So, the Letter Campaign launched this week with my first letter sent to my brother Phil. I worked out the parameters to the first batch of letters. Here's the "cover letter" text:
You are being invited to participate in my Letter Campaign….
I am writing letters to friends and family with whom real correspondence has declined since the late ‘90s, thanks to email and messaging and all that good stuff that has its place and which I’m not wholly against but…
For some reason I saved letters/postcards/cards from you over the years, and I would adore being able to add to this collection from you!
1. You are under no obligation to write me back.
2. But if you could maybe just drop me a postcard sometime in the next decade, I’d be delighted.
3. Don’t feel like you have to match my output. That’s one thing that’s always kept me from writing people back. The Pressure to match their word count or something. Don’t feel that way, please please please.
4. Forgive me for typing, but it’s how I think now. My hand cramps too much since I’ve passed a “certain” age and there’s more fluidity between thought and word with the keyboard. (I’ve always been a wickedly fast typist.) I’ll try to decorate with my elementary-school-level doodles.
I’ve decided to write to everyone about the same things:
First sighting or memory I have of you
Last sighting or memory I have of you
What your letters tell me
What my day was like on the day I’m writing to you again
These parameters may shift.I hope to write one such letter as this per week.