So, guess which girl got some fan mail from a Marine?
I won't keep you in suspense. It was me.
Yes, I received some fan mail from one LCpl Rutland, Charles Alexander, telling me, of all things, how much he enjoyed my magnum opus Tapestry of Power and very kindly asking me to inform him when the book is published so that he can procure himself a copy which he can--and I quote--"re-read...a hundred times over".
Alex, as he prefers to be called, is certainly different from the typical, teenage fantasy geeks who occasionally stop by my website from time to time, and definitely a step up from Matt Dart. Plus, he likes my book. Very hott.
As all of my readers except for the one person who isn't a family member know, my book actually was published many moons ago. True, it needed much more editing, and true the cover art was horrible, and true it didn't sell, but it was published. Normally, because of the overall amateurish nature of the work in question, I would not inform someone of this fact; however, the guy is heading off to Iraq within days, so I figured I could bite the figurative bullet and give him a copy. After all, he's going to be dodging real bullets soon enough, to say nothing of grenades, landmines, rockets, and various and sundry other weapons of individual destruction *. Of course, one does wonder if giving a guy bad reading material right before he goes off to the hinterlands for an extended period of time doesn't constitute a form of torture, but I still thought I at least ought to give him a choice....
I informed him of the situation, offered to send him a copy, and told him that even though the published version isn't that great it'll still fetch him something on E-Bay if I ever become famous**. Of course, being the gentlemanly person that he is (Matt Dart take note), LCpl Rutland protested that he would never sell a first edition copy of any book.
In the end, I sent him two copies--one in all it's unaltered unsightliness, and one with a better picture affixed to the cover.
I even signed them for him, giving the first the inscription "Semper Fi" and in the second asking him to "Kick ass for me". Of course, now I'm left wondering if those were a bit clichéd. In a way, isn't saying "Semper Fi" to a Marine rather akin to asking a college-bound student "So, what's your major?" However, what's done is done.
I just hope he enjoys it.
*Although Alex informs me that (a) he'll do his best not to put himself into harms way unnecessarily (b) he's coming home no matter what and (c) he's actually looking forward to this deployment because Iraq beats North Carolina any day. Back
**But, then again, Britney Spear's used pregnancy test got money, so that's not saying much. Back
Copyright 2005 Jessica Menn