March 5th, 2017

singular destiny

a great fan letter to start my Sunday

So I woke up out of sorts this morning -- had a bad dream that involved me and Wrenn getting robbed when we were on our way home from a con. Really kind of a mental mess--

--and then I opened my e-mail. And saw this (reprinted with permission):
Dear Mr. DeCandido,

I’m not in the habit of contacting an author, but I have just read chapter 6 of your book A Singular Destiny. I can’t begin to tell you how moved I was by this particular chapter. As I read Pran’s tale about Victor Jara and the song he composed while in prison, unbidden tears flowed freely down my cheeks. It is not often that I am so moved by a story. I was not familiar with Mr. Jara, and so had to look up his story and listened to some of his music on-line. Your depiction was a brilliant memorial to this incredible musician and human being. I must thank you for including him in your story and making him part of my life’s experience, even if just in passing.

You didn’t include the title of the song that begins “We are five thousand.” I was hoping to be able to hear a recording of it. Would you be so kind as to provide its title in Spanish and English and possibly point to an on-line recording?

Please accept my sincere thanks for including Victor Jara in your Star Trek tale.

I have read several of your Star Trek stories. I will be sure to look up and read more of your fiction. You are an incredible story writer.

Most sincerely yours,

Cantor Steven Friedrich

For everyone's information, the song is called "Estadio Chile," and I first heard Pete Seeger perform it in the Together in Concert live album he did with Arlo Guthrie in 1975, and there are other versions floating around. Here's that 1975 version:

There are days when I wonder why I put up with the nonsense, the late payments, the deadlines, the stress, the seeming lack of appreciation, the many many frustrations that come with being a full-time writer.

Then I get an e-mail like this and I remember why.

Thank you, Cantor Friedrich.
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