Love Notes: Put a Stamp on it with Kristy Lin Billuni.
I can’t tell you how I met Angela Cappetta, but it involved the internet, a deal gone bad, and a stranger saving my ass in New York City. I started calling that stranger a friend right away, and Angela and I have been long-distance supporters of each other’s creative endeavors for more than a decade now. One of the things I love best about Angela is that she sends mail.
I love the stamp and the postmark,
the texture of paper and the weight of a postcard. I love to connect a handwriting style with the personality I know behind it. I believe in the magic of handwritten sentiments. Of course, it’s a lost art. Our digital lifestyle can make writing anything down with pen and paper feel downright awkward. But I don’t let the formality and permanence of old-fashioned ink intimidate me.
I miss the childhood valentine kits that set you up to hand over a little Be Mine wink and a bit of candy to every kid in your grammar school class. I like to get inspired by the cheerful holiday cards from friends and family that still crowd my refrigerator and bulletin board and pour my heart into writing a few Valentine’s Day notes. Even if you’re not in love, you can reach out to the strangers who’ve become friends, the people who’ve saved your ass, the long distance supporters of your creativity, and the people you admire and adore. These are my love-note writing basics:
The card is the final draft.
Digital writing obliterated the whole concept of drafts for a lot of writers. Bring nice penmanship back, and practice on a scrap before you ruin your stationery.
Close your eyes and think. Imagine the person you’re writing to. You love them, after all. Think about why until a smile crosses your lips, and then write that down.
Quirky details mean a lot. Include something specific: praise the flavor of their turkey, the fragrance that lingered after they left your bed. The tiniest sensual description completes the tactile pleasure of opening your handwritten card.
Sexy Grammar writers tell me they love their homework. Here’s an assignment for you, if you dare:
You don’t have to be a Valentine’s Day celebrant to write a love note. Just write someone you love a note to tell them so. Buy a postcard or decorate a cocktail napkin with your bon mots. Seal it with a kiss and luxuriate in the impact of writing from the heart.
Kristy Lin Billuni is a writer and teacher in San Francisco and has aroused thousands of writers in her day job as The Sexy Grammarian. Prized credits include a forthcoming essay in Sinister Wisdom, fiction in Leopardskin & Limes, and her micro-play on the Piano Fight cabaret stage.