For The Sender: Four Letters. Twelve Songs. One Story
By: Alex WoodardSometimes a letter is like a prayer; it's more for the sender than the receiver. Singer-songwriter Alex Woodard was letting go of his best friend, a Labrador named Kona, and most of his dreams when he received a letter that would change the course of his life.
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Book DescriptionAfter years of chasing his dreams, singer-songwriter Alex Woodard finally had a record deal and an album to promote. He offered to write a song for anybody who pre-ordered his self-titled release; all they had to do was send him a letter about their story, and he would write and record a song just for them at his kitchen table.
The promotion came and went—and as the year wore on and the record deal fell apart, Alex watched his best friend, a Labrador named Kona, die in his living room with her head in his lap. Her passing shined a harsh light on how far away Alex really was from his dreams, and autumn found him trying to let go of both Kona and everything he thought would have happened by now.
And then he got a letter from Emily.
Emily had finally found the love of a soul mate, a true kindred spirit and best friend, when autumn took him away. Every year since his passing, she writes him a letter to say she misses him and remembers the beautiful moments they had together. She usually tucks the letter away into a box, since there is nowhere to send it, but this autumn she sent the letter to Alex.
She didn't want Alex to write a song for her. She just felt like his songs were pieces of himself he gave to others, and she wanted to give him a piece of herself as her own kind of gift.
But Alex did write a song for her. And that song became two, then three, then eventually twelve as more letters came in and Alex showed them to a group of talented musicians who share "family dinners" in his San Diego neighborhood. The letters ranged from descriptions of unfathomable grief and destruction in Haiti to more intimate tales of being and belonging, which soon took on a life of their own through the songs.
He didn't know it yet, but Emily's letter had started Alex down his own path of moving through loss and reconciling broken dreams, culminating one cold December night on a small stage in suburban Atlanta. And he found out for himself that a song is like a letter, and a letter is like a prayer.
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