Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Letters in the Mail

I recently came across an interesting concept. Stephen Elliott, editor of the online magazine The Rumpus, offers a service called "Letters in the Mail." According to the website, subscribers receive a letter three times a month from a different author. The letters are photocopied by The Rumpus staff and mailed out to the subscribers, who pay $5 per month for U.S. addresses or $10 for international addresses.

The Letters in the Mail project has been going on for several months, and Elliott recently announced a similar project for kids, featuring letters by children's book authors.

I don't know much about Elliott or the project, but if you're interested in letters, you might want to check it out.

Artist's Letters followup

I meant to mention yesterday how it seems as if, long before "sendsomething.net" was invented and "mail art" was a common term, Vincent Van Gogh was sending wonderfully illustrated letters to his penpals. It must have been delightful to receive a letter from him!

Monday, July 30, 2012

An Artist's Letters

From Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters
Sunday evening, I saw a re-run of a "60 Minutes" episode about Vincent Van Gogh, and his letters were mentioned. So, today, I did an Internet search to see what I could find out about Van Gogh's letters.

Indeed, the Van Gogh Museum (in Amsterdam, I think) does indeed have information about the letters online. Not just information, but also copies of the letters and the drawings he often sent with them. Online, you can visit the Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters site. You can see the original letters, translations into English, the drawings and more. You can sort them by when they were written, who they were written to, where they were written from....

According to the letters' introduction, "They were eagerly seized on as a rich source of information about Van Gogh’s gripping life story and exceptional work, and there was broad recognition of the intrinsic qualities of his writing: the personal tone, evocative style and lively language"

Fascinating! Take a look!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What to Write About

If you are actively involved in letter writing, you may find yourself occasionally at a loss for words. This can especially be a problem if you are writing to a new penpal who you don't know very well.  And, if you have many penpals, like can happen when you are online blogging, Postcrossing, etc., you may lose track of what you've written about to which penpal.

Coming up with letter writing topics is easy for me. I start with what's going on in my life. But, if that doesn't seem very exciting, I turn to current events. For example, this week, the Olympics begin. You can use that topic as a launch pad to discuss sports, international relations, your favorite "foreign" food, London, etc. Speaking of favorites, you can write about your favorites — your favorite anything — candy bar, restaurant, color, hairstyle, job, TV show, book, quote, etc. As you write, you'll probably think of other things to write about. Just keep going!

One thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to write a long letter to brighten someone's day. Get a cheery notecard, write a few paragraphs about what's going on in your life, ask some questions about your penpal's life and, if you can, comment on something he/she wrote about in their last letter.

Now, go write that letter!

(Clipart courtesy of Webweaver.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blogging About Snail Mail

Lately I've come across a few bloggers who like "snail mail" as much as we do. You might find some of their posts interesting.

At Cotton & Flax, Erin blogs about all sorts of things, but sometimes on Saturdays, she blogs about Snail Mail. And, when she does, she usually has lots of cool photos to share.

Devan at MyKoreaQuest is teaching in Korea and recently blogged about getting mail from home.

And, Pip, who blogs at As You Wish - Healing Light, blogged yesterday about how important it is to pause for a moment and savor what's going on around you. Her Take a Pause Tuesday post included a suggestion that her readers write a letter. She has a couple of other "snail mail" posts, as well.

Enjoy visiting their sites today!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love This Stamp!

We live out in the Texas countryside, in a very rural area. Since we moved here about 10 years ago, on our little piece of land, we have seen deer, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, armadillos, opossums, skunks, rattlesnakes, wild hogs, hawks and many other types of birds, other types of snakes, turtles (maybe they were tortoises) and more insects than we could ever name.

But, we have never seen a bobcat on our property. We have seen them in other parts of the county, even just down the road. And we have seen indications that one might have come across our place, but we've never seen one around our house.

For now, my experience with bobcats will have to be through the U.S. Mail.

Last month, the U.S. Postal Service issued the 1-cent Bobcat stamp. For more information about the stamp, visit the USPS website or the Beyond the Perf site.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Hey U!" Note Cards Winner

The winner of Summer Giveaway 3 is Anne of the Letter Love blog. Congrats!

Anne, please let me know if I should send these cards to the address on your blog or somewhere else. You can email me at 365letters@inbox.com.

Happy letter writing!

Day Brightener!

It was one of those mornings this morning. I was running late, and then my car started acting up. It wasn't a serious problem, just irritating. It seems that lately if the car doesn't start on the first attempt, it goes into anti-theft mode and shuts off the fuel flow. To re-set the system, I have to sit there with the ignition key in the "on" position for 10 minutes. Then, I can restart the car as normal.

So, there I was, already 10 or 15 minutes behind schedule, and I had to wait another 10 minutes for the system to re-set.

I was starting to get a little grumpy.

But, I made time to stop by my post office box, despite my lateness. I hadn't checked the P.O. box over the weekend.

I am so happy I decided to check the mail! What a day brightener! There was a bright yellow envelope from Clara. She was so right about it being like sunshine! And, I love all of the little stickers and peace signs and the Anais Nin quote! How lovely!

The next envelope was a delightful international air mail post with the cutest card from Helen in Australia who blogs at iheartpost.blogspot.com. She wrote a wonderful letter. That card is from TMOD Post, and, according to their website, they do offer international shipping.

And, then, there were the postcards...six of them! I received postcards from Russia (2), Taiwan, Belarus, Virgina and Germany. What fun!

Now, of course, I have lots of letters to write in return.

Happy letter writing!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget to leave a comment for the giveaway reminder (see the link in the column at left). I do apologize for not posting more this week. It's been one of those weeks with a lot going on off-blog. Hopefully, I'll get all caught up this week. Happy letter writing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

US Holiday

Don't forget...if you're mailing something in the United States....Wednesday, July 4, 2012, is Independence Day, and the USPS will be taking a holiday. There will be no regular mail pick-up or delivery. Although, you might want to check with your local post office about Express Mail delivery.

Happy Independence Day!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Note Card Giveaway #3

"Hey U" That's what the note cards in this week's giveaway say. The package includes 10 Hallmark note cards and envelopes. The cards, which are blank on the inside, feature colorful graphics and the casual greeting "Hey U."

To enter, all you need to do is leave a message on any post this week. On Monday morning, I will have a drawing from all of the people who have commented on any post on this blog between now and 7 a.m. CDT July 9, 2012. I will draw a number or have a random number picker online choose one for me. You can comment as often as you'd like between now and Monday, but each person only gets one entry into the contest. I will post the winner as soon as I have picked it. If you want me to email you, if you win, please include your email in your entry or send it to me at 365letters@inbox.com.

Please note that I have my comments section set up to be approved by me. So, don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. I'll check on the status of the comments from time to time and update when I can.

Good luck! And, if you're here to enter the giveaway, please be sure to take a few minutes and look around and then, go visit some of the sister letter writing blogs (listed on the left side of the screen).

Flag Cards Winner

Jan, who posted the first comment last Monday, has won the American Flag Note Cards! (I drew numbers the old fashioned way....wrote numbers on little slips of paper, put the slips in a cup, shook them up and picked one out.)

Jan, if you'll send your address to me at 365letters@inbox.com, I'll put these cards in the mail to you!


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