Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Letter #271 -- Cooler weather, for some of us!

Oh, how I feel for those people in California who are suffering through such heat. They experienced 113 degrees yesterday, a temperature that is not unknown to those of us living in Texas.

But, it is much cooler here now. That "First Day of Autumn" on the calendar brought cooler days and much cooler nights!

What's the weather like where you are? Sure, it's cliche to write about the weather, but it's also interesting to a lot of people! Write a letter today discussing the weather. Is it hot or cold? Sunny or rainy? Do you like it?  Share your climate. Share your thoughts!

Letter writing topic for Sept. 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Letter #270 -- In memory

Fellow blogger Gladys, over at Gladys Tells All, wrote last Friday about her Aunt Jewel, who recently passed away. Take a minute or two and read Gladys' post about Aunt Jewel, and then write a letter in memory of someone near and dear to you. Tell a story, share a smile. Let someone else remember, too.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Letter #269 -- A Necessary Letter

Think about it, today. Who do you need to write a letter to? Who needs to hear from you? Who needs to be surprised to see your handwriting on an envelope in their mailbox? Who needs to experience that thrill of anticipation as they open that envelope and excitedly read your words, scrawled across the pages with your favorite pen? Who do you need to write to today? Think about it. Think about that person.

Now, sit down and write that letter.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Letter #268 -- Museums

Today is Museum Day! What's your favorite musuem? Why do you like to go there? Is it an art museum? A history museum? A cultural museum? What's your favorite exhibit?

Today, on Museum Day, write a letter to a friend about your favorite museum.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 25, 2010

Letter #267 -- What is there to do?

Write a letter about something going on in your area. Just down the road from where we live, they're having "Western Heritage Days" this weekend. What's going on around you? If nothing is going on this weekend, look to the future. When is something planned? Write a letter about it. If there's time, invite someone to join you for the activity.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Letter #266 -- Oops

What's the most recent mistake you've made? It seems like I've just goofed up one time after another today. Nothing major, just piddly little stuff that means re-doing the same thing over and over again, forgetting to change things, changing other things wrongly, etc.

Have you ever had one of those days? Write about it in a letter to a friend today.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Letter #265 -- He ain't heavy....

Today is my brother's birthday. Today, write a letter to your brother. Recollect a memory from your childhood or let him know how much he means to you. Share something about your life now. Ask about his life. Let him know you care.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Letter #264 -- Traveling

Is there a place you'd like to visit that you've never been to? What are your travel dreams? Where would you like to go? What do you want to see?

I hope to go to Ireland some day. It's been a dream of mine for years. For now, I'll just keep dreaming.

Write a letter today about a place you'd like to visit.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Letter #263 -- Autumn

In the northern hemisphere, this coming Wednesday is the first day of Autumn. (In the southern hemisphere, it's springtime!)

Today, write a letter about your favorite season — Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer. Which do you like best? Why? Share a recipe or a story that represents that season.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 20. 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Letter #262 -- Peace

Where do you find your peace? When the chaos of the world is making you crazy, where do you escape to? Do you have a garden or a quiet corner somewhere where you can sit and enjoy the quiet?

Write about your peacefulness in a letter today. Share your serenity with someone else!

Letter writing topic for Sept. 19, 2010

Letter #261 -- Smile!

What makes you laugh? What made you laugh this week? A kitten chasing its tale? A knock-knock joke your child told you? A co-worker's funny story?

Share your laughter with someone in a letter today. Tell them what you saw or heard and why it made you laugh. Maybe you'll make someone else laugh, too.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Letter #260 -- Good News!

Today, after reading so many tragic stories in the news, I decided to re-run a letter writing topic from January. Write a letter filled with good news. I know that sometimes things all around us seem terrible, but if you don't have any good news yourself, look online....when I need something to cheer me up, I just look through some of my favorite blogs. All over the world, good things are happening in people's lives, and they're writing about those things online!

One of my favorite blogs for a quick, simple pick-me-up is Kind Over Matter. It always seems cheerful there.

