Friday, July 30, 2010

Letter #211 -- Past or Future?

My daughter has been reading a book that involves time travel. So, the question of the week around our house is, "If you couldn't come back to the present, would you rather travel to the past or the future?"

Of course, we had some additional questions....could you choose, specifically, what time period you landed in? In either time period, would you know what you know now? etc. Those questions were all debated, as well as the ethical aspects and potential dangers of doing things like going back in time and "inventing" things that would make you a lot of money.

The future, too, could hold many potential dangers.

I think, going back in time could be fun, but going into the future might be more adventurous.

What do you think? Which would you choose? Why?

Write a letter about it! If you're feeling creative and adventurous, write the letter as if you have already time-traveled.

Letter writing topic for July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Letter #210 -- A What?

Have you noticed that old-fashioned address books are difficult to find nowadays? Just yesterday, I saw with dismay that the local grocery store had their little selection of address books marked as "clearance."

Oh, I know we all have address books in the computer and contacts lists on our phones, but still...sometimes I like that little book where I can jot down notes about the people I'm writing to.

Today, find your address book, pick a name at random and write that person a letter.

Letter writing topic for July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Letter #209 -- There was this book...

Today, write a letter to your local librarian. Tell her (or him) a funny library story from your past, or maybe just write about your favorite book. In this particular case, it might be interesting to tell the librarian how much you love to write letters and how many consider it a dying art. Tell her how there is a movement out here in the world to continue the tradition of letter writing and how you hope (or you know) that the local library stocks a few letter writing books. Tell her how much you appreciate the work she does as the librarian. I'll bet she appreciates your letter.

Letter writing topic for July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Letter #208 -- Aunt and Uncle Day

Yesterday was Aunt and Uncle Day. (Don't ask me who declared it so, because I don't know, but it sounds like a worthy day for celebration!)

But, as you know, yesterday was my mom's birthday, so that superseded Aunt and Uncle Day. But, today, we'll write a letter to an aunt and/or an uncle. I'll bet they'll be surprised!

Letter writing topic for July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Letter #207 -- Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. So, today, write a letter to or about your mom.

If you don't want to do that...it's also Mick Jagger's birthday....write a letter to or about him!

Letter writing topic for July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Letter #206 -- Everybody's Beautiful

Today, write a letter telling someone that she is beautiful. (Of course, your letter's recipient doesn't have to be a "she," but "she" sure sounds better in a sentence than "she or he.")

Now, remembering the lyrics from that 1970s Ray Stevens song, "Everything Is Beautful," keep in mind that "everybody's beautiful in their own way." Maybe you're writing to someone who has a beautiful singing voice, a beautiful way of decorating a cake, a beautiful spirit. Whatever it is that makes him or her beautiful, let them know with a letter you write today.

Letter writing topic for July 25, 2010

New Stamps -- Scouting

On Tuesday, at the Boy Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, the U.S. Postal Service will introduce the new 44-cent Scouting stamp.

To create this original design, illustrator Craig Frazier depicted the images of two different scouts in clothing and accessories that are often part of the outdoor scouting experience—hats, packs, boots, and binoculars. At first glance, one sees the large silhouette of a scout peering through binoculars. Within this figure is another scout perched atop a mountain taking in the vista. “I wanted a level of discovery to be portrayed in the stamp itself,” Frazier says.

He continues, “The small figure and landscape indicate very hard, directional light coming from low on the horizon — either early morning or late afternoon. The sky has that pale blue to indigo transition that happens only at those two times of day.”

It's a very nice stamp, but one thing bothers me about it. Seeing as I was a Girl Scout and my mom was a Girl Scout troop leader and now my daughter is a Girl Scout and I am a Girl Scout troop leader, I think the stamp should have been named "Boy Scouting," since it only features Boy Scouts. When I first heard about the stamp named "Scouting," I was excited, thinking it would have Girl Scouts on it, too. I think a stamp called "Scouting" should feature Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire boys and girls, etc.

Letter #205 -- Yahtzee!

Last week, when my daughter was visiting my parents, she learned how to play Scrabble. The real thing. The board game.

