We ran our first Letter Writing Club earlier this week, and it was lovely.


Everyone on the team (or maybe just me?) was a bit nervous, as we hadn’t run one of these in ages. Since our last event, years ago, we seem to have acquired more furniture, more displays, more stuff on the tables, and also some general viral and anti-social anxiety. Where do we squeeze in people? Where did all of our chairs go? We also seem to have acquired more dubiously shaky chairs, all of them lined up in the back for the nighttime stationery elves to rest on. In any case, everyone had something to sit on, even if it was a bit tight.



I am always inspired by hearing that or how people are writing letters, or who they’re writing to, or the little tiny rituals they have in their writing, or the things they do with their pen pals. Discussion of correspondence etiquette, esoteric details like response time guidelines or new Canada Post stamps, can only happen when you are among Your People. I am Moses, leading us out of the desert, or perhaps more like a slightly demented Don Quixote.




And a nice stack of letters at the end of it all, to which I contributed nothing. I had a plan! A list of people to write to, a bunch of pens inked up, and instead I spent my evening in a glorious state of simmering and snacking and chatting and wrangling children and mostly enjoying being in a stationery shop full of letter writers. I had prepared all my supplies only to carry them around with me, my emotional support stationery, to fend off advancing technological achievements, like email.


I had my pens napping in my pen roll and my portfolio stuffed full of letters and stationery and stickers and scraps and both of these trusty leather cases mostly sat, mostly patient, behind the Five Alive.



The baby also survived all the fun, satisfied at having had a mostly good nap, fussing just a bit at the most inconvenient times, grinning like a little turkey afterwards. For those curious, we named her Junia. Caleb, Naomi and Junia, our little gang of shop kids, ready to take over the shipping operations or set off a small explosion in the back at the first opportunity.



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July 15, 2022 — Liz Chan



Rosemary said:

Sounds like a great time. And that Junia! What a Wonderbaby to add to the Wonderkids!

Stephanie J.

Stephanie J. said:

This looks so wonderful I regret that I cannot join since I’m down here in California. It reminds me of my many (many, many) letters I have from penpals that need replies… I should sit myself down with some tea and music and get on that.

Also: hello, Junia!

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