Try This: Dear You

Oh, Emily, we feel your pain.

I've got letters in my hand and letters in my head. Let's write! 

Some of my most satisfying writing is rooted in letters. In these of-the-moment conversations, nothing is planned, prepared, or overthought (though, admittedly, sometimes overwrought). 

Try This: It's Mother's Day season. Write a letter to your mother, or the person you wish were your mother, or a letter to yourself about your mother, OR, if you are a mother, write a letter to your child, or the person you wish were your child . . .

You don't have to send the letter. Just be willing and real. Keep the mind open and the pen moving.

If you'd like, share your letter in the comments section. Or tuck it in your journal. Or frame it. Or burn it. 

Get Inspired: How much do I love letters? I'm now reading books of letters: 

Dear Mr You
by Mary-Louise Parker

Yes, the author is an actress (loved her in West Wing) but she's not one of those annoying has-beens who dabble in books, y'know like launching a perfume or recording an auto-tuned song. Parker is a writer's writer: sharp, tender, perceptive, and this is a collection of letters written to men, real and imagined, who have shaped and informed her life. 

Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room
by Kelli Russell Agodon

This book of contemporary poems is dedicated to "those who write letters to the world" and includes letter-poems both funny and profound, such as Letter to An Absentee Landlord, and Letter to My Sister, Who is Still Drowning.  


The Beauty of the Husband
by Anne Carson

In what she calls "a fictional essay in 29 tangos," Anne Carson writes to and about a husband as their marriage falls apart. Inventive and bold, Carson defies definition — is this poetry? prose? shadow and tricks? — and that's what makes her work so viable, so strong. 

His letters, we agree, were highly poetic. They fell into my life
like pollen and stained it. I hid them from my mother
yet she always knew.

  . . .  How do people 
get power over one another? is an algebraic question

you used to say. “Desire doubled is love and love doubled is madness.”
Madness doubled is marriage
I added
when the caustic was cool, not intending to produce 
a golden rule.

Start now: Write a letter. If you'd like, share your letter in the comments section. Or tuck it in your journal. Or frame it, burn it, or just let it go.