National Letter Writing Month

National Letter Writing Month: Stocking up on Tools

IMG_1116 IMG_1115 National Letter Writing Month starts FRIDAY! I can’t wait. Besides making sure I’m loaded up on stamps for my 30 letters in 30 days, I’m also stocking up on letter writing tools to make those letters awesome. I recently received a writing kit from the Write_On Campaign and it was loaded with awesome goodies to kick off my writing.

Throughout the last few months, Write_On has been holding an Indiegogo campaign, selling letterpressed cards, tote bags and other Write_On merchandise to raise enough money to cover sending out free Write_On kits to those who request one and also to support Write_On events around the country. The event raised more than $19,000!

I received on of the free kits about two weeks after submitting my information. Write_On has 10,000 to distribute on a first-come, first-served basis.

The kit includes:

  • 6 letterpress printed cards from Egg Press and Hello!Lucky with matching envelopes
  • a sheet of Strathmore Writing paper with a matching envelope from Mohawk Paper
  • a Gelly Roll pen from Sakura of America
  • a list of reasons to write and information about writing.

The letter pressed cards are gorgeous and the pen, mine is a green color, write so smoothly. I love a good gel pen and this one is top notch! There was also a little pack of adorable stickers. Can’t wait to use it all.

It’s a neat little kit and I can’t wait to get working on writing my letters! Do you know who you’ll be sending a letter to this year? If you need some inspiration, you can visit my list of 30 Writing Prompts for National Letter Writing Month.

I can’t wait to kick off my writing. I already have some recipients and letter topics in mind. I don’t plan to start writing until Friday to keep it true to the “rules.” Wait, are there rules? Well, there are in my head!

Let’s get writing!

National Letter Writing Month: A Million Thanks

military-men-569899_1280I am Facebook friends with a girl from high school who is married to an active military serviceman. He recently returned from the Middle East after about a year there. In that year, his kids grew several inches, moved to another grade, won soccer games, performed in band and choir concerts, got sick and dealt with the death of a grandparent. His wife earned her college degree, dealt with illness, took a new job and acted as mom and dad for the entire time. No holidays together. No birthdays with dad. And this was not the first time he has been away for this long in the last five years.

Never once did I see her post a picture where they weren’t smiling. She tagged him in every Facebook post to make sure he was part of everything. She never complained.

I can’t comprehend the deep longing they must have felt for their dad and husband. I certainly can’t even imagine what it was like to be that far away from your family when they were sick and needed you.


 

My husband has a relative who was in the Air Force. She would travel to crazy places and never really be able to say where she was going.

Did her family know and just not say? What did it feel like to be around the world and not be able to tell your brother or your boyfriend? What about coming home? Can you talk about what you did or what you saw?

It’s like living another life…one that you only share with your military counterparts.

So, if I tree falls in the forest—is there a sound? How do people at home understand where you have been at or what you have been through?


I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.

We NEED these servicemen and women.

They are the ones running at the scary, horrible, no-good situations when we are running away.
They are the ones leaving their families to protect our country.
They deal with heat, sand, snow, freezing temperatures and ridiculous conditions.
They live on freeze-dried food.
They carry their possession in bags.
They are armed at all times—for protection.
They face crazy situations on a daily basis.

For what? Me. You. The United States.

The least we could do is say thanks.

As part of National Letter Writing Month, I’m including AMillionThanks.org.

Here is what it’s all about:

We are asking individuals, schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations to write cards, letters, emails, and prayer messages of appreciation for our military, past and present. It is our goal to see that our military – active, reserve, and veterans – receive these messages, whether they are serving at home, abroad, or are injured in hospitals. To get started, read the guidelines below, then find a location nearest you on our Drop-off Location list so your notes of appreciated can be sent to our troops. We recommend that you contact the location via phone or email to be sure they can accept your cards and letters.

So basically, use one of your 30 letters in 30 days to send a small note of thanks to these people who do so much.

The website provides a list of drop off locations. If there is one near you, head on over with your mail and have it sent from there. If there isn’t one near your home, send the letters to:

A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd.
#107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861

One letter to AMillionThanks.org can make all the difference to a military serviceman or woman.

National Letter Writing Month is held throughout April, I’m encouraging everyone I know to participate by sending 30 letters in 30 days. You can visit my National Letter Writing Month section for more information, writing prompts and other cool letter-writing goodness. 

National Letter Writing Month: Writing Prompts

writing-1170138_1920Are you looking for some inspiration for completing 30 letters in April? Well, you’ve come to the write, er, right place. I’ve been compiling a list of ideas for a while now. I hope you are able to find some of them useful. Feel free to use all, some or none of these letter writing prompts in your journey through National Letter Writing Month. Whatever you choose to write about, I’d like to hear how it goes so keep me posted!

