Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Too Much Bad News

Professionally, I'm in the news business. I write features articles for newspapers. Now, traditionally, "features" have been the upbeat, happy, fluffy side of the "news." But, still, I, like many people, am more or less addicted to the hardcore news of the day. I read the Associated Press wire stories that are posted every day. And, the stories are so depressing nowadays. There are mass murders and rapes in the news every day, along with stories of horrible child abuse and animal abuse.

It's really getting to be just too upsetting. Let's try to change the atmosphere a little bit. Write a letter today with only good, happy news in it. And then, mail it to someone you think could use an uplifting thought!

Don't have any good news of your own to share? Look around the Internet...there really is a lot of good news out there. Here are some sites: HappyNews, the GoodNewsNetwork (requires a low-cost subscription), GoodNewsDaily has mostly positive articles, the GoodNewsBroadcast seeks out good news, but I'm not sure the "Millions of Tax Refunds May Be Delayed" story is all that positive, Tonic has lots of good news, too, and the GoodNewsGazette says "Happiness is contagious."

So, let's share some good, happy news today!

(I found the smiley face at the top of the page at Smiley-Faces.org with lots of smileys to download or hotlink to.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

U.S. Stamp News

According to news released last week, the U.S. Postal Service is now offering first class postage stamps featuring four U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

The stamps are on a four-stamp souvenir sheet that features images of the Supreme Court building and a detail from the first page of the United States Constitution.

The four justices on the stamps are Joseph Story (1779-1845), Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) and William J. Brennan Jr. (1906-1997).

For more information, visit the U.S. Postal Service Web site or a U.S. post office.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Letter writing humor

I found this book at a thrift store, it seems. When I bought it, I had never heard of it and didn't quite understand the type of book it was. It's titled "Letters of Thanks: A Christmas Tale," so I thought it was about writing thank-you letters.

How fun it was when I sat down and read it! Written by Manghanita Kempadoo and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury in 1969, the small book is a series of letters from Lady Katherine Huntington to Lord Gilbert, thanking him for all the gifts he keeps sending her... a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, etc. I won't give away the story, but just imagine what you'd do with six geese, seven swans, nine fiddlers, ten drummers, eleven dancing ladies, and so on.

I see the book is available online at a variety of prices. If you love Christmas, as well as letter writing, you might find this book amusing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Different Kind of Letter

While doing some research on letter writing, I came across a Web site that has topics such as "The Art of Writing Letters" and "12 Rules for Writing GREAT Letters," both written by Pamela Wright.

The Web site is WrightsLaw, and it's an advocacy Web site for parents of children with disabilities. The letter writing articles all focus on writing letters of complaint or concern and attempting to remedy a bad situation.

Even if you don't have a child with disabilities or if you don't have a complaint, the letter writing tips are interesting to read. Many of the "12 Rules for Writing GREAT Letters" can be applied to most any letter writing situation. For example, the first rule is before you start writing, know why you are writing and what you hope to accomplish. This is a good rule to follow, whether or not you're seeking justice for disable child or you're simply writing a note to your best friend. Having an idea of what you want to write about makes your letter easier to read.

"The Art of Writing Letters" suggests using a story-telling approach to writing letters. Again, this works for complaint letters or personal missives.

I think it's an interesting site.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not feeling like yourself?

In case you missed it, Saturday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. You know, "Arrrrrr!" and "Ahoy, matey!"

I must say, I forgot to "talk like a pirate" on Saturday, but it did get me to thinking...has anyone ever written a letter like a pirate? Assuming you're not really a pirate, that would take some imagination and a little bit of role-playing, I guess.

Sort of like "ghost-letter writing." I've never written a ghost letter, but I've read about them online. At first, I thought "ghost letters" were related to "ghostwriting," which involves a writer writing something for someone else who presents it as their own. I think a lot of celebrities hire ghostwriters to write their autobiographies for them.

But, that's not what ghost letters are all about. Ghost letters are letters people write as if they were written by a historical or fictional character. For example, what would Nancy Drew have written to the Hardy Boys? Or, maybe, what advice would George Washington have given Abraham Lincoln?

Have you ever written a ghost letter? Who did you pretend to be? Who did you send the letter to? Did they write back? As who? I'm curious. Tell me about it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quote of the day

This quote is attributed, on the Internet, to Sydney Smith, an English writer (1771-1845):
"Correspondences are like small clothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up."
Of course, I wouldn't say correspondences are "impossible" to keep up, but it does take some work. In this project, I have found that it is easier to write a letter to a stranger, someone I've never written to before, such as the many letter writers on the the penpal sites, than it is to write to a friend or even an established penpal.

With my friends, I want to say something important, something meaningful, so I put off writing those letters until I have time to devote to the art of crafting a letter. With new penpals, or even just fellow snail mailers who may never become penpals, the letters are often simple letters of introduction, which are fairly easy to write.

However, I do believe, it is worth the effort to keep up the correspondences. Good friends are so important.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not exactly a letter, but...

I like to hide little notes in my daughter's lunch box from time to time. One day recently, I opened my lunch box at work to find this note that Anna had put in my lunch.

I gotta tell you...it made my day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fan letter?

After the news that one of my favorite actors, Patrick Swayze, has died from pancreatic cancer, I got to thinking about celebrities.

As far as I can remember, I've never written a fan letter. Now, I won't guarantee that statement. There's a chance I could've written a fan letter when I was a young girl, but I'm sure I've never written one as an adult.

Have you written a fan letter? Do you have any fan letter tips to share? Did you get a response?

I'd like to hear what you think!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Letter Writing Contest

The Universal Postal Union hosts a letter writing contest every year for young people up to the age of 15. To participate, a young letter writer must first enter and win a letter writing contest by UPU-member country. The top three winners of the international contest will receive medals.

There are lots of details online, but the one thing I don't see is how to find out if and when your country is hosting such a contest. If you've heard of this contest or have more information on how to enter, please let me know and I'll post the updated information.

Each year, the UPU letter writing contest has a theme on which the writers have to write. Next year's topic is: "Write a letter to someone to explain why it is important to talk about AIDS and to protect oneself against the disease."

For the 2009 contest, the winner was 14-year-old Dominika Koflerova of the Czech Republic. The contest's topic was “How decent working conditions can lead to a better life," and Dominika wrote about a chocolate bar and how fair trade can improve working conditions in developing countries.

It sounds like a great contest to encourage letter writing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The thing you leave undone

Don't forget to write a letter today.

The Sin Of Omission

by Margaret Sangster

It isn't the thing you do, dear;
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.
The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts to-night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of brother's way,
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time nor thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.

The little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind;
Those chances to be angels
Which every one may find
They come in night and silence
Each chill, reproachful wraith
When hope is faint and flagging
And a blight has dropped on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all too great;
To suffer our great compassion
That tarries until too late;
And it's not the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.

Margaret Elizabeth Sangster was an American author, poet and editor who lived from 1838 to 1912.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cool notecards

We took a box full of stuff to Goodwill last weekend, and, while we were there, I was looking around to see if there was any good stuff there. I found several vintage books and these great notecards!

Unfortunately, I've looked around on the Internet, and apparently they were only available at retail stores until earlier this year. They aren't available any more.

These Karma Cards by New Leaf Paper are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Additionally, after you write on the inside of the card and mail it to someone, the recipient can then tear off the front of the card and send it as a postcard. Of course, you can do that with any card, I suppose, but this one is pre-printed with a postcard form on the inside of the front of the card, and the center crease of the card is slightly perforated for easy separation.

Maybe you can find some on clearance somewhere, like I did. Or, maybe New Leaf Paper will print some more.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...