Four and a half years ago, someone gave my newborn daughter a paperback book called Let it Snow. I’ve probably read it several hundred times since then, in part because we had another child who loved the book as much as my oldest daughter.
For some reason, I’ve repeatedly felt that I needed to reach out to the author of the book and thank her for the book. I shrugged off the thought, figuring her publishing company would have some inconvenient process for reaching the author. But then last Sunday, I impulsively did a Google search for “contact Maryann Cocca-Leffler,” and lo and behold, there was her email address on her website.
I wrote Maryann an email, doing my best to convey how much my daughters and I had come to love her book; and then I hit send, wondering if I would get a response. The next day, I got an email in which Maryann enthusiastically thanked me for reaching out and explained, “[M]ost times, as an author/illustrator I work alone in my studio. I often wonder if I am touching children with my books. Your letter means so much to me. It shows me that I am making connections.”
We emailed back and forth, and I learned that Maryann and her family are highly involved in drawing attention to the daily struggles faced by people with disabilities. In fact, her daughter is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who uses her talents to make films about the topic. As it turns out, a large part of my legal practice involves work on behalf of people with disabilities, and we’re going to see how I can help inspire some ideas for new documentary subject matter.
I’ll shoot straight with you: there was a lazy part of me that wanted to indefinitely put off writing to Maryann – but I’m so glad I ignored it and wrote that email. Because today, Maryann’s feeling a little more appreciated for her talents; her daughter’s going to get a little more material for her film-making, and I’m feeling inspired to show some gratitude to other folks and see what kind of good will come of it.
Maryann shared my letter here on her blog and promised to send a signed copy of her book, which you can find here. Consider purchasing it for your child, grandchild, niece/nephew, neighbor, or church nursery. Your kids will love it.