Month of Letters Update

To my favorite Took

To my favorite Took

Earlier in the  month I mentioned that I’d signed up to participate in A Month of Letters, and it’s been a very enjoyable experience.  I’ve had a lot of fun with all the variation possible in this challenge – hand making cards, using my old-fashioned pens &  inkwells, picking out fun valentines, and using stationery I’ve been hoarding.  Not to mention hunting out new mailboxes and buying fun stamps.  Did you know that the USPS currently has Harry Potter stamps?  They’re awesome. (Also, it turns out that there are an awful lot of sci-fi/fantasy letter writing fiends. There are Whovians and more all over the Lettermo forums!)

USPS Harry Potter stamps, subset

USPS Harry Potter stamps, subset

Challenges like this are theoretically all about the numbers (though this one has the added bonus of really fun correspondence to read!), so here are my numbers for the month:

_4_ international letters

_3_ letters with enclosed surprises

_21_ hand made cards (valentines, mostly!)

_2_ postcards

_3_ Austen-style letters, written with a dip pen and sealed with wax

_2_ fan letters

_2_ birthday cards

_1_ wedding congratulations

_2_ thank you notes

_6_ replies to correspondence from friends and Lettermo participants

_2_ new pen pals

_5_ valentines I didn’t make by hand

_3_ letters by fictional characters (counting one still to be finished)

Teeny valentines for coworkers and friends

Teeny valentines for coworkers and friends

One of my favorites was taking author Mary Robinette Kowal up on her offer to write to one of her characters.  I had a blast borrowing names from further up the family tree and writing as an amateur glamourist traveling on the Grand Tour.  I can’t wait to see what Lady Jane Vincent says in return!

Curious? My letter went something like this:

Sunday 16th February, 1817
To Lady Jane Vincent
Dear Madam,
I hope you will forgive the presumption I have made in writing to you without an introduction or mutual acquaintance, but I found I simply must express my deep admiration and near boundless curiosity about your remarkable work with glamour. 
My name is Miss Margaret Carter, of Boston, Massachusetts.  Being fortunate enough to have parents who deem travel imperative for a lady to be considered accomplished, I have been touring Great Britain and the Continent with my cousin, Miss Millicent Townsend, as extensively as events have allowed.  Though I am myself but a garden variety artist – a lily of the valley, perhaps, quite far from an heirloom rose or tulip varietal – I can appreciate exemplary work when I see it.  Your work on the Prince Regent’s underwater mural quite took my breath away when Minnie and I had the opportunity to view it.  I could almost believe we were standing in a glass dome under the waves while the fish performed a gavotte around us. 
Until such marvels are possible, which I sincerely hope they may be one day, the work you and your husband do stands in most admirably. 
And here we come to my curiosity, which I hope you do not find burdensome to satisfy.  First, what manner of study did you need to undertake to portray the light and movement underwater?  For the fish at the market look nothing like their living counterparts, and a set of scientific prints is equally dead.  And secondly, might I inquire as to the kind of knotwork you employed for their schooling?  I have been attempting a small sort of glamural that incorporates moving lines of poetry, but have yet to make the words scroll as I wish, and would appreciate some hint in that direction if it is not a secret between Sir Vincent and yourself. 
My thanks for the time and attention you have already given to a stranger, and please accept my best wishes for the success of your future artistic endeavours.

Margaret Carter


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