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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Example Letter Number One

Welcome to the Pen Pals Book Project!

The project concept was created by Dan Stafford. Contributing authors are from the Poetic Constellations poetry board.

This project is intended to come up with a book for younger readers that captures the feel and life facts of the paper era of our recent past. Days when, if a friend moved away, you only had the postal service to keep in touch. Phone calls were rare and expensive. Television was limited, and Summer seemed unlimited. No internet. No constant distraction.The street lights coming on was your signal to go home and get indoors, but until then, the outside was all yours...

The intention is to have writers of the era pair up, and write Pen Pal letters back-and-forth to each other as they would've back then. If your friend had moved away and you'd kept in touch. Be twelve or thirteen again, or even ten. Write to your friend about what would have been the big moments in your life at that age, or just the every-day things that were going on in your childhood.

Can you put your mind in that place? Can we bring the reader into another era? There's only one way to find out...

Example Letter One - 15 years old:


Dear John,               July 8th, 1977

It was an interesting Fourth of July.

Mom took all three of us camping at Devil's Lake near Madison, WI. We had brought a bunch of fireworks for the Fourth. My brother Jeff and I got into a roman candle fight! We were shooting the roman candle fireballs at each other from across the campfire, and laughing our heads off!

No one got burned, but it probably was a good thing that we were right next to a whole lake full of water!

We spent the whole day on the fifth swimming in the lake. Literally all day. We only got out for lunch.

Mom's friend Ginny and her kids Brian and Brooke were there too. There was a small cliff we were jumping off of, but it was only about one story tall.

That's not the funniest part, though!

Over >

Page 2

There was a whole camp full of nudists on the other end of the lake. One of the ladies was floating naked on an air mattress asleep out on the lake. Mom and Ginny wanted me to swim out there and tip her over!

Haha! I almost did it. I swam pretty close, but I just didn't have the heart to dump her in the water. I didn't see anything except her butt, though. She was sleeping face-down.

I slept pretty good after that.

The rest of the month has just been normal so far. I'm reading a great book. It's called "Skylark of Valeron" by E.E. "Doc" Smith. Totally epic science fiction, of course!

So what have you been doing? How is your family? Any new friends yet?

Your friend,


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