Now, go write that letter! Spread some happiness around.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Stamp Honors Poet

Julia de Burgos, one of Puerto Rico’s most celebrated poets, was recognized by the Postal Service earlier this week with a 44-cent stamp at the Teatro Tapia in San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of the oldest drama stage buildings in the U.S.

An award-winning writer and journalist, Julia de Burgos takes her place among honorees in the Postal Service’s Literary Arts series and with 75 other Hispanic-themed stamps.

“Today, the Postal Service honors Julia de Burgos, a revolutionary writer, thinker, and activist,” said Jordan Small, Postal Service area vice president, Northeast Area, during the first-day-of-issue stamp ceremony. “Dr. de Burgos wrote more than 200 poems that probe issues of love, feminism, and political and personal freedom. Her groundbreaking works urged women, minorities and the poor to defy social conventions and find their own true selves.”

Julia Constanza Burgos García was born on Feb. 17, 1914, in the town of Carolina, Puerto Rico. The eldest of 13 children, de Burgos grew up along the Río Grande de Loíza. She later wrote, “My childhood was all a poem in the river, and a river in the poem of my first dreams.” 

Although her family’s limited means made attending college difficult, de Burgos persevered and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 1933 with a two-year teaching degree. For the next several years, she worked at a series of teaching and journalism jobs while also publishing poems in journals and newspapers.

De Burgos’ first collection, Exact Poems to Myself, consisted of poems she wrote in 1934 and 1935. One of the poems written during this early period also became her most famous, “Río Grande de Loíza,” a love song to the river of her childhood. In another poem, de Burgos rejected the social and behavioral restrictions placed on women, forcefully proclaiming, “I am life, strength, woman.” Other poems address political themes such as equality and social justice.

The stamp features a portrait of Julia de Burgos created by artist Jody Hewgill. It is available in panes of 20 stamps, a block of 10 stamps or a block of four stamps. Additionally, first-day-of-issue postmark stamps and other items featuring the stamp are available. For more information, visit the USPS website at www.usps.com.

Interesting letter story

If you'll click over to The Guardian newspaper's website, you can read Geoff Dyer's article on buying a letter written by D.H. Lawrence. It's quite an interesting read!

Lawrence, a letter and me

Letter #259 -- Your Favorites

Today, write a letter to a friend or relative and include a list of your 10 favorite blogs. If you're writing to someone who isn't quite Internet-savvy, tell them what blogs are all about. To me, blogs are a cross between an old-fashioned newspaper column, email, a personal letter, a journal and a conversation. And, of course, each blog is different. Some blogs are strictly business, while others are highly personal.

If you're so inclined, print out a few pages from your favorites to show your friend what specifically you like about the blogs.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Letter #258 -- Hot Under the Collar?

What makes you mad? Really angry? How do you deal with things when you get angry? Do you vent? Or do you keep it all bottled up?

Today, write a letter about how you deal with things that make you mad. Send it to someone you're not mad at.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Profile of a Letter Writer

Blogger Lauren from Norman, Oklahoma, posts copies of the letters she sends and receives (after she blocks out the names and addresses, of course). SincerelyLauren.com is a great place to go to see how real-life letters are written, what people say to each other, etc.

Lauren also makes her own stationery/note cards.

Here are Lauren’s answer to my questions:

1. Why do you write letters?
I love stationery and being crafty.  I also hate only getting bills in the mail.  I want to be excited when I go to my mail box.

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? I do love dropping a letter off to be mailed, but I'm way more excited about receiving personal letters.  It brightens my day and gives me something to look forward to.

3. Who do you write to? Why? I have recently started writing to random people.  Mainly because my friends have adapted to technology with flying colors and have left old fashioned snail mail behind, so I don't receive much from them when I write to them.

4. Do you write to people who never write back? Why or why not? Not really.  I mainly don't write back because the recipient is either not interested in letter writing or I may not live at that address anymore.

