Tag Archives: tally

Taking Stock: May

Four for family members (Ouch. Kind of sucks in a way to have my sister home…)

Three for people I know from growing up here, studying in India, through other friends.

Seven for Send Something. I meant to do more there.

Twelve for Postcrossing. Clearly I’m a convert (and it’s a good home-from-work-at-midnight sort of thing).

Five for college friends, two of whom are quite decent correspondents.

Finally, four for people whose blogs I follow and enjoy.


120. Karen (@Postcrossing) -Virginia Beach

AND Lisa (@Postcrossing) -Little Rock

121. Becky Snailmailer (@Send Something) -Bethlehem

122. my sister the second – Boston

123. Liz C. -Chicago

124. L.R. McArthur (@Send Something) -Decatur

125. Mater

126. Tabatha H. (@Postcrossing) -Sorrento

127. Mayuri (@Postcrossing) -Ontario

AND Yuming (@Postcrossing) -London

128. Limner -Katy

129. Misty D. the Pen Thief -Ravenna

130.  Lee H. -San Mateo

131. Dustin (@Postcrossing) -Ranch Cucamonga

AND Tracey F. (@Postcrossing) -Red Feather Lakes

132. Scott E. -Hong Kong

133. Alex K. -Seattle

134. John R. (@Postcrossing) -Mont Clare

AND Shannon (@Send Something) -Bellevue

135. Alex C. -Chicago

136. Linsey (@Send Something) -Tulsa

137. Paula (@Postcrossing) -OShawa Ontario, Canada

138. Megin F. -Seattle

139. Chris F (@Send Something) -Swindon, UK

140. Angie (@Send Something) -Bridgeport

141. Ramya S. -San Carlos

142. A Year of Letters -Morton

143. Ganga – Spring Lake

144. Becky Snailmailer (@Send Something)-Bethlehem

145. John R. (@Postcrossing) -Mont Clare

146. Olive O. -Monroe Township

AND Jasmine (@Send Something) -Las Cruces

147. Willow (@Postcrossing) -New Westminster, Canada

148. Jessica K. -Park Ridge

149. Karina (Postcrossing) -Moscow, Russia

150. Limer -Katy


Taking Stock: April

I was on a roll this month! I don’t know what it is, but the last week or so I’ve just felt really excited to write ALL THE TIME. It must be a combination of Spring energy and the book I’m reading, with the result that I sometimes sent out two bits of mail in a single day. Though I will still continue to write every day, this catches me up and puts me over my quota of 119 letters in 119 days.

Back to the monthly analysis: In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I haven’t sent #58 to the 2011 Letters project yet—I didn’t like what I had written, so I want to revisit it and change some things around. It’s just so loooong at this point that I’ve been procrastinating. I also haven’t sent #102, but it’s just about done and ready to go.

I DID do a better job this month of balancing my new friends and acquaintances on the internet with people I’ve met in the flesh and blood. Thirteen letters went to online peeps and one to my soldier, leaving 19 to go to people who come from college (9), life (6), family (2), and job stuff (2). Part of that no doubt has to do with my birthday at the end of March. I asked for letters this year instead of Facebook wishes, so I had several exciting things from friends in the mail that week.

My favorite gift, however, hearkens back to this post in February. While I (politely) ransacked the store for the perfect pen, my friend remarked on the similarities to finding just the right wand in the Harry Potter series. I not-so-subtly hinted that maybe she could write a story about magic pens…AND SHE DID! I even get my own line of magic fountain pens! How is awesome is that, I ask you?

90. Maria R. -New York

91. Sarah M. -Arlington

92. Tiffany L. -Chicago

93. Dylan M. -Tuscon

94. Maria F. -Lincoln

95. Linsey (@Send Something) -Tulsa

96. Mello -Boston

97. Laura E. -Chicago

98. my sister the second

99. Grace H. -New York

100. Natalie L. -Livingston

101. Becky (@Send Something) -Bethlehem

102. Jamie D. -Chicago

103. Marton Posta (@Postcrossing) -Jilove, Czech Republic

104. David D. -Cork City, Ireland

105. Jenny S. -Blacksburg

AND PostMuse (Orphaned Postcard Project) – Pittsburgh

106. Jessica K. -Park Ridge

107. Misty D. (The Pen Thief) -Ravenna

108. Sr. Christian M. -Chicago

109. Sharon D. -Bellevue

110. my soldier in Iraq

111. Alex C. -Chicago

112. Limner -Katy

113. Nick G. -Ann Arbor

114. Elaine Mary P. -Cochrane, Canada

AND LR M. (@Send Something) -Decatur

115. Juli Girlonaglide (@Send Something) -Lande

116. Mrs. M. (@Send Something) -Appatomax

117. Lauren P. -New York

118. my sister the second -Boston (postcard)