We used to play Scrabble all the time when I was a kid. As I remember it, we didn't exactly follow the rules word-for-word. I think in Scrabble you can't look a word up in the dictionary unless you've already played it and someone else challenges it. But, we had the Official Scrabble Dictionary, as well as one other dictionary or two, and we often looked up words before we played them. I think the family rule was that you had to have a word in mind before you started looking in the dictionary. They way I see it now, it was a learning experience for us.

I'm quite sure that when we weren't playing, my little brother was studying that Scrabble dictionary, memorizing all the "Q" words that don't require a "U."

We also played Monopoly, Trouble, Yahtzee, Which Witch? and other board games, but Scrabble was our mainstay.

I'm glad my daughter learned to play. Somewhere in the top of her closet is a Scrabble game. I think we'll get it out and play a game or two.

What was/is your favorite board game? Why? Did you always follow the rules? Did you have any special family rules you followed?

Write a letter about your favorite board game. Maybe even invite your letter's recipient over to play a game.

Letter writing topic for July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Letter #204 -- Hat or no hat?

I used to wear hats. Not caps, like baseball caps. But hats. Ladies hats. I had (and still have many) straw hats, fancy hats, silver hats, bright pink hats, hats with veils, hats with bows, hats with flowers. One year my brother gave me a box full of vintage hats. That was a great gift!

I don't wear hats much anymore. Nowadays, it seems, the young can wear hats, and the old can wear hats. But, people tend to look at middle-aged women like they're a little bit wacky if they walk around in a hat. (I'm sure there are lots of people who will testify that I am, indeed, a little bit wacky.) Maybe I'll do it anyway. Maybe I'll start wearing hats again.

What do you think? Hats or no hats? What do you prefer? A hat? A cap? What kind? Or, do you prefer no hat at all?

Write a letter about it. Tell somebody what you think about hats. Sure, it's a little wacky, but so what?!?

Letter writing topic for July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Letter #203 - It can be difficult to say

I read an article several years ago that was telling business people how to apologize without taking any blame. They were instructed to say things like, "It is regrettable that this happened," etc.

But, in your personal life, often there is nothing more important that just saying "I'm sorry." No beating around the bush, no double-speak, no corporate talk. Just plain and simple. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions and apologize (when you need to, of course).

Today, think things over. Do you need to apologize to anyone for anything? If so, write that heartfelt letter today.

Letter writing topic for July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Letter #202 -- Kinfolk

July 24 is Cousin's Day. (I'm sure it's nothing official, but it's fun!) So, today, write a letter to one of your cousins, wishing them a Happy Cousin's Day!

Letter writing topic for July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Letter #201 -- A First!

On this day 41 years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Today, write a letter to someone who has accomplished a first. Maybe they got their first job or bought their first car. Maybe they're the first person in your family to get a doctorate degree or get a book published. Write a letter and let them know how proud you are!

Letter writing topic for July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Letter #200 -- Glad You're Back!

Last night, my husband and I picked up our daughter at my parents' house. She had spent the week there, enjoying city life, which includes cable TV, central air conditioning and the mall! She had a good time, and we were happy for her to have the opportunity to visit with her grandparents, etc.

But, we sure did miss her when she was gone! The house seemed so quiet. Even the kittens went looking for her!

Today, write a letter telling someone that you've missed them, or maybe that you're happy they're home. Be specific...what exactly did you miss? Her giggle? The way he makes coffee every morning? Those chats you have over the hedge in the driveway. Friend, family or neighbor, let them know how you feel!

Letter writing topic for July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Letter #199 -- You scream, ice cream, we all scream


July is National Ice Cream Month, and today, July 18, 2010, the third Sunday of the month, is National Ice Cream Day. Apparently, in 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day.

What kind of ice cream do you like? Do you have a favorite brand? Flavor? Do you prefer it plain, with sprinkles, with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top?

I like all kinds of ice cream. A nice crisp vanilla ice cream is delightfully simple. But, a bowl of chocolate, strawberry or pralines and cream ice cream is great, too!

