March 5, 2015 § 2 Comments
The challenge of a Month of Letters is to 1) mail at least one item each day the post runs during February (this works out to 23 items for those of us in the U.S. after accounting for four Sundays and one federal holiday); and 2) to write back to everyone who writes to you.
I accomplished neither of these goals.
However, during the month of February, I sent 24 pieces of mail and had only two unanswered letters in my queue on the 1st of March. For me, this is an accomplishment. Therefore, I’m declaring Month of Letters 2015 as a success since I found the (often elusive and definitely variable) letter-writing rhythm that worked for me.
I was already feeling good about Month of Letters, but it was nice to learn that I’m not alone in measuring success using unofficial metrics:
As the founder [of Month of Letters], I should totally have been able to send that much mail. I didn’t and I don’t feel badly about it because I still sent more mail than I would have without the Challenge. So I might not have won the challenge, but it was still successful for me.
Well said, don’t you think? (That is hardly a surprise, though, given that Mary Robinette Kowal is very good at saying things.)
If you participated, I hope you, too, had a successful experience by whatever reckoning method suits for you.
I found postcards very helpful for increasing the amount of mail I sent last month. As promised, I even put my art supplies to use and watercolored a set. It was my first attempt at using masking fluid (inspired by Lindsey at The Postman’s Knock) and I was pretty pleased with the result. I’ll definitely be refining my technique and making more.
Continuing the postcard fun, I found this gem second-hand, with only one postcard missing.
Whether you’re trending elegant or tacky today, keep scribbling.
February 10, 2015 § 4 Comments
It’s day ten of A Month of Letters. I’m writing my 11th letter of the month tonight, so I’m in good shape to meet the challenge of mailing 23 items by the end of February. I’ve written every day and posted something every day the mail has run – several birthday cards, a sympathy note, replies to a few letters that have been patiently waiting, a couple postcards with slice-of-life stories, and a “thank-you” for a lovely visit with a lovely friend.
For the next round of letters, the art supplies are coming out. Lindsey of Postman’s Knock inspired me to buy some art masking fluid and it has arrived. A new art adventure for me! Fun will be had by all, which is to say me and, hopefully, whoever finds my creations in their mailboxes.
February 1, 2014 § 4 Comments
A few days before the new year, my grandmother made the difficult decision to go on Hospice care. As a result, January has been a time of mixed sadness and lovely moments and gratitude for family and reminiscing. I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit with my grandmother nearly every week since the end of December, but one day out of seven hasn’t felt like enough. So, I’ve been writing letters to her. Not every day, but more days than not, I’ve mailed off postcards, cards, and letters most of which have recounted memories of visiting her house over the years. She’s been enjoying receiving them, I’ve been enjoying writing them, and they’ve sparked points of connection that extend beyond the two of us. A couple weeks ago when I was visiting, a cousin of mine told me that she’d read one of my letters in which I’d described the things in our grandmother’s front hallway that I’d loved when I was growing up. She said it was like reading something she’d written, because her childhood memories of the points of interest in that hallway are very similar to mine. Upon hearing this, my grandmother beamed at us and said how nice it was for everyone to be able to share memories and get to know each other better at the same time. Isn’t that a lovely truth?
January was a beautiful month of letters for me personally.
February, as you may know, is A Month of Letters in a much larger way.
In past years, while this brainchild of Mary Robinette Kowal has inspired me to sit down to letter writing more consistently, I’ve never quite met the challenge of sending a letter each day the mail runs in February. This year, I think it’s going to happen. As well as continuing to write to my grandmother, I plan to write reminiscing letters to other people who are dear to me. And, in keeping with the rules of the challenge, I’ll catch up–and keep caught up–on my replies, too.
In preparation for A Month of Letters, I’ve spent part of this afternoon sorting out my stack of letters awaiting responses and organizing my writing supplies (they’d fallen into a rather catawampus state). I unlocked my first two achievements and I’m ready to fill the month with letters. Anyone else playing along this year?
February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well, it’s day 13 in A Month of Letters and I am thoroughly enjoying it. (If you’ve been thinking about playing along, but haven’t gotten around to starting, don’t despair! Read Mary’s post about starting late.) Before the month began, I printed the official calendar and scheduled my first week of letters, which made it so much easier for me to make sure the letters got written, even on days when I felt sluggish.
So far, I have written and sent out: a birthday card, a few bookmarks to a bookmark collector, a quick note to a friend who I’ve not seen in a while, a congratulatory note to a friend who just had her first child, a note to my grandmother, a letter to someone I met virtually during 30DC, a reply to Leah at European Paper Company who wrote to me as part of EPC’s celebration of National Letter Writing Week, another installment in my epistolary story collaboration, a letter accompanied by part of another story that I’m writing for a young friend, and a handful of Valentines.
Five of the letters I sent were letters I’d been intending to send for quite a while, but hadn’t gotten around to actually writing. In one rather embarrassing instance, I’d been intending to write since October. And now I finally have–success!
This week’s line up will include several more birthday cards, a note to another Month of Letters participant, and a couple letters to people I just haven’t written in a while. And I must get the rest of my letter-writing schedule plotted out for the month. I’m having such fun with this! Have you written any letters that have made you happy lately?
February 5, 2012 § 8 Comments
Last week, for my first day of A Month of Letters, I sent a birthday card to a friend of mine. I made it myself and you can create your own remarkably unique creations by following the same easy steps I took:
- Find an old photograph.
- Embellish it.
- Place in envelope.
- Giggle all the way to the mailbox.
- Wait with great anticipation for it to reach its destination.
I started with this:
With the help of a pack of brightly colored paper, my trusty scissors and some glue, I transformed it into this:
Some close ups:
After trimming the frame, this beauty of a card just fit into a 9″x12″ envelope and I definitely did some giggling along the way as I pictured the reaction it will get when opened.
January 28, 2012 § 4 Comments
Never think, because you cannot easily write a letter, that it is better not to write at all. The most awkward note that can be imagined is better than none…
~Emily Post, 1922
I found this quote on A Month of Letters and it struck a chord. I sometimes delay writing letters because I feel the need to create The Perfect Letter. What is The Perfect Letter? Who knows?! Despite aspiring to it, I can’t even define what it is I have this notion I “ought” to be creating. This is why the the idea of an awkward letter being an appreciated gesture appeals to me. And to take Emily’s thought a step farther, I’d say that the perfection of a letter is likely best determined by the recipient rather than the sender. Therefore, any letter has the potential to be perfect…except for the one that is never sent.
To encourage myself not to put writing on hold until the days I feel capable of perfection (they are so few and far between), I’ve signed up for A Month of Letters, which invites participants to write a letter a day for the month of February. Having done–and loved–a 30 Day Challenge last October (the end result of which was the beginning of this very blog you are reading), I’m looking forward to success and enjoyment with this month-long letter writing challenge. Intrigued? Take a look at the details and join the fun if it appeals to you!