Month of Letters 2017: It’s HERE!

Woohoo!

A Month of Letters. It’s here.

And I am definitely participating (speaking of which, I need to write my letter for today).

With technology continuing to render things obsolete, many have said that letter writing is slowly dying out as well. I can see why people may believe that. After all, a majority of the population don’t write letters. I mean, why write letters when you can message someone or email someone? Social media has only strengthened that claim when you can easily check in on a family member or friends feed and click like or send a gif to say hi.

While letter writing isn’t the popular choice, I believe it is far from being obsolete. I have stumbled across a few websites dedicated to letter writing, connect fellow letter writers across the globe, and it is as strong as ever. Letter writing has a strong community of letter writers and it doesn’t look like it will weaken anytime soon.

A month of letters is a great challenge that helps bring awareness to this wonderful means of communication. For those of you who wouldn’t mind trying it out, this is the month. As mentioned in other posts, the goal of this challenge is to write a letter a day. The challenge has a website that connects you to others who are participating.

I write letters because there is a deeper sense of connection than typing out a few words and clicking send. You have to take the time to write your letter. Actually putting a pen to paper, actually thinking of how to reply, actually thinking about what to write. When I write a letter, I write more than just a paragraph or two. There is a tangible connection between you and your friend receiving the letter. They will open the same envelope you touched. Unfold the papers you folded. Read the words you actually wrote. I love hand writing my letters because it just feels nice, but typing out your letter works just as well. Some people’s hands tire or become sore when they write too long. But you still have a sense of connection. You still have to print out what you typed, prepare an envelope, and the physically send it on its way.

When I receive a letter from a friend, I think of its journey, especially if it comes from overseas. I think to myself “this letter has made it all the way from France!” or “from Germany!” or “from Australia!” And those places may seem far, but I get just as excited when I see a letter “from Utah!,” “from Texas!,” or “from Maryland!” Those pieces of paper had to travel a distance to get to me. They had to travel across an ocean to get to me no matter where it originated from.

So.

A month of letters.

It’s here!

And I am definitely participating.

Biblio Sneak Peek: The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering

Saturdays are usually when I make a trip the local library (but don’t you work in a library? To which I’ll reply with “And?”) and today was no different. I did have a purpose, though, to hunt down a book like The Arts and Crafts of Hand Lettering. Like anyone who is looking to learn new things, or review old things, you hunt down a book. Or books. 

Of course there’s the internet, but what fun is that? 

Anyway, so I’ve been trying to spruce up my stationery. I’ll be entering the third year of getting serious on letter-writing (now that I’m back on track health-wise. Hopefully). And I feel so bad because some of my pen pals make such wonderful stationery things. Like they make their own envelopes and have, like, fancy paper. Or just pretty paper with cute or fun designs. And then you have me, replying on computer paper with blue ink and maybe a sticker or two. Lame! 

I’m good with words and stuff, but arts and crafts? Not one of my strengths.

Hence the book on hand lettering. I figure the least I can do is make my letters pretty. 

And this book is a good place to start. As with most non-fiction reads, it’s for information and wether the book was able to answer your question, teach you new things, or teach how to do things better.

I’m looking forward to browsing this book in hopes to pick up some tips and maybe a few ideas on making pretty letters.

Wish me luck!

Write_On: Day 1

So begins a new month of letters.

I forgot to take a picture of what I was sending before I sealed the envelope, but if I can find the same card in the next couple of days, I’ll come back to post it.

On the first day of this campaign, a letter to a friend in Germany.

I’ll write to you. A super-long letter, like in an old-fashioned novel

Haruki Murakami, After Dark

A Month of Letters 2016: Halfway through

For those of you who are new to this blog and have never heard of A Month of Letters Challenge, where have you been?

Just kidding. Sort of.

A Month of Letters is a challenge to write a letter each day throughout the month of February. It’s not Send an Email a day or a text a day or anything in electronic form a day. It’s write a letter a day. As in physically picking up a pen and putting words on paper.

This is the third year I’ve been a participate. In 2014, I found out about the challenge about a week and a half left in February so I participated as much as I could in that last week and half. I loved it. As a letter writing junkie, who can blame me?

In 2015, I started off okay, but by day five I got sick and then couldn’t keep up and then I got all frustrated with myself so I didn’t finish out the month. Childish, I know, but I’m a perfectionist (of sorts), who can blame me? 😉

So this month, I was better prepared. I prepped my badges, for motivation. I made a Correspondence Log, for organization. And I made sure I stocked stationery and a good working pen in my bag for when I have down time, I have no excuses not to write a letter.

So, where am I halfway through the program?

Well, if we’re counting a letter a day, then out of the 15 days I missed five of them and it’s weird because they were on the weekend. Both Saturdays, both Sundays, and yesterday–the President’s Day holiday. The first weekend I had some medical tests done and just didn’t feel up to writing. The next weekend my family is preparing for a food booth we’ll be participating in this weekend so it was a bit exhausting. And yesterday, I spent the day with family celebrating at my cousin’s baby shower. So … while I didn’t write, I did spend the time experiencing life.

