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riverstone 02-19-2007 04:25 PM

Write Me a Letter
Send it by mail - e- or snail, or seal it up and bury it in the backyard cemetary with the hamsters and your heart's tears.

Some of my best letters were unsent and I have many of them still. I also have the missives sent to me by friends and relatives. There's the wonderful handwriting of my nephew at seven years of age, the roommate from college going through the angst of love's end, or the telegram announcing birth or death across the sea.

The idea comes from a response to a poem I posted - could it be written as a letter? Try it - write one to a character in your stories, to a dead ancestor, to a best friend or to a lover and post it here,

Here's the first draft of the poem that started this workshop:

Momís Weft
At my desk, messaging friends,
Argentina, England, India, Jordan,
I think of you.

The Internet, your dream come true,
sending a letter to Lore,
no wait for answers,
she would perch in your living room,
offering news, advice, love.

Your grandchildren would never wait a month
for the blue airmail form or the string-tied
brown paper wrapped package,
to know each was brilliant and beloved in your eyes.

Imagine your headset ─
decoupaged with their pictures,
downloaded from photobucket,
worn while you called them up
just to say, ďItís a beautiful day,
I love you.Ē

They would love you back,
you, being the weft of our familyís loom,
we would always be home.

Katherine A Minden 2007

starpanda 02-22-2007 06:02 AM

I was inspired...a monologue I guess...? Title - Dear John

Now you see I have come unstuck already. What do I call you after all these years? Do I still call you Dad? Dad_ It just seems a little strange to say it, after all, it conjures up images that are not real to me.

Images of playing in the park, on the slide and on the swings. Of being tucked up in bed, a Cinderella nightlight and stories of Peter Pan. I think of Birthday parties, Christmas and Holidays by the sea. You were never there for me.

I had grandparents and neighbours, I had aunts, uncles and cousins, but for most of my life. I didn't have a dad. I used to have a dad, a long time ago. I have the photographs to prove it. I have vague and blured memories of a picnic, a black suit and ice cream, but very little else. No...I'm sorry I can't call you 'dad'.

On consideration I can't call you 'father' either, I am sad to say. For that too has images that don't fit with well me at all. To say 'father' I think of words like wisdom, kindness and respect. I did not recieve any wisdom from you, I got little in the way kindness and I just don't respect you. Brutal, but true.

How can I respect you? Or have any kind feelings for you, when you left me. You may have had your problems, that I can understand, but I was seven, just a baby...how could you leave me alone.

So how do I address this letter to you. The only way I can_


Mridula 02-22-2007 08:20 AM

Very touching, star. I'd love to see more of this, in some way.

riverstone 02-22-2007 01:50 PM

Hey starpanda
Is this a character from a larger work? You are giving me ideas - the letter tot he absent anyone - father, grandpere, cousin, best friend, fantasy lover, the twin sib that never made it past childbirth...

breezz 02-22-2007 02:04 PM

Love Always
You may not remember me, but i remember you. That's what matters. I have always had a soft spot for you in my heart next to the spot where i love ice cream and my puppy skyler. Ten years have gone by and i haven't gotten that call you promised me yet. I know now that i will never get that call. I know that we ended things on a sour note, but I have some things to tell you. You may jump up and down or curse me out, i really don't care. Remember prom night? I do. I woke up next to a piece up paper with that promise on it. You didn't even say bye when we went away to school. Well remember that letter i wrote you a month later about our baby to be? You never wrote back. Did you even care? Well, Alex is doing great. She has grown up real nice. She likes those vintage cars like you always liked. You really don't know how much she looks like you. Well, you need to know something. You have to step up to the plate and take some responsibility. I dont want child support and i dont want a sorry card. I'm giving her to you. I love her so much, but i am the only person she has. Soon she will have to face that i will not be here. I have cancer and the doctors say i sould make arrangments so i'm making them. So i have included a air ticket for you to come and collect her. she will be waiting for you at Stevens, the airport snack place. Please don't dissapoint her. i will always remember the time we shared in high school.

Love Always, Sarah

The truth is that Curtis loved sarah a lot. After graduation they went seperate ways. Sarah went to college in California and Curtis moved to Dayton, Ohio. He was killed in a car crash a few days later after moving when he was driving down a one way highway. A car came from the opposite direction and crashed into him. Curtis died and the drunk driver walked away with only a broken arm and some cuts. If he had lived, Curtis would have decided he still loved Sarah and they would have been happy together untill her death. Alex went to the airport and never found her father. She went through life thinking he had never loved her, but he never had the chance. Sarah died and little Alex went into a foster program where she never got adopted. When she turned legal, she left and opened a car shop and died drinking her self to death when she was only 20.

