Summer Letter Writing Challenge

I began my foray into writing a letter every day with a 30 day snail mail challenge back in July of 2015.  Below is a FLIPAGRAM of the 30 days.  That adventure filled my world with gems I never expected to encounter.  My own stationery business, a snail mate, friends near and far, a Letter Writing Society, and a role-playing fairy godmother to fledgling letter writing groups across the country, to name a few.  As I saw July approaching I felt compelled to repeat the challenge to connect with 30 special people and hopefully inspire many others to send more mail!

Back in March I launched my 30 days of Letters Kit and it was a big hit!  I got lots of feedback about the ways people used the kit.  Most bought it with the intention of filling their loved ones mail boxes and getting lots of mail back in return.  Others just wanted to revive the lost art of letter writing.

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Science says that it takes 21 days to create a habit – bad or good.  Some people began using the /30 rubber stamp included in the kit to keep track of the days they wrote in their journal.  Other stamped the inside covers of books they read as part of a book challenge they were doing and some used it to track 30 days of new recipes on recipe cards.  If you decide to do the challenge – follow along and let me know you are writing by posting on Instagram and hashtagging #thesummer30daysofletters.  You might pick up some new pen pals and become a Mail More Luvah!

This is how I will be structuring my 30 day challenge – 10 days of ice cream themed cards, 10 days of postcards, and 10 days of old-fashioned letters.  I put them all in a box, any box will do – try a shoe box.  Put some pens, pencils, postage stamps and anything else you like to make your mail pretty and you are off to the post office!  Each day grab that box and write a note to someone you love.

If you need a few tips to make this challenge easy breezy – click on this link to my blog about the 30 Days of Letters kit

Until the next note, Rhea

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Independent Bookstores – my favorite!

My mom is a librarian and my sister demanded no less than 4 books read to her each night when I was en utero so clearly I am an obsessive reader…..and letter writer….well I guess I am an obsessive everything.  I worked at Barnes and Nobles when I was in college and barely took home a dime. When I moved to NYC 18 years ago my passion for independent bookstores grew exponentially.  When I lived uptown, my favorite was The Corner Bookstore on Madison Avenue.  The cash register is enough to make you faint.IMG_5409As my life progressed downtown I became a regular at Three Lives & Company and McNally Jackson.  McNally Jackson has one heck of a card section so it’s pretty much where my budget goes to die between the books and the cards. This is a pic of one of my recent hauls : ).IMG_8114

It is also situated on my my favorite walk in the city, the route from Soho through Tribeca to my apartment.  Probably my FAVORITE thing to do in the world is wander around NYC.  I fancy myself a Flâneuse which is defined as the feminine form of flâneur; an idler, a dawdling observer, usually found in cities (as coined by Lauren Elkin in her amazing book Flâneuse).  More on that in another blog.  When a wander includes McNally, or any independent bookstore, it’s heaven.

But the reason I love both of these stores and truly any independent bookstore is that I find book treasures that I would never discover in a big chain store.  Case in point a book I found a few weeks ago on one of my dawdling wanders through McNally Jackson, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman.  Of course it was the title that first caught my eye – the reference to a postman.  When I read the premise I was shocked.  I stood at the table and read up to page 8 and after this passage, I knew I had to read the book:

“Bilodo was an unusual postman.
Among the thousands of soulless pieces of paper he delivered on his rounds, he occasionally came across a personal letter – a less and less common item in this era of email, and all the more fascinating for being so rare.  When that happened, Bilodo felt as excited as a prospector spotting a gold nugget in his pan.  He did not deliver that letter.  Not right away.  He took it home and steamed it open.  That’s what kept him so busy at night in the privacy of his apartment.”

IMG_8116I guess now I know why it takes so long for some of my mail to be delivered.  Just kidding USPS!  This slim little novella captured my attention and I must admit I was a little on edge the entire time I read it, constantly waiting for Bilodo to get caught.  If you love mail, all things postal and poetry, you will love this book.  And there is a sequel which isn’t out yet.   Not giving anything away but it’s called The Postman’s Fiancé.

Until the next note, Rhea