Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Rules of Snail Mail"

Shawna Coronado, from the Gardening Nude blog and book, wrote about saving money, staying "green" and still participating in the upcoming greeting card season. She admits that she still sends out a few cards, but she has some really good guidelines for deciding to write and mail a letter. Check out her "Rules of Snail Mail."

Letter #326 -- Rock 'n Roll

There was a snippet online today about the first rock and roll song, ever. It seems that a college professor, Joseph Burns of Southeastern Louisiana University, has identified the characteristics of a rock song. Using those characteristics, he has come to the conclusion that "That's All Right Mama," a September 1946 release by Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, was the first rock and roll song.

What do you think? Do you agree? What's your favorite rock and roll song? When was the first time you heard it? What makes it your favorite? Write a letter about it!

Letter #325 -- Addresses

How many home addresses have you had in your life? Have you stayed in the same place for many years, or have you moved frequently? I can count 15 addresses that I've had -- there could be more. And, that's not counting the one address twice -- we lived there, moved away and then moved back. But, it does include a different address each year in college.

Write a letter about the places you've lived, the houses, the addresses, the streets. Tell someone about your life.

Letter #324 -- With Purpose

Write a letter with a purpose, a purposeful letter. What purpose? Well now, that's up to you. What do you need to write about? Who do you need to write something specific to? Don't put it off any longer! Write that letter!

Letter #323 -- Favorite Pen?

What's your favorite writing utensil? Write a letter with your favorite pen (or pencil) about why it's your favorite pen. Do you like a ballpoint? A fountain pen? A rollerball? A gel pen? Why? Do you like a thin, sharp line or a thick, softer line? Has your choice of writing instrument changed through the years? Tell someone about it!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Short story about a long pen-friendship

The South Shropshire Journal recently had an article about two women who have been penpals for 50 years. Read about it here.

Letter #322 -- Your BFF

Write a letter to your best friend. Tell her (or him) how much she means to you. Don't hold back your feelings.

Letter #321 -- What's Your Cause?

Do you have a favorite charity? A group that you like to donate money to? An organization that you wish more people knew about? Write a letter about the group and why you support them. You don't have to be pushy, just informative.

Letter #320 -- Do You Like Your Job?

Is your job just a way to pay the bills, or is it your life's passion? Do you love your job? Would you do your job even if you won the lottery? Or, do you dread going to the office every day?

Write a letter about what you do for a living. If you don't work, write about what you used to do for a living or what you would do if you got a job.

Letter #319 -- Paper or Electronic?

If you're interested in letter writing, you probably have some type of affection for paper. But, when it comes to other types of reading....magazines, newspapers, books....what form do you prefer? Do you buy and read the paper and ink productions, or would you rather log online and catch up on the news and other topics electronically?

Write a letter about it!

Letter #318 -- What's for Dinner?

What are you having for dinner? Do you cook from scratch? Do you eat frozen entrees? Do you have delivery or eat out at a restaurant? Whatever you eat and however it's prepared, write a letter about your dinner plans.

Letter From Dad project

Here's an article from the Bolivar, Missouri, newspaper website about the "Letters From Dad" project. It's an interesting project.

Letter #317 -- How do you affect others?

The fortune cookie says, "You are often unaware of the effect you have on others."

Is that true for you? How do you affect others? Do you influence their lives? What do you think others think of you?

Write a letter about it!

Not just a U.S. problem

I'm sure people all over the world think mostly in terms of their own little place on the planet. We all think about the situations that are happening around us, sometimes not realizing that similar problems are happening everywhere. Here in the U.S., there is much discussion about the U.S. Postal Service. With billions of dollars in losses, the service is considering all kinds of options to save money and/or make more money.

But, a quick look around the Internet, shows that the problem isn't just a U.S. problem. Here's a commentary from India and one from Canada.

Letter #316 -- Do you know your letter carrier?

Write a letter about the person who picks up and delivers your mail. If you're passionate about letter writing, you probably send and receive a lot of mail. Where do you mail your letters? From your home mailbox? At the post office? Write a letter about your mailing process!

NPR Series on Postal Service

Last week, NPR (National Public Radio) broadcast a series on "Snail Mail Struggles." The series is online. Clicking on that link, will take you to the various segments of the series, which you can read and/or listen to.


Letter #315 -- Book Review

Write a letter about the latest book you've read. Review the book for your letter's recipient. Haven't read a book lately? Read one! Then, write a letter about it!

