Send Some Happy : Love Letters

Send some happy is a blog collaboration with Zoe at Zoeprose and me and really just a way to encourage us all to send more happy post! Be on the look out for encouragements to write snail mail, pen pal letters, postcards, parcels and all sorts of surprises the old fashioned way. Join in by using the hashtag #sendsomehappy and be a part of the snail mail loving community!

In the last few hours of February, (perhaps a month of love?)  late on my blog posting as usual, I’d like to reflect on love letters. In many ways, any handwritten, personal letter with news and good wishes is a love letter. Love letters can be non-romantic, or gushy as you please.

Traditional love letters, for me, conjure images of lovers who have been separated by many miles, in an age long before there were mobile phones or Skype. For some reason war seems prominent; the soldier reading his love’s words greedily by candle light.

I remember having a conversation with my mum about letters years ago, and she said the best thing about them is that they can be kept, and brought out to be read again and again, especially when someone is far from home.  I suppose in that case a letter was literally a little piece of home. Knowing this paper was held by someone you love and the words were formed by a hand that held yours perhaps long ago. A spray of perfume or a smudge of lipstick could increase the romance, and raise a smile of familiarity.

Photo from Sweetapolita

Photo from Sweetapolita

Recently I was directed towards this great article from Buzzfeed: 15 Tips for Writing an Amazing Love Letter. I don’t agree with 100% of it, and I wish they had included the text for some of the harder-to-read letters! But I do believe that everyone can benefit from receiving (or writing) a love letter.

My boyfriend (who’s still nice and new ;) ) has been forced to give up a shoebox to store all the notes, cards and letters I post him, and/or hide in his room. Being the writer-y type I know he appreciates them. But even the hardest man in Derry couldn’t help smiling at a little note from his girl to say how much she loves him!

There’s something about seeing your other half’s handwriting express, however awkwardly their feelings for you, that just melts your heart. Love letters: for anyone who loves. I’d say mothers would very much appreciate a letter of love. As would a best friend who may be having a tough time, or a sibling who you haven’t seen in much too long.

To quote the Buzzfeed article: “People love to know how loved they are,” Samara O’Shea, author of For the Love of Letters: A 21-st Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing. And that desire is timeless. O’Shea says a love letter is “what will last, what will be remembered.”

To finish: my #sendsomehappy challenge this time is for you to send a little love letter to someone who means a lot to you. It will make you and them happy inside and maybe it will become a tradition ! Did you ever receive a beautiful love letter? 

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Four Years of Lemon Cake

Yesterday, my little corner of the internet turned 4. Four! So I’m feeling all inspired to breathe some life back into her!  It does NOT seem like three years ago since I ordered those cupcakes to celebrate a year of blogging.

Fourth-Birthday                                                                                                                                                                      photo from here. 

Life Lyrics and Lemoncake has been a great comfort and outlet for me. At the time of taking the plunge I was living with my besties in Melrose Street in Belfast, starting the second semester of second year at University. I was obsessed with blogs, and loved creative and personal writing from Dooce, Ernie Buffalo, Keris and Fluttering Butterflies to name a few. I loved book blogs and insights into inspiring women’s lives. (I’m only noticing the fact that I love blogs by kick ass women and this delights me.) I began on January 27, 2011 but kept it to myself for a month or two until I had published several posts and had something that people could sift through a little. I remember clearly sharing the link on social media one night and A and C sitting on opposite sofas as they did, reading and commenting and supporting me. Happy times. Thanks girls.

when-life-hands-you-lemons

When I feel that a career or even significant writing step is far away, blogging is always a silver thread that connects me to the art, however loosely. I have never felt under pressure by my blog or stressed about producing something. Maybe I should be stricter in order to have a more regular output, but there is something comforting about just being my own boss and only writing about something I feel moved to.

Blogging has allowed me to have interesting conversations, make several great friends in all kinds of surprising ways, take part in features and events such as the current #sendsomehappy with Zoeprose, boosted my confidence at any recognition and allowed me into the exciting and lovely community of bloggers.

blog1image from here.

Sometimes my mammy says to me when I am despairing yet again that my English degree and my Journalism course hasn’t really led me anywhere … that maybe my job isn’t going to be writing, it could be something I do on top of that, and I think I would be happy with that. I just want to make my writing stronger, more regular and more creative. I have this itch to write and achieve something in writing. And if I can continue to make connections with readers and fellow bloggers then that is wonderful and worth it all.

