Friday, November 27, 2009

'Yours Ever'- A New Book About Letters

'Yours Ever: People and Their Letters' is a new book by author Thomas Mallon. I found this book from an entry on Twitter that linked to '100 Notable Books of 2009' at the NY Times. I also found this listed on the Indie Bound website which promotes buying books from your local independent bookstore.

If you visit National Review Online (NRO) you can listen to a short interview with the author as he discusses this book which just came out (Nov. 2009).

In addition to his novels, Mr. Mallon also wrote 'A Book of One's Own: People and Their Diaries' published in 1984.

I haven't read either of these yet, but plan to get them both. Common Good Books (CGB) is a local independent bookstore I recently discovered on a day trip with a friend. This store is owned by Garrison Keillor and opened in St. Paul, MN three years ago. The bookstore sits below Nina's Coffee Cafe which is a cozy, comfy, casual coffee shop that lends itself to promoting and inviting local writers to hone their craft while relaxing in the coffee shop with their peers.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Idea Journal

I started my Idea Journal in February 2006. I got the idea from visiting some some web sites that talked about the concept of an Idea Journal. This little booklet has been in my purse or work bag for most of the last 3 1/2 years.

Basically, with an Idea Journal, you have a ready place to write down thoughts, names, inventions, story ideas, jokes, a humorous incident, a funny/sweet comment your child or loved one made. Whatever you want. I enjoy writing and thinking of story ideas, so a lot of my ideas are geared towards that, but not all of them are.

I number my ideas and sometimes add the date. Here are some entries:

3. Letters & Journals magazine (Feb 2006)

10. Grothe Road, St. Louis, MO I was traveling in St. Louis and came across a street sign that was the same as my maiden name. Grothe is not a name you see everyday, so I wrote it down to remember it and to remember where I saw it. (Feb. 2006)

19. "Baseball is back in the news. Life is good." My husband is a big sports fan. One morning, while reading the paper, he made this comment and I wrote it down.

41. Giants Graveyard- Imagine visiting and walking among the gravesites of giants and how big their headstones might be. I think I had seen a giant rock that looked like a headstone and then just imagined a bunch of them and wondered what that would be like.

81. In defense of senility- I had misread a headline and thought that this is what it said and I was drawn in by wondering what the argurment could be for defending senility.

89. Edworthy- I thought that was a cool name

121. Arctic Smile- what must that look like? An author had used it in a book and I thought it was a great description.

I have found that when I have the book with me, I am more apt to look for or think of things to add to it. If I don't have it I may not always take the time to write my idea down to be transferred later. Sometimes, but not always.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sending Mail

If you enjoy sending mail, you might want to consider signing up for Send Love Today. This nonprofit organization sends mail to kids with brain tumors.

If you go to their About Us section you will find the email address and postal address of the two ladies who run this wonderful organization.

For the next two months I will be sending mail to 11 year old Claire along with one or two other volunteers. All you need to do is let Linda or Sandi know who you are and that you are interested in doing this and they will send you the information to get you started.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When You Write a Letter

The friendly letter, according to this book, "...need not be written today; its composition may be deferred tomorrow or next week, or to that pleasant and indefinite future when we plan to accomplish all things worthy and worth while; it is the letter we write because it gives us pleasure to do so, or more likely because we hope to give some one else pleasure."

One of my pen pals (Christi) was nice enough to send this to me when she came across it somewhere in her book scouting (a hobby we are both passionate about).

Written in 1921, Thomas Arkle Clark was the Dean of Men and Professor of Rhetoric at the University of IL. The book was printed in 1938 by Benj. H. Sanborn & Co. The six chapters of this small book (7" x 4.5") are:

Letter Writing
Materials and Form
The Friendly Letter
Formal Notes
The Business Letter
Letters of Courtesy

I enjoy reading books on letter writing and this one has been a gem. It gives a glimpse into the culture and norms of society and how those change over time. In reading the chapter on formal notes, Mr. Clark went into some detail on a dinner party that his sister hosted where he described the process of creating the invitations (written or engraved- only the vulgar would have theirs printed) and the corresponding acceptance notes (he described some as bizarre).

'When You Write a Letter' has been a joy to read and hold (I love old books, especially those with a subject that is meaningful to me). Thanks, Christi! In Letters & Journals I plan to have reviews of books on letter writing and journaling.

Now, I must be off to accomplish things worthy and worthwhile!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sending Out Prizes

Below is the list of winners for the Big Idea Contest that was held in October. I was hoping to hear from the first two people so they could choose their prizes and give me their mailing information, but they did not leave any way to contact them, so if they don't check back here and get me their prize choice (here) and their mailing address, then I will proceed to the next winners on the list.

1. Passion
2. Lightmintypfunks
3. James at Everyday Correspondence
4. Curbside Annie
5. School Supplies Sleuth
6. James at Everyday Correspondence

I did hear from James at Everyday Correspondence, and will send emails to Annie at Curbside Treasure and School Supplies Sleuth.

I learned some things to make it easier next time! Can't wait! But first must finish this and work on the magazine for a bit. Cover illustration for Letters & Journals is in the works!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Contest Winners!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my October 26 post with ideas for Letters & Journals! What awesome suggestions! Some I had already considered because they were things I was interested in, and it's great to know that others are interested also. A lot of the others were new, so I was glad to hear them.

Here is the list of winners. I will also contact them individually to see what their prize choice is. This is my first contest and I'm realizing now that it might be time consuming to hear from each person and go to the next, so I would definitely organize more tightly next time.
1. Passion
2. Lightmintypfunks
3. James
4. Curbside Annie
5. School Supplies Sleuth
6. James

If you read this before I get around to sending the emails, please just leave a comment or semd me an email (jackieflaherty (at) yahoo (dot) com with your choice, and when it gets to your prize (if it's still available) then that is what I will send.

For choosing each winner, I listed each of the entries as they came in and numbered them in order. Then I created 39 numbers and just started drawing.

Thanks again! I loved reading the ideas and getting excited all over again for this magazine to become a reality. Finding/defining the audience has been one of the challenges of the magazine endeavor, so I'm happy to be interacting with like-minded people who would also like to see/read/enjoy Letters & Journals magazine.