Mr Baatard 02-22-2007 04:14 PM

Cathartic letter
Dear Mr. Baatard,

With sinewy fortitude your refutation of my victimization persists yet unabashed!

You have sown the wind; now reap the whirlwind of my vengeful spittle!

Truly I am sorely mustered to frenzied ire by your flagrant denial of your turpitude!

**expletive deleted**.

I proudly count myself among the thousands of women who mustered the courage to escape real abuse at the hands of real abusers. It doesn’t matter that I could never justify comparing myself to them, and never mind that I couldn’t explain how my relatively atraumatic childhood compares to the years real survivors spent in waking nightmares. You never broke any of my bones, knocked out any of my teeth, or sent me to the hospital, but somehow I’m still a survivor of your abuse. You’re an abuser because I say so, and I’m your victim because I say so! I feel sorry for myself. I hate you! I’ve distorted our innocuous childhood so far out of proportion that I can now call myself a victim. I can label myself the way real survivors of abuse can because I say so! For your information, being picked on by a sibling is exactly the same as hiding in a closet for fear of your life because your drunk and raging husband wasn't happy with some minor aspect of dinner. I’m a victim, and that means I can blame you for all of my shortcomings!

If I want to overreact to a comment you make to me, that is my right. I’ll call you names and resort to vulgarity, because deep down I know my arguments that you abused me have no merit. At least I can threaten to withhold my negligible contribution to your life. That should give you pause, right? Right? You would never, for instance, laugh out loud if I began a petty, venomous email to you with a threat to not speak to you, right? You’re afraid that I might actually keep the light of my mediocre life from shining on you, aren’t you? Aren’t you?

I have every right to continually remind you that I’ve racked up serious debt getting a degree that I’ll never really use. It makes me better than you, and I believe you are intimidated by my spectacular waste of education. I have the right to ask you for advice because I was too scared to tell Dad that I got a girl pregnant...at 30. I am almost devoid of self esteem, and am only projecting my self-hatred onto you because I am too full of fear to accept responsibility for my shortcomings. But you better respect me, because somehow I am magically entitled to respect!

I have a career in what I actually went to school to do. Oh wait, that’s you. I own a home. Oh wait, that’s you. I get around in my own car. Oh wait, that’s you. I married the right woman the first time. Oh wait, that’s you. Well, I’m still fairly sure that you’re jealous of me, and intimidated by my gargantuan vocabulary. At least I can claim that I was once the gay lover of the ping pong champion of the Pacific Northwest! Not that there’s anything wrong with that…


Your little brother

P.S. In spite of my Masters' degree in medieval British poetry, I still managed to misuse the word 'bastard'. The best thing I can do with my education is to work for Tomlinson Black as a lowly technical writer, doing my part to help some soulless developer wipe out another trace of historical Spokane. I'm pretty sure I can blame you for that as well.

riverstone 02-22-2007 05:23 PM

Hey Mr Baatard
I like to keep this section a little cleaner - so there are no surprises for either our younger particpants or my professional contacts to whom I can say - check out that section! Hope that's livable.

Mr Baatard 02-22-2007 05:26 PM

I am so sorry! I didn't even think of that! Here, I'll make the change a little more thorough!

starpanda 02-23-2007 04:42 AM

There's a lot of anger there Mr B!

Kit - this was off the top of my head...I suppose you could consider it non-fiction and leave it at that.

Edit: However see breezz's letter...guess where my dad left me? I was totally freaked when I read it.

Mridula 02-23-2007 06:10 AM

Letting everything out
Hey Roodles.

Do you remember we used to call you that? I do, even if you don't. I was thinking about you today, of the times we've laughed together, of the bad times too. I know we haven't talked for ages and I know we may not talk for even longer. I'm just dropping this note to say I still care. I still value our friendship and no matter what happens, I will always cherish the memories we've made together.

You were the only friend who pulled me through sixth grade and seventh and eighth and then.... Things just seemed to dissolve. We grew closer, but more distant. I found your old friends. You rediscovered them. As Sim and I came together, you and Aishu drew closer. Now Sim became my new confidante, Aishu yours'. We were together, all four of us - we still made memories, we still laughed and joked and cried together, but you and I?

