Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Over on the Book of Face, the very talented writer and shadow puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal just wrapped up a month-long campaign to encourage people to write real letters. On paper. With a pen. And mail them via the US Postal Service. Mary also applies sealing wax seals to hers. There's a web site here: http://lettermo.com/

I love the sentiment, but I don't. My handwriting sucks, but I type pretty fast for a non-touch-typer, so ever since I was about 16 I typed all my letters. On those old Underwood typewriters they had a personal touch - this was back in the days when the FBI used to be able to tell which typewriter a letter came from.

I used to seal them with sealing wax, I had a collection of seals including a script H and a rose. Around 15 years ago those started showing up with the seals chewed off by the USPS machines, and sometimes the letter was destroyed in the process, so I stopped using wax seals. For a while I used stickers, but those seemed artificial, so I stopped.

After all these years, I really only have one regular email correspondence going. My aunt and uncle in NYC have been writing for years. My uncle has macular degeneration, so instead of typing letters to them I record a 15-minute MP3 and email that. My uncle loves it, because he doesn't need my aunt to read the letters to him, and he says it's like having me in the room there with him. She still types the replies (she was an executive secretary), but I taught him how to make his own voice recordings, which he uses to communicate with other friends with vision issues. I also taught his ophthalmologist, who has passed it along to many of his patients.
Tags: philosophy, writer's block

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