One thing I came across last night, was a description of a cat in a letter from a father to his daughter, as a mobile ginger flower - Ginger-dandelion. The letter writer was Ted Hughes. The chapter of the book was named The Modern Master. A collection of some of Ted Hughes' letters have been published. To The Letter also has a picture of Ernest Heminigway's cat walking across letters and correspondence on a bed. Some of my penpals have mentioned their cats getting in the way of snailmail by sitting on the letter, on the paper to be written on, on the table, or even the chair to be used at the letter writing desk.
Letter-writing - 'excellent training for conversation with the world.'I am over three quarters of the way through the book. I should finish it before Christmas 2016 and then, perhaps, I can follow up on selected bibliography and people mentioned, e.g.
- Abelard and Heloise
- Second Earl of Chesterfield
- Fourth Earl of Chesterfield
- Letters of Ted Hughes
- Letters Home (Sylvia Plath)
- Madame de Sévigné
I wonder if there will be ebooks of the emails of some celebrity / author / entertainer / scientist / person of interest in years to come.
I wonder what people would make of letters answering Five Questions, part of the postal challenge on A World of SnailMail forum. Some of the questions asked can be a little silly. I recently answered a question unable to touch my nose with my tongue. Did you just try to do that yourself?
There is still time to ask Five Questions this month and answer others people's questions. Even some of my long time penpals incorporate answers (sometimes to other people's questions) in their letters to me.
'Maybe the crucial element in handwriting is that the hand is simultaneously drawing.'Well, that is about all the drawing I can handle - letters!
So, why don't you surprise a family member or friend with a letter. One of the short stories broadcast on the radio last month mentioned a mother writing to her anorexic daughter in a bid to learn and help, and for this story, it worked. Taking time to write down thoughts and questions, without interruptions of, "You just don't understand..." or other speech-stoppers and the written dialogue continues in a calm manner.
Letters connect people. Letters have brought more joy into my world.