I can't pinpoint the moment when we started to drift apart. Through the ninth, I got the feeling you preferred staying away from me. I didn't complain, maybe because I was stupid, I didn't know better. As the next year drew to a close, our close friendship was also lost. We no longer spoke to each other for hours, or talked comfortably, or did any of the other crazy things we did.

I did get scared by the distance when the Prelims came around. That's why I sent all of you'll that long, senti letter just before the Boards started. Maybe you took it in the wrong sense, because you seemed to close up even more after that.

Our holiday in Trimbak was definitely when things became better for a few days, but then started detoriating. You met Meher, you see. That wasn't bad, as such, but it was a beginning. After that, we spoke less, but you spoke to him more. It's stupid to be jealous of your friend's elder brother. I still was. You wanted to speak to him more than you wanted to speak to us.

The entertainment park was the last straw, I guess. After the way you treated us that day, I don't think we wanted to talk to you ever again. With hindsight, I know that we overreacted and I hope you'll forgive us for not realising that your friendship is far more important than being angry with you for having to babysit your younger brother and cousin.

We've barely spoken since then. Once, on September fifth, and another time a few weeks ago. I'm not angry with you anymore, though I was when you didn't bother replying to our calls or emails. I've grown up a lot in the past few months and I've realised the importance of friendship.

Priorities change, people change, but friendship should stay constant. I always thought we'd make it big together. You and I. Forever.

Maybe this is coming too late, an apology of sorts and also a release of my pent-up emotions. Even if it is and we cannot meet again, I'd like to say to you, my oldest friend, I will always cherish the memories we've made together because at the end of the day, you matter much more to me than a silly fight about a brother.

You'll always be in my heart, Rudi. Always.


starpanda 02-23-2007 06:42 AM

This is very sweet and quite sad Cuteangel. I've lost a couple of close friends over the years, to really stupid arguments and misunderstandings, so I found this really moving.

Mr Baatard 02-24-2007 08:32 AM

These are some great letters! There sure is a lot of talent here.

Starpanda - I was pretty angry when I wrote it. What can I say? The little creep hurt my feelings. Now I read the letter for a laugh.

The other letters made me sad. Very moving. great work!

piperdawn 02-24-2007 10:20 AM

Dear Tulip Bulb,

Thank you for being there last fall. You waited for me in your crisp brown husk and trusted I would give you the means to blaze forth next spring. While you slept, I dreaded the long winter days ahead of me. You knew this and held a promise for me tightly within yourself.

Every day now I see more of you poking through the earth--green fingers reaching up to thank the slim ones that planted you. Together we will share all the sun and rain the Virginia sky brings.



kal 02-24-2007 04:18 PM

To an unnamed reader,

Thank you, for being there, for letting me grow, for keeping me on the straight but never narrowminded way of life. Thank you for reading, and for caring.


josiehenley 03-01-2007 04:11 AM

An excerpt from my novel is appropriate here
Some of these letters are really powerful and thought provoking, some have made me smile and some sniff a little. I love the idea. Thought Iíd lighten it up a bit and mention a letter that appears in my novel (work in progress) which features a writer trying to get published (yawn, yes I know but there are lots of other plot-lines too).


I pulled out the covering letter, which was a standard rejection without even the pretence at interest in the novel. After reading the letter I was about to toss it aside in disgust when I noticed that it had two pages. My heart leapt despite itself and I flipped the first page over only to find a blank sheet of headed notepaper. Maybe someone had carelessly taken two sheets from the printer instead of one. An idea occurred to me and I slipped the blank sheet into my own printer. Opening up a new document in Word, I began to type.

Esteemed Jacqueline,
We are eternally grateful that you chose us as a publisher to receive your novel. Your style is beyond comparison to any unsolicited manuscript previously received. Our editors were moved to tears on reading it and found themselves unable to return to work for several weeks.
However, it is with great regret that we find ourselves unable to publish your masterpiece. We are a publisher of trashy junk read by illiterate morons. Your work has inspired us to upgrade our list and perhaps include literary works in the future. But for the moment we feel that, were we to publish your novel, we would fail to sell any of our other titles.
Being unable to find another work equal to yours would halt our production and inevitably put us out of business. It is therefore with deep regret that we find we must return your manuscript to you. We hope that you will find a publisher more worthy of your intellect.
We will be forever in your debt for giving us the opportunity to review such a work of genius.
Yours regretfully,

