Friday, May 30, 2008

"Here's the mail..."

“…it never fails. It makes me want to wag my tail. When it comes I always wail, ‘MAIL!’” Anyone know where that little song comes from? I learned it during my many babysitting jobs in high school and college. The first person to post a comment with the correct answer will win a copy each of Out of Control and New Beginnings, the two newest books in the Rachel Yoder series by Wanda E. Brunstetter. You can read them yourself or give them to a favorite little girl in your life. (Oh, and it doesn't count if you have to google it, so you're on your honor here!)

I’ve been sifting through fan mail and reader feedback forms today. It’s encouraging to read positive feedback and helpful to get constructive criticism. There are always a few odd pieces that are good for some laughs, too. Jodi had a ball with the many empty envelopes. I think if she could talk right now she would say “I want to work at the post office when I grow up.” Seriously. When I give her our junk mail you’d think I’ve given her the world! Ah, the little things in life. :)

One comment that I came across today really stood out to me. The question was “What are some inspirational themes you would like to see treated in future books?” Terri from Louisiana answered, “Not sure about this one. I’ll trust the authors to pray to Jesus for that, and I’ll trust Jesus to send me what I need.” What a great reminder to us that we need to be praying over Heartsong books as we work on them, that God will use the spiritual message to meet specific needs of specific readers.

And to close, I have to share a very unique fan letter that Joyce Livingston received from a reader of her collection Alaskan Midnight. It goes to show that you just never know who might pick up your book and enjoy it! (I’ve deleted a couple things for privacy.)

Enjoy! :)

Dear Mrs. Livingston,

I am a senior…. I am also a linebacker on our football team. As you have probably heard all public school systems require all students to read for 10 minutes a day! Well anyway Friday I had forgotten to bring a magazine to class, so I had to get one of out of the teacher’s picks. Well your book was the only one left. At first thought I thought Oh Great a romance book but as I began to read I was amazed! You had me captivated at page 18. I went and bought the book that afternoon. I haven’t began to read it again but I know that I will enjoy it! I would have never thought I would enjoy reading a romance book. But it shows that I don’t know everything! I wanted to say Congratulations! On being able to captivate my interests. I didn’t even want to put the book down. Wow! Thank you for breaking my own stereotypical opinion that romance books are only for girls. I am truly amazed! Thank you! A new fan of yours I have become!



Janet Spaeth said...

OH! I know the answer! I still think of that song whenever I go out to check the mail. MAIIIIIL CALL!

And I didn't have to sit in my Thinking Chair and think, either!

But I'll let someone who has a little girl answer it to get the books.

Cool story about the HS boy reader!

Erica Vetsch said...

Hey, I know that tune. But like Janet, I'll let someone with a little girl put the answer in.

I liked the reminder that God can use our words in the most unusual ways, and that He will bring just what someone needs. In the case of Heartsongs...right to the door!

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi JoAnne,
I loved reading the fan letter for Joyce. How fun! It's great to think of a big football player reading one of her books and enjoying it so much. I am glad teachers are requiring reading time for students. With all of the technology available to them, I think many students aren't reading as much as they used to. Go teachers!

Lynette Sowell said...

How cute, you have a mail assistant. And oh dear, my little girl is 16. Somebody PLEEEZ post so they can win books! :)

And what a great letter. It's true, we never know who'll be touched by a book. Even someone unexpected and out of our "reader demographics." :)

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I loved the fan letter. What a great inspiration for the rest of us. Thanks for sharing.

I have a 10 year old daughter, but I don't know the answer.

Is that a lighthouse behind Erica's picture?

Ausjenny said...

I have never heard of this song so had no idea.

but the letter from the senior was priceless What a great letter to receive.

Vickie said...

I've never heard of that song, but I love getting mail everyday. I think it goes back to the year my husband and I lived in Israel, working on a kibbutz. We lived for the mail, to hear something from our families back home.

That's so cool that a young man liked a romance book. At the schools in Tulsa, they have something called DEAR--Drop Everything And Read. My youngest son even read one of my HPs. I'm so glad schools are still emphasizing reading in this age of technology.

Erica Vetsch said...

Yes, Jennifer, that's Split Rock Lighthouse on the north shore of Lake Superior. :)

and If I say the song is from Blues Clues, can Jennifer's little girl have the books?

JoAnne said...

Yep, it's Blue's Clues, and that's sweet of you, Erica, to give the prize to Jennifer if she wants it!

I used to have DEAR time in school, too. For this bookworm, it was heaven, and so were library days, Right to Read week, the bookmobile, and book fairs!

Jodi seems to love books so far, and I'll continue to encourage that!

JoAnne said...

Jennifer, please email me your mailing address to


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Erica, Thank you so much! I'm trying to encourage my daughter to read more. She has some delayed development from a history of seizures and I think she gets discouraged by her academic struggles. I thank God she no longer has the seizures and doesn't need meds, but school remains a daily challenge.

By the way, I love lighthouses and I thought it looked like a photo I have on my work computer.

Thank you, JoAnne!

Jennifer Johnson said...

What an encouraging post. I teach 7th grade Language Arts. Our kiddos are required to read 25 minutes per day...I love it!!! I get so excited when one of my guys or gals learns to love to read!!! I have copies of my books (along with a TON more) on my bookshelf. I get really tickled when one of my students picks one up to read. Though almost all of them inevitably put it back, I did have one gal this year who became a Heartsong reader. :-D

Mary Connealy said...

I put Heartsongs--and lots of other books--in my classroom. I teach GED students.

Some very unlikely readers for HPs though that little library I created.

Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Jennifer! I used to teach 7th grade Language Arts! It's truly a special calling.