Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Month of Letters Challenge

I love sending and receiving snail mail, so this year, prompted by my dear pen pal in Milwaukee, I decided to participate in the Month of Letters Challenge.

The idea behind MoLC is to mail something every day the post office delivers in the month of February. If you receive a letter from someone, you're supposed to write them back. It's extra cool because people send all sorts of interesting things from handmade stationery and envelopes to brochures of events in their towns, postcards, stickers, bookmarks, and other items that fit into an envelope.

Here are the places I mailed letters to during this year's challenge:

Day 1: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Day 2: Finspang, SWEDEN
Day 3: Princeton, Louisiana, USA
Day 4: Freedom, Oklahoma, USA
Day 5: Vilnius, LITHUANIA
Day 7: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Day 8: Linz, AUSTRIA
Day 9: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Day 10: Lafayette, Colorado, USA
Day 11: Brewer, Maine, USA
Day 12: New Braunfels, Texas, USA
Day 13: Lyon, FRANCE
Day 14: Gilbert, Arizona, USA
Day 15: Wee Waa, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
Day 16: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Day 17: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Day 18: Tampere, FINLAND
Day 19: Selangor, MALAYSIA
Day 20: Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA
Day 21: Port Williams, Nova Scotia, CANADA
Day 23: Huenstetten, GERMANY
Day 24: Lumberton, North Carolina, USA

For Bonus Points, I also sent mail to:
  • El Granita, California, USA
  • Kaosing City, TAIWAN
  • Krasnodor, RUSSIA
  • Arnemuiden, NETHERLANDS
And now here are the places I got mail from (more could be on the way for all I know!) not necessarily in the order I received them (because I didn't track that):

1. Delray Beach, Florida, USA (I'll be writing this person back soon!)
2. Princeton, Louisiana, USA
3. San Antonio, Texas, USA
4. Lafayette, Colorado, USA
5. Gilbert, Arizona, USA
6. Brewer, Maine, USA
7. Chicago, Illinois, USA
8. El Granita, California, USA
9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
10. Finspang, SWEDEN
11. Freedom, Oklahoma, USA
12. Clemson, South Carolina, USA

I enjoyed this challenge and I can't wait to do it again. Fortunately, another opportunity is just around the corner: Write_On will take place in the month of April. Check it out if you're interested!

Halfway through the Month of Letters, I learned of another event that takes place in February. InCoWriMo, or International Correspondence Writing Month. I'm going to try to do it and The Month of Letters Challenge next year.

Happy Letter/Postcard/Card Writing to You.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

As strongly as I dislike the word "should", it's the one word that comes to mind when I think of this book.


Read it. Take it in. Digest it. Talk about it.

Go get it. Now.

That is all.


Monday, January 2, 2017

My word for 2017

For the last two years I've selected a word to focus on each year. I chose to keep my 2015 word a secret. In 2016, I chose a German word, Gem├╝tlichkeit. I wrote how that word related to a state of mind, a sense of belonging, a sort of friendliness, good cheer and coziness. I feel like I achieved what I was looking for by focusing on last year's word. In fact, there were times when I got a little too much Gem├╝tlichkeit. Not that I'm complaining.

When the time to consider a word for 2017 came along, several words crossed my mind, including: Freedom, Creativity, Authentic, and Health. Truth is, there's so much I need to work on. But given certain events that happened in the world (and in my own state) last year, I decided on another word: Humility.

Humility has several definitions. The one I'm going with is: the opposite of pride. For me, this means letting go of my so-called superiority complex. Yes, I have one, as is evidenced by the five million times a day that I roll my eyes over the dumbassery I encounter daily as a blue person living in a red county just a few miles from a blue city in a red state. See, there you go, an example of how much I need some humility. Even my parents have told me I need to be more humble. And this is going to be hard for me. In 2017, I'm going to try hard to not roll my eyes so much and to stop thinking of myself as being "better" than others because I've had different life experiences and made different decisions or have different ideas.

Who knows exactly how this will manifest itself. I have no idea what's going to happen or even if I'll want to write about it. I'm going to keep track of the number of times I roll my eyes, but I'm not going to tell you. I'll just keep that metric to myself.

Happy 2017, Everyone. What are you going to work on this year?