I'm thinking of Judy Blume.
As a child I was certain she had peered into my life and written books just for me: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and Blubber and Deenie. I wrote her a letter of earnest appreciation — and she wrote back! I don't remember her words but I do recall that it was the first time I saw a writer as a real, warm and human person.
Over the years I've read again and again Letters to a Young Poet, a compilation of letters Rainer Maria Rilke wrote to an aspiring writer. I like the idea of mentor-by-mail.
"In a letter," writes Anne Carson," both reader and writer discover an ideal image of themselves, short blinding passages are all it takes."
A few years ago, I wrote a letter to a poet whose work I admired, and though we shared a mutual friend, never was a word returned.
Today I read of a long and rich correspondence between two writers a generation apart. I feel awe, and a bit of envy, too.
How about you? Do you write to writers? Or did a reader write to you? Do you have a tale to tell?