Monday, April 9, 2012


I absolutely, positively, 100% love letters. I love getting them, I love writing them, I love the whole process. Part of it might be because my primary love language (according Dr. Chapman's Five Love Languages quiz) is Words of Affirmation (followed by a close second of Quality Time and then Acts of Service). Part if it might be because letter writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember - I wrote letters to my cousin Megan and to my friend Madeline starting at (I think) eight years old.

At camp, letters were always important. Receiving three or more resulted in the "torture" (which really meant fun and excitement) of running around the dining hall, and everyone waited with baited breath to hear if their name was going to be called in that round of mail call. As a Jr. staff, I tried to leave little notes for my campers who didn't get mail - on their bed, in their backpack - because I knew how desperately important it was to me, as a camper, to get mail, and figured they'd want some to.

When my sister went to Colorado for five weeks one summer, her letters were a treasure in our family. We'd pass them around and read them. I remember one particular letter she had addressed to me that began by saying "This letter contains all the private stuff". As a rule, when we're at camp, our family tries to write individual unique letters to our younger siblings still at home - it's so much more fun when you have your own unique message.

Regardless of why I like them, letters are really important to me. I keep most letters I receive - every college acceptance I got, even though I only attend one university, for example. So I was thrilled when I discovered this site, that publishes letters worth reading from famous people.

My favorite on this site so far is the letter from C.S. Lewis about writing. Writing to an author is always an exciting experience, but getting a letter in return is even more special. I've received letters from two authors in my life - Elie Wiesel, who wrote Night, and John Grogan, who wrote Marley and Me. Mr. Wiesel wrote my entire English class, because we had sent him poetry that we had written about his book.

Mr. Grogan's letter was much more personal. He thanked me for enjoying his books and then said, " I hope you keep writing. All I can advise is the more you do it, the better you get. And the more you read, the more you will know how to tell great writing from just OK writing."
Three lines, but a fantastically exciting letter for sixteen-year-old me.

In terms of letters now, I'm currently pen-pal-ing my friend from high school who goes to St. Mary's College. I collect postcards, so if you're in an exciting place (cough, Ireland, cough). I'd love to get one from you too! Even if you're not in an exciting place, send me a postcard. I promise, I do keep them. :)

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