Today, write a letter about ice cream. Maybe include your favorite ice cream memory or a recipe for homemade ice cream.

Letter writing topic for July 18, 2010

(Ice cream graphic courtesy of CKSinfo.com)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Letter #198 -- What do you write with?

What writing utensil do you use when you write letters? Ball point? Rollerball? Fountain pen? Pencil?

I almost always write letters with a pen, sometimes a ball point, sometimes a fountain pen, occasionally a dip pen (the old-fashioned stick pen that you dip in a bottle or jar or well of ink). One of my favorite pens is one that few other people like, a narrow, silver Cross pen. It has a Cross, medium-point blue ballpoint refill in it. It writes smoothly and effortlessly across just about any piece of paper. Another good thing about this pen...other people don't like it. It's too narrow, too smooth, too "slippery," they say. That suits me just fine. That means they don't "forget" and put my pen in their pocket.

However, when I'm making lists for myself (to-do lists, menus, plans, etc.) I like to use a sharp No. 2 pencil. There is just something thrilling about taking that sharp pencil and writing on a crisp, white sheet of paper. And, I always keep a good eraser close by.

What do you write with? Why? What is your favorite pen? Pencil? Do you prefer an old-fashioned yellow No. 2 pencil or a fancy, multi-colored mechanical version?

Think about your writing tools and write a letter about it. Maybe even include a little gift of a pen or pencil to your letter's recipient.

Letter writing topic for July 17, 2010

(Pencil clipart from  http://www.free-clipart-pictures.net)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Letter #197 -- Tell Your Grandfather's Story



Today would have been my grandfather's 99th birthday. Charles Walter Vick was born in 1911 and passed away in 2001.

Like most grandpas, he always had a story to tell. Like most granddaughters, I always believed his stories were true.

He told a story about when he was living alone (batchin', as he called it, living as a bachelor) and working as a cowboy. It seems that every evening, just about supper time, an acquaintance would ride up on his horse and stop for a visit. Being polite, my grandpa would offer him some food. And, the guy would accept his offer. The situation continued until the guy was coming over every night for supper. Well, Grandpa decided he really couldn't afford to keep feeding the friend. So, one night, after they had finished eating, he took the plates and put them on the floor. Grandpa's dog came over and licked the plates clean. Grandpa picked up the plates, looked them over to make sure they were "clean" and then put them up in the cabinet, as the friend watched. Interestingly enough, that guy never came for supper again.

Today, write a letter about your grandfather. Tell one of his stories. If you don't know any of his stories, ask him to tell you one. If you can't ask him, ask someone else to tell you something about your grandfather. If that's not possible either, do some research and see what you can find out about him. Then, put that information in a letter. Send the letter to a relative who will be most interested, your own children or grandchildren, a cousin, etc.

Letter writing topic for July 16, 2010

(The picture is of my grandparents, Charles Walter and Lilly Vick)

New Stamps -- Sunday Funnies


Today, the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to release the Sunday Funnies commemorative stamps. The 44-cent stamp collection features five designs and honors Archie, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and  Calvin and Hobbes
  
Art director Ethel Kessler selected the images that appear on the stamps.

The Beetle Bailey stamp features Beetle, smiling calmly while Sarge loses his cool.

The Calvin and Hobbes stamp captures the precocious 6-year-old and his tiger pal making scary and ridiculous faces.

The Archie stamp features Archie sharing a chocolate shake with brunette Veronica Lodge on his right and blonde Betty Cooper on his left.

The Garfield stamp features the crabby tabby standing back to back with Odie, a carefree, energetic dog.

The Dennis the Menace stamp features 5-year-old Dennis, dressed in red overalls and striped shirt, running off to some new adventure.


In addition to a pane of 20 stamps for collecting or mailing, the stamps also are featured on ceremony program ($6.95), as an uncut press sheet ($79.20), as a set of five first-day covers ($4.10) and with a digital color postmark ($7.50). All

 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Letter #196 -- Finding happiness

I got a a fortune cookie the other day that says, "Stop searching forever. Happiness is just next to you." Take a good look around. Is your happiness already there? Can you be happy where you are? Or, is the thought in the fortune cookie not right for you? (After all, it was me who got the fortune, right? Maybe it only applies to me.) Do you need to make changes to be happy?

