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I'm gonna sit write down and write twenty-four letters...
February 1, 2012 3:38 PM   Subscribe

A Month of Letters is a challenge with two parts: mail something (anything!) every day the post runs in February and respond to every letter you get.
posted by naturalog (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this aviral US postal service website hoping o get us to buy more stamps or retrochic attempt at interpersonal communication?
posted by Renoroc at 3:43 PM on February 1, 2012


It would have helped to see this before February.

Perhaps in March I will take the same challenge, though change the 'respond' aspect to be only private letters, and make it a two-for-one arrangement so that it grows. If the people I know respond in kind it could really blossom. But I bet I won't even get through the first week.

Self, your challenge has been accepted.
posted by LoudMusic at 3:43 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice try USPS.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:44 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I wish I had found it before today, too. Fortunately, I mailed something today anyways, so am still in the green...

And I think the intent of the "response" aspect of the challenge is only private letters anyways -- that's certainly how I understood it.
posted by naturalog at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2012


There are two related flaws to this suggestion:

1. No one, not even me, can read my written letters.

2. If I'm going to type them on a computer so people can read them, I'm thinking I'd rather go ahead and send them electronically for free with instantaneous delivery -- no? Printer ink, stamps, and journeys to the post box take some $ and time, and all for a s l o o o o w delivery.
posted by bearwife at 3:53 PM on February 1, 2012


This delayed interaction and physical mementoes thing is defo on the rise.

I reckon that later this year we'll start seeing pieces in the broadsheets waxing lyrical about a Slow Communication movement. They'll mention this project, Giles Turnbull's rather lovely Twitter By Post thing, that cute Little Printer gadget, hipsters ostentatiously abandoning text messages in favour of calligraphy on vellum, a promising young Saint Martins graduate engaging with the legacy of ripping off '60s Mail Artists, &c..
posted by jack_mo at 4:19 PM on February 1, 2012


To play devil's advocate to bearwife*, I'm in the same boat penmanship-wise and have found people enjoy typewritten letters via snail mail to a point that is worth the effort. YMMV.

* "Devil's Advocate to Bearwife" sounds like the most twisted gay Scandanavian death metal band ever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:19 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I put some postcards in the mail today.

I realized, again, that I really miss the act of sending and receiving mail. An entire layer of the potential joys and sorrows in life has just kind of vanished from my experience.

I buy random crap on Amazon that I don't really need because then at least I will be getting a package.
posted by brennen at 4:22 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, OK, I admit I like real mail and real letters too. And most of all real packages, one of the joys of SQ season on MetaFilter. Love the card exchnge on MetaChat for the same reason.

Having said that, still cannot picture sending that many "real" letters or for that matter wanting to get that many. I'd feel overwhelmed, both as a sender and a recipient.
posted by bearwife at 4:40 PM on February 1, 2012


I suppose next months challenge will involve a horse and buggy. And after that, maybe flint knapping?
posted by happyroach at 5:13 PM on February 1, 2012


I feel compelled to point out that this challenge was created by Mary Robinette Kowal, and her book Shades of Milk and Honey was extremely enjoyable - people keep describing it as Jane Austen but with magic and that, well, kind of nails it. Plus she made a card game for it (which she said originated as a way to still provide readers with something to sign at author readings if they bought her books electronically - some of the cards you can only get from her at an event). Highly recommended!
posted by skycrashesdown at 5:22 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


And after that, maybe flint knapping?

I'm all set!
posted by curious nu at 5:30 PM on February 1, 2012


Can I just tell you how much I love that, at the top of the Society of Primitive Technology site, the first thing I see is:

<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%>
posted by brennen at 5:33 PM on February 1, 2012


ANYHOW, speaking of primitive technology, the answer to "my handwriting sucks" is that you can get a decent electric typewriter for like $5-20 at x-random thrift store, and typewritten letters are an even better anachronism than handwritten ones in many ways, because who in the hell still uses a typewriter?
posted by brennen at 5:35 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


The people who shop here. Disclaimer: Portland.
posted by pernoctalian at 5:44 PM on February 1, 2012


Huh. As it happens, I've already sent out Actual Paper Mail several days in a row, mostly because I'm an anachronistically firm believer in thank-you letters and I have plenty to thank people for this week. I've been intending to start sending more mail (postcards, letters, tiny packages) to my many distant nieces and nephews*, too.

*Eleven nieces and nephews. Now that I'm thinking about it, 24 pieces of mail sounds like a trivially small number of postcards. I'm going to do this, if only because I know the kids will love getting mail.
posted by Elsa at 6:16 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suppose next months challenge will involve a horse and buggy. And after that, maybe flint knapping?

You know, my dad sent me letters from prison. I still sort of know where they are, in box somewhere at my sister's apartment. With his attempts at drawing Garfield — my favorite comic — all over the margins. I still almost weep when I think about the letters, and I'm glad they are there.

Maybe it's because I'm old enough to remember a time before all-electronic communication, but I'm not sure it would be the same thing to have an e-mail. And maybe it's not supposed to be. Maybe that's my generation's cool thing: I remember a time when...

Anyway, I know the internet is a snarky environment, so no harm, no foul. But maybe tone it down just a bit.
posted by deanklear at 6:29 PM on February 1, 2012


The people who shop here. Disclaimer: Portland.

Man, I would totally shop there if I lived in Portland.

It would be a bad idea. I already have like 5 typewriters. (Wait, maybe 6. I can't remember if there are two Selectrics or just one...)
posted by brennen at 5:03 AM on February 2, 2012


I'm totally going to do this, but not until March. Since February has already started. That, and I'm broke and I only have a few stamps left.

MeMail me your address if you'd like to get a postcard from me!
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:20 AM on February 2, 2012


I will order the horse mask once my tiny RC helicopter and that one banjo album arrive.
posted by brennen at 8:28 AM on February 2, 2012


Dammit, that was completely the wrong thread. Stupid tabs.
posted by brennen at 8:28 AM on February 2, 2012


>I reckon that later this year we'll start seeing pieces in the broadsheets waxing lyrical about a Slow Communication movement.<

Of course we will, because I’ve been thinking about it lately, and spite of my younger vision of myself as an original thinking, creative person, I realize now that I’m nearly the statistically average person and the things I become interested in are the things everyone becomes interested in. I’m just trying to keep that information from the marketing guys so they don’t lock me in a cell somewhere.
posted by bongo_x at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2012


>I will order the horse mask once my tiny RC helicopter and that one banjo album arrive.<

The ducks are in the garden eating the strawberries.
Do you have the item we discussed? Leave it in the newspaper on the table and walk away.
posted by bongo_x at 11:11 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


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