Thursday, January 6, 2011

Letters and News

They are marvellous.  Personal and public and a thing meant to be shared.  You are a different you in a letter.  Quixotic and sharp edged, loving and light; letters froth with vigour.  To write is an active verb.  It is wonderful to be writing a book largely in letters.  I get to take up the personality of the character, live his or her day in my head and then write a letter that has nothing and everything to do with that day.  

They are of a moment: singular, finite, fleeting.  As soon as you seal the envelope you are in a different moment.  You would write a different letter if you had it to do again.  It is that strange alchemy of mind, heart, pen and paper.  You cannot step into the same river twice.

I have been reading letters recently.  The love lit letters of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the gossipy letters of Truman Capote, the stormy letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the chatty, catty letters of Somerset Maugham, the achingly unfinished letters of John Keats and Fanny Brawne.  They all tell small daily stories within larger tangled, messy lives.  They are not neat, tidy stories with clean, rounded arcs.  Pathos does not lead to resolution.  Eros is often a capricious little beastie.  Quite often, nothing is learned and mistakes are remade.  I love that.  I loved the human, flawed aspect to them.  They fascinate.  

Pages written: 6

Also, I was sent the marketing plan today....  It is really happening.

I do not usually go back and tamper with posts, actually that is wrong, quite often I do and I apologize, but I had to mention what lovely June at Writing is a Blessing wrote about Nell yesterday.  Go and see...


  1. I TOTALLY agree!!!!! Letters say so much about who someone is. Also my favorite book growing up was Daddy Long Legs which is all in letters. Can't wait to read you book!

    All the Best!


  2. Letter writing is a lost art form today. What a lovely way to tell a story.

  3. susan, i also loved daddy long legs growing up. looking back on it now, it is such a sophisticated story. so pleased you are excited to read eta...

    whitney, email has sort of taken over letter writing and has its own shorthanded charms but i agree, the scribble and dash of old letters cannot be beat.

  4. hi julianna, i received your email at my profile address but the address you left me still does not work. so sorry to be leaving another note here but i feel terrible not responding to your email. yes, my publicist would be happy to hear from you and she is lovely and friendly!


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