Think of a friend with whom you can share these thoughts and write a letter today.

Letter writing topic for July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Letter #195 -- Thanks for all you do!

Today, write a letter to the postmaster for your area. If you don't know who that is, you can check at your local post office. The postmaster might have an office there in the post office, or his or her office may be at another location. In your letter to the postmaster, be sure to tell them how much mail you send and why you enjoy using the post office you use the most. If there are any suggestions you have for improvements, make them in a polite way. Be sure to say "thank you" for all of the services. Keep in mind, that even as prices for stamps may go up, it's still a great deal to send a letter anywhere in the United States for 44 cents or to anywhere in the world for 98 cents or less. For less than the cost of a soft drink, you can have a message personally delivered all the way on the other side of the world. Tell the postmaster how much you appreciate that service!


Letter writing topic for July 14, 2010

Free Clip Art Provided by Artclips.com. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter #194 -- Ooops!

Today, write a letter to someone whose birthday you forgot recently. You don't have to specifically say, "I forgot your birthday" if you don't want to. You might say, "I've been thinking about you recently. I know you had a birthday last month, and I hope you had a wonderful day."

If you're not as forgetful as I am, just write a letter to someone who has a birthday coming up.

Letter writing topic for July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Letter #193 -- What would we do without them?

According to a few sources on the Internet (including Project Green Bag), on July 12, 1859, William Goodale was issued a patent for new and useful improvements to the paper bag making machine. According to the reports, apparently, there were some challenges to the patent. Who knew so much activity was involved in the "invention" of the paper bag.

In honor of all of those who invented and improved the process for making the paper bag, today, write a letter on a paper bag. Make it fun. Make it interesting. If you're so inclined, fold it up, tape it up and address  and stamp it...no envelope needed. Make your own "fold-a-note."

(Paper bag graphic courtesy of www.freeclipartnow.com.)

Letter writing topic for July 12, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Letter #192 -- Zippity Do Dah

What makes you feel like singing? What starts your toes to tapping and your fingers snapping? Do you start singing when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping? Or, maybe it's the softness of a cloudy day that gets you to humming a lonesome tune?

What song is it that you sing? Do you always sing the same song, or is it the last song you heard on the radio? Are you singing modern tunes or golden oldies?

Write a letter about what starts you singing. Share your thoughts with a friend today.

Letter writing topic for July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Letter #191 -- Chevy, Ford or Toyota?

What was your first car?

I bought my first car the summer after my sophomore year in college. I had saved up $1,000, and I wanted to buy a $1,000 car. But, my Dad didn't want me be driving around in a death-trap, so he co-signed a loan for me to get a $3,000 car. We found a gray Chevy Citation hatchback that I could afford. The family laughs at the pictures of me with that car, because it wasn't really the car I wanted, so I'm not real excited looking in that photo. But, all in all, it wasn't a bad car. It served me good for a few years.

After I graduated and got my first professional job, I traded it in on a new car. By the time I was ready to buy that new car, my little Citation had quit running. If I remember correctly, it wouldn't even start. The day I was to go buy my new car, I went out the Citation, and it started right up. I quickly drove to the car dealer to trade it in before it wouldn't go again.

The pictures of me with my brand new car show me acting super excited, so that they wouldn't laugh at me in those pictures. The ironic thing...that new car turned out to be a lemon that broke down before I made the first payment.

Tell the story of your first car in a letter to someone. If you don't have such a story, write a letter about your dream vehicle. What would you buy if you could? Write that letter today!

Letter writing topic for July 10, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Letter #190 -- Rain or Shine



It's raining here today. Around here, we don't complain much about rain. Too often we don't have rain for long periods of time, so when it does rain, we're happy.

But, in many places the opposite of true. Too much rain results in flooding, in some cases.

What do you prefer, a rainy day or a sunny day? Why? Tell someone about it today! In a letter!

