I just finished listening to the audio book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The entire story is written through the exchange of letters. The main character is a writer. If you haven’t read it or listened to this delightful novel, do!
I now rely on audio books to accompany me on my drives throughout Wisconsin as I travel for my work. My father was a traveling salesman back in the 50’s and 60’s, and I am now covering some of the same territory. He sold packaging products to cheese factories. I am selling inspiration and hope. I sense him hitching a ride when I go to Eau Claire to teach at the UW there. That was one of his primary haunts.
I miss letter writing. I miss getting letters. I use to send out letters every week and looked forward to receiving a card or letter in my mail box. Of course texts, emails, and even blogs have taken the place of letter writing. This is doubly sad because hand writing is good for the whole brain, helps ground you in your creative process and brings the entire psychophysical system into the writing. I hand write every day into my journals, some which goes into a blog or book. I even have my UW students keeping field note books. My purse has at least 3 field notebooks with various themes and subjects.
So, I am going to sit down and write some letters, and thank you notes. I am going to find authors, political figures, someone doing good works and write to them. I am going to write a letter of gratitude to those from my past who have touched my life in a good way. I will have to hunt down some addresses.
I think this is a good way to spend my evenings. I will spend less time on Twitter. (That can only be a good thing). I will go to the paper store at Hilldale in Madison and purchase some nice stationary. I will have a few of my favorite pens handy and get to it!
Maybe someone will write back. Maybe this is a start to a book. Maybe I will get back something I feel I’ve lost this past two decades. Maybe something wonderful will happen.
Thank you for reading this. If you want to send me a note, a poem, a favorite book and your thoughts, here’s my mailing address: PO Box 186 Spring Green, WI 53588. (Make sure to give me a return address, so I can write back).
Your grateful writing Sherpa, Julie
Review of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. from Publishers WeeklyThe letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet’s name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book’s epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet’s quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers. (Aug.)
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