AND Linsey (@Send Something) -Tulsa

119. Pam (@Postcrossing) -Blanchard

Taking Stock: March

59. Alex C. -Chicago

60. Liz C. -Chicago

61. Stijn C. (@ Postcrossing) -Brussels (postcard)

62. Cora Beth T. -Chicago

63. Sharon D. -Seattle

64. Nick G. -Ann Arbor

65. my soldier in Iraq

66. Linsey (@Send Something) -Tulsa

67. Sventlana K. (@Postcrossing) -Minsk, Belarus

68. Becky (@ Send Something) -Bethlehem

69. Postmuse (@Orphaned Postcard Project) – Pittsburgh

70. Ganga -Spring Lake

71. Julie S. (@Postcrossing) -Isny, Germany

72. Maria K. (@Postcrossing) – Velikiy Novgorod, Russian Federation

73. Alex C. -Chicago

74. Olga S. (@Postcrossing) -Obninsk

75. Mrs. Doll (@Send Something) -St. Joseph

76. my sister the second

77. LR McArthur (@Send Something) -Atlanta

78. Girlonaglide Juli (@Send Something)

79. Marissa M. -Boston

80. Malwina M. (@Postcrossing) -Poznan, Poland

81. Larry T. (@Postcrossing) -East Windsor

82. Lauren E. (@ Send Something) -Denver

83. Becky (@ Send Something) -Bethlehem

84. Lamar M. -Chicago

85. Laura E. -Chicago

86. Jessica K. -Chicago

87. Cat B. -South Hadley

88. Roy R. -New York

89. Olivia W. -Clinton

Three months down! I never really thought about how far I’d get with this project, but part of me is actually slightly surprised at myself for getting out over 90 letters. (Another part of me is wondering whether I should be insulted by the implied lack of confidence in myself…)

The breakdown went thusly: Seven letters to friends from college. A whopping 15 to people I met through online mail sites and blogs. Just one each to my soldier (been a bad girl there), and my sister (I think I did see her in person a couple of times though), and grandmother. One to a new friend, and another to a friend of a college friend. Three to friends from high school. One to someone who has generously offered to help me with my job hunt.

I’m thankful that I have so many people to write to these days! The last week has been especially kind to the mailbox, so I have the next 10 days or so all planned out–how awesome is that?! I am a little concerned that I’ve been neglecting the people I hoped to reconnect with from my real life, so I’m going to make a greater effort in April to look up some other old teachers and classmates.

March wasn’t a great month for blogging, largely because I went from working only a few hours a week to spending everyday running all over the place with various bits of temp work. I even got a job interview for a full-time position! I don’t know what April will be like, but I’ve really enjoyed writing No Post on Sunday and getting to know the people who read it. I’m going to try to make a little more time to sit down and blog, but my first priorities are (1) working, (2) letters themselves, and (3) crafting/drawing.

Postcrossing update: I’ve gotten some really thoughtful comments from people who’ve received my postcards, which has done a lot to redeem the experience for me. I think I just needed to open my eyes a bit and shift my expectations a little. I’m still not sure it’s something I want to continue when so many of the postcards require international postage and sites like Send Something have so many cool people, but there is definitely something to be said for connecting with people internationally. I’m going to keep at it for a bit longer. I also need to take a day to catch up on responding to all the interesting people who’ve written to me through the site.

And that’s March!

Taking Stock: February

32. Liz C. -Chicago

33. Suzanne P. -Plant City

34. Megin F. -Seattle

35. Olive O. -New Hadley

36. Cathy A. -New York

37. Yini S. -Chicago

38. Marge M. -Earlton

39. my sister the second – Boston

40. Olivia W. -Clinton

41. my soldier in Iraq

42. Cat B. -South Hadley

43. Tiff L. -Chicago

44. Nick G. -Ann Arbor

45. the love of my life (no, really.)

46. Maggie O. -Denver

47. Alex C. -Chicago

48. Marissa M. -Boston

49. my sister the second -Boston

50. North D. -Udaipur

51. Lauren A. (@ Send Something) -Denver AND my soldier in Iraq (postcard)

52. Ashley (@ Send Something) -Sacramento (postcard)

53. Olive O. -New Hadley (postcard)

54. Niki D. -Madrid

54. Allie M. -Briarcliff AND Henry M. -Briarcliff (postcards)

55. Sr. Christian M. -Chicago

56. Becky (@ Send Something) -Bethlehem

57. Anna M. (@ Postcossing) – Odessa, Ukraine

58. Renee & Family (2011 Letters Project) -Roanoke

Two months down? Whoaaaa…

Major accomplishments for this month: turning the blog into a forum for ideas and writing, and getting more involved with the online community.

