The Postal Challenge
Let me start by saying at that the Month of Letters Challenge starts on Saturday! This is a challenge, a movement if you will, started by Mary Robinette Kowal in an effort to get us to slow down, and take a little extra time with our communication. Here is what it’s all about:
I have a simple challenge for you.
- 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.
- 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 23 items. Why 23? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 23 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month.
Write love letters, thank yous, or simply notes to say that you miss an old friend. Let yourself step away from the urgency of modern life and write for an audience of one. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.
I participated last year and was very happy. I made some new friends and got to exchange lots of letters, which I love doing anyway. Then, while perusing the forums for possible correspondents, I came across mention of the Postal Challenge. Here is the intro from Melanie’s website:
What is the Challenge?
The key is to read and review books with a postal theme. These can be non-fiction on the subject of letter writing, collections of real letters, or epistolary fiction of any era. Be creative! Review each one and link back to the challenge — there will be quarterly roundup posts for you to link reviews and posts to as you create them.
The challenge runs from January 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2014. You can sign up ANY TIME throughout the year.
Any books chosen can overlap with any other challenge, and rereads are allowed. Just remember to review them somewhere online in order for them to count toward the challenge. Lists don’t have to be made in advance, though feel free to share your choices and inspire other readers if you wish! I always think that making lists is half the fun 🙂
So, since that sounds awesome, I’m going to sign up at the Air Mail Express level. That means that I’m committing to reading and reviewing twelve postal themed AND sending more snail mail. Which isn’t a problem between the Month of Letters challenge and my general desire to support the USPS.
Here are a few books I know I want to read:
Here is the publisher’s blurb:
After the Ninth Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, died alone in a cramped room in the servants’ quarters of Belvoir Castle on April 21, 1940, his son and heir ordered the room, which contained the Rutland family archives, sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became the first historian given access. What she discovered was a mystery: The Duke had painstakingly erased three periods of his life from all family records—but why? As Bailey uncovers the answers, she also provides an intimate portrait of the very top of British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I.
In To the Letter, Garfield traces the fascinating history of letter writing from the love letter and the business letter to the chain letter and the letter of recommendation. He provides a tender critique of early letter-writing manuals and analyzes celebrated correspondence from Erasmus to Princess Diana. He also considers the role that letters have played as a literary device from Shakespeare to the epistolary novel, all the rage in the eighteenth century and alive and well today with bestsellers like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. At a time when the decline of letter writing appears to be irreversible, Garfield is the perfect candidate to inspire bibliophiles to put pen to paper and create a form of expression, emotion, and tactile delight we may clasp to our heart.”
I’ll definitely get some novels in there too. It’s about time for me to do a re-read of Sorcery and Cecelia, which would be totally applicable. Do any of you have suggestions for me?