I stopped off at the library to pick up books I had on hold. They know me at the library. I’ve mentioned before that we found the Angelborough Public Library before we located the Post Offal or the grocery store.

The library recently changed the way they handle book requests, probably because of people like me who request 239847238742 things every month. It’s a big library network but a small local library, so most things I want are available; just not here. Rather than haul my loot to the front, they built shelves to the side of the checkout counter, and now you can get it yourself.

It’s only fair. I’d hate to give a librarian back strain.

As I pulled my books off the shelf, a title caught my eye. A book about writing.

I made sure it wasn’t something I’d requested and forgotten, but no: mine were the books about guinea pigs and the Incredibles. Right beside mine, though, were two books bound together by a rubber band: Bird By Bird, and On Writing.

My heart hammered. And then I did something I never could have done a few years ago: I wrote the person a note. I said I hope you don’t mind, but I’m trying to meet local writers. And if you want, you can contact me here (at the weblog) or here (at my email address) or here (at my author site.)

Feeling like a stalker, I put it into her book, behind the request slip with her name.

So, um, if you’re the local writer whose books were rubbing shoulders with mine on the library shelf, hello, and thanks for giving me a chance rather than phoning our local police to report suspicious activity by an idiot leaving notes in books. There are links to my published work in the sidebar. You can read the blog to see how my deranged mind works. You can contact me if you choose, or you can count your lucky stars that you weren’t in the library at the same time I was and therefore had a narrow escape.

There’s just something so amazing about meeting another writer, about knowing there’s a person who understands why you live in your own head, why finding the perfect word or the perfect ending is better than a runner’s high, or how you can get wrought up when thinking about someone who never existed for anyone else (and whose plight you created yourself).

And even if you don’t contact me, Angelborough is a small place. Someday we may be in line together at the grocery store, and even though we’ll never know it, your stories and my stories will be there, side by side.