Sunday 7: Postal-Style Mini Memoirs

June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love the simplicity of orphaned postcard projects: you choose a post card, wait for it to arrive, write a tiny story about its significance to you, and send it back to the project organizer.  It combines the human drive to connect with the spirit of StoryCorp and the fun of sending mail.

I’ve adopted two sets of postcards in recent months.

The first set, courtesy of PostMuse’s Orphaned Postcard Project, arrived in April.  I sent one postcard back immediately, but am hanging onto the second one until next month (I haven’t forgotten, PostMuse, I promise!) so I can actually post it from its location of origin (it’s the little things in life that make me clap my hands with glee).

The second set arrived a few days ago from Kate who shares her love of postcards via deltiolog.  I requested a postcard that prompted a memory from elementary school that I hadn’t recalled in years.  Since Kate sent me an extra postcard, I’ve been having fun wracking my brain to come up with a second story to share.

The process of choosing postcards, then writing stories to explain their significance got me thinking: I should write some postal-style mini memoirs!   If the concept appeals to you, too, here are some ideas to get you started.

7 Ideas for Creating Postal-Style Mini Memoirs

  1. Commit to writing one mini memoir each week and send them serially to one lucky recipient.
  2. Recount stories you remember being told by older relatives and send them to your younger relatives.
  3. Choose a theme (e.g., “The Wilderness of Middle School” or “Best Meals I’ve Ever Eaten”) and let it inspire a mini memoir series.
  4. Borrow a page from the Orphaned Postcard Project and use postcards, greeting cards, or your favorite quotations as memory prompts.
  5. Raid your photo albums and create mixed-media mail art memoirs.
  6. Recruit a few friends and write a Round Robin letter* about a shared experience.
  7. If you like the idea of turning mini memoirs into something larger, copy or scan your missives before you send them.  Then gloat over your compiled memoir in private, tuck it away to share with special people, or blog it for the world to enjoy.

Happy writing — I can’t wait to hear about your Postal-Style Mini Memoirs!


*There are apparently several definitions for a “Round Robin” letter.  I’m talking about the type of letter that one person starts, then the next adds to and so on until a packet with letters and comments from everyone involved arrives back in the hands of the original sender.


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