Monday, December 31, 2012

Letters to Sandy Hook

The gift of mail. 
Helping lift someone's spirits if even just for a moment. Giving them something to focus on to help take them outside of their pain. Offering a distant hug written on any note card or paper, wrapped in an envelope and stamped with love.  Do not think these things don't matter.

 The tragedy at Sandy Hook broke my heart: the senselessness of the act, the terror of the victims and survivors, the sadness and confusion of the families and the nation.

What can we do? Pray? Send flowers? Sign a petition? Participate in the #26ActsofKindness (Twitter)?

I chose to send letters. Somewhere I came across this post office box that was set up for the families of the victims:

PO Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470

So I looked up the name and photo of each victim and began the process of saying a prayer and sending a card with just a short note letting the family know that we're thinking of them. I am doing this over the process of weeks so that I'm not hurried. I like to spend time in silent meditation for each soul. 
Susan Piver has a beautiful blog post on another way to help the victims and their families, as well as yourself and anyone affected by this tragedy.
I was reminded of the movie Calendar Girls where one of the women was helped through the grief of losing her husband to cancer by reading and responding to the massive amounts of mail that was sent to her. Anything to just get through the days when you're in shock and your grief is raw.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

TUL Pen Review and Giveaway

Dec. 11, 2012 Winner Update - Sandra S has won the set of 4 pens from TUL. Congratulations, Sandra!

TUL pens has offered to host a giveaway of the set of four pens I am about to review. I must admit I've been a fan of the TUL pens since they first came out in 2006. TUL pens is a brand of OfficeMax and are only available there.

I thought it might be easiest to write my reviews with each of the pens and then post the review with the scanned photo.

For details on the Giveaway, skip to the bottom of this post.

 Ballpoint pen review (Medium point)
Rollerball (Medium)
 Gel Pen (Medium)
 Marker Pen (Fine)
Like most pen enthusiasts, I like my pens a certain way- rich flowing ink, a fine point and a weight that's not too light and not too heavy, although, sometimes heavy is good if it's weighted just right. These pens all had a smooth flow and except for one, they had a generous and even flow of ink. Two of the pens were fine point but the one I liked the most was the medium ballpoint pen.

I tested on two kinds of paper. In the photos above, I used Rhodia's Ivory High Grade Vellum Paper (heavenly to write on with anything) and in the photos below I used a regular notebook.

There was slight bleed-through with two of the pens on the notebook paper, but not with the Rhodia.

 Here's more of a close up with the four points.

Giveaway Information
You can win your own set of these four TUL pens featured here just by leaving a comment. The contest is open to US residents. Leave a comment by midnight Sunday, Dec. 9 and the winner will be selected and notified on Monday, Dec. 10. If you don't want to leave your email address in the comment, then just leave your comment and EMAIL me your email address.

You can earn additional entries by promoting this contest linking to this blog on FACEBOOK (Letters & Journals) or TWITTER (@LandJmagazine). Total entries possible are 3. Just leave a comment for each one.

Disclaimer: I received the TUL products mentioned in this post from OfficeMax in order to facilitate my review. The items featured in this giveaway are also provided by OfficeMax and will be sent to the winner directly. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.