  • Write a letter to a child in your life. Maybe it’s your child or a niece or nephew. Maybe it’s a neighbor or friend. Whatever the case may be, tell them what makes them so awesome.
  • Write a letter to thank someone for a kind or thoughtful action. It might not even be something they recognized they did.
  • Send a personal interview to a friend or family member and see if they respond.
  • Write a letter to your favorite Disney character. (Everyone has one so don’t deny it!) Rumor has it if you write to them, they will send an autographed photo back! Super neat idea for kiddos. Walt Disney World Communications. P.O. Box 10040, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040.
  • WRITE A LETTER IN ALL CAPS.
  • Write a letter that includes several hand-drawn illustrations–your hand drawn illustrations–no matter how bad!
  • Write a letter to a teacher who made an impact on your or your child.
  • Write a letter to a friend or relative in another state.
  • Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper or magazine. Maybe share with them about your participate in National Letter Writing Month.
  • Write a letter that doesn’t need to be mailed! Hand deliver it to a neighbor or friend.
  • Write a letter to AMillionThanks.org.
  • Print off a coloring picture (here are some neat ones) or hit up your favorite coloring book and mail one of your creations to a friend.
  • Send a get-well note to someone. Maybe they just have the sniffles or maybe it’s a longer-term illness–whatever the case, give them some encouragement.
  • Write a letter in a different style hand-writing. I’m loving this faux-calligraphy. 
  • Decorate an envelope and include a letter inside describing your inspiration. Wants some inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board.
  • Write a letter on something other than paper. Maybe use the back of a puzzle or a roll of tape. It’s all up to you!
  • What are your plans for the future? Share them with someone who can dream along with you.
  • Send a story to a friend in multiple letters over several days.
  • Mail a letter to a friend to open on a specific day.
  • Send a birthday card to a family member or friend–bonus points if you have never sent one to them before.
  • Find a photo that means a lot to you and send a copy of it to someone and explain why it’s so meaningful.
  • Send an inspirational quote to someone who could use a pick-me-up.
  • Use a letter to tell a joke or two.
  • Write a letter sharing your greatest accomplishment this week and ask the recipient for their’s.
  • Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down anything that comes to mind. Send it to someone who would appreciate your random thoughts.
  • Write a letter on Sticky Notes.
  • Send the lyrics of your current favorite song to a friend and tell them why you love it so much.
  • Write a letter in a newspaper format and let someone know what is going on in your life through the articles.
  • Use Dictionary.com’s word of the day in a letter.
  • Find a Little Free Library in your area and leave a note (and maybe some books) in it for the steward.

These are just a few of my suggestions. If you want more inspiration, I highly suggest checking out Reasons to Write on the Write One website. You can also search for National Letter Writing Month on Pinterest and you will find an infinite number of resources.

I’d like to know what you are writing about. Post pictures on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag me or use the hash tag #letswrite.

National Letter Writing Month: Review of the Lettermate

The lettermate helps keep text straight when addressing envelopes.
The Lettermate helps keep text straight when addressing envelopes.

One of my favorite things to do is get the mail. The hope that something in that box is more than a bill or junk mail. I used to get the mail every day. No matter what, even when I was home on maternity leave, I would make time to walk to the end to of the driveway and get the mail every afternoon.

This year, my children have expressed an interest in picking up the mail each day. They switch off every other day. Who am I to deny them the fun of walking to the mailbox, opening the door and hoping to find something fun on the other side? It’s never for them. Heck, it’s rarely for me. But they love it so I’ve given up the task.

My love for mail isn’t relegated to just receiving. I also love to send mail. Well, maybe not when they require a check or form of payment from me. However, I love to send something to other people, possibly brightening their day when they open the mailbox door and find something out of the ordinary.

That’s why I’m participating in National Letter Writing Month again this year. If you recall, I sent 30 letters to different people over 30 days last year, following the writing prompts from Write On. This year, I’m coming up with several of my own writing prompts, providing you with reviews of some of my favorite letter writing tools and giving you some helpful tips for succeeding in getting 30 letters mailed in 30 days.

The lettermate helps keep text straight when addressing envelopes.

Today, I’m taking a look at the Lettermate, an envelope addressing tool.

When it comes to addressing envelopes, I’m lucky if the address comes out balanced on the page, even in a relatively straight line. The Lettermate is a ruler with lines in it that helps keep lines straight and balanced.

The plastic tool is a 5″ x 4″ rectangle with hash marks to indicate center and space to write the address in many different fonts.

The Lettermate comes with a sheet of tips and tricks, which proves useful. It provides information about how to write and suggestions for thinking outside the box when it comes to addressing an envelope.

The lettermate helps keep text straight when addressing envelopes.After I used it, I came up with a few tips of my own. 

  • Leave space for letters that drop below the base line such as y, j, p, g and a cursive z. I forgot about this and was using all the space for tall letters and realized I was going to have to go back and do the drop down letters.
  • Take your time. If you want to center the text, you will have to do a little pre-planning. This isn’t a super quick process until you get used to it.
  • Experiment with different writing styles. The Lettermate can just be moved down the page if you run out of room. Use wide letters, use tall letters, use cursive or calligraphy. No matter what, the text will be in a straight line.

Pinterest has some really great ideas for ways to address envelopes. Most of the time, I was am afraid to try them for fear of screwing up the alignment or sizing. I’m definitely going to give these a try now that I have a Lettermate to keep my text straight.

Do you want a Lettermate before National Letter Writing Month begins? You know you do! You can pick one up from $9.95 from the Lettermate website. From the site, you can also find tips, watch the Lettermate in action and learn more about this simple tool that makes such a big impact.

I was provided a Lettermate free of charge from The Lettermate. While I was provide this tool and try and use, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.