Tuesday 21 February 2023


Picture printing machine found in some shopping centres, and shops.

One of the more popular things enclosed with letters is photographs. The photos may be of the letter writer or even of their family. Or, it could be a picture taken on holiday or in the surrounding area. Maybe it is something funny they've come across. But, perhaps the 6 x 4 (inch) format is too big for letters and may make the letters too heavy or thick. I don't have a working colour printer at the moment, but if I did, I could print some small pictures on the paper I use for letter writing. However, most of the paper I use is A5, and is perhaps not all that printer friendly. 

So, I was pleased to see a photo printing machine in a local supermarket that would allow pictures submitted on various digital media (USB, memory card, plug your device into the machine for image transfer....) to be printed. I can be stingy, so rather than get a small amount printed for a higher cost each, I go for gazillions (well) for the cheaper cost per print. But they come out 6 x 4 or can go for the larger size of 7 x 5. 

Selection of small pictures arranged on a 6 x 4 inch background.

The answer to that lies in making collages. I can select the dimensions, I use 3:2 or 2:3, and in the website I use for making the collages, I can specify how many pictures take up that space. Then, find and insert the images I want printed, save to USB drive... and head to the photo printing machine. The quality comes out quite well. I then have fun cutting/trimming the pictures and then putting double-sided sticky tape so they can be stuck onto the letter paper. 
A piece of paper with a small picture in one corner, and the back of another showing double-sided sticky tape.

Friday 17 February 2023

Mid-incowrimo musings.

 We are just over half way through the month and I've received over a dozen surprises, but have only surprised about half-a-dozen so far. It can be hard to pick people to write to. Sometimes in past years, I have picked people by their address - perhaps part of it sounds a little amusing, or raises questions - is the view from North Scenic Highway picturesque? I hope life in Bland isn't bland or dull. 

But then, what to write? LetterMo and Incowrimo do not have long term correspondence as their main aim, though these letters can yield long lasting penfriendship. So, if the aim more one-off/occasional correspondence, why send introduction / CV-style letters that just focus on the writer? You are not applying for a job / business arrangement, but could be looking for penfriendship. 

The artist author Susan Branch said that she remembers being told to never use the word I in the first sentence. Occasionally, I have forgotten that and started with, "I'm writing to you from [not my usual writing place]," instead of a, "Thank you for your letter," if I'm writing a reply, or, "Hello, how are you?" Sounds easy to put the other person first. 

The Eastgate Clock in Chester, England.

So, what now? On the Incowrimo site, I posted 5 not-all-that-serious questions (one about clocks, one about ducks) and I've already received some answers with stories to them that warm the heart. Little snippets and insights to life, funny tales. So please, just jump write right in and write, perhaps use the kind of prompts in guided journals to convey who you are. No letter should be the same in LetterMo / Incowrimo but perhaps should elicit joy, laughter, mindfulness. You want to brighten the recipient's day.