Monday, March 03, 2014

Mo' letters

This winter was a little lighter, despite the weather, thanks to LetterMo.

Maybe you've heard of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, when participants pledge to write a 50,000-word novel in a month, sharing ideas and support online.

Month of Letters began a few years ago when author & blogger Mary Robinette Kowal extended a challenge: For the month of February, send one piece of personal mail every day that the U.S Postal Service is in operation. That's 23 pieces of mail, excluding four Sundays and one U.S. holiday.

It's a little treat to find something in your mailbox besides unsolicited junk. Plus, the act of hand-writing even a short note is a very different process from composing an email or a text. For me, it's easier to visualize the person receiving the letter, to write as if I'm speaking to her, when I'm putting pen to paper, rather than pounding a keyboard.

For my third LetterMo, I offered to include any Facebook friends who wanted to receive a letter from me. This felt a little heretical, using social media to reference a pre-Internet mode. But the results were pleasing. Our handwritten notes became another point of contact, a small way to know each other a little better.

I mailed postcards, birthday cards, thank-you notes, just-thinking-of-you notes, and a fun flurry of Valentines. Some people wrote back just to say "Thank you for writing!"

Try it yourself, one letter at a time. Imagine the face of your loved one or friend, when he sees your small gift.

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