Dear Mrs. King,
I have a confession to make: I sleep with your husband, Stephen King every night. Just thought I would let you know. Now I don't want you to think I am a rank and file fan . I have not read every novel he has written and neither a good number of his short stories. But one need not eat an entire super large watermelon to know that it is good=one only need but a taste. My first taste was in 1999.
In 1999, I was a Liberal Arts graduate student at Oklahoma City University. I was working in the English Lab helping Asian students. Our steady stream of eager beavers came in with their assignments but soon it slowed to a trickle--that's when we realized they were recycling the same essay, "There is a river by my house."
After we found out, it was dead as a door nail in that place. Someone had left a paperback copy of Nightmares And Dreamscapes and seeing how the other two tutors didn't like me much, I decided to read to pass the time--I mean how bad could it be? (I wasn't a big fright freak like most of your husband's fans.) Okay, the last scary thing I read was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Well, it wasn't bad at all--I mean, I didn't leap into the world of his creation. I tried but his technique--his use of language, his minutely drawn characters, and story--that's what gave me goosebumps! What great storylines. Swear to God, so many years later, I can retell you the storylines of all the stories I read that summer.
Reading that collection of short stories not only provided me great enjoyment but also freed in me my own little dark inner child. I began writing my own little stories, one of which, Blue Angel, was made into an award-winning short film and garnered my greatest compliment from my Dad. "Great story, Christine. It's creepy like Stephen King."
It was several years later that I went into a dusty old bookstore and found a copy of your husband's book, On Writing. Reading writing books had always been a great procrastinary pastime that I engaged in so I wouldn't actually be doing in actual writing. So I decided to read it.
As usual, your husband it didn't disappoint me. It's interesting, funny, very informative about the craft but most if all personal and so totally honest about his personal life. But what I liked most about it was the tone. Well, heck, it just sounded like he was talking directly to me. Like he was that great friend who commiserates with you but in the end doesn't pull any punches. If you aren't going to do the work and handle the rigors that real writing requires, you may as well watch House reruns or The Ghost Whisperer for that matter.
And at this point in my life that's what I've been doing. After having emergency heart surgery to replace a valve and stent a 5.2 cm aneurysm, I have lost a lot: 25 lbs, my uncontrollable blood sugar, my need for bipolar meds and the writing, I've lost my desire to write too.
So I spend my days watching T.V. shows on Netflix: Grey's Anatomy, Psych, and yes, even The Ghost Whisperer. The first one I wouldn't recommend right after you've had heart surgery where they had to open you up three times and the last I wouldn't watch if you were brain dead on the table for ten minutes. I also have started doing jigsaw puzzles and crosswords, anything to keep my mind occupied from the fact that creatively, I GOT NOTHIN'.
Well, I have more or less resigned myself to the fact that this is my new life and am okay about it. I mean, I should be grateful to be alive right? And grateful I am, I get to see my kids every day and play with my three year old grandson who is sunshine personified. So if sacrificing writing is the price I pay--so be it.
Then a couple of days ago, I was in the doctor's waiting room and there was a dog-eared copy of your husband's short story collection, Everything's Eventual. I became so engrossed in the story, "The Man in the Black Suit" the nurse had to call my name three times! It was the kind of story like so many of his others that you think about long after you stop reading and that is, of course what I did.
Not only did I think about them--they reminded me of something familar, a familar feeling--inspiration. So that's why I am sleeping with your husband again. Because when I wake up, I like seeing my tattered copy of On Writing half tucked under my pillow. It reminds me of the possibilty in myself.
So seeing as this is not your usual fan mail, maybe you could show this letter to your husband and tell him for me--thanks for the encouragement.