Letter writing topic for July 9, 2010

(Sun clip art courtesy of www.freclipartnow.com. Umbrella picture from www.ace-clipart.com.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Letter #189 -- Make an Offer

Today, write a letter to a friend offering your help. Somewhere in your list of friends, you have a friend who needs something. Maybe he or she lost a job, has been sick, has experienced a death in the family...for some reason, they could use your assistance.

When you make your offer, try to make it specific. You know how it is, someone says, "Let me know if I can help." And you say, "Oh, no, I can handle it." or something like that. If you're planning to go to your friend's house for a while, offer to bring a meal with you. "I'm planning to come over next Tuesday and mow your grass. I'll bring a pizza and some drinks, and you can tell me what all I need to do to help."

Try to make it something they can't refuse. And, try to think of anything else you can do to help out...such as bring a few frozen casseroles you can put in their freezer for their future meals or buy them a book of stamps and some stationery, if you know they like to write letters, or a box of greeting cards, if they have trouble getting out to the store, etc.

Letter writing topic for July 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Letter #188 -- Where's that list?

Today, write a letter to someone on your "dinner party list."

Have you ever seen those things that go around in e-mail, on blogs or on Facebook, where you're supposed to list off the 10 people -- usually living, dead, real or fictional -- that you'd like to invited to a fantasy dinner party?

If you've ever thought about such things, today, choose a name from that list and write that person a letter. Now, you'll be in a tough spot about mailing it if your list is full of people who are either fictional or no longer living. But, in that case, you can just turn your letter into an essay, maybe even sell it to a magazine.

US stamps pay tribute to abstract expressionists



Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service honored the artistic innovations and achievements of a group of artists who moved the United States to the forefront of the international art scene with the release of the Abstract Expressionists commemorative postage stamps. The vibrant stamps feature works by Hans Hoffmann, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Joan Mitchell.


“These bold artists used art to express complicated ideas and primitive emotions in simplified, abstract form,” said Linda Kingsley, USPS senior vice president, Strategy and Transition. “Although these stamps can’t compare in size to their real-life canvases, they bring the passion and spirit of abstract expressionism to an envelope near you. The Postal Service is proud to pay tribute to the legacy and unique perspectives of these revolutionary artists.”

Abstract expressionists believed that art no longer depicted experience but became the experience itself. They emphasized spontaneous, free expression and allowed personal intuition and the unconscious to guide their choice of imagery. Other shared traits include the use of large canvases and an emphasis on paint texture and distinctive brushstrokes.

"The abstract expressionists began one of the most important art movements in the last century, placing New York and American art at the very center of the art world for the first time,” noted Louis Grachos, director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, home of four of the works featured on the stamps. “The Albright-Knox Art Gallery was one of the first museums to begin collecting abstract expressionist paintings, and we are very proud that work from our collection was chosen by the Postal Service as some of the finest examples of the period.”

One of the most influential art teachers of the 20th century, Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) pioneered a method of improvisational painting that helped shape the development of abstract art after World War II. The Golden Wall (1961) features his trademark “push and pull” technique: geometric shapes that animate the canvas by seeming to shift and overlap.

Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) created a uniquely American blend of inspiration from late medieval and early Italian Renaissance masters, European cubism, and the freely expressive line of surrealism in his innovative “Pictographs” of the 1940s. Romanesque Façade (1949) brings together his aspiration to be intuitively understandable to everyone and to convey a universal emotional reality.

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) is best known for his monumental paintings of two or more rectangles floated within a field of color. Orange and Yellow (1956) features two rectangles painted in the vibrant tones that Rothko favored. Far from static, the rectangles seem to stretch and contract, while translucent, luminous colors bring them to life.

Influencing much of the American abstract art that followed, Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) developed an original style that combined cubism and surrealism with his own disguised imagery. The Liver Is the Cock’s Comb (1944) — one of his largest and greatest pictures — uses abstract forms to camouflage a deeply personal portrait of his family at home.

Clyfford Still (1904-1980) painted ponderous, abstract canvases to convey universal themes about the human condition. 1948-C (1948) illustrates his signature style of richly textured surfaces, expressive lines and shapes, and sublime color in an expansive field. Still kept tight control of his work, much of which has never been seen.

