Welcome to the first day of Month of Letters!

February 1, 2015 in Journal

 

20140203_spot-of-mail1This year starts off easy, since the post doesn’t run today.

I’m sitting at home, safely ensconced by the fire as the snow comes blustering into Chicago. I have a hot cocoa and my writing supplies. As we launch into the month, it occurred to me to talk about what to expect as the month goes on. Sometimes, people feel discouraged because they are sending out letters and getting nothing back.

When I started the project, I thought one of the points was to encourage people to send me mail. I’ve realized over the years, that it’s really and truly not about that. It’s about taking time out of your day to think about and connect with one other person. We spend so much time on the internet being partly in performance mode, that the intimacy of letters, and the audience of one, is a rare luxury.

Even if you don’t receive a single letter in return, I can promise you that the items you mail out this month have an impact. If you get a text, or a facebook message, or a phone call, or a bigger smile then you’ve made a connection there. You’ve made your day and the world a little bit brighter, just by taking time to slow down.

Now… if you’ll excuse me. I have some letters to write. I’ll see you at the post office.

37 responses to Welcome to the first day of Month of Letters!

  1. It is quite snowy today! I’m up by the Wisconsin border and it is snowing sideways!!! But, I have letters to write, a comfy blanket and a cup of cocoa and no driving!
    stay warm!

  2. Stamps, pen and pretty papers are ready, tea cup is waiting to be filled and then the letter writing shall begin.

  3. What a great idea. Yes snow is falling and blowing in South Dakota too. Warm cozy house, with a blanket and writing material what a great afternoon.

  4. I wasn’t sure I would be participating this year, but I did not get Christmas cards sent out last year. I am starting this month by writing a personal letter to everyone who sent me a Christmas card. The plan is to sit down and read what was sent to me and craft a response that lets them know I am thinking of them. All of a sudden I am looking forward to a month of letters.

  5. Hi. I’m excited to get started. Are there downloadable 2015 participant stamps?

    Sharhonda

  6. This morning I dropped off my first Lettermo letter of the month at the post office. Yes, the p.o. is closed but the letter will go out first thing tomorrow. I think my friend will really smile when she sees it. I plan to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon gathering supplies, ridding my writing hand of rust and my brain of cobwebs, and writing letters. Welcome February!

    It will be a pleasure to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. My address is in my profile. Happy Lettermo 2015 to all!

  7. I got a post card from a Postal friend of mine Friday. It really cheered me up. I’m in.

  8. so, this is my first year of this….wondering if it would be “okay” to write letters in advance, i.e., I have plenty of time today to write a couple of letters. What do the rest of you do?

    • I can’t see why not KPD. I got started on one this afternoon whilst hubby was asleep and now that he’s gone off on nightshift I’m about to finish it and get it in the post before bedtime (post box is approx. 50yds from where I live) so it will be picked up and off on it’s way by 9am tomorrow.

      I guess there’ll always be days when life gets in the way and we cannot quite manage to get a letter or postcard sent off but I just try to aim for the full 23 pieces of mail (24 in UK) by 28th February. Some days I manage two and others I’m lucky to finish a full letter….the main thing is just to ENJOY yourself and not get too stressed about it all as even one letter sent off is an achievement and a smile, I am sure, for the recipient when it pops through their letterbox.

      • This is absolutely true. Any mail sent is a success.

        Writing all 23 on the first day? Clearly not in the spirit. But, many people live in places where they have to go to the post office instead of having it picked up at home, so the rules naturally get bent there.

        The goal, really, is to sit down and send something everyday because it inserts a pause into your day. If the rules cause stress then they are doing the opposite of what they should be doing.

        • thanks for the feedback – I’m having way more fun than I dreamed! I can’t wait to see my daughter receive her mail 🙂

  9. I settled down with a cuppa & some writing supplies earlier.
    After a reply to a fellow LetterMovian who had sent a pre-February warm-up letter and birthday wishes to another we headed out midafternoon for a lovely walk in the woods by the river and then I popped them in the postbox on the way home. They won’t be picked up until tomorrow but somehow it just felt ‘right’ to post them today then go back again tomorrow with tomorrow’s 😉

    2 quick questions: Do we log our mail in & out somewhere? , & where do we find the list of achievements we are aiming for (& pick up badges if we want them) I know about the site issues, I just wondered if there was some info available somewhere that I am missing seeing/finding.

    • Thanks for asking the questions—I have the same as I am new to the site (but definitely not new to letterwriting/snailmail).

      Cheers!

    • The “What have you mailed today” form is still there under the “Fun Things,” but it doesn’t trigger badges. (Alas) You can use that or the forums to log your mail.

      As for a list of challenges… Let me see about puttng that in a better spot than it is now.

  10. I agree! Have to focus on those receiving-don’t think I got any replies last year (only wrote to family & friends, not those searching for pen-pals), but a number of people mentioned how much they or others enjoyed getting the mail, so I consider it a great success & am looking forward to doing it this year!

