A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 7, 2013


“Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

January 8-14 is Universal Letter Writing Week

Have you heard the chatter:  “Letter writing is a dying art,” some claim.  The number of letters mailed are on the decline and postal delivery may be reduced.  Saturday delivery could be eliminated.

At Christmas, a postal worker told me he had observed that only “little old ladies” were sending Christmas cards anymore.  Still, I won’t get discouraged because written communication does takes place, just in different places and in new formats.  Look for it.  It’s seen in blog posts, text messages, billboards, lunch boxes notes from Mom, church marques, cheers and jeers in newspapers, etc.  Where have you seen written messages?  Choose a day during Universal Letter Writing Week and keep a tally of written communication you see.  And remember to keep writing–a little, a lot, just write.

Recently, I read a letter written by Kelly Starling Lyons that was posted at ReaderKidZ, a blog site that reviews books written for children and spotlights authors.  Kelly chose a dynamic way to tell readers about her new book, Hope’s Gift.  After reading her letter, I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of  Hope’s Gift.

Hope's GiftFor description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Gift-Kelly-Starling-Lyons/dp/0399160019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338421&sr=8-1&keywords=hope%27s+gift

Read Kelly Starling Lyon’s letter to “Dear Readers” here:

http://www.readerkidz.com/2013/01/01/dear-reader-a-letter-to-you-from-author-kelly-starling-lyons/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Readerkidz+%28ReaderKidZ%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

Listed below are a few examples of writing done by kids and adults.  Find your category.  How many of the listed examples have you written?  What others can you add to the lists?

Kids Write…

  • Thank you notes
  • Letters of apology
  • Poems, stories, and reports
  • Greeting cards (hand-made or purchased)
  • Letters to Santa
  • Letters to an author (not bad to be up there with Santa and the Tooth Fairy)
  • Letters to the Tooth Fairy (Seen posted at my dentist’s office):

Tooth Fairy--final one

Adults Write…

  • Emails  to family and friends
  • Notes in their child’s lunch box
  • Letters to someone deployed or far away
  • Greeting cards
  • Blog posts
  • Book reviews
  • Thank you notes–I recently won a copy of Stake Out by Bonnie J. Doerr at Carol Baldwin’s Blog.  I have been fortunate enough to win many books by commenting on favorite blogs.  When I am a winner, I always send an email thank you and sometimes I send a thank you note in the mail. 

Product Details

For description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Stakeout-Bonnie-J-Doerr/dp/1616030070/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338950&sr=8-1&keywords=Bonnie+J.+Doerr

To learn more about Bonnie Doerr’s book, Stake Out, check Carol’s blog post here:  http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/  Carol ‘s blog features book reviews and giveaways.  Check it out.

Adult Writers/Authors Write…

  • Letters to an agent or editor
  • Query Letters
  • Outlines
  • Proposals to Publishing Company
  • Thank you notes
  • Newsletters
  • Poems, short stories, and novels
  • Blog posts, tweets, a Facebook comments, or other social media messages.
  • Authors inform contestants of winning a contest
  • Authors or other famous person answers fan mail
  • Book Reviews–I recently posted two on Amazon:

Book Review #1:  Lessons Learned:  The Story of Pilot Mountain School  by Gretchen Griffith

Product Details

To hear an excerpt from Lessons Learned, listen here:  http://www.southernwritersonline.com/take-five.html

For description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Learned-Story-Mountain-School/dp/0914875647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357329446&sr=8-1&keywords=Lessons+Learned+by+Gretchen+Griffith

5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School by Gretchen Griffith, November 26, 2012
This review is from: Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School (Paperback)

Gretchen Griffith describes herself as a storycatcher. Her ability to capture the Pilot Mountain School stories and their underlying lessons goes beyond storycatching. She records more than mere words. Griffith’s text weaves the voice and heart of the people in such a way that readers connect, whether they grew up in that area or thousands of miles away. Lessons Learned tells the story of Pilot Mountain School, constructed in 1942, and how it became the hub of the community. Even though its doors eventually closed to rural school children, the lessons learned there were not forgotten. Today, the building serves as a gathering place for shopping and dining, as well as a center for a community outreach program. Pilot Mountain School continues to radiate lessons. Lessons Learned is recommended to all who love history and creative approaches to restoration of buildings.