With satisfaction at a job well done, I took a sip of cooling tea while my printer whirred and shook and the new rejection letter appeared. I clipped the two sheets together, mine at the top. Impaling the letter on my Stephen King style rejection spike that hangs on the wall behind the computer, I smiled as the spike stabbed through the heart of yet another company of ungrateful *expletive deleted*. That spike was very useful for taking out frustration. Of course, I havenít got anything like that here: they barely let us use cutlery let alone murderously sharp spears.


piperdawn 03-01-2007 06:03 AM

Josie, I love that. It's really, really great. I would love to read more!

josiehenley 03-01-2007 06:17 AM

I’ve resisted posting any of this novel so far as it’s just about completed and close to publication, only on the final edit now (and also it’s 170k words so, huh, what do I choose?), but will let you know if I put any more excerpts up!

piperdawn 03-01-2007 06:22 AM

Heck, let me know how I can buy the finished product! You've got me drawn into this character--she sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.

josiehenley 03-01-2007 06:24 AM

haha, great, not yet! How patient are you...?

piperdawn 03-01-2007 04:38 PM

Depends on the day and my mood! I look forward to reading more. I really enjoyed that character.

NCRomanceWriter 03-05-2007 07:20 PM

To My Husband:

I can hear the sounds of our home as it transitions from early evening to bedtime. The baby is asleep. The dishwasher has completed its cycle and the drying fan is making that "hmmmmmmmmm" sound. The house is very quiet when you are gone. I feel sometimes when you are gone on these business trips that you take some of the life of the house with you.

With the exception of the light over the stove, the house is dark. There is a faint glow coming from the laptop monitor and there is that distinctive sound that laptop keys make as they are struck in quick succession. The dogs are snoozing - Annie is in your chair and Boo has decided that the middle of our bed is the best place to wait for me.

I should be in bed now, but for the urge to write. Since I made the decision a few months ago to seriously persue this long held dream of mine to write, I have a sense of guilt if I do not write at least a little each day. Sometimes, it's my blog, others times I write an essay, or a few lines of one of my many works in progress.

In all of this I have realized that I have not shared any of my writing with you. Most of the time, I am working on romances, an interest you do not share. You have never asked to read anything I have written. I think if I asked you to, you would. Not because you wanted to, but because I asked.

You know I have a blog, but I don't think you have ever read it. Then again I don't think I every gave you the link. I wonder why that is? I do have a hesitancy in sharing my work. My biggest fear is not so much that I might stink as a writer, but I might not realize it. I know that you would tell me the truth. In that open and direct way of yours, you would. You might be concerned that I would hold it against you. To be honest it's not so much that as it is my fear of disappointing you. I know I'm not perfect and I know that you know that I am not perfect, but I always want to be my best for you.

I don't know if anything I have said has made any sense. I guess what I am trying to say is that I love you and I respect your opinion, so would you please read some of the things I have written and give me your opinion? I have folks who can read the "mushy" stuff I write, but I have other pieces that I would love to share with you.


Mr Baatard 03-08-2007 06:11 PM

That's sad, and unfortunate. But it was excellently written!

NCRomanceWriter 03-08-2007 07:19 PM

Thanks! That's very nice of you to say so.

josiehenley 03-09-2007 01:37 AM

Connie, it's a lovely letter. I hope he reads it! My partner is also a writer but she doesn't read anything I write unless I give it to her (probably due to a sense of privacy as well as not having time). She has no interest in my blog or forums or anything, as she sees it as a waste of time, as she is an academic writer. Perhaps if I get my PhD place studying arts innovation in digital media (i.e. blogs and writers' forums like this one) she won't see it as such a waste. On the other hand, I might start seeing it as work and have to find something else to do to procrastinate. *gulp*

Mr Baatard 03-09-2007 03:05 AM

Josie! I just read your letter. Hilarious! My stomach hurt I was laughing so hard!

Deadbox 03-25-2007 11:53 PM

General Delivery

It used to be that I worried about dying alone. As a teen, like so many others who thought they were unique, I imagined my funeral and wondered who would come. As I grew older I worried that I would never meet anyone who would care about me. No family, no friends, no one to hold my hand or wipe my brow as my body’s grip on this world finally failed, like a weight held for too long. I was so afraid of being Kubler-Ross’s poster child. You probably wouldn’t have guessed that when we were kids, though you’ve always accused me of being overly dramatic. Anyway, I was wrong. I have had friends and family. I grew up and met lots of people who cared about me.

Now, I dream, when I can sleep, of being left alone to die.

