2017 LetterMo explanation cards

Several years ago, Tempest Bradford came up with these business cards to tuck into your correspondence. Here’s the updated 2017 version in a couple of formats. If you want to support the website, and don’t want to bother with the hassle of printing and cutting yourself, you can order them from the LetterMo store on Zazzle.

Or… You can download this PDF of the 2017 LetterMo cards and print them out yourself.

The 2017 LetterMo postcard

For 2017, I’ve got a brand-new postcard design for you AND it’s a small way to help support the site, which receives 10% of the sales.

You’ll also notice that I cleverly did NOT put the year on it this time, so you can reuse the card next year if you don’t send them all this year. One of the things I do with these is use the ability to customize it, and add my return address directly on the back of the card. It’s super-handy.

 

(Or, if you just want the card, and can’t afford to spend the money, here’s a pdf so you can print your own. Postcard 2017 pdf)

[Guest Post] Month of Letters Planning Calendar

LetterMo calendar

Today’s guest blogger is LetterMo Community Member Elizabeth Janes, who is a big ol’ F&SF nerd. She needs to spend more time drawing, making jewelry and garden art, and cleaning house. She lives in upstate New York, mere minutes from the Massachusetts border.

I was lucky enough to stumble across Mary’s Month of Letters challenge in time to allow me to participate from the get-go. I look forward to the challenge every year, and though the LetterMo experience hasn’t yet transformed me into a model correspondent I do send more cards and letters throughout the year now than I did before. Thanks for the inspiration, Mary!

I’ve chosen to concentrate on writing to people within my small circle of friends, rather than signing up to find new pen pals; it’s way too easy for me to spend hours writing letters while neglecting waiting tasks of greater importance. But even given my short MoL address book, since my life isn’t what you’d call brimful of excitement (“utterly devoid of incident” probably wouldn’t be accurate, but it wouldn’t be that far off the mark, either) I usually wind up writing about the same things to more than one person. And I usually have a hard time remembering what I’ve written to whom.

To help me keep track, I’ve taken the idea of the LetterMo planning calendar and turned it into a record-keeping calendar. In the blank days at either end of the month I list the people I want to be sure to write to, with a box for checking off each person when their first piece of mail goes out. (I love boxes for checking.)

After I finish writing a card or letter, in the calendar’s day on which that item is sent I make brief notes on subjects covered, along with (because I can be somewhat obsessive) coded reminders on the type of mail: C for card, P for postcard, L for Letter, E for decorated envelope, A for a no-envelope sealed-with-wax Jane-Austen-style letter.

LetterMo calendar

On the back of the page there are lines for recording mail sent to people I don’t know (fan mail, constituent mail to elected representatives, praise or complaints to companies with which I’ve had good or bad experiences), and for keeping track of mail received. Because I’ve found that I’m apt to forget what the postcard rate is several times a month, and to help in making use of my small-denomination stamps, this year I tacked on a line of rate reminders.

By the end of the month the calendar is a scribbly mess, but it’s fun to be able to look back at mailings from previous years and remember writing about my runaway ink-sample-buying habit (curse/bless you, Goulet Pen Company!), or the day I locked both house and car keys inside the car with the engine running. (That provided subject matter for a six-postcard serial mailed over sequential days. I did write them all on a single day, but made sure to write and mail at least one additional piece each day to keep to the terms of the challenge.)

Sadly, my brief notes aren’t guaranteed to connect me to detailed memories. “Kirk/Spock never stuck next to loud talker or had to take selfies with Khan” probably made some kind of demented sense a year ago, but it’s a bafflement today.

Click here to download the 2016 planning calendar (PDF), which is invitingly empty. Print it out and have fun filling the days!

[Wayback Repost] Make Your Own Stamps (Or Grab Some LetterMo Stamps!)

Month of Letters Stamp

This post was originally published on January 24, 2015. It’s reappearing today as a Wayback Repost, so you might see some old comments below. Feel free to continue the conversation!

zazzle custom stampThe Month of Letters is nearly upon us! Time to make sure you have all your supplies–pens, stationery, stamps. I’m more pleased than I should be that the post office has Batman stamps available right now. But hey: Batman!

Of course, if I wanted a stamp with Batman on it I don’t have to rely on the USPS. It’s possible to make stamps with whatever image you desire via Zazzle.com. And while grabbing an image from a comic panel is probably frowned upon (copyright and all), it’s just fine to add an image of your own.

The Zazzle stamps come in multiple sizes, in first class and postcard denominations, and are fully sanctioned by the Postal Service. You don’t need a Zazzle shop to create custom stamps for your own use. You can either just upload your own image or start with a template and customize from there.

Zazzle also has a pretty extensive stamp shop with several designs and beautiful artwork that you can purchase as is, if you like how they look.

Month of Letters Stamp

And, if you’re so inclined, you can also purchase Month of Letters stamps from the LetterMo Zazzle Shop. Mary created them, and you can get a bunch of different sizes and values from postcard all the way up to Priority Mail.

If you order stamps right now you’ll have them in time to use for Month of Letters. Imagine how cool it will be for your letter recipients to get something in the mail that’s not only a treat on the inside, but personal and unique on the outside?

Zazzle isn’t the only place that lets you create custom stamps. Do you have experience with and like using another? Please share in the comments.

Download the Month of Letters 2014 Participant stickers

2014 participant labelsWant to let your recipients know that you are playing along with the Month of Letters?Simply download the pdf file and print it on a sheet of sticker paper or use regular paper and a glue stick.

Just a reminder, these are NOT postage. Please do not put them on the front of the letter so that the letter carriers aren’t confused.

Download the PDF of the 2014 participant labels