I like…oddball things. Things that don’t necessarily jive (can I still even use that word?) with modern day practices. Like handwritten letters. I’m obsessed with communicating the “old fashioned way” (and NO, I’m not *that* old!). I have a wide variety of fountain and dip pens, even an actual quill, instruments that require one to dip into or refill them with bottled ink. Some were gifts from enablers — I MEAN FRIENDS — and are truly lovely and unique. I treasure each and every one.
In addition, I have a whole back-of-the-couch-length cabinet filled with writing accoutrements. Stationery, some of it designed by yours truly, some vintage collected from around the world (thank you, eBay!), some (again) gifted to me by friends who feed my strange addiction. Rubber and block stamps and a rainbow palette of inks. And I possess more wax seals than than probably ought to be legal; pretty floral designs, coats of arms, fandom-related symbols, and a whole bunch of homemade ones. Yes. I even learned how to make my own.
In fact, I think it all started for me with wax letter seals. My aunt gave me a wax letter seal for my ninth birthday, and it kicked off an obsession. Firstly, I was a bit of a pyromaniac at the time (what nine year old isn’t?) and absolutely LOVED the whole idea of having to melt wax with FIRE to seal a letter. Secondly, writing in code to my friends was a “thing” at the time, so sealing those missives with a mysterious wax seal — something NOBODY else had — was just icing on the cake! Yeah. I was a total nerd. Geek. Whatever. Check it out…
It’s old fashioned, but it’s fun and also cool. Partly because hardly anybody else does it anymore (which is sad) but also because it feels really good to take the time to handwrite a beautiful letter to a friend, embellish it with art, seal it with wax (and love!), and put it in the mailbox knowing it will bring that friend joy.
We get so much JUNK MAIL these days — when most people check their mailbox, it’s usually all ads or bills, maybe a delightful summons for jury duty. Generally, nothing pleasant awaits the recipient. Occasionally one might get a wedding invitation or an ordered parcel, but what about a hug from a friend tucked inside an envelope? That’s what it’s like getting a handwritten letter. It’s like a hug. Because you know that friend spent time on it. Every word had to be thought out as it was inked onto the page.
A couple of years ago, I decided to attempt to revive the charming practice of exchanging handwritten correspondence with friends, both old and new. It’s been wonderful. I love receiving letters from friends all around the world, and I love SENDING letters to friends all over the world! Yes, it’s an antiquated practice, but it’s also completely lovely. Some traditions are just worth preserving!
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4 thoughts on “A(nother) Weird Obsession…”
You and I have much in common, Liana, in our predilection for “oddball” things related to literary ir simple common use. I enjoy the feel of a fountain pen in my hand and the soft whispered “scritch”as it forms letters and words. The sight of cursive script on paper is extremely pleasant to my eyes…it means, to me that, should all communication technology fail, we who treasure the shape of words, will still be able to communicate. I thoroughly enjoyed this article.😊
Thanks, Doris! Though I utilize modern tech to write my books (because, let’s face it, I’d have DIED of hand cramps by now otherwise!), I take immense enjoyment in the tactile sensation of handwriting. It’s relaxing! I recently gave away some BEAUTIFUL wax seals along with signed books and other goodies during an online pre-book release/celebration. I did it because I love sharing my favorite things with other people! I’m planning ANOTHER giveaway directly from my personal Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/writerliana) on February 25th to celebrate the release of A Wicked Reputation, and there will be one of these lovely sealing kits included! I’ll post pics of the giveaway gift package contents sometime before this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled, drop by on the 25th and play for a chance to win it!
I will do that!
Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.
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