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My Buffalo Friend, My Prison Fan, and a Contest for You

A conversation with my Buffalo friend, Ann, and my correspondence with my prison fan, James, are making my heart sing.

James, whom I blogged about here June 14, just sent me another letter in care of my publisher saying my writing advice, in response to his letter and in “Writing from Personal Experience” which he read after it fell on his toe in the prison library, helped him revise and deepen his work. He has been sending his pieces to contests, is happily writing, and is very engaged in the process.

He bought and read “Finding Mr. Rightstein,” bought it for his friends in and out of prison and wanted me to know that everyone from Long Island princesses to hardened criminals are laughing their ‘a…..s’ off. James mentioned he expects to have his memoir published eventually. I believe he will. I hope I’m among the first to know.

In the letter I’m sending to James later, I am recommending James Baldwin’s novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” which I just read. Some of it takes place in prison. I loved it. Love Baldwin. I recommend the book and Baldwin to you.

I called Ann, my parents' friend, now mine We got close after my father died. In her late 80s, she shares much with me about who my parents were other than my mother and father. Observations and moments about my mother’s moxie, independence, and warmth, and reminders of my father's intellect and humor touch and tickle me.

Connecting with Ann and James enrich me.

Your turn now: A contest: in 50 words or less, but not more than 50, write in the ‘comment’ section here about an unlikely friendship of yours (eg. because of age, distance, different places in life,whatever). Two impartial judges will pick the winner. Because I know some of you, I will not do the picking. Entries are due by Sept. 12. I will post the winner here. Have fun with it!

Love ‘n Stuff,


p.s. My next one-day workshop at the New School on Saturday, October 14 from 11:00 to 3:00 is listed on this website under 'Events.' There is a link to registration.

p.p.s. My Strand workshop August 23 was written up in The New Yorker. Here's the link:


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