Friday, 30 January 2015

                                    It's That Time Again

February 1st marks the onset of the A Month of Letters challenge, created by author Mary Robinette Kowal. (Read about Mary here.)  Lettermo, as we veterans refer to it, is a month long love affair with letter writing. 

In September of 2010 Mary made a bold decision to take a break from the internet for an
entire month.  She informed everyone that they could contact her via the postal service, which some of her friends did.  Mary says "When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me to think about time more because postal mail is slower. “By the time you get this…” It is relaxing. It is intimate. It is both lasting and ephemeral.  How so? I find that I will often read the letters that I receive twice. Once when I get them and again as I write back. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because I don’t have copies of the letters that I write and I am the only one who has copies of the letters that my correspondents write. So, more ephemeral." 

Why not check out the Lettermo site, sign up and give it a try this year?  The challenge is to write a letter every day during the month of February, excepting Sundays and holidays which amounts to 23 letters, cards or postcards.  Mary has created prompts to give you something to shoot for and badges to collect once you have completed each task she has set which include things like completing each week of post and becoming a postal explorer by searching out new mail boxes to post your letters.  It's a fun way to get into the thick of letter writing and the enthusiasm shown by all makes it a delightful experience.  I have made some lovely friends by participating in Lettermo, and a surprise or two have also presented themselves. 

One of the people I wrote to is a singer whose music I listen to.  I had read in an interview she was a big fan of letter writing and wrote to her friends and family (I knew I liked her for a good reason!)  So, I wrote a letter to Paloma Faith and long after Lettermo finished, I got a little brown envelope in the post.  I never would have guessed in a million years I would be getting a reply from Paloma in the form of an autographed photo and a sticker, but that is just what I found inside that non-descript brown envelope.  So, you never know what may happen when you join the fun at the lettermo site this February. 

Go on, you know you want to.  See you there!

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