Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Words of Inspiration

Peggy Johnson has a blog at the Northeast Arkansas Town Crier website, and yesterday she wrote about letter writing.

She sums up the need for writing letters like this:

"History has been recorded from letters written in the past"
 Read her entire post here.

Beautiful blog post

Visit The Pear Tree blog for a beautiful post with photos about letter writing. Lori-Anne Poirier has a way with words and photos. Enjoy!

Letter writing topics

Don't forget....

I've started posting the letter writing topics a week at a time, instead of daily. This week's topics are listed here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another blogger celebrating Letter Writing Week

Melissa at the Operation NICE blog is promoting National Letter Writing Week on her blog. Check it out. And, while you're there, read her other posts about doing nice things.

These sound like good ideas

I came across this article on how to contact your lawmaker. It's not a list of congressional addresses, but, rather, it's a compilation of suggestions for what really gets the attention of politicians.

Although some of the people interviewed prefer email or phone calls, the article does include snail mail. The main point seems to be that the lawmakers want to receive honest communication from people.

If you're thinking of writing to your congressman or senator, this article is worth reading.

Someone else who writes letters

Lauren Jones has a blog called "oh, lauren," where she writes about all sorts of topics, including letter writing, mail art, etc. Take a look; it's a fun and interesting blog.

Do you have a favorite U.S. stamp?

The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum is creating a new 12,000-square-foot gallery to be named in  honor of William H. Gross, the founder of PIMCO and a stamp collector, who has donated $8 million for the gallery.

The new gallery, which will give the museum public space at the street level, is expected to open in 2012.

In addition to the financial donation, Gross will loan three extraordinary philatelic objects: A cover from the Pony Express service; a cover featuring the 10-cent George Washington stamp, dated July 2, 1847; and a block of four 1918 “Inverted Jennys.”

The gallery will include an international collection of stamps, and you have an opportunity to help choose which stamp will represent the U.S. in the the gallery. Click on this link to see the stamps that are under consideration, read about each stamp and cast your vote.

Other donations have been made to the development of the gallery. Click here to read more about the gallery and those who are making it possible.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rebekah's Blog

Have you been following Rebekah's blog, "Honey and Cheese"? She's blogging about letter writing this week, and she has a giveaway going on!

Be sure to take a look at what she has to share.

If not "Dear," then what is it?

According to this column in The Guardian, "Dear" as a way of beginning letters is not appreciated by everyone. The writer, John Crace, is referencing an article in the Wall Street Journal.

As you can see, the writer thinks it may be connected to email writing; "dear" seems too formal for most emails.

So, how are you addressing your letter's recipients nowadays? Have you quit using "Dear"? If so, what term do you use? If you're still starting your letters with "Dear," do you reserve it for the best of friends who are truly "dear" to you or do you begin all letters that way?

Letter writing topics for week of Jan. 9-15, 2011

Those who have been following this blog for a while know that last year I posted a letter writing topic every day.

Or, at least I tried to.

If I was sick or had computer problems, I didn't get a letter writing topic posted.

So, I've decided that this year, I will post the topics a week at a time. Hopefully, with this system, I'll be able to make sure everyone has the topics in a timely manner.

I will still try to post interesting articles, links to blogs about letter writing, etc. If you have any letter writing topic suggestions or blogs that you think we'd all be interested in, be sure to let me know.

Letter #9 -- Jan. 9, 2011: Write a letter about your favorite kind of music. Do you like jazz, the blues, rock 'n' roll, country and western, classical? Why? Do you have a favorite song? A favorite performer? Tell someone in a letter!

Letter #10 -- Jan. 10, 2011: Write a comforting letter today. Do you know someone who needs to hear a reassuring word, or rather read a reassuring word, from a friend? Send that comforting word in a letter today.

Letter #11 -- Jan. 11, 2011: What did you have for breakfast today? Is that typical? Are you the type of person who eats a big breakfast or one who prefers a cup of coffee on the run? Write about it in a letter today.

Letter #12 -- Jan. 12, 2011:  Write a letter to your mom today. You know she'd love to hear from you. (Note: Of course, all of these letter writing topics are customizable by you. If you can't write a letter to your mom, write a letter about your mom or to someone who you love like a mom. Or, just write a letter to a friend.)

Letter #13 -- Jan. 13, 2011: Many people consider the number 13 unlucky, while others, daring to buck tradition, think of it as their lucky number. What do you think? Are you superstitious? Do you have any little quirks born of superstitions? Do you step over the cracks in the sidewalk, walk around ladders, rather than under them, etc? Write about it today.

Letter #14 -- Jan. 14, 2011:  Who is your celebrity crush? Whose movies would you go to see, even if you knew it wasn't going to be a great movie? Who do you look up on Google? Confess your secret to a friend in a letter today.

Letter #15 -- Jan. 15, 2011: Today is National Hat Day, according to The Headgear Association. In fact, the organization names a Hat Person of the Year every Jan. 15, and you can go vote on your favorite. (The voting form is on the Home page.) Do you like to wear hats? What's your favorite type of hat? Write a letter about hats today. If you can, send along a picture of yourself in a hat.

