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Archive for January, 2012

The delightful Mary Robinette Kowal has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging all of us with our tech-heavy lives to slow down for a minute and send real mail, one piece of any sort every mail collection day in February, 24 days in all in the US (where Mary lives, so the number for the challenge).

I’ve been debating whether to take part in the challenge since Mary first posted it a week or so ago. Like most people, I have a very busy life. Rarely do I take the time to send “real” mail, relying heavily on email for most of my correspondence. And the thought of adding one more daily task to my to-do list is daunting, to say the least. It’s that, more than anything, that’s made me hesitate.

But I also love getting mail, the rare times something arrives that’s not a bill or an ad. And I’ve no doubt finding personal mail waiting is a treat for most people. And I like the idea of making someone’s day with a very little bit of effort on my part.

Before email took over my life, I regularly wrote and received letters. My oldest friend moved 1000km away when we were about six, and we wrote back and forth from the time we were barely old enough to print sentences in big, deliberate printing until we were in university together. As a teenager, I had several pen pals, people my age I’d met at a week-long youth program for teens from across the country. One of those I still call a good friend, though I’m never as up-to-date on even our email correspondence as I’d like to be. His carefully-decorated envelopes were always a joy to find in mail. My entire family appreciated those creative envelopes, and I still have them – and their contents – in a box somewhere.

We’ve lost something with the virtual disappearance of handwritten letters. As our resident family genealogist, I’m acutely aware of the dangers represented by our increasingly digital world. Unless we are very careful with how paperless we go, the shoeboxes full of old photos I relish digging through won’t exist for our own descendants. The old, spidery handwriting on thin, airmail sheets that tells me more about who my ancestors were than any of their official documents do won’t be there for our own great grandchildren.

So I feel like I need to put my money (for postage) where my mouth is. I talk about all we could lose as our world goes increasingly digital, as incredible as the technology is, so maybe it’s time to do something about it and try to find a little balance between the old way and the new. I’m going to try by participating in this challenge.

Want to join in? Check out the details on Mary’s blog, linked in the first line of this post.

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Working and Waiting

So many areas of my life right now are all about waiting. It’s an occupational reality in both my jobs and happens to be the case in my personal life right now, too. The trick, of course, is to keep moving forward instead of getting stuck in the waiting. Some days, that’s easier said than done.

Others, there’s a hint of brightness trying to poke through the clouds, a spot next to an outlet at my local coffee shop, amazing hot chocolate, that fluttery feeling of something good on the horizon, and a friend’s MS to read while my subconscious putters away, figuring out where I’m going next with my own WIP.

Hope your Monday has the feel of forward motion, too.

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Links

When I’m working – which I am a LOT these days – a few minutes wandering around the internet lets my subconscious work out problems – be they fictional or real – and gives me a break, too. Here are a few places I’ve been this past week or so. I’ve tried to remember who sent them to me or where I saw them, but apologies if I’ve missed acknowledging you:

I’ve mentioned my writing friend Ev Bishop before. Her blog is lovely. She may not be the writer she wishes to be, as you’ll read in this entry, but she’s a writer I’m glad I know.

The lovely Laura Bradbury, who rents out her lovely vacation properties in Burgundy, led me to this excellent article. I’m a parent, so it resonated with me particularly, but I think it has applications beyond parenting.

In the interest of being able to laugh at myself, or at least the industry in which I work, I give you this video, which I saw on agent Nephele Tempest’s blog.

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I started writing my own New Year’s post today – happy new year, by the way – but got interrupted by life. It’ll get done, but until then, if you’re a writer, especially if you’re one who’s struggling right now, go read this. You may already have seen it, because it’s come to me from at least three different sources in the last two days, but in case you haven’t, here it is.

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