Help! I Need to Write a Letter!

from Mary Jedlicka Humston

If writing letters doesn’t come naturally and you need some good advice and sample letters to get you started, then you can’t go wrong with the short but sweet “How To Write Letters For All Occasions” by Dear Abby, the syndicated advice columnist.

dear abby

The 28 page booklet talks you through salutations and how to address dignitaries as well as how to write the closing of your letter and sign it.

Do you need to write a thank you for a birthday gift? There are three examples to peruse. Other types of gift giving (baby, wedding, showers, etc.) also have samples to jumpstart your correspondence.

Letters of congratulations, condolences, get well and invitations are covered as well as how to write a resume or business letter.

For such a small booklet, it’s very thorough and easy to obtain. You simply send $7.00 in check or money order (shipping and handling are included in the price) along with your name and address to:

Abigail Van Buren

Dear Abby “How To Write Letters For All Occasions”

P.O. Box 447

Mt. Morris, IL 61054

After reading this booklet, you’ll no longer have an excuse for not sending that long overdue thank you to Aunt Edna for her delicious homemade fruitcake.


Help! I’m Reading as Fast as I Can!

One thing we’ve promised is book reviews on this blog. But book reviews involve actually reading a book. Both Marys love to read, but they are so busy writing right now, reading seems to have taken a back burner in their lives. And that’s a shame, when one of the Marys has all these beautiful hand-written letter/friendship/writing books waiting for her.You can expect to see reviews of these, and many more books and websites on letter writing and female friendship in the coming months.

friendship books 001Did you know there is such a thing as mail “art?” I know a couple of my pen-pals have sent me letters that were a work of art, with stickers, special ink, calligraphy, doodles in the margin, and even hand-decorated envelopes, but I’m afraid Mary and I, while we love pretty paper and have been known to use a sticker or two, mostly scrawl our missives when in a bit of a hurry. We have so much to say to each other, and so little time to make it “pretty.” This morning’s letter sent to Mary was begun on a piece of scrap paper from my purse!

good mail dayThis book, Good Mail Day, had me sighing with pleasure over the beauty of the creations, but groaning over the effort it would take to make such “eye-popping postal art.”

One reason for our intense writing schedules is that our manuscript deadline has been moved up to March 1. We also have a tentative date set for the book’s release. Drum-roll, please…

August 1, 2015!

The following day, August 2, 2015, is coincidentally “Friendship Day,” and the next month is “National Women’s Friendship Month.” You can bet we will be planning some “Friendship Tea Parties” in August and September to coincide with our book’s release.

We Have a Winner~

It was a tough decision with so many wonderful ideas for a new sub-title for our work in progress. A top favorite was A Lasting Link Through Ink, so the winner of the basket full of goodies is Jill Humston.

This is our current working sub-title, but it doesn’t mean it will be the final sub-title. Our editor and publisher has the final say on that. Thank you for all your entries!

Miss Spenser’s Special “Love Letter Tea Party” coming in February~

From Mary H~

As Mary and I work on our book Mary & Me detailing our friendship tethered by letter writing, we are on the lookout for special events, books or online sites that relate to these themes. Today, I would like to highlight an event that links letter writing and friendship with another love: drinking hot tea and visiting tea rooms. Letters and tea coalesce at an Iowa tearoom that letter writers and tea lovers won’t want to miss.
The upcoming “Love Letter Tea Party” will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with a three-course tea luncheon and dramatic readings of original love letters at Miss Spenser’s Special-Teas, a beautiful English Cottage tea room and gift shop nestled amid the pastoral countryside in New Virginia, Iowa.
Miss Spenser’s Special-Teas, located south of Des Moines and only 2.5 hours north of Kansas City, provides a fabulous afternoon tea experience. If you’re looking for homemade meals with fresh ingredients artfully arranged on three-tiered trays, mahogany furniture, gourmet teas, exquisitely designed china, fine tablecloths and linens and seating for intimate conversations, you’ll find that and more.
While I haven’t experienced the “Love Letter” tea and performance, several friends and I thoroughly enjoyed a play a couple of Decembers ago about Mrs. Bob Cratchit of “A Christmas Carol” fame. It was written by owner Lady Donna and acted by her daughter Miss Spenser. The performance was well-done, the atmosphere transported us to a different time and era, and the food was delicious. Another time, my friend Maxine and I attended an afternoon tea without a performance, and we were just as delighted with our experience.
“Love Letter Tea Party” hosts two showings: Saturday, Feb. 14 at 11:00 am and Sunday, Feb. 15 at 1:00 pm. The cost is $30 per person. To make a reservation or for more information, visit their website: Looking ahead, please note that in March the program will be “Irish Tea” and in April it will be “New Downton Abbey.”
Mary and Me: Two Lives in Letters and “Love Letter Tea Party” both highlight friends and letters. You won’t want to miss either.