And while I missed writing day-wise, I sent out more than one letter/postcard on most of the ten days so correspondence-wise I’ve sent 9 postcards and 6 letters for a total of 15 pieces of handwritten correspondence.

I’d say that balances things out.

What I love most about this challenge is that I am not alone when it comes to handwritten correspondence. I have met many interesting pen pals participating in this challenge and they enjoy writing letters just as much as I do. It is fun and exciting when you come across others who share your passion.

The second thing I love the most about this challenge is the art of letter writing. There is something about tangible correspondence. There is something in the air when you pick up a pen and put it to paper and draft a letter to a friend overseas. Whether it’s because you’re forced to slow your thoughts, whether it’s because you’re actively engaged in writing the letter more than just tapping a few keys, whether its the fact that you get to choose the color of the ink or the print of the stationery or the stamp that gets posted to the letter, there is no denying the magic in the experience.

I am currently reading the book To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing by Simon Garfield and he touches on this very subject. I am four chapters in and I have agreed with everything he’s said so far about letter writing. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, I suggest you skim through this book.

So, with 14 more days to go, I’m hoping to write a letter each one of those days :).

Cheers to Letter Writing![AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B00BPDR158″]

Writing, writing, writing

Well, my Saturday started early. Like, 4:45 a.m. early.

And then I tried to go back to sleep, but gave up after an hour and half of social media-ing on my phone, no matter that I was lying tucked warmly in my bed. My eyes just didn’t want to close and my mind just didn’t want to go back to sleep mode.

So, I decided I’d work on my homework to get a head of the game. I have no pressing assignments and I’m almost through with the weekly reading, but I thought since I wasn’t going back to sleep I may as well get some homework done.

Only, after getting out of bed, grabbing my computer, and heading over to my school website, I just didn’t want to do homework. I know?! Procrastinating much? I should have just done it. But then my thoughts drifted to … “Well, I’m all caught up and it’s a Saturday …”

So, that is how I found myself writing. And not writing a novel or anything like that, although that would be an interesting thing explore, but more so writing to my friends and sending postcards around the world through Postcrossing. It’s been a while since I had so much fun! I forgot how much fun I have sending letters. It’s been a while. Truth be told I just didn’t feel like writing much these past few months.

I’m not going to lie. I had to kind of force myself to focus on writing, but once I got started that was it. Three hours later, I was still going. In addition to writing letters, I organized a list of family and friends I could write to last, gave some thought to holiday cards I want to send, and prepared a small list of letters I want to write through out the coming week.

It was an amazing feeling. And whether it’s because of recent events, the Paris attacks, Beirut, the refugee situation, or not, whether it’s because it’s National Writers Month (even though it’s meant to push writers to write novels), or not, I feel as if I finally got my writing groove back.

And I hope it sticks around for longer this time because it. Is. Awesome!

Random 411: Belated National Handwriting Day!

Blog_NationalHandwritingDay Blog_NationalHandwritingDay2

Links:
Random 411: Pre-Email Era

Kids Can’t Read Grandma’s Recipe Because It’s In Cursive

That didn’t come out too badly, I think. And for those who can’t really understand the handwriting, I’ll translate it to type-speak here:

So, I just found out that yesterday was National Handwriting Day. How did I miss that!? (Aside from being sucked into a book and now catching up on homework) Well, for someone who loves writing, and letter-writing for that matter, I couldn’t let it go. Better late than never.

And in honor of National Handwriting Day, I’m doing this experiment. Writing my blog. I’m interested in see how it’ll translate to picture then blog.

It does sadden me (<because I don’t have white-out) a bit that handwriting seems to be dying. It’s understandable with technology now days and with the world trying to go-green. But there’s an elegance in handwritten things. I just wrote a blog on Pre-Email Era (I’ll link it below), but to add to that I wanted to mention a little about this article by the Huffington Post: “Kids Can’t Read Grandma’s Recipe Because It’s In Cursive” by Laurie Levy (linked below). Laurie’s daughters couldn’t read the recipe because it was in cursive. And that’s sad.

My family keeps journals and most of them are in cursive. Not to mention I write in cursive so … yeah.

Will my children or grandchildren be able to read my boring life? Or will it be a foreign concept? Some secret language they’ll have to decode? It’s funny to think about.

If it were up to me, it will be readable because I’d make sure I’d pass the knowledge on to them. At the very least to my children. It’ll be up to them to pass it on. But, to know that learning how to write many not be important because everything is done by typing? Wow. I never thought it to be a question, or that some day it would be questions.

Welcome to a new age! And since it is National (Belated) Handwriting Day, here’s to its preservation!