Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Operation Love Letter

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If you've lately been over to The Quickie Book Review, then you know that the book most recently on my nightstand has been Four Letter Word, a work of original love letters by some of my (and probably your) favourite authors.

You might be thinking that a book of love letters is a suitable read for February, the month of looooooooove, and you'd be right, but you'd also be wrong. It's not filled with candy-heart cliches, the i's are not dotted with little red hearts, it's certainly not vomit-inducing "romance." Some of it inspires murder. Some of it inspires regret. Some of it inspires longing. Some of it just inspires. It's lovely.

The book was conceived of presumably because the art of the love letter is slowly dying. Curse you, email and texting, for taking away the whimsy and the pleasure of the good old-fashioned, pen-to-paper love letter. It got me thinking:

1. 41 authors contributed love letters to this anthology, and none of them are me. I may not be an expert on love, but I think I've had my moments.

2. On the other hand, I might be too, erm, lascivious, for love letters of the old-fashioned variety. The standard fare should not contain the words "throbbing", "juicy", or "from behind", as mine invariably do.

I've felt compelled to resurrect my love-lettering, the results of which I will be posting over at the Novel-less Novelist for the month of February. There is something quite gratifying about writing a love letter. They can be selfless or selfish, prim or evocative. They can reignite old flames or lay ashes to rest. It depends on who is writing, and also, on who is being written to.

Sending a love letter is exhilarating, and sometimes makes you want to barf.

Receiving a love letter is surprising, and sometimes makes you want to rip your clothes off.

Who can resist?

Not I. Restraint has never been my forte.

So, I'm asking you this, dear readers. To not just be the reader today. To also be the writer.

Send me your love letters.

Ask for my post office box, and you shall receive. I want them all -

the scented notepaper, your best calligraphy, the stationary you horde all year, your sweetest words and best cupid doodles and heart-shaped stamps -

send them to me. Make an old goat happy.

They don't even have to be to me (of course, there's no time like the present for showering me with love or unburdening yourself of your secret desires). You could send fictional love letters, or copies of old letters that you've received, or theoretical letters that you might mean but you'd sure as hell never send (except to me, because I'm special), or an anonymous note with the Dear part left blank, or rhyming cornball couplets that make you queasy just to write them.

But do send them, won't you?

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