Actually my version of a book …
It’s 42 handwritten letters with art on 244 pages. The book is a letter from me, Carol Ann McCarthy, to you. Well, that’s not exactly right. It’s lots of letters from me to you. These letters are a lot like the letters I write every day to my many wonderful pen friends, but in this collection I don’t go off on tangents about this, that, and the other thing. No, I stick to the topic of why I feel the art of letter writing is a worthwhile and wonderful activity. I explain, with examples, how letter writing is a physical, social, intellectual and spiritual activity. Why, in many cases it becomes a ministry.
In our busy lives it’s good to sit down once in a while and not only write but also dabble in art play. Did you ever notice how many adult coloring books are on the market today? But why buy a coloring book when you can have a lot of fun drawing and coloring your own pictures? Adding pictures in the letters you write not only gives letter friends visuals of what you’re describing, but you have a lot of fun creating those pictures and coloring them. Some people call this art therapy, but I call it art fun!
The letters in this collection have all sorts of art I created just for you, for every one of you. The art will give you ideas for creating your own artful letters. I’m sure you have plenty of ideas yourself, but sharing doubles my joy.
Along with the art I’ll share many of my favorite things, things I discovered along the way which add a lot of pleasure to my days. Things like rituals – specifically a ritual for letter writing. If we have the materials ready, on hand, and if we have a system for when to write, where to write, whom to write – then it’s pretty easy to be in the mood to write letters and to actually write them.
Letter writing is a physical activity because hand writing is a physical activity. As we choose a favorite writing instrument it’s much like making music on a violin or piano. We’re being creative. As our hand moves sensually across the page sharing our thoughts, dreams and every day trifles we can sip a cup of some yummy drink, put our feet up and relax. Writing slowly helps us slow ourselves down and busy people need to slow down now and then. Our handwriting is a little bit of ourselves that we send off to others like a lock of our hair. It’s personal and in today’s world the personal touch is quite neglected.
Even if you have a lot of friends and a great family there’s always room for more lovely people in your life. Letter friends can be some of those people. I’ll tell you how you can make friends all over the world by writing letters, how you can find wonderful correspondents. Letter writing will shrink your world into a friendly neighborhood. You’ll have visits every day when the mail comes, letter friends from near and far will be dropping by to say hello, that’s if you become a letter writer. Letter writing is truly a great social activity and you don’t have to dress up, clean the house, or cook dinner for your letter friends. You just have to look into your heart and WRITE.
There is physical pleasure involved in letter writing and letter writing is certainly a social activity. We can cultivate pen friendships and even go off to meet these people if we like, but if we don’t like we don’t even have to know how our pen friends look. Sometimes this is good for the very best person could be hiding within an unimpressive body. In letters it’s heart to heart that matters without physical looks interfering – unless of course we want to share pictures.
But besides all the physical and social delight letter writing is a very intellectual activity. Your letters will be as intellectual as you and your pen friends are. You’ll meet people from tropical islands and big, glamorous cities, small country towns and foreign countries. These people will share information about those places and about the things they love to do. You will share your interests too be it a love for gardening, literature, music or sports. Whatever. You’ll have people to chat with about all sorts of interesting subjects any time, day or night. In my collection of letters I’ll share some of the wonderful things I learned from pen friends. Robert Louis Stevensom said, “The world is so full of a number of things I think we should all be as happy as kings.” Sharing with your pen friends will make you feel as happy as kings or queens or princesses or princes – maybe happier.
Of course this collection of letters from me to you will contain some whimsy. I’ll tell you how your pets can write letters to the pets of your friends. Really! My dog not only had a number of pen friends – others dog friends and even a cat by the name of Alice, but he wrote a letter for the collection. It’s true, well, sort of true. My dog and I will give you an idea or two on how to entertain your mail man with your whimsical animal letters.
But there’s more . . .my collection of letters will also explain how letter writing is spiritual, can even become a ministry. In this one-to-one art form we can do so much for others as we show them we care. We can encourage, praise, show understanding, offer inspiration. We can be a friend. We can share love.
In letter writing we share our spirit. Letter writing may be a physical activity but we do not need to be physically present in order to share our spirit. There’s a time for in-person sharing and a time for sharing without physicality. We can also read the letters of people from the past. We’ll feel these people are writing to us even though they’re long gone. Spirit transcends time and letters are lasting, more lasting than we are. It’s quite magical.
My collection of 42 letters to you from me will talk about all these things and of course I encourage you to write your own letters, some of them to ME! Gee, we can become pen friends if we’re not pen friends already. Wouldn’t that be fun? Sure it would. So if you haven’t been finding enough letters in your mail box – or any letters in your mailbox for that matter, you just might like to buy my collection of letters from me to you. They sell for $24 plus four dollars for postage and packaging.
The letters will arrive in a big sturdy water-proof, tear-proof envelope complete with my return address so you can write back to me after reading one letter, or five, or ten, or all forty two. This project was a labor of love for you know what I always say, or maybe you don’t, but I’ll tell you. I’m always saying Sharing doubles the joy – because it really does.
The envelopes are on my desk waiting to be filled with 42 letters to you! When your check arrives in my mailbox the envelope will be on its way to your mailbox and these letters could be a unique gift for any person interested in letters for they come complete with a pen friend – me.
It’s been a pleasure sharing my collection of letters with you.
Sharing doubles the joy.
Carol Ann McCarthy
204 East Streetsboro Street
Hudson, Ohio 44236