I have to admit that when I get e-mails from strangers at my vanity-mail address, I often ignore them for a while.
That's because they frequently say things like this:
"I want to travel too. How can I travel?"
Any e-mail that requires WAY more effort for me to answer than it did for the other person to type ends up pretty low on my priority list.
So I didn't pay much attention to a note that came in a month ago from a stranger. Then a few weeks later, she sent another note. She was an aspiring young thoughtful writer and I'd clicked right off her e-mail without reading it when I was busy with the theme park in Kuwait.
In my defense, I was preoccupied in ways I cannot describe. And writing a show. And being assaulted by children while being photographed by veiled women. You know how it is.
Anyway, Jennifer Crystal turned out to be a smart young talented writer shopping around her engaging travel narrative. And she did know me, though I did not know her. She'd written a review of Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik in Spring of 2007! Which I'd completely missed!
In my defense, I was living in Cairo at the time where you *definitely* cannot buy the magazine she reviewed Dik-Dik in: Transitions Abroad. The review wasn't on their website, so my Google Alerts didn't ping me.
Her review was so kind and thoughtful. Thank you, Jen, though my gratitude comes ridiculously late.