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Go deep. Make believe you're writing to someone you love who has only six months, or three, to live. Risk sentiment. Offer hope. Go down deeper. Make believe you have only six months, or three, to live. Write what you wish someone would say to you.

But no matter what you write or how, don't skimp on the ordinary. Don't be afraid to get mired in minutiae. The more spelling-bee victories, baby's first steps, office promotions, new cars, refinished woodwork, legs broken skiing and kitchen fires miraculously quelled, the more pounds lost and pound cakes baked, the better. In these letters, as in life, the epiphany's in the ordinary humdrum details that make music of our years.

And after you've signed it, send a copy to me.

-- Judith Moore

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