Book Review #2:  Flip Flap Floodle by Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle cover 300x421 300 res

5.0 out of 5 stars School Counselor’s Review of Flip Flap Floodle by Joan Y. Edwards, January 4, 2013
This review is from: Flip Flap Floodle (Paperback)

When I was a School Counselor, I often used literature to illustrate good character traits and making good decisions. I shared Flip Flap Floodle with a 1st grade class. We had been talking about asking trusted adults for help when needed. This book fit right in with our study. After reading, the students created thank you cards to give an adult who had helped them. One of the children said that the author should get a thank you card for her book about helping others. I agreed.

Let’s talk:  What do you think about letter writing in 2013?  Does it make you sad that there are less handwritten letters?  Do you enjoy corresponding by email?  What are your thoughts? Please enter them in the comment section.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Coming soon:  A guest blog by Joyce Hostetter, children’s book author.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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16 Responses to “Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write”

  1. My kids and I love going to the mailbox–especially around the holidays when people send photo cards. Thanks for sharing this. I think the three of us will celebrate Universal Letter Writing Week by surprising a few friends with letters.

  2. Dear Linda,
    I guess I’m one of the few who still sends Christmas Cards. Is 73 considered old? I’ll be 73 on Friday. I usually include a letter with things my family has done during the year. I love receiving notes from family and friends. It is a gift today for sure. The price of postage stamps throws some away and the internet makes it easy to communicate without paper.
    I am honored that you chose to put Flip Flap Floodle with your five-star review on your blog post. How exciting to be honored that way. Thank you very much.
    Celebrate you and your gift of writing.
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

  3. Joan,
    I’m been bursting at the seams to tell you about my plans to post the book review I did for Flip Flap Floodle, but I held it in. Tough as wearing a girdle. Tee hee! Glad it was a pleasant surprise and you were honored by it.

    Sorry, I don’t answer questions about a lady’s age in public. I was told that wasn’t appropriate. Tee hee again.

    I enjoy receiving Christmas letters too, although some have dubbed them as “dreaded.” Of course, I still like the occasional gift of socks. I understand that’s another no-no is many people’s minds. Call me old fashioned. It’s okay. Better yet, don’t call. Write me! Last Tee hee, at least for now!

    Thanks so much for being a faithful follower and friend. I appreciate you very much.

  4. I love letters… the old-fashioned kind written on fine letter paper. It holds the soul of a person more than an e-mail (though I love e-mails, too!). I also like note cards that’speak’ to me– so I write a friend on these note cards, or I make my own cards and write on these as well. So… I’m in your corner, Linda. Onward and upward with letter writing!

  5. Maureen,
    You produce some lovely blog posts–like beautiful letters. I love the art of letter writing too, but I don’t want people making it sound like all written communication is dying. It’s not–perhaps the form is different, but it will always be a part of our world. Thanks so much for being in my corner. I’m in good company then! It’s one time I don’t mind being in the corner.

  6. What a creative list of ways to write, Linda! You pulled another great post from under your jester hat. And you still get mail delivery on Saturday? Wow, I don’t think that’s ever been a practice in Canada. And if if ever was, I was too young. LOL

  7. P.S. Thanks for the endorsement on LinkedIn! 🙂

  8. June said

    Linda,
    I read Kelly’s letter what a truly inspiring book. As for writing letters. Don’t people send out Christmas letters?Don’t we writers send out Snail Query letters to publishers? I think if the price of stamps weren’t so high people might still be writing more letters. Okay, I’ll get off my soap box.

    • June,
      Isn’t Kelly’s letter a great way to introduce readers to her book? Isn’t she a great lady?

      Thank goodness soome letter writing does still get done but its volume is down. The cost of postage, which is going up again, probably has had a big impact on the number of letters being mailed. I agree. Just yesterday, I slipped a card inside a box to be mailed. Every savings counts.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting! I appreciate you!

  9. Marietta Overton aka Georgia said

    I used to love to write letters, but e-mail has taken the place. I have friends in Germany without computers and I have to remember to write letters. I am in the process of composing a letter to a friend who Birthday on Valentines Day. I know that my Mom loves to receive letters in the mail. I love to write but then you have to print that letter and actually put in in an envelope, find the right stamp and mail it. I can’t believe writing letter has become almost obsolete – and yet, we all would love to get a real letter in the mail besides all the ads and bills.This sight is such an inspiration and is full of great ideas. I really wakes up your artistic side.

    • Marietta,
      Email is so wonderful for those far away, if there are computers for them to receive them on. It is easy for family members to get behind on news otherwise. Keep writing in any fashion you can. Thanks so much for your comments and compliments. You make me feel so good. I’m glad we still keep in touch.

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