Thursday, January 26th, 2012 • No Comments
A small sample of my stationery collection
I love stationery. I mean, I really love it. Pretty sheets of paper with matching envelopes, sentimental cards, funny postcards, fold-and-mail letters with matching seals… sigh. From the time I learned to write, I had pen pals. Cousins in other states, friends who had moved away, the grandchildren of elderly neighbors, high school friends away at college, soldiers in the Army, sailors in the Navy (including my husband)… I wrote to anyone with an address. I miss those days of spending a few minutes, or an hour, writing a letter. I also miss the thrill of opening the mailbox and seeing a hand addressed envelope just for me.
Over the past decade, email has slowly replaced handwritten correspondence. Jay’s grandmother was my last real pen pal and after her death I wrote an essay called “The Last Letter” that appeared in Megan McMorris’s epistolary anthology P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends. It was my goodbye to Julia and a way to honor our very special relationship. It was also a reluctant goodbye to a form of communication that is fading away into history. I still send cards to friends and I love putting something in the mail just to let someone know I’m thinking about them, but I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like.
For the month of February, Mary Robinette Kowal has issued a Month of Letters Challenge. The goal is to send something through the mail every day in February, with the exception of Sundays and holidays (which leaves 24 days). Mary’s Month of Letters Challenge appeals to the lifelong letter writer in me. I can do this. Between babies and books and life (oh my!), I don’t have a lot of time these days to write letters and cards, but I want to do this. I have the stationery (not that I won’t buy more), I have the stamps (because I never sent out holiday cards), I have the motivation. What I don’t have is your address. Yes, you.
It doesn’t matter if you live around the corner or around the world, just send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you something in the mail. And if you are so inclined, tell me something about you: do you like cats, dogs, the color pink? Did you just have a baby, get married, move across country? Are you an aspiring writer, a crafty knitter, a football fan? Just something about you. I will be sending cards and letters and postcards, but also a few books and pictures. Maybe a bit of sparkle or a twinkle of magic. A trinket or a nibble. Who knows? February is made of red hots and pink hearts and fuzzy groundhogs and American history and snowy days and warm mittens. And now February is made of special deliveries. Send me your address, won’t you?
If I already have your address, you may very well get something from me whether you request it or not. Also, as part of the Month of Letters Challenge, if you write to me, I will write you back. So if you want my address, just ask. And if you already have it and feel like taking up Mary’s challenge as well, I hope to open my mailbox one fine February morning and see my name written in your handwriting. Anticipation… don’t you love it?
P.S. This is for you, Julia. I miss your letters.