For The Sender didn’t start with a dog. I had received a beautifully-written letter from a woman named Emily, right around the same time that I was struggling with what to do next. I’d spent years chasing a dream that didn’t line up with reality and was having a hard time letting go, not only of that dream, but also of a best friend who had just died.

I was beat down and discouraged, and Emily’s letter lifted me up. Sean Watkins and I wrote a song about her letter and called it ‘For The Sender,’ after a lyric in the song that says a letter is like a prayer in that it’s more for the sender.

The idea of writing a song about a letter took a few turns and evolved over the next couple of years, which I wrote about in the first For The Sender book. I won’t spoil the ending, but I can tell you that the project may have started with a letter, but it ended with a dog.

Only it wasn’t the end of the project. There was another book to write, and now it’s only a couple weeks before the second installment of For The Sender makes her way into the world. But I thought for this #throwbackthursday I’d honor where the last book ended.

With that best friend who had just died when I got that letter from Emily.

A dog. Mine.