USA Today, today

Yours truly is quoted in an article in today’s USA Today by Bob Minzesheimer. He wrote a great article about Rumpus’ “Letters in the Mail” subscription. I think airport terminals and hotel lobbies are the only places I have read USA Today. Local newspapers dominate the news stands around here. But thanks to the internet you can read the article right here. Viva Snail Mail!

Mail in Illustration

Since reading one zillion books to my kids, I have become very interested in children’s book illustration. There is so much good stuff out there! And then there are the books that make my eyes bleed.

Here’s my first offering in a new entry category called Illustration. It’s a detail from the cover of Remy Charlip‘s 1969 book, Arm in Arm, which I had as a child. I guess it left a lasting impression on my subconscious because I had been drawing things coming out of envelopes for months before re-discovering this book at my mom’s house in December. Remy Charlip, consider me a fan.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is my favorite paper mail holiday. And the results of extensive advanced planning are good. Between what was made by kids in my valentine workshops, by my own children, and by me I sent out 75 pieces of mail!

I am happy to report that my family and I also received valentines, which are hanging in our kitchen window. And I have been getting mail from readers-thank y’all so much. AND I have received 2 letters so far from the Rumpus’ Letters in the Mail subscription. The first was a 2 page rant from Margaret Cho and started out, “Dear Rumpus, This is what I think about eating on planes.” The second arrived yesterday. It’s a 1 page cartoon story by Dean Haspiel about a bar here in Brooklyn called Montero’s. For those of you who have watched the HBO series, “Bored to Death”, the character played by Zach Galifianakis is based on Haspiel.

Subscribe! Its fun to get short forms of writers’ work delivered to your mailbox.

Viva Jourdon Anderson!

VSM and Church of Craft co-hosted a Valentine Making Workshop for adults on Saturday at Lotta Jansdotter’s Work+Space and it was fantastic! Making stuff in the company of excellent people is what I love to do.

And while I have been extremely valentine focused for the past few weeks, February is not just the month of paper love tokens criss-crossing the nation by mail.

Its also Black History Month. I wish we Americans of all ethnic backgrounds were more aware of the lives of African Americans every day of the year. But until that awareness manifests itself, this month is a reminder of the vast range of African American citizens’ experiences. And the experiences recounted by Jourdon Anderson is his 1865 letter to his former slave master took my breath away. What a letter! Please read the whole thing as it takes some fascinating turns from start to finish. It is posted by Letters of Note, which is a site worth bookmarking.

Anderson’s letter is further proof of the importance of letters as historical source material. First person accounts add so much detail and heart.

And we’re back to hearts.