It’s that time of year again! InCoWriMo is International Correspondence Writing Month, and goal is to write a letter a day for the entire month of February. This also doubles as being a great way to get through a dreary month.
We are all about writing more letters here, or just writing more in general. Letters in particular, though, are a special sort of slowing down, being thoughtful, sharing news, because it’s a correspondence between you and someone else. It’s become more of a rare experience, but the savouring of receiving a letter and sitting down to read it, the sound of the paper in your hands as you unfold it, the shape of someone else’s handwriting, often times familiar. While it’s hard to beat an in-person friendship or relationship, the next best thing might be exchanging letters by mail.
I have been a woefully negligent correspondent, but I’m looking to get back in the game, and there’s no better month than InCoWriMo.
We also have our monthly Letter Writing Club coming up on Thursday, February 13th, so even if you can’t make writing a letter everyday, you can come out and enjoy writing some correspondence with good company at least once.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Consider a quick thank you note—to your child’s teacher or former teacher, an old colleague
- Make a list of people in advance and spend half an hour hunting down all the addresses at once. There’s nothing worse than finishing up a letter and having it lag around because you don’t have the address right on file. Might be a good time to set up a system to keep track of addresses while you’re at it.
- Consider writing to the same person more than once, or even the same person every day.
- Get your kids involved, and help them write a letter to someone they know, even if they just live down the street.
We’ve got an InCoWriMo stationery bundle at a special price with some of our favourite Japanese correspondence stationery from Life Stationery, as well as a surprise selection of a few pens to make things a little extra fun. While the stationery will stay the same for each bundle, the gel or felt-tip or various pens will be a mystery and hopefully a delight.
In other news, I’ve been reading Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary, to Caleb at night, and it’s been awful. Beverly Cleary is the author of the Ramona series and adventures of Ralph and his motorcycle. We’ve read one from each of these series and both were well received by Caleb, funny, lovable, entertaining. We have our dog, Super, (also funny, lovable, entertaining, among other things) so I thought I would love this one about Ribsy, Henry Huggins’ dog.
The premise of the story is Ribsy getting separated from the Huggins family and then trying to find his way home. What could go wrong in a heartwarming story like this by America’s beloved Ms. Cleary? Well. Let me tell you. Along the way he encounters shockingly dangerous humans including a Dolores Claiborne-esque woman who feeds him chocolate desserts, he gets into the wrong car and those people just drive off with him, he becomes a resident elementary school class mascot, spending all day inside the classroom over a period of what several days to weeks? only to be forced to leave this lovely situation because a boy brings a pet squirrel to class for show and tell, a boy who shamelessly tries to negotiate a reward of $10 (talk about inflation) with poor Henry, and he eats food from bowls of cat food apparently left out on back porches (is this where our current raccoon pandemic came from?).
I finally finished it yesterday, and I feel like the emotional roller coaster of this book wiped me out. I won’t tell you how it ends up but it was pretty dramatic. Caleb predicted Ribsy would die (???) and I said Henry would find him again. Let that be an indication of the wildness of this story. Caleb is now asking if we’re going to read the rest of the Ribsy stories and I’m not sure I can handle it.