A few weeks ago I got an interesting letter from LWA member David Solomon. He wrote to us about how he became pen pals with a friend of a friend, who he didn't know, and how it turned into an amazing pen pal relationship.
At first, they mailed letters conventionally through USPS, but then David thought of another way to deliver letters to his new pen pal Tiffany.
Drop locations, scavenger hunts, audio letters - without even thinking about it, they were expanding what their personal correspondence could be. Here is an excerpt from David's letter explaining how this started:
She was also a student at FSU. In the Fall, I sent her a short letter telling her to go to the campus library and go to a certain floor and look for a certain book and flip to a certain page. In this book was another book she was to go to. And so on until she ended up at the National Geographic section of the library to find a handmade booklet made for her including random things such as a play I wrote for her, a to-do list, recommended reading, a poem, etc. This started our new correspondence via a drop spot in the library.
We walked the same paths, but never saw each other, which added some excitement and intimacy to our relationship. Two years later and we are still friends. In fact, I consider her my best friend...and yet, we have spent no time in the other's presence.
- Personal correspondence with David Solomon
I think this speaks volumes of how intimate letter writing and the pen pal relationship can be. This also is a great example of how letter writing can be expanded upon, outside of the realm of envelopes, or even paper. Perhaps this will give Initiative Response participants some ideas for their "Out of the Box" tasks?
Thank you to David and Tiffany for allowing me to share their story with fellow LWAers.
P.S. David has been recording his astounding outgoing mail on his blog Because I Really Felt It. I was extra impressed by his "Book as Envelope" mailing.