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) transformed the traditions of European art to create his own energetic and unconstrained style. While much of his work was entirely abstract, de Kooning’s best-known paintings blend abstraction and figural representation. Skittering black lines, shifting shapes, fragmented body parts, and flashes of color fill the surface of his 1948 work Asheville.

Barnett Newman (1905-1970) created deceptively simple works often characterized by large, even expanses of a single color punctuated by one or more vertical lines, which he called “zips.” One of several works based on ancient Greek mythology, Achilles (1952) does not feature a zip but rather a swath of red paint that moves down the canvas to end in a ragged edge.

Best known for his poured paintings, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) created spontaneously painted works that marked a break with artistic tradition. For Convergence (1952), he laid blue and white clouds and loops of red and yellow atop a black-and-white base. The expressive color and drawing are so fresh that the paint still looks wet.

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) viewed literature and philosophy as integral components of his art. He is best known for the “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” series, an ambitious group of somber abstract paintings. Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34 (1953-1954) features black bars and ovals and vertical white stripes that partly obscure colors that refer to the flag of the Spanish Republic.

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) created expansive paintings with an energetic style distinguished by large gestural strokes, driving brushwork, and emotional intensity. She is perhaps best known for her ability to communicate the visual sentiments of nature — or, in her own words, “to convey the feeling of the dying sunflower.” La Grande Vallée 0 (1983) is one of 21 opulent French landscapes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Catching up after the holiday

I know a lot of people took some time away from blog reading to enjoy the Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., and, if you're like me, there may be some things you missed out there on many of the blogs.

Here's just a round-up of some things you might find interesting:

The Profile (on this blog) of letter writer Melody.

The giveaway Ria is having at her blog Holloman in our Hearts.

Free vintage flower clip art at Antique Images.

A chance to subscribe to a FREE e-newsletter from Letters & Journals. Thanks to The Missive Maven for reminding us about the newsletter!

Letter #187 -- So far away

Today, write a letter to someone you love who is far away. Maybe you moved, maybe he/she did. Maybe it's temporary, maybe it's long-term. Whatever the reason, write a "missing you" or "thinking of you" letter today and mail it. It'll make their day!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pony Express Festival

If you're going to be in Washington, D.C., on July 9 or July 10, stop by the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian Institute for the Pony Express Festival.

According to the museum, the festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express will a trivia relay race, tall tales and a chance to star in a puppet show.

The event is free and aimed at kids and families. It sounds interesting!

Letter #186 -- Postal Holiday

In the United States today there will be no postal service. The mail will not be delivered or picked up, and the post office counters will not be open. This is in continued observance of the nation's Independence Day, which was yesterday, July 4. Since that was a Sunday, a day when the post offices are normally closed, the postal workers get today off as a holiday.

So, for today's letter, write to someone who you can hand-deliver a letter to. Maybe it's someone in your household or someone in the neighborhood. If you're up to it, write a letter to someone and then drive over for a quick visit and deliver the letter.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day



Today is the United States of America's Independence Day. There are many U.S. postage stamps depicting the U.S. flag.

Here is a collection of such stamps, courtesy of Google Images.

Letter #185 -- How sweet!

What is the nicest thing someone has done for you lately? Maybe it was a big, grand gesture. Maybe it was a tiny little kindness.  Whatever it was, I'm sure it meant something to you. Tell someone about it. Write in a letter how much you were touched by this kindness. And, then, pass it on. Do something nice for someone else. Just for the friendliness of it.

Letter writing topic for July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Letter #184 -- Small screen

What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid? Some of my favorites were Fury, Flipper, The Lone Ranger, Gilligan's Island, Andy Griffith, My Three Sons...and of course, there were cartoons! Scooby Doo was always a favorite at our house. One time when I was a little girl, I came home from school and got mad because my mama was watching a movie on TV when I usually watched cartoons. She said, "Sit down, and watch this movie...I think you'll like it." It was "Elvis Week" on one of the Dallas TV channels. I sat down, watched the movie and have been an Elvis Presley fan ever since. What was your favorite? Write a letter about it!

