Valentines for Kids

If you have a few moments this week, send a card (or a handful) to Sacramento, and they’ll be delivered to hospitalized children. Thanks to Derrick Dodson for keeping this going.

Valentines Snail Mail Social Feb. 8 from 1-4



Hi everyone, it’s time for another red-ink-on-your-fingers Snail Mail Social!


The word on the street is that we may also be co-hosting an intimate reception for Ex Postal Facto attendees at ARCH sometime on the weekend of the 13-15th. Stay tuned!

December Stationery Giveaway!

Happy December, everyone, how have you been?

They say it’s the season of giving, and that’s always the case with Derrick Dodson of I Still Write – last year he treated lucky winners to some Crown Mill stationery, but he’s really knocking it out of the park this year (that baseball reference is just for you, Derrick).

Head on over to I Still Write for the entry wherein he explains all the rules – but, basically, send the guy any kind of winter holiday card, even if it’s a Festivus lump of coal, and he’ll enter you in the running for a prize!

What is required this time is a holiday/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Bah Humbug/Festivus or some other type of “this time of year” card.  I am not a religious person but I am not going to knock any type of card sent.  Please note  ALL CARDS SENT WILL BE POSTED ON THE BLOG.  Translation = keep it clean.  Not a prude and I love humorous cards just keep it family oriented.

Get going! Go on! Go! Read the post carefully, too – all the info you need is on that page!

Writing, Responding, the Ebb and the Flow

Hello Friends,

It has recently come to my attention that not only have I been neglecting this blog, but that some people are concerned about the relative silence, especially as it relates to the call-for-correspondents posts.

Due to some recent questions, I want to take this opportunity to clarify some things regarding the give-and-take of mail art and the operation of this site.

I set up the Call for Correspondents posts because some people specifically requested a way to connect with other people they thought would share an interest in mail art. However, because this is not a pen-pal or swapping site (there are lots of those!), I set up the original post so that it could be largely self-running. I moderate all new comments to the site, but once you’ve been approved, you can basically comment at will. This is why some of you occasionally get a rush of comments from one person.

I’m really sorry about that, and I do feel at least partly responsible. Please accept my apology if this inconvenienced you in any way. In future, all comments, whether they are from new or seasoned commenters, will be moderated in order to cut down on duplicate postings as well as spam.

Because I am the sole maintainer of this blog (gee, can you tell?), this might mean a delay of up to a day or two before you see your post on the site. Not to fret! I will see it! I will approve it (as long as you are not a spam-bot! Sorry, spam-bots).

As to the way this post, this site, and mail art in general, works, I can only echo the post by pamelake, who states that the best way to get mail is to send mail! It is my hope that, if any of these posts speak to people, they will send a little something (a postcard, a short note, a piece of art) to the person who originally wrote it, and all the better if they receive something in return. All of us have ebbs and flows in life, and there are times when we are feeling flush and able to send lots of responses. Others find that they need to take long breaks. But it is my belief that just the ACT of sending out that feeler (postcard, letter, what have you) is a good act in itself. We need to spend at least a fraction of our time sending something lovely into the world, without hope of reward (even though the reward, if it comes, is wonderful!)

As I said before, there are no guarantees in mail art, and there are no guarantees in life. To be quite honest, I myself have slowed way down on my output in the last couple of years. I have correspondents with whom I exchange regular and wonderful letters, but I am in an ebb stage when it comes to sending out large amounts of mail all over the world. It’s simply not something that is working for me right now. The day may come when I start doing that again, but for now, this is how it is for me. How it is for you may be different, but it’s the act of doing *something* that I think is important.

I know that this blog is pretty sparse. Blogging is something that doesn’t come easy to me. But I hope that, nevertheless, you will be able to overlook that and find someone wonderful to write to in the process.

Wishing you all well,


I am quite sure that no reader of Good Mail Day would ever leave something so important as a declaration of affection to the last minute, but in case you are feeling desperate and are perhaps new to the site, I shall repost this once again:

Free late-1800s Valentines, downloadable from these two links:

Valentines II

right-click (or ctrl-click) and save to your desktop, downloads folder, whatever you like. These came from the voluminous files of my husband’s grandmother.

