The Lost Art of Letter Writing

letterI carry a daily planner.  I don’t plan, but I like the idea of doing it. I’m not an avid journalist, but I aspire to be one. I am, however, a lover of letter writing. Sadly, all my friends left me when I came out of the closet and claimed to the world, I was a writer. Thus, there is no one to write to. Apparently, writers are dull and spend all of their time writing. Go figure.  Don’t cry for me, I still have my imaginary friends.

Anyhow, I do write letters—ALL THE TIME—in the daily planner. I write when I’m in meetings, on the train, sitting on the bed, or while I’m sipping wine.

I don’t always write to a living person, sometimes the recipients of my letters are dead or not a person at all. I should note, I’m a hold out from the dark ages. I cherish letters. I especially love it when I get a response to a letter. Well, most of the time, anyway.

Some excerpts:


Dear Big Bottom

We agreed if I went to the gym five days a week, spent forty-five minutes on the elliptical, engaged in a multitude of muscle building exercises, which limit my mobility for days on end, you would shrink. I’ve honored my half of the deal. What’s your excuse? I caught a glimpse of you today in the mirror. You appear to have grown, exploded actually. In fact, you might be a contender for the fifty-first state. What gives?

Yours bitterly,

A battered body



Dear Memory~

A long time ago, you were my ally. You reminded of important details, like my husband’s birthday, where my daughter hid her right shoe, and where I was suppose to show up and when. You also remembered voices. You were adept at attaching names with face. You could even recite my telephone number and zip code backwards. I was particularly impressed with your ability to remember the names of my children, which by the isn’t what’s your name again.

Is there something going on I should know about?  You’re too young to be old.

Yours truly,

A concerned mind


Dearest Battered Body (really?)

WTF?  Let’s get real here. Exploded?!  First of all, I was NEVER not even when you were pregnant, the size of a state, a small island in the Bahamas maybe. Sure, I’ve not reduced to a size 2, but you’re looking perky these days.  Didn’t you notice the lanky man with come-hither grey-blue flecked eyes giving you the once over this morning?  No? Girlfriend, open them peeps.  He was checking you out.

Now let’s talk about you. First, I thank you kindly for taking me to the gym every day, but I need to move around more during the day.  Yay, yay, yay, I know you have a new job, and come home and write until your eyes are crossed, but would it kill you to take us out for a walk?  Also, I thought I should mention, three chocolate chip cookies, and a glass of wine is not what exactly a Weight Watcher’s recommended dinner.

As for being battered, if feels good, doesn’t it?

Yours affectionately,

A toned and eye-catching bottom



Dear …

Damn it.  Who am I writing to?  I have to check my inbox. Oh yeah, my lack of recall. How catty.


Dear Mind,

I agree I am far too young to be old.  Thanks for noticing. Although, I did observe your butt was sagging last year, which might be an age thing or a by product of the cookies you like to eat in lieu of dinner. I did hear you are working to remedy this travesty, the fallen ass-ets, thing.  It’s not that the bottom is the be and end all, but it can draw a great deal of attention. Our body does prefer it when it’s noticed favorably.  Good for you, keep up the good work.

It was good to hear from you. Write more often, it’s good to talk.

Unforgettably yours,


Who am I kidding, I can’t even remember why the mind wrote me to begin with. I need to clear out the cobwebs.


If you kept a journal, and left it open on the table or lost it, what would it reveal about you? 

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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

41 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Letter Writing

  1. This is bloody brilliant, Brenda. And, too funny! You need to use this in your memoir. Seriously. Keep writing like this and you’ll get published. It’s hilarious, honest, real and from the heart–or should I say, gut. It’s what many women go through and therefore, totally relatable, which is key to getting published. Fantastic!
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  2. Kat

    Your journal letter excerpts had me rolling in the isles! I have the same conversation with my memory and bottom a lot (although I never thought of writing it down.) A book of letters like that would be pretty fun to read.

    I am glad to see that someone else enjoys writing letters. For a while, after I read “The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald,” I went on a letter-writing frenzy. However, since writing physical letters takes so much time compared to typing, I didn’t keep it up for longer than a single summer, and I never got any replies. I am thinking to taking it up again though. Screens give me headaches; paper doesn’t.