  11. So excited to have heard about this tonight. I started a snail mail society in my city (Halifax, Nova Scotia) just a few months ago and have been working on generating more and more interest..at times I feel it is a crazy undertaking and when only a couple individuals arrive at an event it can be deflating, however, challenges like this remind me of why I’m started and I’m so happy to share the month with everyone here. Happy Posting Everyone!!!

  12. We had snow here too last night, but it spent much of the day melting, and now is becoming ICE! That’s the worst part of winter for me.

    Another benefit of writing letters, even if we get no responses, is that writing is supposed to be an excellent way to help keep Alzheimer’s at bay and to maintain our brain function. This project has all sorts of perks!

    I managed to get two notes in the mail today. That is, I wrote them, put them in envelopes, addressed and sealed them, and then made my son walk across the icy street to put them in the mail box. I knew having kids would come in handy some day.

    • RE: Kids.
      Yep! It got so bad in our house that Teen1 would shout “am I keep ing my shoes on!” in the door as he came home from school because he assumed he’d be getting sent round to the postbox….
      Royal Mail, in their wisdom, have now made 9:30am it’s LAST pickup of the day so he’s now off the hook 😉

  13. I’ve been writing like MAD today! I got a bunch of postcards, notecards, and letters done! Woohoo!

  14. Hello! This is the 2nd year for me in participating the LetterMo. Hopefully to meet more friends from the worldwide!!! 🙂 I am waiting for your surprise!!! 😛 have a nice day!!! 🙂

  15. South Germany – Bavaria – it´s a sunny day but with snow in the garden. I prefer being in the house, having a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake and writing the first letter. Have got some calendar sheets from my neightbare to use them as envelope or paper.

  16. The first year I participated my goal was also to get mail. Then, when I did, I got so far back in responding that I blew it. This year my goal is to get everything out every day. I sent a ton of cards to the people had written to me before in stead of spreading it out over the month. This way I can respond as replies come in as well as write to a few new people. I’m excited about being involved again.

  17. It’s snowing here in NY as well. Wrote my first letter to my oldest granddaughter. Used my letter to tell her about what it was like when I was a little girl.

    • That’s a lovely idea!

      I’m now imagining a day in 15 years time when she, remembering your letter or finding it again, is inspired to sign up for LetterMo 🙂

      *Mary is now quaking at the idea of web-troubles for the next 15 years 😉

  18. I just sent out a letter this morning (without knowing about Letter Month and then this popped up on Facebook) :). Writing this letter felt therapeutic and calming as I wait to undergo a surgery tomorrow. I was writing a letter to my husband who is millions of miles away at the moment, but being a pillar of support in these times. And like the universe conspires – the letter paper I unknowingly picked out was from a place that is very dear to us.
    With all the time I will have to rest after tomorrow, I think I’ll take up the challenge and write a lot during this time!

  19. Maya,
    I can’t access a profile for you on the site but if you would care to drop me a message with your address, I’d be honoured to send you some happymail at this difficult time.

    Best wishes,
    Heather

    • Maya,

      I hope your surgery went smoothly! When you feel up to it, drop me a message too and I’ll send along a note.

      Ruth

    • Hi Heather,

      Thanks for the sweet message and the sweeter thought. I’ve made a profile and will leave you a message with my address. Feeling much better now and can start participating too 🙂

      @Ruth – Thank you for your offer of writing to me too. Sending you a message.

      Excited about using some of the stationery I haven’t used in a long long time

  20. Hey Everybody!

    Here’s a neat idea:

    http://www.twohandspaperie.com/Tiny_Tins_Class_p/class_tinytin.htm
    I can’t get the photo to paste; check out the link above.

    Tiny Tins Class
    Alternative Views:

    /Users/ruthfeiertag/Desktop/CLASS_TINYTIN-2T.jpg

    – Tiny Tins Class
    – Saturday, February 7th, 10:30-1:30 PM
    – Taught by Carolyn Sweeney
    – Includes most materials; see below

    When: Saturday, February 7th, 10:30-1:30 PM
    Instructor: Carolyn Sweeney
    Make a statement with style and humor! This tiny tin box is your canvas. It only takes paint, a few found objects, and bits of ephemera to create a little treasure or special memento. The decorated tins can even be mailed! As mail art, they make truly unique greeting “cards” for special occasions. Carolyn Sweeney, a Two Hands Paperie veteran, will get you started with a prepared and primed tin so that you can concentrate on the fun of painting and layering objects in this introduction to assemblage art. Carolyn will provide a brief history of assemblage and explain how it’s different from collage. She’ll also give you instructions on priming the tins so that you can prepare more on your own at home. Start building your own stockpile of tiny tins and repurpose them in a fun way!

    Please Bring The Following Materials To Class:
    Apron or smock
    X-Acto knife with several extra new blades
    Sharp scissors suitable for fine cutting on small objects. The embroidery size are ideal but not required.
    Carolyn has a generous supply of items for you to choose from, but feel free to bring additional personal items you’d like to use: ephemera, photos, found objects, scraps of paper, fabric, ribbon, words and pictures from magazines or an old book, etc. If you choose to bring anything, make sure it’s sized for use on a very small canvas (2-1/4” x 3-3/4″).

    Ruth

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