5. Do you use fancy stationery or plain notebook paper? Why? I use fancy stationery.  That's the main reason I like to write letters.  I like art and pretty things and stationery can sometimes be considered one or both.

6. Do you e-mail, text, etc., too? If so, what determines who gets an e-mail and who gets a letter? I do email and text but only when I need a direct response.  I use letter writing for recreational purposes, and leisurely communication.

7. Do you always handwrite letters? Or, do you ever type them on a  typewriter or print them out from a computer? I have toyed around with the idea of typing them out.  I have this great font that is my own handwriting, so I may use that at some point, but for now I handwrite my own letters.

8. Tell us about your blog/website. It's a website a friend started for me after I had mentioned the Idea of writing to random people to get rid of stationery and therefore have an excuse to buy more.  He suggested that I blog the send outs and the responses.  My blog monkey is the genius mastermind behind my blog site.

9. Why should people write more letters? I don't think I would use the word "should," but I think they would have more fun writing letters than they would sending a boring email.  When you write a letter you can take pride in the fact that you went to the trouble of taking time out of your day to create something special for someone else.
10. What is your favorite letter? Any letter that is sent to me.  I'm not picky.  I do like longer letters, but beggars can't be choosers.

 If you want to send Lauren a letter, write to her at:
Sincerely Lauren
PO BOX 5436
Norman,OK 73070

Letter #257 -- Nancy Drew?

What was your favorite children's book? If you're like me, you have a difficult time choosing just one. If that's true, just pick one of your many favorites to write about today. Try to remember how old you were when you read it, and write a letter to a child about that age now. If you can, send a copy of the book. Tell him or her why you liked it so much. Encourage him/her to read! And write....send some stationery, an envelope and a stamp. Ask for a letter in return! Ask some specific questions for your letter's recipient to respond to.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Letter #256 -- Buenos Dias

Today, write a letter in a foreign language, one that is different from your native language. Are you fluent in another language? If you are, great! This will be an easy letter for you to write. If not, well, do your best. Use the Internet or a translation dictionary to help you look up some words in another language. At least, sprinkle a few of those words throughout your letter. If you're not comfortable writing the entire letter in another language, just use a few key words here and there.

It'll be fun! Try it!

Letter writing topic for Sept. 13, 2010

Letter #255 -- Longings

Write a letter about something you've always wanted to do but haven't had a chance to do yet. Do you think you'll ever accomplish your dream? How? When? What are your plans?

Write a letter about it!

Letter writing topic for Sept. 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Letter #254 -- The Future

Today, write a letter about your hopes and dreams for the future. For today, ignore your worries and fears and write a letter with your most cheerful expectations for future days to come. Then, be sure to put it in the mailbox!

Letter writing topic for Sept. 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Letter #253 -- Slow or fast?

In the U.S., for many people, today is the last work day of a short week. Many of us had Monday, Sept. 6, Labor Day, off from work. That gave us a three-day weekend and a four-day week. But, most of us didn't come back to only four days' worth of work. We still had to get five days' work done in only four days. Sometimes, that makes for a "long" week, even though it's short a day. Does it seem that way to you, too?

Write a letter today about what your work week was like. Did time fly or drag on, seemingly endlessly? Tell someone about your experiences.

Letter writing topic for September 10, 2010

Letter #252 -- Don't mail it

This letter writing assignment goes against most everything we talk about here, but that's OK. Sometimes it's all right to shake things up a bit.

Today, write a letter that you never intend to mail. Write a letter saying things you wish you could say but know you never could really say them. Get it out of your system. Pour your heart out. Then, destroy the letter. Burn it. Shred it. Shred it, then burn it. Whatever it takes to make sure this particular letter never gets read by the person you wish could read it. Then, as I tell my daughter all the time, let it go.