    If anyone found my journals, they’d probably think I was a whiny, emo, boring, borderline-suicidal teenager, since a lot of the time I only write in a journal when I’m upset. Not exactly the best impression, and I can’t be witty off the cuff. ^_^;;
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    • Then my job is done, Kat. You’re not alone. When I am writing to someone, I will type it out. My handwriting is dreadful. It’s always a challenge bringing my daily letters back to the e-journal. I wonder what all those writers who went before would think if they knew we read their journals.

  3. I keep a dream journal, and have had great spicy dreams about sex, and weird dreams about snowboarding and coming down with the flu and cookies I didn’t want to eat (which would only happen in a dream, not IRL).

    I am *trying* to address my body with love and gratitude for all the things it does right, but that’s an uphill battle. With I-refuse-to-mention how many extra pounds on my back.
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    • Bev – I remember fragments of my dream. I do my best to capture the notes, but my thoughts are rarely complete. Kudos to you. Love the skin to your in. Work it out but don’t stress about the number (I am saying this to me too).

  4. Delightfully clever and entertaining as always, Brenda!
    Letters are, sadly, a thing of the past . . . I can’t recall the last time I got anything in the mail but a hand-written thank you. That’s it!
    I miss letters, too . . .
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  5. Okay – laugh out loud funny and so brilliant – your twisting and turning and including and change of perspective. You are fantastic! So, of course, is your writing.

    Love to your bottom and warm, endearing embraces to your memory!

  6. I read this yesterday and meant to comment. But my iPad crashed and then some other niggling issue arose and when today rolled around I realized I’d forgotten. I feel terrible about it, and probably ought to write you a letter of apology. But I feel awkward about doing that because I’m not sure how to address you. Brenda seems a little casual given the relatively short amount of time we’ve “known” one another, and Big Bottom seems insulting, especially since I don’t have any first-hand verification that that it’s an accurate moniker — you can never trust a woman’s self-image to be close to reality.

    On the bright side, it’s possible my problem will resolve itself because I’ll forget I ever read the post in the first place because my memory, like yours, is a bit sketchy these days. Anyway, I enjoyed the post, miss, and hope you continue writing. You’re witty.

  7. I’m impressed you’re able to write after working all day.That’s some serious discipline. Your brain might not remember your husband’s birthday, but it sure as hell hasn’t forgotten how to write. Great post!

    My open diary would reveal that my handwriting sucks. Nobody would be able to read it.

    I’m glad you’re getting along better with your bottom these days. But I have to say chocolate chip cookies and wine sounds delightful.
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    • Lauren – it’s been an adjustment to be honest. I am writing (thank goodness) but my social media presence has diminished. Something has to give.

  8. B., you can always write to us here. I laughed when you said you didn’t plan, but you liked the idea of planning. I write to myself every day but I don’t have your witty & wry tone. If I were to lose my journal, it’d be devastating. On one hand, I would miss all the juice I’ve stained on the pages. On the other, I would hope it can’t be traced back to me …
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    • C- I do! I never plan, seriously. I have a blueprint in my head but it’s a lot like the moving staircase in the Harry Potter books. We all have scary pages in our journals. I like letters. It’s a great way to say a lot without giving a way our secrets.

  9. Loved your letters! So much fun. I used to love writing letters too–to actually people, which I actually mailed, but found not too many people liked writing back. Now I rarely do so–except to my mother-in-law when I mail her photos–one of the few people I know who does not have email, or I wouldn’t be writing letters to her at all I imagine.
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    • Gracias, Deborah. I know what you mean about people not writing back. It makes me sad. You know they love receiving letters, but the truth is, most people do not enjoy writing.

  10. I’ve never been able to keep a journal going, though I often intend to. I’m an excellent intendto writer. I intend to finish the collection of poetry I have going. I intend to finish the 6 series of novellas, the two other novels, and short stories for submission. Unfortunately, the only intendto I consistently accomplish involves my friends Ben & Jerry. As in, there is half a pint of Vanilla Caramel Fudge Swirl in the freezer and I intend to finish that after dinner. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    Therefore, my journal would read, Tuesday: Did you have to eat all that ice cream last night? Go for walk, then write 1000 words before you check you email, facebook, twitter, etc.
    Wednesday: Watching JAWS, for the 420th time yesterday instead of walking and writing-what were you thinking? Sigh. Have a salad for lunch and no internet or tv for you the rest of the day.
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    • Me either on the journal. I don’t really think if it as a journal. It’s more of place to jot when I am being held hostage in meetings and such. I don’t make notes like that. I have found writing a letter a fantastic form of creative expression.