Blog about letter writing

Go to the Red Room blog for an interesting posy by Gina Collia-Suzuki about her past letter writing adventures. The post is titled Fangs for the Memories.

Letter #314 -- Extreme weather

As we head into Winter (in the northern hemisphere), cold, icy, snowy weather is on many minds. What type of severe weather do you face in your corner of the world? Ice storms? Thunder storms? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Killing heat? Write a letter today about the extreme weather in your area and what you and your neighbors do to prepare for weather-related disasters.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Letter #313 -- Fun, fun, fun

We write all sorts of letters...complaint letters, introduction letters, daily life letters, sad letters, bad news letters, etc. Today, let's write a fun letter. Just make it fun. Include a joke or a funny picture you've cut out of a magazine or a comic strip from the newspaper. Dig through your letter writing supplies and find some extra stickers you can send along. Now, think of the person in your address book who is most in need of a fun letter and send it to them!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Letter #312 -- November 11

Many countries observe a day of honor on or near November 11 for armed services veterans. In the United States, the day is Veterans Day. In some other countries, it is Remembrance Day, Poppy Day or Armistice Day.

In preparation for that day, today write a letter to a veteran of your country's armed services. Let him or her know that you appreciate their personal sacrifices for the sake of the country.

Letter writing topic for Nov. 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Letter #311 -- An extra hour

If you live in any part of most of the United States (or in a country or an area of a country that observes Daylight Saving Time) you gained an extra hour today. Specifically, at 2 a.m., the time changed back to 1 a.m.

If you haven't already changed your clocks and watches (or if they didn't automatically change themselves), you're thinking that it's an hour later than it really is. Even if you've already adjusted your time markers, your body is probably still on yesterday-time. That means that you might get hungry before the clock says it's dinner time, and you might be sleepy an hour before your regular bedtime, by the clock. It may take you a few days to get adjusted.

As a mom, I'm going to be happy that in the morning, it should be easier to get my daughter up and at 'em, getting ready for school.

Of course, it's just all a modern-day convenience or inconvenience, depending on how you look at it. The trees and the animals in the wild don't know or care what time we say it it. The sun and the moon don't, either. But, in our "civilized" world, we got an extra hour today. What do you intend to do with yours? Write a letter to a friend, telling them how you're spending your extra hour. (If you aren't dealing with the end of Daylight Saving Time today, write a letter about how you would spend an extra hour, if you were given one.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Letter #310 -- Dreaming

Today, write a letter about a recent dream you've had. I'm talking about those moving pictures you have when you're asleep.

A few weeks ago, my family had our family reunion at one of my cousin's house. It was raining when the get-together started, but the rain let up and we all had a good time, as usual.

Last night, I dreamed that we were at next year's reunion and although it wasn't raining, it was very cold. We had all spent the night at my cousin's house, which we don't normally do. When I woke up in the dream, another cousin was cooking breakfast for her kids. I was wandering around and went outside, where yet another cousin told me that we were going to play a game at 3:30 and then we were all going to leave because it was so cold. I just couldn't believe that it had been a year (in reality, it's only been a few weeks) since the reunion when it rained. When I awoke in real life, I remembered it all, quite clearly.

Do you remember your dreams? If so, write about one in a letter today. You can decide if you want to attempt to analyze your dream. I think I prefer to just remember them.

Letter writing topic for November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Letter #309 -- Annoying computers

The other day, my 10-year-old daughter commented that she just does not understand how people ever lived without computers or TVs or VCRs and DVD players. We just laughed and laughed. "Well, what would people DO without those things?" she demanded to know.

We started listing off activities...read -- books, magazines, newspapers -- play games, write letters, talk to each other, exercise, cook, go see friends, garden. I don't know when we stopped listing off non-electronic things to do, but I'm sure it was long after she rolled her eyes.

More often than not, I wonder how in the world we manage to get through the day in spite of all the electronics in our lives. Thanks to cell phones, we can never actually get away from it all. Thanks to computers, we are bombarded with information all day long.

And, then, when computers break down, we are faced with the frustration of trying to get them repaired and with the inconvenience of suddenly being without what has become our life line. Last week, I mentioned that I had gotten behind on my letter writing topic because of computer problems. Well, they struck again today. This time, I swiftly put the wheels in motion to fix the problems, but still, I lost a lot of data that I rely on. I'll now set about trying to rebuild what I lost.

