Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Annie's Scribbling Glue letter writing blog

I've come across a delightful blog I think you'll like, too.

Annie writes the "Scribbling Glue" blog.

I so enjoyed her blog postings that I went back to her first blog post written almost two years ago. Here's how she started the blog:
"It is because of my sister that I am a letter-writer.  I was in third grade when she went off to college and I missed her like crazy.  I started my first letter to her almost as soon as she pulled out of the driveway."
Annie blogs about writing and receiving letters, letter-related books, mail art and more. Check out her blog!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

'Letters from Skye' sounds like a wonderful book

A new epistolary novel has been published. "Letters from Skye" sounds like a most interesting story, and it has its own trailer on YouTube.

The book is written by Jessica Brockmole and published by Random House's Cornerstone Publishing and Ballantine Books.

According to what I've read about the book, it's set, for the most part, during World War I and revolves around the letters between a Scottish poet and an American college student who starts by writing her a fan letter.

Not only does the book sound great, so does the author. She wrote a guest post on the blog "The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy" about writing an epistolary novel.

Here's what she wrote about letter writing in another guest post on the Foyles website:
"There is something irresistible about a letter. When it's addressed to you, of course, there's the anticipation of lifting the envelope's flap, the little thrill of tracing the inked words, the wondering if anything more lay between the lines. The warm rush of knowing that someone smoothed the stationary and signed at the end with you in mind."
I think I'll put her book on my wish list!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Handwriting as Art

Many of us who enjoy writing and receiving letters consider it an art. But, a new exhibit indicates the
Smithsonian Institute does, too.

"The Art of Handwriting" will be on exhibit at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, D.C., through Oct. 27, 2013.

The letters are from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art and are from a variety of artists. To explore the connection between art and script, visit "The Art of Handwriting" exhibit in person or online.
One of the letters in the exhibit is by photographer Berenice Abbott (1898-1991).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lighthouse stamps debut Saturday!

From the USPS website:
There's something about lighthouses. They fascinate us; they enchant us; they draw us in. Utilitarian yet majestic, these structures possess a beauty and romance that reach far beyond their practical natures. Recognizing our love affair with these lonely sentinels, the U.S. Postal Service has released the New England Coastal Lighthouses (Forever) series of stamps celebrating our nation's lighthouses.

New England Coastal Lighthouses, the sixth in the series, features five lighthouses:

* Portland Head (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
* Portsmouth Harbor (New Castle, New Hampshire)
* Point Judith, (Narragansett, Rhode Island)
* New London Harbor (New London, Connecticut)
* Boston Harbor (Boston, Massachusetts).

Each stamp shows a close-up view of one of the five lighthouses that captures not only the down-to-earth aspect of the tower but also the mysterious qualities that compel us to come closer.

The five lighthouses are among the oldest in the U.S., and each is on the National Register of Historic Places. Boston Harbor Light is also a National Historic Landmark.

Howard Koslow created original paintings for New England Coastal Lighthouses stamp art—and for the entire Lighthouses series. Howard E. Paine and Greg Breeding were the art directors.

The New England Coastal Lighthouses stamps are being issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

The self-adhesive stamps will be issued in sheets of 20 beginning Saturday, July 13, 2013.

Willa Cather's letters

In April of this year, a book was published featuring 566 of author Willa Cather's personal letters. According to Random House, "The Selected Letters of Willa Cather" amount to only 20 percent of the total collection of her letters. (There's a review of the book at this link.)

A bit of controversy surrounds the book because, according to an NPR story, her will specifically forbade the publishing of her letters. With the death of her nephew, who was also the will's executor, the letters have now been published. The story also says that the will also dictated that her work not be adapted to theater or film; yet, "My Antonia" was turned into a stage play in the 1990s.

Apparently, her letters are fascinating to read, and she's been deceased since 1947. What do you think? Should her wishes have been respected forever and the letters never published? Some of the commenters on the NPR site obviously think that way but not all do.

I'm curious what other letter writers think.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beautiful stamps

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service issued these beautiful stamps, "Where Dreams Blossom."

The Forever (for First Class letter postage) matches the two-ounce "Yes, I Do" wedding stamp(66 cents, specifically designed for mailing wedding invitations).

"Where Dreams Blossom" can be used  for any occasion or use, including save-the-date notices, response cards,  thank-you notes or everyday cards and letters.

The digital color postmark for the issuance of the stamp is beautiful, too!

If they don't have these at your local post office, you can order them online.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

War letters collection

What a wonderful passion — and now a full-time home for his collection — Andrew Carroll has!

According to all of the stories I've read about him, he is on a mission to save the war letters of America. A recent Associated Press news story explains that Andrew has been collecting war letters for 15 years. This fall, his collection of war letters will be in the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University in southern California.

I've written about Andrew's project before in this War Letters post. How wonderful it is that his project continues to grow!

You can read more about all this on the Chapman University site, the War Letters site, and by searching his name and or key words online. It's a fascinating story!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Letter Writing Challenge

Melanie, aka Miss Melvis, at the Me, Bookshelf and I blog has started a new letter writing challenge this month. To read about her plans, click on the link to her blog.

It sounds like she's going to have fun writing letters this month!

Happy letter writing!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independece Day in the U.S.

Thursday, July 4, is Independence Day in the U.S. It will be celebrated across the country with parades, fireworks, barbecues and more.

One symbol dear to Americans is the eagle, which is the national symbol.

Next month, the U.S. Postal Service will introduce a Folk Art Eagle stamped envelope, continuing a  tradition of depicting eagles on postage that began in the late 19th century.

The stamped envelope features a photograph of a plaque that shows an eagle carrying two American flags and a shield. Made from pinewood by an unknown carver, the plaque is finished with red, white, and blue paint and appears to have its original gilding, according to the Beyond the Perf blog.

It will be a "Forever" stamped envelope. Its postage will always be equal to the value of the First-Class Mail one-ounce rate in effect at the time of use, even if the rate increases after you buy it.

The USPS offers a variety of patriotic stamps, including the Patriotic Star, Liberty Bell, "Freedom, Liberty, Equality and Justice" Flags and more.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crossed letters

As long as I've been writing letters, the concept of "crossed letters" would have meant that two letters "crossed in the mail." For example, if I mail a letter to a friend who mails a letter to me on the same day, our letters figuratively or maybe literally cross paths on their journeys to our homes.

But, in the more distant past, a "crossed letter" was a completely different concept. A crossed letter was also called "cross-hatched" and was a paper-saving method. Letter writers wrote twice on each side of each sheet of paper, filling up the page once and then turning the page a quarter of a turn and writing over those words at a right-angle. It's a little confusing. Marie Tschopp writes more about the concept on her blog "All Things Laura Ingalls Wilder."

Here's a picture of a crossed letter, courtesy of the Boston Public Library's flickr page. It's quite interesting.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Zip Code!

According to the "CBS Sunday Morning Show," today is the 50th birthday of the U.S. National ZIP Code. Although they had been used in big cities, ZIP codes were launched nationwide in 1963.

The word ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan.

An official USPS report, "The Untold Story of the ZIP Code," says that "The code was originally intended to allow mail sorting methods to be automated but ended up creating unimagined socio-economic benefits as an organizing and enabling device."

To help citizens adapt to using ZIP codes, the cartoon character Mr. ZIP was introduced, along with the new system. Happy birthday, Mr. ZIP and your codes!

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