I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write (You) a Letter
To prove it, I have 25 years of archived correspondence: postcards from around the globe, hand-made birthday cards filled with my sister's effusive love, even a tender billet-doux or two. These physical artifacts tie me emotionally and metaphysically to the people who have touched my life. April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, which gives us the perfect excuse to connect to those we care about through the written word. Writing a letter or card to someone expresses an amount of genuine effort that can't be communicated in even the most artfully-wrought text.
Letters tucked away and preserved can connect us to our historical, social, and political past. Literary scholars are eagerly awaiting the publication of selected Willa Cather letters, famously thought to have been destroyed by the author. Publication of these letters should paint a more complete picture of the author as "a complicated, funny, brilliant, flinty, sensitive, sometimes confounding human being."
Do you need some inspiration before you craft your own note? Will it be a thank you card, a treacly love letter, or perhaps a dreaded Dear John? To pay it forward, you could address a letter of appreciation to a soldier through the Operation Gratitude project.
Whatever form you letter takes, here's a list of collected letters, epistolary novels, and how-to books to inspire you.
Books on Letter Writing
How to Write a Letter (For Grades 2-5)
Escribir cartas (En español)