This Summer, I wrote a letter for The Rumpus’s Letters in the Mail series. Last week (it is now Autumn), the letter went out to everyone with a subscription to LITM.
In the age of electronic media, and electronic mailing lists, writing the letter felt strange and intimate. Like being touched after a long period of no human contact. I once spent some time at a writing residency, and one of the things I missed most during that time was human touch. I had no idea how crucial touch was to me, until then. I slept alone and not with my partner and not with my dogs. I went three weeks without a hug. Without shaking hands. I swear, I think even a punch would have been welcome by that point (this may explain why some people get into fist fights).
On the second to last day, I signed up for a massage–and it was only then, when I was on the masseuse table, I literally FELT what I had been missing.
Writing a letter by hand felt just like that. My long-neglected handwriting scrawl was horrible–I had to rewrite the whole thing, because the first run-through was illegible. Still, it was needed. And it felt good.
And then? I got letters back. It felt amazing. A gift, in return.
So here’s the thing: I want to do this more often. And instead of having an electronic mailing list for my readers and leading up to the day when my memoir and novel are published…I’d like to offer up my own rendition of a “mailing list”:
Send your mailing address to me over at xtinehlee AT gmail DOT com, and every month or so, I will send you a letter in the mail. For free (for as long as I can afford this, at least).
It’s likely I won’t even write about writing. Maybe it will be about a recent recipe I sampled. Or a trip. It may or may not have doodles on the margins. But you’ll get a letter from me, in the mail. 🙂