  11. In the beginning of the post you mention that your friends left you because writers are dull and only write. This made me smile, because I know exactly what you’re talking about! My friends, and especially my family, think I am boring. The other day I laughed when someone offered to take me to lunch and I found out it was only because they wanted to “get me out of the house”. And whenever someone calls me on the phone, they ask me what I’m doing. After hearing chuckles every time I would say I was writing, I decided to start saying random things like: I am getting a massage, or I am in a meeting with an intergalactic alien. 😛

    It’s funny to me that people think I am punishing myself by staying home and writing. What they don’t understand is that I HAVE to write, and I choose to write.

    P.S. Hilarious post! I truly enjoyed all the letters. :)

    • Hey Chris – it’s that way with writers and their former friend and the life they once lived. I’m okay with it now. My family thinks I’m crazy. I have my laptop with me everywhere I go. It’s the way it goes with us. Thanks much for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed. I have fun writing them.

  12. Wonderful and hilarious Brenda! I thought I was the only dinosaur left in the world who wished people would still correspond with real letters. Letters are the main way we know the deepest thoughts of some the most brilliant minds in history, at least history before the birth of email. I have also attempted to keep a journal but all my journals tend to morph into all kinds of other things so it ends up being a journal/shopping list/doodle pad/comic book/first draft collection/notebook. But I do frequently use the technique of writing to someone specific. It has even occurred to me to actually SEND someone a written letter. On paper with a stamp. But I’m afraid they will think I am even weirder than they thought I was. I’ve also thought of writing a letter to each person I love and sealing it up for an inheritance. Thanks for an inspiring post!
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    • Carol – Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. You are not alone. There are others like you. I prefer using my computer for writing, and I eventually transfer the hand written letters over, but I truly enjoy the physical act of writing.

    • Kim – I knew you would pick up on that line. Love it. It’s true, isn’t. When where you’re young, we tool young to be old, and when we’re finally older, we’re too young to be old.

  13. Oh, I l-o-v-e-d this blog! I have been writing letters forever. When I was young, I would write to my sister and anyone else’s address I could get. I would draw pictures within the letter and write around them. I would even draw a picture on the envelope and color it. There is nothing like a handwritten letter, but with the invention of social networking, I have sadly not written a letter in a while.

    Do you want to hear something really strange? I was in Staples last week and told myself, “I m going to buy some stationary and write someone a letter.” And I did! What a coincidence that I would stumble across this blog.

    I mean, I just love pens, pencils and binder paper. You’re a genius. You have showed me that there are a multitude of people and non-people that I can write to! Who says I have to send it? 😀

    Take care!

  14. Brenda, you know how to make a newcomer feel right at home. This is my first time visiting your blog and definitely not the last. Your letters are hysterical; I loved every moment! I have always believed in letter writing and have kept journals since I was ten years old; literally. There was once a time when I loved to go back and read my journals just to laugh at some of the things that went on in my head. From girl scouts to camp, to prom, to this once naïve southern girl who met a Brooklyn gigolo by the time she was seventeen and thought she knew everything about becoming a Manhattan socialite. Only to discover that an ex-boyfriend of mine stole all of my journals and consequently, years of awkwardness and crazy mistakes. All of my blessed ramblings, rants and raves are now gone with the wind, and along with them, some of my most sacred thoughts. I still keep a journal now, but I hide it in a place where my fiancé will never look for it. Buried beyond our household cleaning products=) I love writing letters and my cards are known to make people cry, especially my mother. Thanks for sharing and keep up the booty-work!

    • Gina – so glad to have you hear. Welcome!!! I think I’m sometimes mad, Okay, more than sometimes. :-) I am shocked about your boyfriend. Did you ever get the back?

  15. Kim

    Mine would probably reveal that under my smart ass comments and attempts to be funny there’s a pissed off woman who occasionally talks smack about others. I don’t like that I vent about others on there but it beats gossiping. Thankfully a journal is good for those sorts of things. Venting is absolutely necessary sometimes when we don’t want to impose our issues onto others.

    Every so often though there is a stroke of brilliance in my journal and I actually write something witty or profound. Hmmm. I should go look at what I’ve written lately.
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