The latter is especially great because it means I find myself at a loss for someone to write to much less. So many letter writing bloggers have interesting things to say that I’d love to respond to, and while I could just click the comment link I’d much rather connect with them in their favorite way.

Taking Stock: January

1. Laura E. – Chicago

2. Aunt S. -Philidelphia

3. Sharon D. -Seattle

4. Abby P. -Madison

5. my soldier in Iraq

6. my sister the third -New York

7. Ramya S. -San Francisco

8. Lee H. -San Francisco

9. Tori E. -Chicago (postcard, actually)

10. Nick G. -Ann Arbor

11. my sister the second -Boston

12. Sarah M. -New Delhi

13. Ganga -Spring Lake

14. Mimi O. -New York

15. Niki D. -Madrid

16. my soldier in Iraq (postcard)

17. Cat B. -South Hadley (postcard)

18. Olive O. -New Hadley, NJ

19. George L. -New York

20. David D. -Cork City

21. my sister the second. -Boston

22. Joe O. -Denver

23. collage envelope for Joe O.

24. collage envelope for my sister the second

25. Jenny S. -Blacksburg, and envelope

26. Olivia W. -Clinton; and an envelope for Jenny

27. Jamie D. -Chicago (postcard); and an envelope for Olivia

28. my soldier in Iraq

29. my sister the third -New York (postcard)

30. Marissa M. -Boston

31. Mia and Gioia C. -New York

Total: 5 postcards, 4 envelopes, and 26 letters? Not bad.

My sisters are definitely a theme–at the very least it’s easy to write to the one in Boston because she lives in another city and we don’t really connect much by email, text, Facebook, chat/im, etc. Neither of us are really phone talkers, so while the we certainly exchange the occasional call, they are short and usually to the point. Letters are a good outlet for catching up, and since she’s my sister I don’t have to worry about double-dipping much.

The youngest one is living at home with me so it rings a little false to write her substantive letters when I poke my head in her door every three seconds and she comes to snuggle with bother me every other minute. She went on a long, rather intense retreat as a team leader early this month though, and it was a good opportunity to write to her about how much I love her and am proud of her. Because I do and I am. And when I went to visit #2 this weekend, #3 got a postcard. (I realize that the numbering is a little strange here so to clarify, I am #1.)

I am supposed to write my soldier in Iraq every week, so I lost one in there at some point. I did get a brief response to an email I sent him about a package, so Hurray! At least he exists. I still worry that my letters are completely uninteresting to this guy who is doing who-knows-what in an army base surrounded by tough people who probably could eat me for breakfast. Mark Twain, in his famously patient, gentle sort of way once said,

“There is only one brief, solitary law for letter-writing, and yet you either do not know that law, or else you are so stupid that you never think of it. It is very easy and simple: Write only about things and people your correspondent takes a living interest in.”

I know, Mark, I know. Want to give a hint what those things might be?

The remaining letters and postcards went to friends from college (8), high school (2), elementary school, (1), life (5), extended family (4), and people who have helped me out with my job search (2). There were more than four art projects, three of which were collage.

January conclusion: As I hoped it would, this project is encouraging me to get back in touch with people I grew apart from in the process of changing schools, building a new life, and generally growing up. I wrote to one of the resident heads of my old dorm, and I recently got the address of one of my favorite high school faculty members (I’ll be writing to her this week). I also have done pretty well with Thank You notes, which I always mean to write and somehow never get to.

And I was really really excited to work on those envelopes! They took forever to make, but they made me so happy and I was ecstatic to photograph them, drop them in the box, and imagine their recipients pulling them out of their mailboxes. My sister got hers the day I arrived in Boston and it was really fun for me to see it come out of the mailbox–the newspaper came through remarkably well, aside from where it was almost split down both sides (I’ll need to reinforce that next time). I couldn’t help but think of all the people who had handled it and seen how unusual it is. What did they think? Did it brighten their days? And it was really gratifying to see my sister’s roommate’s reaction to it—apparently she knew me as the one who sends all the pretty letters! Yay!

I love the artsy aspect of this project because I have drawers, boxes, and even a closet of art materials that I hardly touched when I was in school and drowning under the weight of books, assignments, and everyone’s expectations. The academic in me has gotten lots of food for thought and intellectual exercise in the last nine years or so, but the artist in me has suffered from creative malnutrition and lethargy until recently. It’s been fun, if a little painful, to start practicing again.