What are your most annoying electronic problems? What do you do when they strike? Do you ever wish you just lived on the side of a mountain with no electricity at all? Or, do you wish you were so connected to your computer that all you had to do was think and your thoughts would appear on the screen?

Write a letter about your attitude toward electronics today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Smithsonian Exhibit: Mexico Via Airmail

The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum has a new online exhibit, "Mexico Via Airmail," that highlights how Mexico used airmail stamps to promote a progressive national image worldwide following its revolution in 1910.

The Mexican government exported nationalism through images of nature and technology in harmony, comparisons of ancient and contemporary art and culture, and the mix of Ancient Mayan hieroglyphics and fiesta colors with 1960s op-art typography in the 1968 Olympic Games graphic designs. The exhibit, created by Cheryl R. Ganz, the museum's chief curator of philately, is bilingual and features both stamps and mail of Mexico.

Throughout the 20th century, Mexico issued more than 600 airmail stamps. This exhibit features examples of airmail stamps and mail organized in three categories: Nature and Technology, Ancient to Contemporary Culture and the 1968 Olympic Games.

Click here to view the exhibit: www.postalmuseum.si.edu/AragoMexicoViaAirmail

Letter #308 -- To a Friend

Today, think of all your friends and think of one who needs an encouraging word. Maybe your friend is looking for a job or dealing with a stressful job. Maybe he or she is is struggling with a personal issue or a family problem. Even if you don't have the answer to all the problems, you can still write an encouraging letter. Mostly, you need to let your friend know that you care and that you're available to talk anytime they need you.

Letter writing topic for Nov. 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another Letter Writing Blog

I noticed a comment on one of my posts from a fellow blogger, Sikko Gerkema, who blogs from The Netherlands, I think. The blog is apparently all in Dutch. There is a translator provided, but sometimes the translation doesn't seem quite right. The blog is Briven aan Niemand Anders, which according to the program, translates into English as Letters to No One Else.

It's a great blog with lots of good links to other blogs and sites. I'll be checking back often. (I'd "follow" it, but I can't seem to get that to work just yet.)

Stop by for a visit!

Letter #307 -- Loving Food

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page that today is National Sandwich Day and tomorrow is National Candy Day. Well, since we recently had letter writing topics about sandwiches and candy, we'll have to write about the upcoming Doughnut Appreciation Day on Friday, Nov. 5.

What's your favorite doughnut? I generally enjoy a plain glazed doughnut the most. Although I do like a cream-filled doughnut, too.

For the longest time, my husband and I proclaimed Shipley Do-Nuts to be our favorite. The doughnut company was founded in Houston, Texas, and my husband's mother worked at the original shop at one time. We knew that at just about any time, we could get a hot Shipley Do-nut. Then, finally, years after everyone else was clamoring for them, we tried Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Now, we agree it's a toss-up. The two companies' doughnuts are different, but each is good. And, both stores generally have hot doughnuts when you walk in the door. (It is fun to watch the doughnuts traveling down the conveyor belt at Krispy Kreme.)

Today, in advance of Doughnut Appreciation Day, write a letter about your favorite doughnut.

Letter writing topic for Nov. 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Letter #306 -- Election Day

Today, it is Election Day in the United States. Did you vote? Do you remember the first time you voted? Who did you vote for? Where did you vote?

Write about your voting experiences in a letter today.

Letter writing topic for Nov. 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Letter #305 -- Your historical twin

Who are you most like in history? When you read about history, who do you identify with? Queens, kings, princes and princesses? The working class heroes? Presidents and first ladies? Farmers and ranchers? Natives? Explorers?

Is there a specific person in history you think you are most like? Write about him or her -- and the connection you feel -- in a letter today.

Letter writing topic for November 1, 2010

Love letters

Leanna at the blog The Life of a Preppy Army Wife is writing about the love letters she and her soldier husband write to each other.

She writes:

"We feel there is nothing more romantic then a handwritten love letter to melt ones heart."
Stop by her blog for a visit.

Letter #304 -- Boo!

What was your most memorable childhood Halloween costume? Did you have store-bought costumes or the homemade variety? Did you choose scary outfits, such as goblins and ghouls, or did you pick happy themes, like fairies and princesses?

Write about your favorite Halloween costume in a letter to a friend.

Letter writing topic for Oct. 31, 2010
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