Yes, that’s a handwritten note from Oprah Winfrey who, upon reading my story about ballroom dancing that ran in her magazine, decided to send me a personal note of praise. – JC
Upon finishing your book last night, I decided that you are akin to John Donne (the poet) in your ability to spin a conceit. The metaphorical link you draw between the dissolution of your marriage and the learning of dance steps rings completely true. And, yet, much of your book reads like a novel — you tell such a compelling, moving and inspiring story…Your memoir may, indeed, be deeply personal but like all great books it has universal appeal. As one of your many readers, I thank you for your candor and for the life lessons you offer. With true admiration and thanks,
Dear Janet Carlson
I’m really enjoying your book. I admire your insight and your ability to tell your story so lucidly. You’re a brave woman to share such a personal story. I think this message will help so many people and am forming my list of people who must read your story.
Hi Janet —
I just finished reading your book and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. To be honest, I got it because I thought it would be a general “guided tour” of the ballroom dance world. Instead, it turned out to be one of the most thoughtful, honest, fair memoirs I have ever read. I am genuinely impressed.
For one thing, thank you so much for your fair, honest assessment of what went wrong in your marriage. In my experience there aren’t many people in the world, of either gender, who have the guts to admit that they share in the responsibility for a failed relationship.
…But I think the most important point your book captures is how much we are missing romance these days…Even at my deeply novice stage, I can see that the ballroom is a hell of a good way for men and women to learn those lessons about being ladies and gentlemen…And at the other end of those lessons, if we do our homework, is the comfort of knowing tht we truly aren’t alone in the universe, even if only for a few minutes on the dance floor. What could possibly be more romantic than that?
Thanks again for an excellent book.
I just finished your book and I must tell you it is a great one…I think the best thing about it is the way you trace your own growth through the separate threads of divorce and dance — a sort of partnering of opposites that come together to create a new life. It is so refreshing, so down-to-earth, so NOT “I’m a big editor and you’re not,” that every woman who reads it can find experiences — and ways to handle those experiences — that fit her life. I know I did.
I loved your book! It was sooooo good. I marveled at your skill both as a dancer and as a writer. It just flowed so seamlessly; was funny and touching and sad and hopeful and honest and true all at the same time. I just loved it. And I am in awe at your ability to manage a household, children, a demanding job AND write a memoir at the same time.
I read, I cooked, I cleaned, I read, I went to my son’s baseball game, I biked, I swam, I read, I walked. I read your book twice. It captivated me. You defined a lot of my own strengths and weaknesses, for example your reference to diplomacy and the definition of insanity. I could go on and on…
I wanted to memorize the wisdom in your statements. You have a keen awareness of how our thoughts define our actions and you delivered it like a soft blow to the head. Not the bad kind — more like the kind you see on a “Gee, I coulda had a V-8” commercial. It was grounding.
I’m grateful you didn’t have a passion for knitting. That would have been a boring book.
When I first picked up “Quick, Before the Music Stops” I had to remind myself I was standing in a store aisle and needed to buy the book if I wanted to finish reading it! So I did!
I took up dancing many years ago when my weight lifting instructor told me it would be the best – and least painful – way to ‘enjoy’ physical therapy after surgery (Papillary Thyroid Cancer). I’ve never felt such wonderful exhilaration and freedom than on the dance floor and your book reminded me of what I’ve been missing. (I even taught dance for a short time. ) I’m dancing around the house once more and, who knows, I may be back out on the dance floor again very soon.
Thank you for sharing!