An alternative to destroying the letter is to mail it to The Things Unsaid Project. One or more readers of this blog have mentioned the project to me. According to the project's site, The Things Unsaid Project is a "new social art project that allows individuals the opportunity to voice their long-silent words and remind us all of our shared connections, emotions, and experiences. We all have things we’ve wanted to say, but—for whatever reason—haven’t voiced. From apologies and admiration to gratitude and aggravation, The Things Unsaid Project offers you the chance to share those missing words, to communicate those 'things unsaid' and release your thoughts into the world."

Go to the link, scroll down to the bottom of the page and read all about how to participate.

Letter writing topic for September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Letter #251 -- Do you think so?

Not long ago, I got a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant that said: This is a prosperous time of life for you.

It seems like often we don't think we're in a prosperous time of life. It seems as if we almost always want more. We can always think of certain things that can be better.

Along this theme, I've been having regular conversations with my 10-year-old daughter on our way to school every morning. She typically has a complaint about school. She doesn't like PE, she's not happy with this teacher or that one, etc. So, I talk to her about finding the good in each situation, finding something to like about every teacher, etc. I have no idea if my talks are working or not, but I keep talking.

So, how about you? Do you think this is a "prosperous time of life for you"? If so, are you enjoying it? What are you doing to take advantage of the good situation? How did you get to this point?

Even if it doesn't seem so on the bottom line, are you making the most of a difficult situation? How? What do you do to keep going, to continue pushing forward?

Write a letter about it to a friend. I know you don't want to brag, but you can express your gratitude for how things are going or talk about the situation in other ways.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Letter #250 -- Top 10

What are your top 10 favorite reasons for writing a letter? Think about why you like to correspond and then write those reasons in a letter to a friend.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Letter #249 -- Labor Day

In the United States of America, today is Labor Day, a day for celebrating the American workers and all they have accomplished. For an interesting piece on Labor Day, read Valerie Strauss' Things You Should Know About Labor Day in the Washington Post.

Then, write a letter to the hardest working person you know. Tell them how much their hard work means to you and others.

Alternatively, write a letter about a hard-working person, from the present or the past. Honor that person's efforts.

Don't forget....no mail in the USA today. In honor of Labor Day, our hard-working postal employees get the day off.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Letter #248 -- Make it a Postcard

Today, write a short letter on the back of a postcard and drop it in the mailbox to a friend.

Do you have a box full of postcards that you've bought through the years but never mailed to anyone? Doesn't everyone have a box like that? Well, if so, then make good use of those postcards and send them out into the world to brighten someone's day.

What if you don't have any postcards? Make one! I've sent out letters written on the backs of Pop Tarts boxes and other pieces of cardboard. You can cut one out of just about anything. According to the U.S. Postal Service, to qualify for the cheaper postcard stamp rate, a postcard can be no smaller than 3.5 (three and a half) by 5 inches, and it can be no larger than 4.25 (four and a quarter) by six inches. Additionally, it can't be any thicker than 0.007 inch thick. Postcards that meet the size requirements cost 28 cents to mail. Larger postcards will probably cost you more to mail.

What if you don't know anyone who would appreciate a postcard? Check out Ria's postcard blog and send her one! I also have a few other postcard blogs listed over on the left side of this blog site. I need to update that list.

Then, while you're out and about in your town, look for some postcards to buy and keep on hand. If you're like me, you probably never notice the postcards that are out there. The first place to look for postcards is tourist places, such as museums, visitors' centers, etc. Then, try looking in local stores that sell a variety of items, such as drug stores. Often, grocery stores and even big-name chain stores have little displays of items like that. Look in the corners of the store where you rarely venture. Look for the rack with keychains and coffee mugs featuring your state flag, etc.

Postcards can be a fun way to add a jolt to your letter writing activities.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Letter #247 -- High or low?

Would you rather spend your free time at the beach or in the mountains?

When you go on vacation, are you looking for sunshine and sand or trees and clouds? Heat and water or chill and hills?  Why do you prefer what you prefer? Do you share your preferences with family and friends? Do you take group trips together to the beach or to the mountains?

Share your likes and dislikes with a friend in a letter today.

