Wednesday, February 22, 2012

To PS or Not to PS

Yesterday, the TYWKIWDBI (pronounced Tie-wiki-wid-bee and standing for "Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently") had a post about the logic of us a "PS:" with an email. The "Post Script" is used with letters, because you've already written the letter when you think of something else to add. With handwritten letters, you obviously can't use the "insert" key and just put your afterthoughts into the middle of the letter. But, with emails and even letters written in a computer word processing program, you can do just that. So, TYWKIWDBI was pondering the point of the email PS.

Since this blog focuses on letters rather than emails, I started many people even use PS in handwritten letters anymore?

When I studied marketing, specifically direct mail writing, I discovered that "junk mail" writers consider the PS very important. They claim that the PS is almost always read. I guess junk mail readers want to see what was so important you had to add a special note about it at the end of your letter.

So, tell me, do you PS?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Video about letter writing

I came across this YouTube video today.  I'm not really sure who she is, but she shows the viewers the old suitcase where she keeps all the letters and notes she receives. I love hearing what other people think about letters and letter writing!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Historical Letters

When Anne Sebba was researching Wallis Simpson for the recently released biography on the American who would prompt the King of England to give up the throne and marry her, Sebba came across a packet of letters "never seen publicly before." The letters were written by Wallis to her not-yet-ex-husband, Ernest Simpson.

According to the CBS Sunday Morning Show, the letters reveal a "troubled, even tortured woman" torn between her past and future.

You can watch the entire segment online at

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Storing Letters

Do you keep all of the letters you receive? All of the letters that you've ever received?

How do you store them? Do you keep them in a bundle tied with a ribbon? Do you store them in an archival, document-safe box? There's an interesting article on the topic at the Unclutterer website.

I don't store my as safely as I should. My wish list includes some of these boxes from the Light Impressions company. They seem to be a good choice.

Let me know how you store your letters.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Speaking of Love Letters

(Above) Elizabeth Barrett’s first letter to Robert Browning, January 11, 1845. Courtesy Wellesley College, Margaret Clapp Library, Special Collections via the Browning Letters Collection. (Courtesy of Baylor University)
On Valentine's Day, fans of 19th century poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning were given online access to a collection of 573 letters the two exchanged from 1845 to 1846.

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, introduced the digital collection called The Browning Letters. Not only does the site contain scans of the original letters, allowing the public to see the writers' handwriting, but the letters also are transcribed for easier reading.

According to the news release posted on the Baylor website, "the collaborative task provides unprecedented free online access to these celebrated letters for scholars and romantics alike -- and may inspire readers to opt for pen and paper over text messages and email..." 

On the Wellesley College website has another page titled The Browning Collection, and it includes photos of items belonging to the Brownings. There, you can see the box that Robert kept Elizabeth's letters in, the collapsible leather case she kept his letters in, and more. You can read more about the collection at the Wellesley news site

If you've ever read any of their poems (you probably have.... How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height...), you're surely to enjoy seeing their original letters.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has been issuing "Love" stamps for almost 40 years. From what I can tell, there wasn't necessarily a new "Love" stamp every year, but some years had more than one. Here's what I can find. Do you know of more?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today, tell someone that you love them! Write a letter, a text message, an email, a postcard, an anonymous Sticky Note. Make a phone call, drive across town to say it in person, shout it from the rooftop.  Write it in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, draw a heart in wet cement, have a pilot write it in the sky. Tell it to the love of your life, your kids, your parents, your best friend, a total stranger.

Some way, some how, tell someone that you love them today.

(Valentine graphic courtesy of

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Writing a Love Letter

Valentine's Day is just a few days away, and many people are thinking about ways of expressing their love. Even if you don't celebrate Valentine's Day, this is as good a time as any to write a love letter.

Here are some love letter writing tips that you might want to keep in mind, if you're struggling with getting words onto paper.

How to Write a Love Letter

1. Start with some nice paper. If you don't have any fancy stationery, try to find some colored printer paper and cut it in half, into a sheet of paper that's 8.5 by 5.5 inches in size. If all you have is plain paper or even notebook paper, try decorating it by drawing some flowers around the edges or in one corner. If you have access to a computer and printer, create or download a fancy border to print on the paper. Of course, in the end, it's the words that matter the most. If your love letter is heartfelt, it won't matter if it's written on the back of a candy wrapper.

2. Be sincere. Don't write a love letter because it's Valentine's Day and you think you're supposed to. Write one because you love the person you're writing to.

3. Use your own words. You may not appreciate your talent for writing, but your letter's recipient would rather hear what you have to say, no matter what.

4. Write from your heart. Dig deep into your soul and discover the depths of your love. Now, put that on paper.

5. Make sure the sentiment is appropriate. If you've only seen the object of your affection in your apartment complex's laundry room once, a letter professing your undying love may not be the first step to take. On the other hand, if you've been dating for six years, a "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue" rhyme might not be the way to go, either.

6. Keep it simple. You don't need to say "love" 15 different ways. Close the thesaurus app and just write a simple love letter.

7. Use the L-word. You know which one I'm talking about. It's not a "love letter" if you just express your appreciation, deep fondness or strong feelings.

8. Stay focused. This is not the time to make plans for next weekend, slip in a grocery list or ask how the job's going. Keep on the love track.

9. Hand-write the letter. It will mean so much more if you actually put pen to paper. If you have a lot of work to do to make the letter sound the way you want to, try using the computer to work out your ideas, check your spelling, etc. Then, hand-copy the love letter onto that nice paper mentioned at the beginning of this list. If you insist that your handwriting is so bad that your recipient will never be able to decipher your words of love, go ahead and print it out, but use a simple, casual font and print it on some stationery. And, of course, sign your name yourself.

10. Include a poem or an appropriate quote. The internet, a bookstore or the public library will have many collections of love poems and quotes that you can use to add a little extra pizazz to your love letter.

Happy letter writing!

(Top two clip art pictures courtesy of, and the last picture is from
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