Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Heard From A Porn Star Yesterday


I heard from a porn star yesterday. 
 
I wouldn’t have known she worked in porn had she not explained it to me in her email and had I not noticed her website listed under her name at the bottom.  It seems she’s a big fan of our book, Following Atticus.  As I read through the email I smiled at the two books of the late monk Thomas Merton sitting next to the computer.

The woman is in a lot of films, none that I know the name of, but I discovered this, and other facts about her when visiting her website.  She crisscrosses the country appearing in strip clubs when she’s not posing for photographs or acting in films.  It’s a good living, she wrote.  She hopes to retire young and move to the country and have a little animal sanctuary.  In between her professional stops she reads – a lot.  So do many of her friends in the industry.  They’ve even formed a reading group and they take turns choosing a book of the month for each of them read. 

She wanted me to know how much Following Atticus impacted her life.  “I thought I was going to read about a cute little dog and I ended up reading about life!”

She asked me about signing books for the other woman in her book group.  She was looking for a case of hardcovers.  “They will love it as much as I did!  I’m also getting them to read your blog and your Facebook page.  You and Atti are awesome!”

I let her know how she could get a case of books.  She’ll send them to me, have me personalize each of them (“Don’t forget Atti’s paw print!"), and then I’ll send them back to her so she can distribute the books to her friends.  During the month of April Atticus’s silvery cataract eyes and Muttluk covered paws, as seen on the book jacket, will be on adult movie sets and strip clubs across the country, packed away in travel bags with stiletto heels, thigh high boots, oversized bras, thongs, tassels, handcuffs, and various and sundry other items. 

This makes me happier than I can say.  Over the past few years I have learned of a marriage counselor handing copies of Following Atticus to his clients. “Treat each other like Tom and Atticus do,” he tells them.  I’ve also heard that we were chosen for a book discussion by therapists dealing with family issues.  There was a city in Michigan where the clergy had a reading group where priests, ministers, rabbis, and nuns read Following Atticus and then met to discuss it.  Many counties, cities, and towns throughout the United States have chosen Following Atticus for a community read, including Groton, Massachusetts, where we will be appearing on April 12
th to talk about our story. 

The greatest pleasure of any writer is to be read.  But from there it often gets interesting to see who is reading your story. It’s wonderful to have varied groups and individuals invest themselves in it and then learn what they took from the journey of a man and a little dog as they left behind one life to get to another in the mountains of New Hampshire.

I am reaffirmed by the different people I hear from that while we are all distinctive, there are common threads that connect us.  Words and feelings knit us together.  They touch our humanity.  It doesn’t matter whether you have a cross over your chest or enhanced breasts.  Inside is what is most important and within each of us is a beating heart.  


The only question that remains now is how many more men will show up at the Groton event now that I know some of the ladies from the porn reading group hope to fly in that day to meet Atticus and me.
     

PS:  Of course I assured her I looked forward to meeting her, along with everyone else in Groton. In a subsequent email when she asked if Atticus was as friendly as he seems to be I let her know he'd probably like her more than most since they have something in common he doesn't share with most of his fans:  they are both used to being naked on stage.

PPS:  In a couple of email exchanges after reading this post Atti's newest fan joked when she added that while Atticus doesn't wear a collar or use a leash, she does at times - when the movie script calls for it.  Funny!  Lastly she asked if she'll be able to get a photograph taken with us.  "Perhaps, but we don't do selfies."  "I don't blame you. I don't let my fans take them with me either -  selfies are tacky."

20 comments:

Ben said...

Now I want to become a writer!!! Or can I at least borrow Atti?

Anonymous said...

That last line is hilarious! - Mary

Donna Jean said...

I LOVE IT!!! You are touching everyone who reads your story!!! Your story makes a difference in peoples lives as does your blog and post on Facebook! Please keep feeding all of us Atti & Tom addicts! Onward my friends.

Carter W Rae said...

You are amazing Tom !!! Your talent is everywhere !!!!!! Enjoyed it all Carter & Stacy :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not a porn star, but you guys have really touched my life as well.

Betty F. said...

Oh Tom,

Bahahaha! I think Groton might need to consider another change of venue to an even larger place.

We all can relate on such varying levels. Life is definitely beautiful and all that you share enhances mine.

Thank you and enjoy your time away.

Peace to you and Atti <3 <3

cheryl said...

LOL, I loved that last line as well! But it is amazing how many lives you've touched.
As well as how Atticus touched your life; you see life differently than some, yet you can write about it and people aren't offended. You cause them to stop for a moment and think about the impact they have. Thank you.

Lynni OHaver said...

I agree with her statement that FA is about life. That's why I keep reading it over & over. It has become like a "feel good Bible" for me. My flight in April to Groton,MA just got a little more exciting!!!

Anonymous said...

This made my day!
CRS

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story for a gray day! Super ending!!

Pete Jensen said...

If Atti is also naked on stage, does that make him a Paw-n Star?

Pam Noble said...

I laughed out loud!! Can't wait to see the blog about that event lol!

Sandy B said...

This is another great story! You guys have met so many interesting people and thanks for sharing. Pleeeeease come down South and visit us in NC soon! Caesar and Zack's mom!

mlaiuppa said...

That reminded me of a Marilyn Monroe line from one of her movies.

Does she wear pajamas when she sleeps at night?

I wear part of the pajamas.

What part?

The collar.

Patricia Higgins said...

I read Following Atticus a few weeks ago while I was in dialysis and I thoroughly enjoyed your writing and fell totally in love with Atticus. You certainly brightened my day and I thank you so much.

Jabacat said...

I so enjoyed reading this article. Love is universal! No matter what your occupation.

Judy said...


Tom and Atticus...You've finally made it!!

1HappyHiker said...

As always, the story you present is very insightful. And, I must confess that the title of this posting was explicitly compelling! :-)

Particularly inspiring are the lines which state: ". . . while we are all distinctive, there are common threads that connect us. Words and feelings knit us together."
Now that is indeed the naked truth! :-)

Anonymous said...

The world is made up of many wonderful people from all walks of life.

And we all have one thing in common, we have enjoyed Following Atticus.

As always, thank you for sharing Tom.

topshot said...

Atticus is obviously a chick magnet.