Saturday, February 27, 2010

Letters & Journals Magazine Update

Don't you just love the cover on this magazine? We're working now on bringing this charm and warmth to the website as we continue to put the building blocks on that to bring the site to life this May.

Thanks to all who have offered content, sent content, are seeking content or are in the process of doing any of the above! Keep it coming!

Letters & Journals plans to be the destination stop for all of your letter writing and journal writing needs. I've written about some of the features and departments in previous posts, but here are some more:

Notes to oneself such as to-do lists
Profiles and interviews with pen or paper enthusiasts
Journal Retreats
Pen Pal Conventions
Store Listings (Reviews and Profiles)

We are not going to reinvent the wheel by creating all new content on these pen & ink related topics. Our plan is to offer mostly original content, but also bring other stories in by linking off-site to where the story or article was originally published.

Even after the print magazine is published, we will still offer original content on the website as well as a portion (probably small) of what is in the print version.

So if you see a story, have a story or have an idea for a story, please share it with us by contacting me at jackieflaherty (@) yahoo (dot) com or leaving a comment here. Thanks!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Farewell, Fine Friend

If you read my last post dated February 20, 2010, you saw the envelope with the watercolor illustration as done by my pen pal Victor. Sadly, I got a letter today from his friend, Sue, who told me that he passed away on February 13. Victor was 82 and had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Here is one of the few photos I have of him. (Sorry for the poor scan quality.)
"Time has passed, the Wheel has turned. It is time for you to move on. You will walk hand in hand with the Lord and with your ancestors who came before you."

Farewell, Fine Friend.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pen Pal Letters

I love a good letter! Who doesn't? I'm lucky enough to have an awesome group of pen friends. The one who sent this letter regularly adds art work to his envelopes and stationery. Victor is 80 years old and likes to work with water color and pencil drawings. He is a colorful personality with some strong opinions and calls himself a curmudgeon. We found each other through Lex Letters, a pen pal magazine, and have been corresponding for 3 or 4 years now.

Although Letters & Journals won't have pen pal listings, we will have features of pen pals, their correspondence, websites, friendship, adventures, etc. As I mentioned in my post on pen pals in Sept. 2009, there is a new found life for finding pen friends on the internet.

When I'm not reading or writing letters, I get my letter writing fix by visiting these websites: Missive Maven, 365 Letters, Letters, She Wrote, We've Got Paper. I love the interesting mail the get and send and am glad for any photos they post with their articles.

Maybe there is a story angle you would like to see covered or possibly you have a story waiting to be told. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mixed Paper Journal II

I wrote about this mixed paper journal in my Jan. 14, entry. At that time I had just received my new mixed journal from elisejoy and decided that I would use it as a diary of my life for one month: January.

I took pictures of each of the pages and posted them on flickr. If you'd like to see them, you can go here.

It was fun planning on how I would use this and what I would use for entries. On my trip to CA, I tried to save different things and take pictures with this little booklet in mind.

On the Letters &Journals website (and possibly the magazine) I plan to have readers post their photos of their journals, notebooks, diaries, etc. as I believe that many of us enjoy looking at the different styles, techniques, ideas of how people create and use these keeper of memories, thoughts, dreams, desires, ideas, values, goals, etc.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Contest Winner is Melissa!

Congratulations, Melissa (entry/comment #1). You are the winner of the hard cover book, 'Yours Ever' as donated by Random House for the Valentine's Day drawing! I will send an email asking for your mailing address.

Thanks to the others who entered. Julie had two entries- one for the comment and one for the twitter. Thanks!

Happy Valentine's Day!

(Photo Credit: I took this on Saturday as I left the local library)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

'Yours Ever' Contest Giveaway

In honor of Valentine's Day, I decided to have a contest giveaway of Thomas Mallon's engaging book, 'Yours Ever: People and Their Letters'. I first wrote about this book when it was published in Nov. 2009. Now that I've finished it, I thought I would tell you a little bit about it.

I am greatly impressed with Mr. Mallon's knowledge and research into all of the people and collections he features. This erudite writer offers fascinating glimpses into the lives of the letter writers he has selected, and there are quite a few. Some of the letters include:
Seeing history through the eyes of Winston and Clementine Churchill.

Seeing prison through the bars of Jean Harris's cell.

Seeing life through the eyes of an invalid, Flannery O'Connor. All are very intriguing and bring their own drama.
Sometimes I was lost as I wasn't sure who some of the people were and sometimes I thought he went on a little too long, but overall, I knew most of the letter writers and it was very enjoyable reading. He has an engaging writing style and spends some of the book talking about the writing of the book. An example of this is when he introduces us to the chapter called Spirit and explains his challenge in finding different ways to say the word letter without being too repetitive.

Contest Rules
1. Leave a comment with a Valentine Greeting to the readers of this blog (also leave your email address, twitter name or blog name so that I can find you if you should win).

2. Leave a link to this blog on your blog or twitter or facebook and post a comment with a link to your posting. And leave a comment with the information.

3. If you've read the book, leave your comments on what you thought about it for another entry.

4. I will draw a name at 1:00pm CT on Sunday, February 14, 2010 and will contact the winner directly to get their mailing information. They will have 1 week to respond with the information at which time I will randomly select another person.

For each link/tweet, you will get one entry. Plus, your Valentine greeting/comment will get you an entry.

I want to thank Rebecca at Random House for providing the hard cover of Yours Ever as the prize.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Letters & Journals Magazine Needs Content

Letters & Journals website is currently under construction and plans to launch early this summer. Much like the magazine that will come later, the website needs your content. I am looking to add articles in the following categories:

Writing Areas (Photos)
City Guide to Stationery Stores
New Product Reviews

Please contact me if you have an article to submit, a story idea, a photo, a website that followers of L&J would be interested in, etc. At this time, I cannot afford to pay for articles, but will gladly link to your site and promote through social networks as articles are relevant. At some point we will transition to a paying publication.

(photo is courtesy of 7gypsies)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lovely Display of Letters

Last week I attended the Winter Convention of the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) in Anaheim, CA., which is where I saw this lovely display of letters as featured in the booth of 7 Gypsies. The photo doesn't do it justice! But if you really want to experience more of this display, you can view the video as posted by Blue Moon Scrapbooking in this blog post. The video lasts about 7 minutes and doesn't get to this portion of the display until about 4 minutes into the video.
"At 7gypsies we love old world, old architecture, old postcards and old documents,"
says the January 21, 2010 post on the 7gypsies blog that talks about their Vintage Stationery as shown in this photo. Just lovely! I added some more photos to flickr if you want to see them. This blog does not show multiple photos very well (or should I say this blogger is not familiar with how to display more than 1 photo that doesn't look lame on this site).