Send a Valentine to a Hospitalized Child – Sacramento


Good Mail Day stalwart Derrick Dodson alerted me to a call for Valentines, headed up by radio station Star 106.5, to be delivered to hospitalized children in the Sacramento area. If you have some spare construction paper and an extra stamp, read more at Derrick’s blog I Still Write for more information. Share the love!

Note: The deadline for Valentines is Feb. 10!

(photo from Flickr user danielmoyle)

Add one more name to your holiday card list


The LWA blog posted this call for cards for one Patsy Roberts, 87, who lost all of her personal correspondence to Hurricane Sandy. From their post:

“I was saving them to read when my time came,” she said when her son-in-law told her the cards had been destroyed by the storm surge. “I was saving them so I could read the cards and remember the people I love.” Rightfully moved by this statement, Patsy’s son-in-law, Cristian Dobles, is trying to get Patsy some extra mail for the holiday. His goal is to get her 1000 cards, but I think we can help to send her many, many more.

Send Patsy a thoughtful note at her address:  Patsy Roberts, 130-04 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Belle Harbor, New York 11694.

Click through to the LWA post to learn more about Patsy.


Always merry and bright.


(image: flickr user bitogoth)

Next Snail Mail Social – Dec. 1

Calligraphic Santa letter by Sarah Hannah

Calligraphic Santa letter by Sarah Hannah

Our friends at ARCH Drafting Supply have invited Annie Yu and myself to host another Snail Mail Social tomorrow, Dec. 1, at the Potrero Hill shop. This time, in addition to free stationery (designed by Annie) and the click-clack of the typewriters, Sarah Hanna will be selling personalized, beautifully calligraphed, letters from Santa (don’t worry, I think she’s a licensed elf)!

Stop by–the social is from 1-4 at 17th and Missouri in Potrero Hill, San Francisco.

Not a cure, but a balm, perhaps…

Writing letters is about communicating with others, isn’t it? We can share our feelings, enumerate our differences, find common ground, and introduce new ideas. As I’m sure we’ve all experienced, we can be more ourselves in letters than we might be in person, so it’s no surprise that many meaningful relationships have been established through the written word.

And what time is more lonely than those nights when sleep won’t come, when you’re staring out the window at darkness, and there is no one to talk to but your own mind, which is deafeningly, frighteningly loud? I always wind up sitting with a book and tea and notebook, but mostly staring into space, because all I really want is not to feel so alone.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working with Kathy and Donovan of the Letter Writers Alliance on something called MOTH MAIL, which goes on sale tonight at Midnight CST. Together we discovered a rare species of moth that can be enticed into fetching, and delivering, your noctural musings/worries/elations to your far-flung friends. Strangely, this type of nocturnal letter-carrier also has the singular ability to assuage your loneliness and help your sleep, because we discovered that the star-dust on this curious creature’s wings can also lull you into dreamland.

Learn more, write your own MOTH MAIL, or just buy the First Day Cover (available only on the First Day, of course) here:
I’ll leave you with a poem or two.

photo by Wayne Vanderkuil

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she’s a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,
she’d tell it to go to hell,
and she’d find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well

into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.

Elizabeth Bishop

Even though the house is deeply silent
and the room, with no moon,
is perfectly dark,
even though the body is a sack of exhaustion
inert on the bed,

someone inside me will not
get off his tricycle,
will not stop tracing the same tight circle
on the same green threadbare carpet.

It makes no difference whether I lie
staring at the ceiling
or pace the living-room floor,
he keeps on making his furious rounds,
little pedaler in his frenzy,
my own worst enemy, my oldest friend.

What is there to do but close my eyes
and watch him circling the night,
schoolboy in an ill-fitting jacket,
leaning forward, his cap on backwards,
wringing the handlebars,
maintaining a certain speed?

Does anything exist at this hour
in this nest of dark rooms
but the spectacle of him
and the hope that before dawn
I can lift out some curious detail
that will carry me off to sleep—
the watch that encircles his pale wrist,
the expandable band,
the tiny hands that keep pointing this way and that.

Billy Collins


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