A Month of Letters, 2016
Mail, by Kevin Dooley

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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February 15, 2016

Letters go in the mail.

Letters go in the mail.

Did you know that February is #LetterMo and has been since 2010? This is only my second time participating–the first time, I only managed about a week of letters and cards before bailing out, but I’ve made it halfway through this year!

I’ve always loved sending and receiving letters, but with the rise of social media and the prevalence of email, I’ve fallen out of the practice. In my basement, I have boxes of correspondence that  I’ve received over the years: from people who are still in my life and those who are not–I have all the letters my dad wrote to my mom when they were dating (I don’t think Dad knows I have them, oops).

I have 30 years of cards, letters, and ephemera from my oldest friend and that box is one of my most treasured possessions. When my spouse and I were first dating and he was in graduate school in Nebraska and I was still in Michigan, I’d send envelopes stuffed full of newspaper clippings and other interesting things his way. I used to be a really great letter writer, but as I mentioned, the more involved with social media I get, the less time I take to write the people who are important in my life.

And considering how much I love pens and paper, this is really ridiculous. So I’ve made a list of people that I’d like to send a little something to this month and I’m hoping to continue this in a less focused but still consistent manner throughout the year.

Running an event like #LetterMo does take time and resources and there’s a Patreon: if this is your sort of thing, throw a dollar or two into the hat, eh?

If you’d like to be added to the snail mail rotation, fill this out!

A Month of Letters, 2016

A Month of Letters, 2016

P.S. I am aware of the existence of InCoWriMo, however, as far as I can tell, they are borrowing heavily from Mary Robinette Kowal’s project but with a slicker looking website and better marketing to the pen and paper crowd. So interesting that they just happened to pick the same month that Mary did. Huh.

P.P.S. The first issue of my new newsletter drops later this morning! If that’s your sort of thing–there’s extra content that may or may not show up on the website–here’s a sign up form:

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1 Comment

  1. Day Al-Mohamed

    Very awesome. I wanted to drop a quick comment (actually a cut-and-paste) borrowed from my film blog about the importance and impact of mail, particularly during the Civil War.

    “Mail has always been very important, especially to soldiers. During the Civil War, these fragile notes are what connected families and in many ways have continued to connect military families, even today. These letters tell a much more intimate story than our textbooks of generals and battles. And of course, as we know, many soldiers carried letters in their pockets, to be forwarded to loved ones if they were killed in action.

    About 45,000 pieces of mail per day were sent through Washington D. C. from the eastern theater of the war, and about double that in the west, through Louisville. According to Bell Wiley’s “Billy Yank,” a civilian worker with the U. S. Sanitary Commission, who visited a number of units, reported that many regiments sent out an average of 600 letters per day, adding up to more than 8 million letters travelling through the postal system per month. Franklin Bailey wrote to his parents in 1861, that getting a letter from home was more important to him than “getting a gold watch.” (via Dave Gorski at CivilWarTalk.com)”

    From: http://invalidcorpsfilm.nrbrown.com/2015/11/06/kickstarter-first-stretch-goal-revealed-civil-war-mail/


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