Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Got Mail?

Because everyone needs a reason to hide secret notes...

I made a mail kit.

It's our Narnian Lamppost.
Our Portal.
Our place where the real world transforms into the magical one.
See, Pip and Winnie haven't exactly been excited
about writing time.
They moan and whinge when it's time
to pull out notebook and pen.

But now they have a reason to write.

All manner of small letters, notices and lists
have been appearing in the mailbox, begging for a reader. 
Secret message makers, word lovers in the making, I hope.
And if we're not so concerned with punctuation just yet,
still Something is being kindled,
and that Something is what we're going for - 

getting so lost in play so that the unseen world
shines brighter within us,
and the ordinary world shines brighter on our return...

This is what I want for myself, too.
To take more time to play
with my words, with art, with the kids
without focusing on how much I get done.

I have a choice every day -
wear myself out trying to blast through my goals,
or find the sweet spots and savor.

Relish the revision. 
   (thank you Gail Carson Levine and
     Molly Blaisell for your great advice.)

if you need a reason to play with your words,
or an incentive for young heel-dragging-writers,
may I suggest a mail box?

Our kit is compiled of:

A domed box (thrift store find)
Mod podge.
A cardboard swing arm fastened with a nut and bolt.
I added a mail sack, felt envelopes and flannel stamps
plus a thick stack of paper
for good measure.

My dad's old mail carrier hat tops the cake.

Any mail today?

Books of Note:


The Dove's Letter by Keith Baker

The Jolly Postman, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small
Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie
Letters from Father Christmas - J.R.R. Tolkien
Love, Mouserella by David Ezra Stein
 Writing Magic
Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly - Gail Carson Levine

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
The Enchanted Chocolate Pot - Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer

And an experiment. 
I've been trying to set up some freebies for my small writer friends, so here is my first attempt. Drag the image below to your desktop, and it should be ready to print.

You are welcome to use this art as long as you credit the artist (Hey, that's me - Faith Pray!) and as long as you don't try to pass it off as your own work, or sell it (That would be illegal). If you are going to pin or webshare this, please credit me as the artist, and link back to this original post.
Thank you for the respect.


M. Bloom said...

Ooh, fun! Here's another letter writing related book for you


M. Bloom said...

Sorry about the non functioning link. That would be Letters to anyone and everyone by Toon Tellergan (sp?)

M. Bloom said...

Ah, Toon Tellegen.

Vijaya said...

Oh, how fun. I love notes. All kinds. My kids, when younger, would write rejection slips to each other when they were angry ... it made me laugh every single time.

Dawn Simon said...

You are so fun! I can just imagine the happy squeals and busy writing times that accompany the letter writing! And I love THE JOLLY POSTMAN! It's great how you do a roundup of books with a particular theme. Really cool, and helpful to parents, teachers, and writers.

As for finding the sweet spots and savoring, I think you have that down, Faith. Always good to remind ourselves, though. I just read a neat book by a local author, and he captures the joys of fatherhood in such a lovely way. It's CLOSER TO HOME by Dylan Tomine.

Stacy Post said...

Absolutely wonderful post! I remember fondly receiving mail from my summer camp buddies through the years. Letters are always lovely surprises!

Kjersten said...

It can be so hard to balance our goals with play. Fantastic post as always, Faith!


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