October 23rd, 2015
About a year ago, my cousin, April’s ex-girlfriend, Kennedy (one of your truest fans) gushed about you over homemade rice wraps served with individual ramekins filled to the brim with Toyko Joe’s Lemon Grass Basil sauce. Yumms. How I’d love to be able to someday make my culinary specialty for YOU! Perhaps on your next visit to the Mile Hi City. Mi Casa es Su Casa!
I was intrigued by Kennedy’s tales.
Who is this compelling AMANDA PALMER?
I Ted Talk’ed you later that night before bed. I tingled. Electricity! Fire! Oh I see…
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I agreed to meet Kennedy at Denver’s, Tattered Cover on Colfax Avenue- the longest, continuous street in America! It was a soggy November day when the two of us saw you read from your book, “The Art of Asking” and sing from your guts.
Your plane had been delayed and the momentum built up with each passing minute. You could FEEL the anticipation. It was juicy.
Your tribe of LIGHTS passed out cupcakes and homemade brownies. It was a community where strangers were already friends. I FELT what you DESCRIBE in your book.
Unlimited amounts of LOVE and TRUST are the foundation of your BIG FAMILY. You have created a magical universe filled with SO MUCH genuine kindness!
You walked into the room wearing a bright smile, little-kid pajamas and a kimono.
I wanted to eat you up with a spoon!
The bookshop staff built you, upon request, a cozy fort on the stage. You wanted to set the scene for your Post Show meet-and-greet so you chose to CREATE SPACE for your most faithful fans. This woman is brilliant. One by one, each individual body would scrunch down and enter your private Terabitha. The simple act of folding up their bodies to fit under the covers well, it was going to make the whole wide world disappear…just like it used to.
I melted into a puddle of love with each excerpt you read and with each story you sang or shared in-between. We laughed together and we cried together. Your writing was REAL. You were REAL.
I felt my girl crush coming on strong. Oh I see….
I loved how you let THE CHOSEN ONES in your audience, walk up and place their fingers on any page of your book. You were willing to take that kind of public chance and just read what had been selected at random.
Each time you looked down at their finger, you smiled. It was always the most perfect passage to share.
Your book was filled with stories that leave readers weak in the knees. I was CHANGED when I left that day. I felt your energy all around me and it this is what it feels like to BE ALIVE. <3
Oh how I wept with your gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, ukulele melodies. “Bigger on the Inside” and “In My Mind.” I was grabbed and shaken by your strength. Your voice was pouring out of you like it had a life of its own. Your words filled the room until it was exploding, in all directions with LOVE.
Kennedy and I held hands. Tightly. We cried in silence sitting side-by-side, rocking to your rhythms.
You were authentic. The experience went beyond refreshing. It was MAGICAL!
I felt your magic, Amanda Palmer.
Kennedy waited six hours to cuddle with you under those blankets. She gifted you a book of poetry. She seared that memory into her mind forever. I loved hearing her share it. It felt like I was there.
Your story of writing INSPIRED me! You let yourself be vulnerable enough to share, “The Art of Asking” had been written quickly. You were noticing teeny-tiny errors at the readings, readings like this one. Wow.
I was SO proud of you for sharing something so personal, something that I’ve never heard another author say. Authors don’t talk about their books having imperfections, the kind of mistakes that privately gnaw at them.
I liked how I could actually RELATE with you because you weren’t afraid to be imperfect in front of us. You talked about the REAL stuff going on in your mind in REAL TIME.
I’m a writer and I had never imagined how the finished product of my own book might look someday. I never visualized how seeing my book would make me FEEL. My dreams never got to that point. For the first-time, I could envision the hardcover copy. I could feel the book’s weight in my hands and the smoothness of its jacket. You planted a seed for me. You took my dream one more step FORWARD <3
I took notes when you mentioned how little time it took you to write 135,000 words. I started to write my “first shitty draft” shortly after your visit to Colorado. I thought of you EVERY FUCKING DAY as I sat my behind in that chair and wrote the story of my life (BICHOK). It took me three months to write 150-thousand words, “Big Girl”. Those words have haunted me my entire life.
Thank you, Amanda Palmer for being an inspiration to me as a writer. I met you three weeks after I quit working in an industry that took more than it gave. It took me over two decades to let all that go and follow my childhood dream of being a writer.
It was YOU who I witnessed three weeks later. It meant something. I KNEW it meant SOMETHING.
This is that something <3
Yesterday I saw your vlog post about your VERY NEW BABY and THE TREE. I’m was touched to see your kiddo (Congratulations!) and to hear that your book went into PAPERBACK right before the holiday season! An author’s dream. You are LIVING IT, sister! Your happiness from that little rectangle box beamed right into my heart!
I was inspired to reach out with a letter. I write letters a lot! I’ve done it all my life.
Writing letters is the best way I know how to express myself.
OH God! I just wrote that last sentence and now I’m bawling like a baby! I’m like sniffling and laughing all at once now! God, I love THIS! Whew (taking off glasses to wipe mascara-free eyeballs)!
It’s like one epiphany after the next in my head! It’s no wonder I’ve stayed SO HEALED on my ED Recovery Journey. I write all the time now. I mean I WRITE ALL THE TIME NOW.
I’m in a peaceful place- for the first time ever, I’M FINALLY EXPRESSING MYSELF (and it’s through my writing).
I have so much I want to SAY to you! So much I want to ASK you! Instead, I’ll keep this simple and direct. I’m ASKING for your EYES AND YOUR HEART, Amanda Palmer.
EYES with exquisite, etched brows, eyebrows I want to keep gazing upon because of your Bravery and Courage to be YOU, ALL of you! Yes, I’m asking for those EYES and I’m asking for your HEART because I know yours is ENORMOUS!
When I sat down that cozy day in the historic Tattered Cover basement, I ran my fingertips across the smooth cover of, “The Art of Asking”, that’s when I saw it. “foreword by Brené Brown. “But like Amanda, I have learned that the best way to find light in the darkness is not by pushing people away but by falling straight into them” Chills. Oh I see…
Brené Brown has helped shape me where I am today. I’m taking the flower. <3
It would continue to make my heart seams burst if I could ASK to borrow your EYES and your HEART. I want you to FEEL a very important Love Letter: https://whitneygale.com/everything-else/dear-brene-brown/
XO Whitney Gale
P.s. I’m in three book clubs, (#RealConnectionRising is Real Life book Club). This past September, when it was my turn to host one of them, I suggested, “The Art of Asking.” I bought your book way back when and I felt connected to you all over again!
I imagine what it would have felt like to sit with you in your comfy fort and tell you just how much I still loved your stories when I read them on my own! <3