One of the many blessings I count in my life is getting to meet several of my heroes. My godmother and I used to spend every spring break in New York City, and we’d see Broadway shows, then wait outside to meet the cast. I got to meet several of my idols this way, including Will Ferrell and my longtime celebrity crush, Topher Grace. I’ve also been able to attend several book signings in the area, signings where I’ve met Bernadette Peters, Moby, Patton Oswalt, and Toni Morrison. I’ve been grateful not just for the sheer excitement of meeting them, but because I’ve been able to tell them in person how much I love their work.
While I’ve been very lucky to meet these people, I have not met all of my heroes. This is admittedly not possible, but in some instances, it seems as if a meeting them is specifically not in the cards. They’ll come to the area, they’ll be at a signing, they’ll visit my former school, but for whatever reason — travels, event cancellation, a lack of funds — I am unable to go. One day last year, when I noticed that one of my heroes was once again coming to town while I would be away, I laughed to myself and wondered if fate was intervening to make sure we didn’t meet.
The laughter dissipated, but the idea did not. I removed myself from it and began to formulate a fictional story in its place. What if someone wanted to meet her hero, yet kept missing him because that meeting wouldn’t be what she hoped? What would happen to her if she tried her damndest to defy that fate?
Those questions formed my third short story completed last year, currently titled I Love Your Work. The story follows a young woman named Ann, an avid bookworm whose favorite author, Samuel Miller, has written many words which have touched her. However, she’s never heard him speak those words, as she’s never been able to meet him in person. She’s presented with another chance when he comes to a local bookstore for a signing. I Love Your Work details her attempt to make it to the signing, even when it seems everything is working against her arrival. Ultimately, it’s a battle between Ann and fate — though the victor may be neither.
Like All the Pieces Coming Together, this story will be part of The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales. Right now, I plan to include five pieces in the collection, one of which I shared last week (though the version shared may change by the time I add it to the collection). The fifth and, as of this writing, final piece will be detailed in the coming weeks.