We have made it to the end of International Correspondence Writing Month, InCoWriMo. Did you make it? I, alas, did not, but I did write a number of letters and I am pleased with the limited success I did have, which all in all is not a bad way to end the month of February.


Really, I’m just sort of glad that I made it through the month at all, with its grim skies and overall unpleasantness—and that I spent some of it lost in a chaotic desk covered with various envelopes and wax seals.


I’m fortunate in that I occasionally receive letters from people, by dint of my address being publicly available, people writing into the shop, and that the people who know my address typically do so because they’re interested in stationery and maybe letter writing. And this month especially, I have been the recipient of a few letters here and there, and what a pleasure it has been to have an excuse, a reason, to organize and dig through my supplies and have little (tiny) stacks of envelopes at the end of the night, yellow lamplight, loose sheets of stationery and sticker sheets and rolls of washi tape all around. When I receive just one loose letter out of the blue, I sometimes let it get away from me, tucked into a stack on the desk or buried in a drawer, but when I have enough critical mass to have a dedicated stack of correspondence to respond to, I can keep it organized a bit more easily.


It’s been a joy: to use my supplies, to send something nice out into the world, to wonder about how the recipient will receive it. The tactile pleasure of ink on paper, the friction of putting the paper into the envelope, the effort of taking the time to walk to the mailbox. Life is too short to send instant emails.








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March 03, 2023 — Liz Chan

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