Skip to main content

Who Still Writes Letters? Me. That's who.

Dear Kim,

Maybe it is our approaching anniversary or maybe the hearts hanging in every window of the school calling Valentine’s Day to mind, but I’m really into this love letter thing you’ve started.

You know, I think I may have wooed my husband with love letter writing? Be careful. You too might feel the woo.
He kept every letter from the time we lived miles apart in the beginning of our relationship all the way up to, well until the last time I wrote him a note. When was that? *Mental note: send the poor guy a card on Monday.

There’s just something about that Dear salutation on top. The act of licking the envelope, pressing your pen into the now thick layers of paper to write a person’s name, maybe your true love's name, and street address on the outside. It really is...was...no, is such lovely act.

As you know I was asked to write copy for a website aimed at old-fashioned letter writing. The target audience is partners who may have gotten themselves into a sticky situation. How could I possibly relate? But the product, the apology letter, was something I could get behind and I decided to write the letters, many, many apology letters. Did you read the one I wrote following the request to “Write a letter of apology that is both humorous and sincere of which you have no idea what you (the partner) did wrong”? Now who would need a letter like that?

Did I tell you that my girlfriend Jen started a letter writing project this past November called #projectgratitude? While the name was all sorts of hashtaggy, the concept was anything but. Nothing typed. Nothing sent electronically. Nothing but the real stuff. Some purists even wrote in fountain pen. 

Jen asked us to write letters of gratitude to our real life heroes. She wanted us to think about the letter writing process. Compose our thoughts about writing the letters as well as write the letters themselves. (Blame her background in psychology.) The first letter that I sent was to my parents. Easy, right? I mean I do write them a thank you note after all birthdays-- just like they taught me. But this one was different. The monumental thought of thanking them for everything. Everything. Naming them as heroes. Well the task seemed too much. After I had scrawled Dear Dad and Jeannie across the top of the page I wondered if maybe I picked the hardest heroes to go first? Was there an easier when it came to writing a letter of gratitude? Eventually the letter came. The way writing often does when you just put your heart into it.


My step mom called shortly after receiving the #projectgratitude letter. “We hung it on the fridge,” she said. And then she added, “I put a sticky on it that says, ‘keeper’ so your Dad won’t throw it away.” The letter mattered. It mattered to them, two of the best folks I know and it mattered to me. 

Kim, your letter mattered to me too. Even if it was electronic. Even if a few hundred other people saw it. (Side note: can you believe a few hundred people read it???) It mattered because I know what it takes to sit down and write to someone else. The stop of the day’s rush. The focus on that one person. The heart needed to get the words to come out on paper. It all matters.

I look forward to my next letter TO you, but not nearly as much as my next letter FROM you.

Lots of love,

Alison

Popular posts from this blog

The Querying Writer: Part II

Dear Kim,


Remember that letter I sent you way back in October? (You remember October-- back when all things seemed possible.) 





The letter, COMP TITLES and THE QUERYING WRITER, shared details from our Novel Nuts & Bolts class with Empire Literary Agent Carrie Howland. (I may have referred to her as "agent-extraordinaire" in another post.)

Though today's post will be my third about Carrie, it is titled "Part II" because my querying journey seems sequel worthy.







I started looking for an agent soon after you and I met at the NYC SCBWI conference in 2012. I had nice feedback from an agent at a conference and sent him my work. His response was kind (which I've found most responses from agents to be.) But my writing wasn’t ready. The novel he saw was the first I’d ever finished. I wasn't ready.

I swallowed that little voice that said, SEND! SEND! SEND! for two more years until I entered #PitchWars-- Brenda Drake’s crash course in pitching. In the years between t…

School Visit Recap: Assemblies to Workshops, and the CONVERSATIONS in between

Dear Kim (and friends),

This morning I put away my rainbow superhero mask, gold top hat, and banana-on-a-stick. Few things are sadder than closing your banana-on-a-stick into a dark closet. But, I guess it will rise again next month for my next school visit.

Oh, you thought my collection was somehow Halloween related? No, no. Just part of the workshop portion of my school visits. For the past two weeks I had the privilege of speaking to, and then with, students from one of our nearby districts.



Dwight Smith, the founder of My Special Word, joined me for the assembly portion of the event. We were able to share with the children Dwight's vision for the program, as well as my process for writing the books for him.

There was music. Lots of it.
Some singing. (Would you expect any less?)
And shouting! (Mostly the kids, but I got a few words in too.)



We met with over 800 kids during the assemblies and got a sense for how the school district planned to use My Special Word. I'll say,
w…

BOOK REVIEW: Starr Fall & BOOK RELEASE: Once & Forever

Dear Alison,

Goodbye January, Hello February! Last week, I let everyone peak in my drawers.  Today, I'm opening my inbox. Well, not literally. You DO NOT want to see my inbox--though I do try to keep all the accounts very tidy--sometimes the emails get a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Expansive. My favorite emails are from fans. I LOVE them. They make me all warm and fuzzy. Seriously, touch my arm...

See? Warm and Fuzzy. Oh, wait those are my doggies;)

While, I ADORE the fan mail (I DO, I REALLY DO) I would LOVE them even more if they were added as a review to AMAZON and GOODREADS. For instance, look at some of these reviews:


Must Read!!!, January 31, 2017 By  Kelly

This review is from: Starr Fall: Book One of the Starr Fall Series (Kindle Edition) Purchased this book for my 14 year old daughter who is NOT a fan of reading for pleasure or at all for that matter. Well, the book immediately grabbed her attention. In her words..."I can't put this book down. I ne…