Thank you for reading and supporting me at any stage of these four years, I have a fire in my belly about a new start and lots more words for us to share. I’m on my fourth book of 2015 and have seen some brilliant programmes and films recently so perhaps some reviews at least are in order?

As a present for my fourth birthday, do you want to win some handmade earrings and snail mail paraphernalia? Check out my previous post and my Instagram. #sendsomehappy

Send Some Happy! For the love of letters…

I’m very excited to begin a blog series based on a shared love of letter writing and snail mail with the ever inspiring Zoe from Zoeprose. I found her blog by chance several years ago, and I’m pleased to say we have become friends and have exchanged letters, cards and surprises. She’s kicked us off and shared her letter story here: (Check it out, she’s very inspiring!)

I have gushed about my love of ‘snail mail’ here, here and here, so I just want to share some thoughts about what #sendsomehappy is about.

Each post Zoe and I will add a little challenge, if you feel so inclined to join us in sending happy post. It will probably be something fairly simple- we are all busy people- but a way to encourage you and us in our post sending. Share your thoughts/ pictures by using the hashtag #sendsomehappy on twitter or instagram.

Clearly, in this digital age time is of the essence and we panic at the time it would take to sit down and do something as thoughtful and fiddly as penning a letter. However, if we do make the effort to squeeze in half an hour or so, it will mean all the more to the happy recipient who knows you took some time to think about them.

send-some-happy-photo

I do believe that I was quite possibly born in the wrong decade. It’s no secret that I cling to things like paper books, printed newspapers, old fashioned telephones, records, library tickets and stamps. I love the old fashioned feel of writing a letter. It’s not immediate, it takes time, it’s slow and thoughtful. Although he scared me and he was a hard critic (and I was awful) I always will remember Carlo Gebler, who taught us Script Writing in final year of University in 2011/12 making us post our finished scripts to him. He said nothing is really finished in an email, as you can always tinker and edit it. But if you have to physically print it, put it in and an envelope and post it to the tutor’s home address, there is a definite sense of finality there!!

I always wrote to my cousin from we were 10 or 11. Her postcode on the other side of town was so similar to mine I often got them confused! My paternal Granny, my beloved Granny Mc always wrote to people, relatives and friends and nuns and priests in England, and while I was at University I wrote her a few letters because I knew she would appreciate them. We wrote back and forth, and although we are in the same town again I should probably pick up the pen.

I made a very good friend at university, that’s Abbye and we are both obsessed with letters. She sends the most beautiful packages, and she has the most elegant handwriting, and she’s always going on travels and sending me beautiful postcards and treasures. Grateful for her friendship and mutual snail mail appreciation. Also: one very amazing emergency chocolate package!

Finally, myself and my aunt/godmother write to each other quite regularly. Again, we made a proper habit of it while I lived in Belfast, but then she said that she enjoyed it so much that we shouldn’t stop. Recently I had reason to reflect on ways she’s influenced me (for her big nifty nifty birthday) and corresponding is a big one. The letters are things to treasure, and I have had such good advice and comfort from them.

Competition, check out my instagram/ twitter @thebadactress - simply get sharing your snail mail adventures on instagram/twitter usinng the #sendsomehappy hashtag!

Competition, check out my instagram/ twitter @thebadactress – simply get sharing your snail mail adventures on instagram/twitter usinng the #sendsomehappy hashtag!

I love the keepsake nature of letters. They are something physical and personal, and reading them makes you feel close to the person who wrote it, who last held it in their hands, and crafted it just for you.

There’s a wonder tied to envelopes and packages. I wonder who it’s from? I wonder what it is? When a business or company handwrites the envelope there is crushing disappointment that someone hadn’t written you a personal message.

I have to say being the sender is just as rewarding as being the receiver! I feel conspirative and a bubble of excitement as I walk to the post office.

So, #sendsomehappy ! You will make someone’s whole day. Let’s not make letter writing a lost art. It IS an art, and one that should be held dear and nurtured in these often anonymous times.

Challenge: To simply buy a book of stamps. Just so there’s one less excuse not to send that letter. The possibilities. Six ways to #sendsomehappy

Grab the button:
Send Some Happy
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Thank you for reading. Let me know how you feel about snail mail, and if you’ve been inspired today. Join the conversation with myself and Zoe #sendsomehappy