Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Let Me Tell You About Ann Cannon

I guess the story really begins with Louise Plummer. When I was a sophomore at BYU, I cautiously walked into a creative writing class that she taught, knowing I didn’t really belong. Yes, I had filled notebooks with incredibly silly stories but that didn’t make me a writer and I shouldn’t be in a writing class.

After that class I was still the college sophomore that looked so similar to everyone else on campus (my dad spent most of my graduation, without success, trying to figure out which girl with my exact shade of brown hair was me seated on the de Jong Concert Hall stage). Inside though, I was a different person. First, I loved Louise (she wanted to be called Louise and I loved that too). I felt exhilarated by the class and itching to get home and write my first assignment.

The elation continued through every class taught by Louise that I took. I was excited to write and excited to go to her class. I started viewing things through the eyes of how I would write about them. I wanted to take every class from Louise. I wanted to be her neighbor, her sister, her daughter. I wanted to BE Louise.

I married Adam and he knows me, and my obsessions, well so he suggested to my sister that I would like Louise’s new book for Christmas that first year we were married. Olivia had Louise sign it and she wrote “To Thelma, One of my favorite people.”

My heart still sings. In a fire, I would save that book after the family pictures but before the financial documents.

So years later, at BYU Women’s Conference, Louise Plummer was teaching a class. Along with Ann Cannon. I didn’t know who Ann Cannon was but that didn’t matter. Louise!

I went to the class before Louise’s class in the Smith Field House so I would be sure to have a good seat. I had Marianne with me and I clutched her knee when I saw Louise. My heart was still singing. I laughed and felt the similar elation of those college writing classes as I listened. And I loved Ann Cannon too. I learned that she writes a column for the Deseret News. I went home and read it on the internet. (Hooray for the internet!)

So that was two years ago and I’ve read the column every week. I love it. I email my favorite ones to Adam. I so admire good writing.

Then yesterday, I was looking at my blog and noticed a comment. It was by Ann Cannon! My first thought was that maybe Adam was playing a trick (ha,ha very funny Adam) and had impersonated Ann Cannon. Then I thought that’s ridiculous. Adam doesn’t do that kind of thing. I called Adam at work. “Did you email Ann Cannon?”

“Maybe…”

I could have died. Did he write it like it was from me? (No. Good thing because I really would have died.) He didn’t seem to really “remember” much of what he wrote which is troubling. I don’t want to be the pathetic untalented writer soliciting real writers to read what I’ve written. But still. Ann Cannon commented on what I wrote. And she liked it. I told Adam never to do anything like that again. But Ann Cannon!

I love that guy.

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