Letter writing topics for January 9-15, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Letter #8 -- Today -- 01-08-2011

Today write a letter about today. Write a letter about what you're doing today. What are your plans? What is the weather? Who are you going to see today? Is today different from other days? Is it different from other Saturdays? Let someone know what's going on in your life today.

Letter writing topic for January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Letter #7 -- Invitation -- 01-07-2011

I don't know if this is something weird about me or not, but as an adult, I sometimes find it not so easy to make new friends. When we were kids, you just walked up to another kid and said something like, "Wanna be friends?" and the two of you were off climbing monkey bars and swinging on the swings.

Even as a young, single adult, it wasn't that difficult to make a new friend and get a date. But sometimes, as a married--with-a-child professional adult with a full-time job and other responsibilities, there often doesn't seem to be the right time to say, "Wanna be friends?" Maybe because as adults we're more concerned with the possibility of rejection. As a kid, if the other kid said, "No!" We'd just go climb the monkey bars or swing on the swings anyway.  Nowadays, we're afraid we'll get turned down if we try to make friends with someone new.

But, a letter can help break the ice and soften the potential rejection.

Today, write a letter to a person that you'd like to start up or rekindle a friendship with. Now, I'm not suggesting anyone be a stalker. But, if there's a person that you really seem to have a lot in common with, jot a little note suggesting that the two of you meet for coffee or take an art class or have a playdate for the kids, whatever works in your life. Maybe offer up a date to meet but emphasize your flexibility to meet another time if necessary. Provide your email address or telephone number so that your new friend can contact you.

Letter writing topic for January 7, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

National Letter Writing Week

According a variety of unofficial sources, Jan. 9-15, 2011, is National Letter Writing Week. I have no idea who deemed it such, but I'm always happy for any reason to promote letter writing. (I know there is a similar "week" in October, too, and I'm not choosing sides -- just celebrating it all.)

Do you have any ideas for celebrating National Letter Writing Week? How will you share the news? Will you write more letters next week?

I just have one suggestion...have fun with it

Letter #6 -- Dreamin' -- 01-06-2011

Before you write today's letter, take a while and think about your dreams for the future, specifically, your future. What do want to happen in your future? Look deep into your heart and figure it out. Then, start thinking about how you're going to achieve your dreams.

Then, write a letter about your dreams and plans. Send it to someone who will take you sincerely. Ask for their help and input, if you need it, or just let them know you're just sharing your ideas with them.

Letter writing topic for January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Letter #5 -- Surprise! -- 01-05-2011

Today, write a letter that reveals something about yourself that your letter's recipient doesn't know. Give a little more insight into yourself. Share a secret or even just a not-yet-discussed piece of your past or present. Make it a fun letter.

Letter writing topic for January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letter #4 -- It's Not About You -- 01-04-2011

Today, write a letter that is focused on the recipient of your letter. Ask questions, write memories you have of that person, comment on things they have achieved. Write a selfless letter today to someone who needs some attention.

Letter writing topic for January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Letter #3 -- Day to Day -- 01-03-2011

What kind of a calendar do you use? Do you have one that hangs on the wall and has photos of cute kittens or serene gardens? Do you have a desk blotter calendar that you scribble notes on? How about one of those page-a-day calendars? Or, do you just use the calendar in your cell phone to keep up with which day it is?

Do other people who write letters (and often have an affinity for paper, stationery, ink, pens, stamps, journals, etc.) also have multiple calendars? I have at least three calendars on or around my desk.

Write a letter today about your calendar(s). Tell someone why you like the calendar you use and why it's important to you.

Letter writing topic for January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Letter #2 -- For the Pleasure of It -- 01-02-2011

Especially at this time of year, immediately following all sorts of holidays, there always seem to be letters that we need to write, letters that we have to write. Thank you letters, apology letters, letters of reciprocal invitation, etc.

But, today, for this first "real" letter (a letter to another person other than ourselves) of 2011, let's write a letter that we WANT to write. Think of the person you'd most like to connect with today. Who do you miss the most? Who do you want to say something to? Write that letter today. Tell him or her how you feel. Share your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams.

Letter writing topic for Jan. 2, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Letter # 1 - Greeting the New Year -- 01-01-2011

Let's start this year off like we did last year -- by writing a letter to ourselves.

Plan on opening the letter on December 31, 2011.

At first, writing a letter to yourself might seem a little weird. But, think of it as a type of journal or diary entry. What should you tell yourself? Maybe you can set some goals, maybe mention some hopes and dreams. You might want to be inspiring, encouraging, forgiving of your 2010 self, as well as the person you might be at the end of 2011. Mention some long-term goals so that when you're getting ready to enter 2012, you'll remember the direction you're supposed to be heading. Of course, in a year, you may read what you wrote, laugh and say, "Yeah, that didn't work out, now did it?" On the other hand, you might say, "Wow! That was a great idea I had! What a wonderful year it's been!" Either way, you'll have something to read on Dec. 31.

If you participated in this project last year, you might want to keep that Jan. 1, 2010, letter handy to refer to today.

Ddo you mail it to yourself or not? That's up to you. You can mail the letter to yourself, and when you get it in a day or two, hide it away in your sock drawer or a jewelry box for safekeeping until the end of the year. Or, you can forego the stamp, mailbox and postal service and just put the letter straight into your hiding place.

In almost a year, I'll remind you to go look for that letter and see what you wrote!
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