Vashon, WA 98070
January 1, 2018
Wherever You Are
First of all, don’t be alarmed. I may talk to you on a regular basis or see you just a couple of times a year. Maybe we haven’t spoken in over a decade. In a few cases, you might not know me at all. This is not a come-on, suicide note, ultimatum, manifesto, or solicitation of any kind. This is notification that you are a nonconsensual participant in Project Gratitude 2018.
With a couple of months left in 2017, I decided to assemble a list of at least 52 fellow earthlings who are still breathing, and for whom I am grateful. I’m going to write a letter for each week of 2018 to at least one of those people. The list will likely grow and change over the course of the year. The letters may vary drastically in length, depth, and tone. For me, this is an exercise in self-discipline, writing, humility, confession, penmanship, and reminiscence. But most of all, an effort to recall and recognize my blessings. For what it’s worth, you made the list.
In case you are one of the few recipients of a handwritten post-mailed letter, my penmanship is obviously absolutely atrocious. If you need an interpretation of my hieroglyphics, or are interested in who else made the list, the letters will be posted in an easier to read format at my long form blog about a week after I mail them [ OneFaceInTheCrowd.com ] Project Gratitude will consist of open letters for the most part—though some may be redacted.
Emailed eruditions will be posted on the blog as they are issued, since I may not be able to wrangle physical addresses for everyone on the register. I also have a short list of people who have already moved on from this life, but for whom I will be eternally grateful. Those letters will go straight to the blog, since neither USPS nor Gmail deliver to the pearly gates, but they won’t count against my 52 letters to the living. I hope yours means something to you.
Sincerely and gratefully yours,
Daniel . . . A.K.A. Dan, Tex, Home-Fry, Kiddo, sir, him, or whatever you call me when I’m not around.
PS – If a hard copy of my first novel, In Verse, isn’t included with your physical letter, that’s because it’s not quite published yet. It will follow when ready. I wrote it almost 10 years ago, and didn’t touch it again for a long time. After all that procrastination, I’m finally forcing myself to let it go in 2018. It’s a little scary, like releasing a sparrow raised in captivity into the wild. I don’t know where it will go, or if it will survive. But it’s in the story’s best interest, and it will help me move on to other things. If you don’t find it engaging, it will still make a great white-elephant gift, functional coaster, or serve as kindling next time you run out of fatwood in the winter months.