the letters project :: one year

Is 95% of your communication through a tiny screen or a slightly larger screen?

Do you feel better somehow about reading a book or a newspaper or a magazine in front of other people (especially children) than reading something on your phone?

Do you love getting a real piece of mail, seeing someone's actual handwriting, reading that standing at the kitchen counter after you walk in the door before you even put down all your stuff?

Me too.

Also, I love you and your stories. Even if I don't know you for real, I already know that's true. Because I freaking love people's stories. I love them. And if you love the stories, you can't help but love the people, too.

Alright: About two years ago, I decided I wanted to try sending letters to onebrokenteapot readers. I just rolled that around in my head for a while. Much later, I tried writing one or two in preparation. It wasn't working somehow, so I stopped. Then, I started writing short stories or poems or writings about people again like the doer you just read. They're part fact/part fiction, and I love writing those so much, and y'all have told me over the years that when you read them, you feel seen. You feel less alone.

So I combined those two things, tried an experiment: I sent a tiny group of people letters in the mail. The real mailbox. The one that's usually only got bills and advertising circulars stuffed in it. Those letters had stories in them, stories about each of those people in that tiny group (fictionalized).

That was the beta project. If you want to know how they responded, click here to find out.

I was so filled up by that experience that I’m ready to do a full year of letters. Of stories. Of connecting in a slow way. Here’s how it will work:

  1. You sign up now, and you decide how much you’ll pay. (You can do a gift for a friend, too.)

  2. In early January, I'll email you (or your giftee) a list of questions in an easy-to-complete form that'll take you about 20 minutes to finish. It'll have personal questions on there, so know that up front. And you'll submit it anonymously. I won't know which of the participants you are.

  3. I'll use those questions to create stories like the one about the doer, the hula hooper, the woman who has time.

  4. In late January, you'll (or your giftee) will get the first letter.

  5. You'll get letters once a week through all of 2019. One of those letters will have a story poem in it based on your answers. The others will give you a view into another person’s life. Like being a fly on the wall. Only you don’t have to be a fly. No one will know who is who—even me.

  6. At some point, I'll send you an email or maybe a letter (ha!), and ask you how it went for you.

The Letters Project 2019 is full! If you wanted to be a part of it and didn’t quite make it in time, please do email me so I can put you on a wait list if any spaces open up.

If you still want to financially support The Letters Project, you can do so by clicking one of the Community Art Fund links further down on this page.

Thank you so much for your excitement.

Wanna to give it a go? Here are the options with links to complete your registration:

And I’m setting up a Community Letters Fund, inspired by Community Coffee by the good folks at Cocoa Cinnamon. If you want to contribute, here’s how you can do it:

Alrighty. I think I set this up correctly. Holler if you have troubles registering. I’m so excited.

I'll see you at your kitchen counter, in my real handwriting. And I am so looking forward to it.

I love you, and you are not alone.