I was twelve the year I wrote The Letter. At ninety-six pages, the manuscript barely qualifies as a novel, but with unlimited adolescent humility, I put it squarely in that category. A dubious masterwork of derivative banality, focused on the unsuccessful love life of a hapless heroine, the project felt like a triumph simply by having been brought to completion. No one else among my schoolmates, bright, eager, and competitive though they were, had written a whole book. To consolidate my lead in the race to literary distinction among the eighth graders, I wrote a manuscript that year that was four times as long, in similar spiral notebooks, but this time with red covers. That epic,
Thank you for this addendum and for the reminders of our childhood pursuits and ambitions. Back then, you set an unreachable mark for me to aspire to, and still do to this day, my dear old friend!