Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pen to Paper

My favorite pens for letter writing

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I love letters!  I love to write them and receive them.  Whenever I pick up the mail and there is a hand-addressed envelope, I smile and my day brightens.  It's a special thing to get a letter.  It means someone took the time to think of me for a few precious moments of that day.

April is National Letter Writing Month!  Will you join in and write a letter or two or three?  I've combined this with some Mondo Beyondo challenges.  I've written to two of my favorite authors, thanking them for their works.  I am writing letters to babies and grandparents, to my niece, to the DH and even to myself.  Who in your life would love a letter?  And I don't mean just a card that you sign. I mean a real letter with sentences!  At least a paragraph.  There need not be a purpose.  Just talk about the weather or your weekend.  What's important is the idea that you thought specifically of that person. 

When I write a letter, I carefully choose my stationery and my pen.  The pen is very important.  Sometimes I don't have a "good" pen around.  I persevere anyway, but a good pen makes a big difference in my experience.  It makes the tactile experience pleasurable.  I just picked up some AMAZING pens this week at Staples - see photo at top.  These are BIC Mark-It ultra-fine point markers.  They come in many colors (I got 10).  I love the way they write on the page and the colors.  Advice for pen buying...if possible, give them a try before you buy to see if you like how they feel on the page.  Nothing annoys me in my letter-writing more than a scratchy, sticky pen.

CO Tea Lover and I have been penpals for over five years now.  The DH and I send each other letters.  Two friends, I'll call them Kale and Dana (pseudonyms from a night out in San Fran 10 years ago!), and I have a traveling journal that we send round to each other. 

The traveling journal

I keep my favorite letters in pretty boxes.  I try not to be a packrat about stuff like this.  I don't keep every card or note ever sent to me, but I do keep the ones of substance that will feed my soul on a cloudy day.

Letter stored in a pretty box

Who would you like to write a letter to today?


Gwen said...

Loved your post!! I am an avid letter writer too. I have a lot of pretty papers and some great pens. Maybe you would like to be pen pals? We have a lot of friends in common (Delights of the Heart; Friendship Tea., etc.) so they could vouch for me. I belong to a little group of ladies that have written now for over five years. I do not have a blog but you can write to me at if you would like to exchange addresses.

Marilyn Miller said...

Love getting letters or just a note. I just wrote yesterday to an book author. I am not as diligent as I should be. I have an old typewriter and I wrote a letter to a friend on this typewriter and she said she would send me a letter on her old typewriter.

BB said...

Steph, just wanted to tell you I enjoy reading your blog and today's entry was especially nice. I've always been a little persnickety when it comes to choosing pens and paper, so it is very nice to hear I am not the only one. (Glad it's not simply because I am old and eccentric!) You are so right -- there is something very special about receiving a handwritten note from someone. Thanks for the sweet reminder! B-)

Beth Rang said...

I love writing letters too. Right now I'm in the midst of thank you letters and have plenty of get well wishes to send.

Speaking of thank you notes, I meant to send you one after winning one of your blog giveaways. It was a mug from Mighty Tea I think, you passed along my address to them, and I was going to ask for your address when I received it, but I never did, so I completely forgot to get a thank you off to you. I'd still like to thank for your blog. There have been so many entries that I've really enjoyed and recipes I want to try! If you want to pass an address along I'm at irielle at mac dot com.


Anonymous said...

I've told you before, how your grandmother and grandfather love getting your little notes. Older people, especially, love hearing from family and friends. It lets them know that they are not forgotten and are still very much loved. I appreciate the time and effort you show them your love.

MQ said...

Hi, Steph. I like all of your posts! I recently enjoyed a BFA exhibit at SOFA you might like. It's eclectic -- combines letters, letter writing, envelopes, paper and design and takes it to an art form. Photo and info is at

Angela McRae said...

Oh, I love this post, and I so agree, a handwritten letter or card is such a gift! Today, I got some sweet thank-you notes from my tea party guests over the weekend. Just seeing the handwriting of these sweet friends made me smile. (And I am DELIGHTED to hear someone else shares my disdain for scratchy pens. I am a bit of a pen fanatic and will be taking a look at your suggested model!)

Steph said...

MQ - Thank you for the sofa reference!

Melanie said...

What a great post - I love paper and stationary and a good pen and getting a letter in the mail too! However, I don't think I've sent off a letter since Christmas - thanks for some inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this post, and I love getting letters too. As a left-handed person, I think that finding the right pen is absolutely crucial - otherwise, bad ink just smushes all over the side of my hand as I drag it along the page!

You've inspired me to go through this absolutely huge box of old pens that we've had for literally years and chuck them out...why am I making do with bad pens just because insurance agents and banks gave them to me yet they still work? Sheesh! :-)

Steph said...

I'm still really enjoying these pens, but I'm learning that they have a big bleed-through factor. They are, after all, markers.