expensive linen and printed with a professional-looking return address, forwarded from my old P.O. Box. I open and remove three beautifully typed, single-spaced pages from a stranger who has a lot to say to me.

I won't pull an Okrent and publish any of the contents, but the opener isn't complimentary. The rest looks fairly whiny -- as in (still not quoting here) how can a hack like you be so published while my genius goes unrecognized? -- but unfortunately the writing is so convoluted I'm not inclined to read the balance.

I do appreciate the nice letterhead, though. Adds a real touch of class to my Unbalanced Folks and Potential Stalkers file.

If you're going to write to an author you hate, please at least try to be interesting. We have to plow through a lot of correspondence, and we're more likely to actually read the really good, creative insults (my new personal favorite is from a hip young reviewer who wrote to call me his "nemesis.") Plus it's excellent preparation for the crap you'll have to read if/when your little gem makes it into print and you get mail from someone who hates your guts.

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