There's this story by Truman Capote called 'A Christmas Memory' in which a very young Truman and his very best friend (an older female relative with the unlikely name of 'Sook', although it's never given in the story) go about making fruitcakes every Christmas. They save all year for the money to make them--it's during the depression, and they do everything from kill flies to sell firewood to afford this Christmas activity. MOst of their money goes to an old bootlegger for the rum to soak the things in!
The story itself is terribly poignant, and speaks of the wonderful healing that can be achieved when two kindred souls meet in an unfriendly world, but the part I love most is, that after all of their efforts of earning the money and gathering the ingredients to make these fruitcakes, they don't actually give the fruitcakes to any of the other people living in the house.
No--those people are full of 'angry voices' and 'disapproval', and so our two lost-kite children send most of their fruitcakes to people whom they had never met. I understand that Franklin D. Roosevelt received more than one, and so did a family from California who stopped by Truman and Sook's house when they had car trouble.
I LOVE this idea.
It's not that my family is full of 'angry voices' and 'disapproval', mind you. It's just that, now that my book is out (and a better analogy than 'fruitcake' I can not truly imagine) I want to send copies (when I receive my own--they're still not here) out into the world, to people who have no idea who I am, but who have inspired my 'fruitcake' nonetheless.
I'm talking FAMOUS people.
So, if I were sending my badly dressed, malformed fruitcake of a child (and thank you Anne Bradstreet for another analogy) to go perform in someone else's home, where would I send it?
Well, of course to all of you, but then, some of you are getting a copy anyway, and some of you (Goddess bless you!) have already gotten a copy and have already reviewed it on amazon.com. Now what about the complete strangers who would probably delight in my book, if only it didn't end up as a doorstop out of a misguided sense of self-preservation:
The Yarn Harlot. Seriously--that story that Needletart gave me about the seven aunties is pure poetry, and it tickles me no end that it ended up working out so well in the book itself. The fact that Needletart and I met through the YH's blog? I think it speaks to balance and poetry in the world. Besides, is there anyone else as inspirational as Steph? Really?
Bruce Springsteen. Much of what I learned about storytelling--about how even small characters have a life and a history and a dignity all their own, I learned from Bruce and his cast of small-timers in every album. (Well, Bruce and Shakespeare, but as far as I know, Bruce is still cooking with gas!)
Melissa Etheridge. For the song 'Tuesday Morning'. (You sort of have to hear the song.)
Guy Gavriel Kay, Melanie Rawn, C.J. Cherryh & Barry Hughart--best fantasy writers EVER.
John Stewart. Because the best philosophy is told through art, and satire is art.
Coldplay. For the song 'Kingdom Come'.
Jensen Ackles. For good genes and a kick-ass upper lip.
Milo Ventiglia. For good genes and limpid eyes.
Joss Whedon. For Serenity, Angel, and Toy Story.
Eddie Izzard. For being devastatingly funny and really hot. Even in a dress with boobs.
So--who would you send your fruitcakes to? (Or my fruitcakes, if you don't have any of your own--although many of us are knitters. I'm sure we've got some fiber-fruitcakes we'd like to send to people who inspire us, right?)