Hi my fans,
Those who had faith to return to this space after I left snowy Canada for sunny warm Belize intending to abandon a computer. I am in the Mayan village of Sarteneja in the northern part of Belize close to Mexico. This traditional village spreads along the shoreline of Corozal Bay and is the largest fishing village in Belize. It concentrates on catching lobster which reminds me of my childhood days with my Dad on Rottnest Island in Western Australia.
I stopped during a walk along the palm-edged waterfront to chat with a fisherman standing with his bike (the main transportation in Sarteneja) in front of a striking wooden fence decorated with conch shells. He was the son of a fisherman painter that I had been meaning to visit for the many years I had been coming to Sartenaja. “How much for a cray? I asked offhandedly, my memory slathered in huge juicy crayfish tails. The low price of a few dollars made me order a couple immediately but in talking later to my host Sylvestre, I learned that Belizean crays are diminutive mouthfulls compared to my Dad’s crays in Australia. “More like spoonfulls,” declared my guide. I will let you know later what I think.
Before I get back to my time away from my computer I have a fan letter I would love to share with you all.
The Internet is a marvellous thing. I went looking for a copy of your book, “An Ape Came Out of My Hatbox” tonight and saw a signed copy for sale online. I had the idea to Google you and saw you were on Facebook, in the province right next to me?? and with 19 more books! That is amazing!
Let me tell you why I don’t have my copy of Gypsy’s story any more, and I hope you will take it as a compliment. I was a voracious reader as a child. I have no idea how I found your book but I read it cover to cover, and wept from the bottom of my heart at Gypsy’s death. I decided I loved animals, and got into a huge fight with my best friend because she wouldn’t help me “rescue” earthworms from the sidewalk after the rainstorms… I hated touching worms, but I hated the idea of their dying more, so I poked new holes that I imagined to be worm apartments in the grass and lay them gently with their edges at the hole… I was well-intentioned at least!
Back to Gypsy. I would no more read a book only once, than I would listen to a song only once. So I read the book again, figuring it would be easier this time. No, it was not. I sobbed again. And the third, and fourth, and fifth times. I was just heartbroken over Gypsy every time. And after, I don’t know, the twelfth time or so, I thought I had to get rid of your book for my own good, because I couldn’t not read it, it was too good, and I couldn’t not cry, I loved Gypsy too much, so it was just this painful grieving over and over that I was too young to know how to cope with any other way.
Now, as an adult, I recalled the title instantly and I stopped my online purchase process yo write you this letter. I have read a LOT of books in my time but I hope you are grasping the power you have as a writer to have made that much of an impression on me. I hope to find some happy endings in your other books, or the maturity to deal with the facts of life and death 🙂 Many best wishes for your time in warm Belize and thank you for your work!
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