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I first met Jennie and Carolee of Pod Post at SF Zine Fest last year and was totally delighted by their devotion to letters, books, and the written word. Every so often since then, my day would be made by a delicious bit of ol’ fashioned mail in my mailbox at work, and a few weeks ago, I received a copy of their 2007 calendar, fashioned from Airmail envelopes, with important dates (Thank a Mailman Day, Duran Duran Appreciation Day) noted for each month. I asked them to write a series of dispatches for us, highlighting a day (or days) they thought Craftzine readers would like to know about. Here’s the first of hopefully many to come.
Pod Post endorsed holiday: National Handwriting Day (Jan. 23)
Recent research reported in the Toronto Star newspaper has shown that current college students, when given a felt-tip pen, were unable to write in cursive. The study’s authors speculate that this is partly due to our increasing reliance on e-mail and text-messaging for non-verbal communication.
Pod Post says: buck the trend! Do you have a favorite pen, or did you ever? Go out and use it! Instead of working on your computer or reading your book during your commute, practice writing in a cheap lined notebook. Don’t be worried if it looks stupid — experiment! Deconstruct! While writing her novel Cruddy, the artist and author Lynda Barry decided to try doing it all by hand, in painstaking cursive, while riding El trains the length and width of Chicago. She reports that it gave the story time to emerge naturally and eventually became an extremely pleasing meditative exercise all on its own.
Some ideas:
• In a boring meeting or class, pretend to assiduously take notes by writing down whatever the speaker is saying. Too easy? Do it backwards.
• Send one of your aged relatives a card in second-grade cursive (Google search “cursive writing” if you need a refresher). Gram, Gramps, or Aunt Gladdie will surely comment on what a nice, old-fashioned young’un you are.
• Look at an old accounts ledger, vintage correspondence, or even modern European handwriting. It’s exciting to see it all done so differently.
• Re-train your writing muscles. A primer is here.
• Write (and send!) more letters. Practice, practice, practice! Do it for nostalgia’s sake!
Once you’ve found your handwriting again, write a letter to a friend. Don’t have any friends? Write a letter to Pod Post! We are dedicated to all things mail-related and would love to see what you’ve come up with! Send us a letter or postcard at the following address and we’ll send you a nice piece of handwritten mail back! Yes, really!
Pod Post + CRAFT, PO Box 170271, San Francisco, CA 94117.
Postally Yours,
Carolee-Pod and Jennie-Pod
Pod Post is the joint project of Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler, two ladies working diligently to raise the USPS to an entirely new level. Visit their website, for their signature book- and postal-related goodies, including the book arts merit badges (featured in the Curio section of CRAFT volume 02) and Mail Art Bentos.