Feb 2, 2012

I’ll Be Needing Some Stamps, Then.

A Month of Letters When I was at Moody, going to the campus post office was a major daily event. There was a theme song.

If I buy anything from Amazon I check the “Is This Purchase a Gift?” box and write myself a happy little note, which I then promptly forget about so that I can be oh-so-surprised at my thoughtfulness when I receive the package. (I promise I have friends.)

I drop not-so-subtle hints whenever a friend goes out of town, reminding them to send me a post card. Hints like “Send me a post card!” and “No, really, you should take my address”, and “I have stamps! Take some!”

What I’m trying to say here is that I love getting mail.

So, there I was, minding my own business, skimming my Google Reader, when I read this post at Talk Wordy. Brian, copy editor, Twitter friend, and grammar blogger extraordinaire, is participating in a blog challenge called A Month of Letters.

The idea is that you sign up, then write and mail one letter or note or post card each day.

I love mail. I love this idea.

Mary Robinette Kowal thought it up after taking a month off the Internet last year. She told her friends that they could reach her by post if they needed her. Kowal found the whole thing so pleasant that she’s kept up her paper correspondence since then. To share her new found old-fashioned hobby, she initiated A Month of Letters. It was covered in the Guardian, there’s a whole fancy website dedicated to the cause.

Here are the rules (copied from the the website):

When was the last time you got a letter in the mail? December sees a lot of mail and you remember that sense of delight when the first card arrives. You can have that more often.

I have a simple challenge for you.

  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

All you are committing to is to mail 24 items. Why 24? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 24 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.

I have never participated in a blog challenge before. (I am a very bad blogger.) So, since this one involves something I love anyway, I thought it would be a great way to start. Now, I know that this challenge involves sending letters, not receiving letters, but I can only do so much here.

Since I just learned about this challenge, I’m a little bit behind. Tomorrow I’ll have to mail two letters. I’ve stuck some postcards into the book I’m reading, and I restocked on stamps. I even pulled out my fountain pens. They’re looking forward to this month particularly.

Messy desk. And some pens.

Filling the barrel.

What about you? Having a good Thursday? Fancy joining us? You can sign up here. You can also follow along on Twitter using the #lettermo hashtag. Do you like getting mail? Think it’s a waste of trees? Have you participated in a blog challenge before? How’d that work out for you?



  • I thought one of those things in the picture was a pipe. It was just fancy writing stuff. But You could, in theory, smoke a pipe while writing letters and that would be REALLY fancy.

    My relationships with my two best friends in Massachusetts survived and thrived due to letter writing. Long, long, long letters because it was during emails infancy and before I had a call phone and texting plan and I could write during classes in high school. It saved our friendship and probably saved my sanity.

    I will be sending post cards from Ireland, which are like letters, so expect them when I get back 🙂

  • I’m totally doing this! I say bravely, on the second day of the month, when I have not not actually mailed anything, and when I have so much to do I feel a little like I’m losing my mind. I do have things to mail though! (including something to you that was clearly just waiting for February.) Ok. So, I guess I need stamps too. And just one more brain than the one I have.

  • Jess! Best Idea Ever!

    Thanks for making February awesome. I buy Hallmark cards (it’s compulsive… and probably the only thing i spend more money on than beer) and keep them and then don’t send them. I have TONS of them, almost each of them bought for a specific person. This is just what I need to get off my ass and get them outta the box.

    You, my dear, are wonderful.

    • I really love the idea of you stocking up on Hallmark cards. 🙂

  • Yes. You love mail. I can vouch for this. I remember the day that our family received a post card after you had been away…on our family vacation. I recall the many visits with you in your adorable apartment that began with the ritual “Checking The Mailbox”. And lets not forget the moment at the Orlando airport when I desperately needed stamps for my postcards (I won’t admit this if you ask me), and you just happened to pull a sheet of Disney-themed stamps from your purse. It’s never a question. You love mail.

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: