Being a Real Writer With a Book has brought a lot of terrific people into my life that I might not have met otherwise. Sure, I could have bumped into them on the street or forcibly rubbed myself against them on the subway, but then would I truly get to know their excellence without the great equalizer of my book telling them every single bit of information about me, from the age I got my first period to the street I grew up on? (Whoops! Sorry 'bout all that prison mail, Mom!)
One such awesome stranger-turned-friend is Mike Fenn.
Mike friended me on the internet after picking up my book at Wooden Shoe Books in Philadelphia. He had seen me read there, and the staff there recommended Fine Fine Music, probably because I bribe them with gifts or because I am friends with them. Mike is a writer, and he sent me some of the funniest letters I have ever received in the history of really funny letters. I finally met him in real life when I was on tour this year and he is equally hilarious in person.
When you commit every last memory, flaw, and nugget of your personhood to paper and send it out into the world, you never know what you're going to get back. There are a lot of crazies out there, and this full disclosure has certainly lifted a few rocks. But it's also done something really incredible: it has created a community of like-minded amazing weirdos, and every single time I tour, I feel like I am crowd surfing opportunity, good-will, and equally important life-experiences of other artists, writers, diner-patrons, and toilet-scrubbers.
This weekend, I tabled at the Philadelphia Feminist Zine Fest, which was put together by a few great, ambitious women I have met through writing, reading, and touring. And while I was sitting at a long table, silently praying that someone would buy my comics or the Blackberry Ram Jam I spent the whole previous day canning and preserving, my friend Mike Fenn appeared and said he had a gift for me.
One of the stories in my book is about how Beverly Hills, 90210 was my favorite show and that I wrote Jason Priestly a letter when I was nine that said:
My name is Cassie. I watch your show all the time and definitely think you’re the coolest character, way cooler than Dylan even. Anyways, if you are ever in Lake Ronkonkoma, you should come to my house. We live on Carl Street.
Cassie J. Sneider
Fast forward twenty years into the future. The year is 2012. I am adult. I still spend most days drawing cartoons, writing letters, and watching teen dramas on TV. I am tabling at the Philadelphia Feminist Zine Fest, and my friend Mike Fenn has just opened the bag he has with him and presents me with these two items:
So, thank you, Mike, for reminding me that this is a small, beautiful world where wishes come true all the time.
And Jason Priestly, if you're reading this, I don't live with my mom anymore, but you are welcome to track me down.