Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Elusive Bird

It was many years ago that I first stumbled across a quotation, and instantly fell in love with it. "Hope begins in the dark. The stubborn hope that if you just show up and do the right thing, the dawn will come." It was attributed to Anne Lamott, but I had no idea who that was.

About a year later, after I'd scribbled that quote on everything under the sun, after I'd recited it a thousand times to friends who felt helpless, and reminded myself of it, I was wandering through the library and a name jumped out at my from a shelf. Anne Lamott, staring at me from the spine of a book called Blue Shoe.

Wonderful, wonderful book. My library didn't have anything else that she'd written, so  for a while, she fell off my radar.

Another year and a half passed and I found the writers forum. What should my eyes stumble across in my first week there? Someone recommending Bird By Bird: some thoughts on writing and life, by, you guessed it, Anne Lamott. Did this woman know me personally? She wrote good books AND wrote for writers? Wow, how great! I was in a new city in a new state. Maybe some of her books are at this library. Coincidentally, the only one they had was Bird by Bird. Unfortunately, it was checked out and had a waiting list of 13 people. I added my name to the list. Finally, almost 8 months later, my name came up, I got the book, but  at that time I was in the midst of moving. I only read half of it before it was time for me to leave the state and return the book.

I moved back in a place where the library doesn't have it. I wanted to buy it, but my budget didn't allow it. I moved again, and found a library with some of Anne Lamott's novels (Rosie, Crooked Little Heart, Imperfect Birds) so I was temporarily satisfied.

Then, I signed up to take a writing class this fall at my college. What did my professor assign as a textbook? BIRD BY BIRD!

I'm thrilled. I immediately buy it. Two days later I recieve an email comfirming a returned payment. The bookstore I bought it from didn't have it in stock and had decided not to restock it. Fine. My local Barnes and Noble doesn't have it. I go online to Amazon. I found the paperback immediately, but I wanted, still want, a hardback. It took a little digging but I found it. I ordered it. It arrived on my doorstep. I opened the package, smiling because I knew what was inside.

Out fell a paperback.

I couldn't figure out how to exchange it for the proper format, so I returned it for a refund, and bought it again. What if it happens again? I'm nervous. I still haven't got the book. I'm nervous. Anne Lamott, you are one tough ol' bird to get hold of.

But I love you. Come invade my bookshelves with all of your wonderfulness.


Hey, I had a great time reading your website. Do you have an email address that I can contact you on? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.



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