Letter writing topic for Sept. 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Letter #246 -- 'Saw You On TV'

Today, write a letter to a TV newscaster. Remember...don't be a stalker...just a fan.

Watch the news, look for a story that really interests you. Then, write the TV reporter and tell him or her how the story affected you and why you liked it so much. Maybe it was a bit of good news in a bad news world, maybe the story highlighted one of your pet projects or your favorite local celebrity. Whatever it is, give a compliment today.

Letter writing topic for September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Encouraging children to write letters

I ran across an article about using personalized stationery to encourage children to write letters.

The article says: One way to encourage letter writing is to give your children snazzy, fun, personalized stationary that they can get excited about using. Personalized stationary with your child’s initials stamped on them can further encourage your unwilling child. Stationery with themes such as family, children, seasons, religious sentiments, or beloved children’s characters can excite your child and open doors into the exciting world of writing and journalism.

Stationery from Current
There are many places to get personalized stationery, including Etsy. One of my favorite shops is The Card Tree. Guilia has some personalized writing sets there.

In shopping for personalized stationery for adults or children, you can go high end or more affordable. For some of the best, highest quality stationery out there, look at Crane Stationery.  On the other hand, Current offers some less expensive personalized stationery. The Froggy Correspondence Set is for kids. At Current, you can get personalized pencils and address labels, too.

Letter #245 - Remember when...

Write a letter today to an old friend. Reminisce about the things you used to do together. Were you young children together who played games and went to school? Maybe you'll write to a college pal or a former co-worker, maybe a neighbor or someone who had young children when you did.

Share your memories, share your current life, invite your friend to write back and share his or her memories too.

Letter writing topic for September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Stamps -- Nature of America series

Today, the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to release the latest stamps in the Nature of America series. At the Hawaii National Park in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Rain Forest souvenir sheet of 10 44–cent commemorative stamps. Also released today are the matching stamped postal cards ($8.95). Both were designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland.

Featuring a Hawaiian rain forest, the 2010 Nature of America issuance is the 12th stamp pane in an educational series focusing on the beauty and complexity of major plant and animal communities in the United States.

The setting for the colorful acrylic painting on the stamp pane is a rain forest on Hawaii’s largest island, which is also named Hawaii. Artist John Dawson, Hilo, Hawaii, painted the scene and each of the previous ones in the Nature of America series:
  • Sonoran Desert (1999),
  • Pacific Coast Rain Forest (2000),
  • Great Plains Prairie (2001),
  • Longleaf Pine Forest (2002),
  • Arctic Tundra (2003),
  • Pacific Coral Reef (2004),
  • Northeast Deciduous Forest (2005),
  • Southern Florida Wetlands (2006),
  • Alpine Tundra (2007),
  • Great Lakes Dunes (2008)
  • and Kelp Forest(2009).
Twenty–four different species were depicted and the scene itself is completely imaginary. Even so, every species depicted could be encountered in a Hawaiian rain forest, and all of the species and their interactions are appropriate and were recommended by scientists.

You can also order the Hawaiian Rainforest  Ceremony Program ($6.95);  the canceled full pane of the stamps ($6.90); the first day cover full pane ($6.90); the first day cover keepsake that includes a souvenir sheet of 10 44–cent commemorative stamps, including a First Day Cover plus a full un-cancelled souvenir sheet ($11.95); and, an uncut press sheet that includes 8 sheets of the stamps ($35.20).

For more information, visit the U.S. Postal Service's website at www.usps.com.

Letter #244 -- New Beginnings

Today is the first day of September. The year 2010 is two-thirds of the way gone. If you set goals to accomplish this year, you have four more months to get it all done! (Or, to re-evaluate and re-state your goals.) The First Day of Autumn (in the northern hemisphere) and the First Day of Spring (in the southern hemisphere) is three weeks away.

Let's take this opportunity to start anew. Is there something in your life that you need a re-do on? Something you need a new beginning for? Take this moment in time and say to yourself, "Let's try again."

Then, write about it in a letter to a friend.

Letter writing topic for September 1, 2010
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