Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dear Darlin' - Letter writing song

"Dear Darlin'" by Olly Murs (written by Murs, Ed Drewett and Jim Eliot) features a guy handwriting a letter to the girl he's lost.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bif! Bam! Pow! Batman stamps to be at Comic Con!

 Holy stamp collecting! It's Comic Con and National Stamp Collecting Month all rolled into one!

This Thursday, Oct. 9, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Batman Forever stamp to kick off New York Comic Con 2014

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the Batman character in DC Comics, and the 20-stamp sheet ($9.80) features eight designs, including four versions of the iconic DC Comics super hero from different eras of the Caped Crusader's history, according to Additionally, there are four versions of the Bat-Signal featured on round stamps. The full sheet includes a background illustration showcasing a silhouette of Batman standing on a bridge with the skyline of Gotham City looming above him. The back side of the sheet features two illustrations of Batman and text about the history of the character.

The stamp collection also includes a variety of philatelic products, such as First Day Covers ($7.44), Digital Color Postmark First Day Covers ($11.95), Ceremony Program ($6.95) and a mounted and framed set of the stamps ($39.95).

The USPS also is using the introduction of the Batman Forever stamps to promote the hobby of stamp collecting. 
“Batman is the quintessential American superhero,” said U.S. Postal Service Executive Director of Stamp Services Susan McGowan in a press release on the USPS website. “What better way to introduce stamp collecting as an educational hobby the entire family can enjoy. A great way to get started is to visit the American Philatelic Society’s (APS) website — With nearly 32,000 members among more than 110 countries, it’s a perfect source for getting involved in stamp collecting.”
For more information about the Batman Forever stamps, visit the USPS website.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

She's still writing letters 50 years later

In The Dallas Morning News recently, attorney Susan Sanders Wansbrough writes about the first -- and only -- love letter she ever wrote. Although she may not have continued writing love letters, she did keep sending other types of letters. Her column is touching and inspiring.

I think you'll enjoy it!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tribute to an Old-fashioned Letter Writer from India

In an essay posted yesterday, Aman Sen from Massachusetts writes of "The Art of Letter Writing in an Ancient World" about the letters his family used to receive from his grandmother in the 1970s.

Like Aman, I had a grandmother who expected responses to her letters. Though my Granny may have been happy with typed letters as well as the hand-written variety, she would rarely write again until you had answered her last letter. My grandmother and I grew up in the U.S., and Aman writes of growing up in India and of the traditions he experienced there, but I get the feeling grandmothers are much the same world-wide. And, they all seem to enjoy a hand-written letter from their grandchildren.

Aman's story is one worth reading. And, who among us can't help but love the name of the site he's writing for, The Aerogram!

Some Things Are Worth Waiting For

Today, many people expect instantaneous results in everything they do. When they say “OK Google” to their phones, they want the Google voice to immediately answer their questions. When they send a text message to a friend, they sit, staring at the phone, waiting impatiently for a response. If they have to use the incredibly slow method of communication called email, they constantly hit the “check email” button, looking for a reply.

Letter writing does away with all of those expectations. Letter writing is, in and of itself, a lesson in patience. When you write a letter and place it in a mailbox, you first must wait on the postal employee to pick it up. Then, you must wait while the letter navigates the system and travels from your location to your recipient. Then, you must wait for that person to find the letter, open it, read it and respond. If they choose to reply via the mail, then the waiting process starts all over.

And, if you know a letter is coming, that eager waiting you do is called “anticipation.” Carly Simon sang about anticipation back in the 1970s.

Andy Warhol is quoted as commenting on the concept: 
“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting”  
So, with that line of thinking, we can theorize that letter writing makes your communications (or at least some of them) more exciting. And who wouldn’t want that?

If you want to make sure your letter’s recipient gets to experience the joy of anticipation, mail your letter and then send the recipient a text message or email, letting them know it’s on the way. Just don’t tell them what you’ve written, except to assure them that it’s not bad news, if they’re worrying.

Anticipation...yet another reason to write a letter!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thinking of You Week

The Greeting Card Association, a trade organization representing the UK greeting card industry, has declared next week, Sept. 22-28, as National Thinking of You Week. According to the group's website, the aim of the week is to create a wave of love, caring and happiness across the nation by joining together to send a card a day to different people during the last week in September.

How about let's make it an International Thinking of You Week? Sure, many of us write letters and send cards all of the time, but we could put forth an extra effort to send some "just because" cards and letters next week. For more information, visit the GCA's website.

(Note, this is different that the Girl Scouts and Girl Guides World Thinking Day, which is Feb. 22 and focuses on the girls learning about girls around the world.)

Mail Art Adds Another Dimension to Letter Writing

Back when I was in high school, quite a few years ago, I had many penpals from all over the world. In an effort to save on postage, many of us wrote our letters on super-thin and light-wright airmail paper, aka onion skin paper. We also often used traditional airmail envelopes.

But, I noticed that some of my penpals from Europe would make their own envelopes from magazine pages. They made the pile of mail quite interesting.

That was my first taste of "mail art," as simple as it was. Later in life, a co-worker who moved away mailed me letters in elaborate envelopes she decorated with rubber stamp images and colored pens and pencils.

Once I started this blog, I discovered the entire world of mail art. There's a great book about mail art, Good Mail Day. And several blogs on the topic (see the list I've made over in the column on the right side of this blog.

And, sometimes, bloggers who typically blog about other topics will champion mail art. For example, PostMuse often writes about the Orphaned Postcard project, but yesterday the focus was on mail art.

If you're not familiar with the concept of mail art, read up on and then try your hand at it. It's fun, and it makes the mail just a little more exciting.

So, there's another good reason to write letters...mail art!
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