You can’t imagine that, can you? You can’t imagine being comfortable enough with yourself to enjoy your own company that long. The idea of the last conversation that you ever have being with yourself makes your tummy get all itchy inside, and the walls of the room seem like clothing in their closeness to you, don’t they?

Yes, I know how that bothers you. And I know what you would do to me if you could find me. What will you find when you finally catch up to me? Will it even be you who finds this letter?

Nora, before she divorced me, used to sit and talk for hours about nothing in particular with anyone who would give her an opening. I know that she wanted me to open up more, and I know that’s why she turned to you. I didn’t want to talk things to death. I was fine with things they way they were. I didn’t need to spill my whole life to anyone who would listen, and I damn sure didn’t want to hear about theirs. The thing that pissed her off the most was that she didn’t get to speak at her own funeral. She wanted to bore everyone to death with the details of what it felt like to die.

Was she not enough? Did you miss Grandpa so much that you that you had to drag him into your damn necromancer experiment? And why me? Was my involvement accidental, or did you plan it? Why the hell didn’t you just keep it all to yourself?

You don’t get it, do you? The dead can’t move on, because they have moved on already. There is no place further on for them to move to, and so they are stuck. The have no new experiences, and certainly no answers about this life or the next. They tell the same stories over and over because they don’t have any new ones, and because they’ve forgotten that they’ve already told them. Worst of all, they are desperate for someone to listen to them.

Sure, fun for you! You don’t have to hear them. They follow you around because they know that you will lead them to me, and I will listen to them. Like I have any damn choice! I’m the freaking spirit microphone, and you’re the master of ceremonies cueing them up for bad poetry and karaoke!

I don’t want to hear anymore. I don’t want to talk anymore. Please leave me alone. Stop following me. If I see you coming, I swear I’m going to blow my head off.

Your cousin,


josiehenley 03-26-2007 11:40 PM

Getting it off my chest
To the ignorant git who accused my soft as sh*te lovely dog of attacking his vicious rottweiller tonight in the park.

1) There are plenty of opticians in town, you should consider paying one of them a visit. Your eyes must be quite poor, as poor as your education and language. I was watching what happened, because I do watch my dog even when sheís not on the lead, and you were not. My dog approached yours to play, her tail was wagging when she ran up to him. He then attacked her as she was on her way past, and he jumped on her.

2) Before you kicked my dog, I was reaching out to put her on the lead. If you had pulled your dog off mine, as he was on top, then Iíd have been in a better position to get her away. As it was, your kick made matters worse because it wound your dog up more, and encouraged him to further attack.

3) When you demanded an apology from me, I didnít immediately answer because I was in shock. I do not feel compelled to be polite to people who are not polite to me. Shouting obscenities at a person is not the ideal method of extracting an apology. Perhaps it works with your wife or your children but it will not work with me.

4) Your comment that next time you see my dog you will hit her with a sledge hammer demonstrated to me that you are the type of person who would carry a sledge hammer around in preparation to commit random acts of violence. If I ever see you with a hammer then I will be sure to call the police.

5) Threatening to hit me when I commented that you had kicked my dog shows you for the coward that you are. If you were at all willing to carry out your threat then you would not have made such a show of it. The fact that your wife had to step in to threaten me as well is laughable.

6) If you want to fight me come to the club. The Elite Martial Arts gym above Blockbusterís Video on Cowbridge Road. Sunday lunchtimes and Wednesday evenings Iím there, and sometimes on a Friday. Iíll lend you some gloves, if you think youíre hard enough. I donít expect you to turn up, I suspect that you are all mouth and no balls, like your dog. But I would urge your wife to come and bring her small son, who witnessed your behaviour tonight. He will need to learn some self defence if heís going to grow up around you.

7) As a responsible dog owner, I take great care to keep my dog away from violent animals and people. From now on, you can be assured that as soon as I see you, your dog or your wife approaching us, I will walk away.

Yours truly
[expletive deleted]

I feel much better now. This thread is therapy.

Mr Baatard 03-27-2007 01:16 AM

Wow Josie! I'm not a violent man but if some guy kicked my dog, I think I migght beat the tar out of him right there on the spot. It was big of you not to kick his ___.

piperdawn 03-27-2007 03:40 AM

I'm so sorry that happened to you, Josie. I hope you and your dog are doing fine. That man is obviously crazy.

kal 03-27-2007 03:57 AM

dear God.

please don't let piper smoke.


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