Feel The FearHi Fran,

I don’t know if you follow my blog at all, but I’ve sure been talking about fear a lot lately. Fear of bears, cougars, and a whole bunch of other things that I better not talk about or I will start getting apprehensive when I’m supposed to be working.

After the Naked Bike Ride—in case you think that I partook of this tomfoolery, you better read this post—Ken, Adriana, and I went to the street fair. There was a unique vendor that had put up a bunch of “clotheslines” adorned with a bunch of different quotes on little pieces of white cardstock. Hm, that’s pretty ingenious, I thought to myself, but I did not grab one.

We walked up and down the street, listening to the band we saw and taking in the rest of the sights. We ended up walking by the quote display again. Adriana stopped and picked out two of them; I saw the one, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” hesitated, and then grabbed it.

A woman—she was a life coach—was sitting there. (Boy, I could keep that woman in business for years with all of my issues.) I talked to her for a few quick minutes, mumbled something about “trying to write a book,” and brought the paper home.

That paper sat on my dresser for over a month. It then travelled across the house to my desk. In fact, it’s sitting right in front of me as I’m writing this letter to you, propped up against my printer. I’m too afraid to deal with it. Ha ha ha ha. Get it? Fear? Sometimes, I crack myself up.

Anyway, where was I? Apparently saying a joke that only I will think is funny.

What I’m trying to say is, I’ve been valiantly working to get back into writing, but I’ve been possessed with overwhelming fear. I’m not even sure why. It’s not like I don’t like writing because I love it. I guess I reason along these lines: “Okay, you’ve published one book. That’s good enough.” That and the fact that I’ve been too busy enjoying my life and the fact that I haven’t died from cancer….

When I published my first book, it was because I was on high alert. “You are going to die by Christmas. Remember that little dream you had in fifth grade to become an author? Hut, hut, lady. Get it done. It’s not like you have a lot of time.” And I did get it done. Hence this cancer blog and our indirect friendship.

Anyway, Fran, a few weeks ago, I was cleaning up one of my inboxes and noticed that there was an email sitting in the spam/junk folder. I clicked on it. This is what I read:

“Just finished reading the book that you autographed to Bertha #2 (not her real name) and I can’t thank you enough for it. She is undergoing cancer treatment now and she loaned it to me. I am passing it along to another friend. Yesterday on my ferry trip home after visiting her I was reading it in my car and a gal tapped on the car window. She took off her hat (for obvious reasons) and asked me about it. I hope she is able to find a copy. It is such a true account of what happens, told with so much humor and heart that it should be required reading for anyone going through cancer treatment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!” Bertha #3

Of course, I started bawling instantly. I can’t help myself. When people say nice things about me, I get all emotional. Just built that way, I guess.

“Required reading.” I’ll take that compliment any day.

You’ve written a book—a great book I might add. In fact, if I hadn’t read your book, we wouldn’t have become such good friends. I guess maybe my confidence is just at an all-time low for one reason or another and I feel like no one is going to be inspired by my writing. But this lovely fan, this Bertha #3, has changed my attitude. Maybe there is another Bertha out there that is looking for a little hope.

In any case, I’ll let you know when Book Two comes out. We’ll go out and celebrate like the besties that we are.

Best friends always,