Monday, October 6, 2008

Writing Monday: The Old Days, Part I

The Writer came home from her trip and finished reading The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which she loved. I did, too. The best part of the book, The Writer says, is that it's mostly written in the form of letters. The letters are funny, sad, poignant, and even shocking. It's no secret The Writer loathes this century because so many wonderful things have been lost. Like letter writing.

Yesterday she read a Wall Street Journal review of the collected letters of Thornton Wilder. He wrote more than 10,000 letters! The Writer supposes people of today may compose 10,000 emails and text messages in their lifetime, but what legacy are they leaving? Who will collect--if there are any paper copies--a person's two-sentence e-mails? Imagine reading a book of "Meeting pushed back to 10. Bring my Starbucks fave!" or, even worse, a text message that consists of hieroglyphics like "OMG" and the overused "LOL", plus emoticons.

The Writer isn't the first--and won't be the last--person to lament the lost art of writing letters, of taking the time to sit down and write thoughtful, funny, sad, poignant, even shocking letters. The Writer has made a decision. Instead of writing an annual Christmas letter, which goes to a lot of friends, relatives, and colleagues--

All five of them.

--she will write real letters to people she doesn't generally communicate with on a regular basis. Each letter will be different. She doesn't expect a letter back, but at least she will have revived a lost art for a short time, in her small way.

The Writer is really letting this education thing go to her head. I wish she'd never gotten that last master's degree. First she's reading grown-up books. Now she's reading the Wall Street Journal! I think she should go back to Winnie-the-Pooh. LOL.

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