Letter writing topic for July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Profile: Melody


Melody is probably one of the youngest letter-writing bloggers out there in blogland. She's 14 and lives in Seattle, Washington, with her parents and her sister, who also has a blog. (That's Melody above and with her sister, Passion, at right.) They're moving soon to Irvine, Calif.

She has quite a few penpals, and really seems to enjoy writing. Her blog is Dance in the Rainbow, and here are Melody's answers to my profile questions.

1. Why do you write letters? It’s strange, really because I hate writing about myself but I love hearing about other people: where they live, what they do for a living, their friends and stories, drama, everything. It might be related to my love of travel, I enjoy seeing people who are extremely unlike me but doing just the same thing: living. It’s also extremely exhilarating to receive mail, especially fun letters.
2. Which is more exciting for you (and tell us why -- elaborate) -- finding a letter in your mailbox or dropping a letter into a mailbox? You know, I hate to sound selfish here but receiving a letter. I enjoy writing letters and all but it’s just not quite as exciting as holding a fun, colorful letter in your hands and reading it and enjoying it in general.
3. Who do you write to? Why? I write to a lot of different people, most of them are bloggers about letter writing because I know they will write back to me. I used to have a lot of pen pals from other places but 99% of them stopped writing to me.
4. Do you write to people who never write back? Why or why not? I’m not sure I totally understand this question. How would I write to someone that never writes to me? I’ve dropped very few pen pals, usually only the ones that are outrageously rude to me, which I’m sad to say does happen.
5. Do you use fancy stationery or plain notebook paper? Why? I love using fancy stationery because it can inspire me to write more and just be a better experience overall. Also, writing with nicer stationery generally lets you receive nicer stationery back from your pals and that’s always fun to see. I like letters that are really bright, fun and colorful.
6. Do you e-mail, text, etc., too? If so, what determines who gets an e-mail and who gets a letter? Being an average teen, I’m very into Facebook, email and texting, of course. I have one email pen pal but most of mine are written. I usually just let the person decide. Most of my pen pals are into written and mailed letters but some aren’t comfortable giving out their address so they email me. It’s still fun though! (That's Melody at right, with one of her friends.)
7. Do you always handwrite letters? Or, do you ever type them on a typewriter or print them out from a computer? To this day, I’ve only written letters that I sent in the postal service. Not much else to say about that. I have received a few typed letters though.
8. Tell us about your blog/website. My blog used to be primarily about letter writing but recently, I’ve been receiving less and less mail and it has changed to a blog about life really. I talk about what’s going on in my life, post pictures, and that sort of thing. Once I move, I think I’ll have more time to improve the mail section but I’ve been really busy lately so the posts are rather spaced out.
9. Why should people write more letters? Letters, although not very convenient, can be a way to show your creativity and connect with someone in a really fun way. When receiving a real piece of mail, it’s much more exciting than receiving an email because you know the person cared enough to spend time to write and decorate it.
10. What is your favorite letter? Historically? I loved reading the love notes Napoleon Bonaparte wrote. Anything written in old English is a fun read though. Out of the letters I’ve received, I’m going to have to say any of the letters from Preeya, one of my pen pals.


(That's the scene Melody sees from her front door every night.)

Letter #183 -- A good book

Which would you rather do: Read a book or listen while someone reads out loud to you? I prefer to read it myself. Somehow, when I'm supposed to be listening, my mind tends to wander off and I lose track of the story. But, I know people who can follow right along as I read aloud. Maybe if I closed my eyes and concentrated on the spoken word, I might could comprehend it better. (I'd probably just fall asleep, then.) Think about which you prefer, and write a letter to someone discussing the topic.

Letter writing topic for July 2, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Letter #182 -- Good luck!

Today, write a letter wishing someone good luck. Surely you know someone who is trying out for something, a new job, a drivers license, a part in a local play. Just let them know that you are out there cheering them on. Of course, you know they have the talent to achieve their dreams, but, still, a little luck won't hurt.

Letter writing topic for July 1, 2010
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