Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 9

Writing - Prose and Poetry

Well-known in family circles for saying the wrong thing, I purposefully made my blog public.

By keeping an online diary I was hoping that a *fishbowl-type moleskin* would help me think before speaking.

Edith Schaeffer addresses these very issues as she encourages us homemakers not to forsake writing.

It is important for people to communicate their thoughts, feelings, gratitude and expectations in such a way as to build a bridge over the *break* which is true and meaningful, rather than leave a misty gap of unsure hurts and undefined emotions.

Chapter 9 contains a plethora of examples for exercising the written word:  developing human relationships through communication.

She uses letter writing as a spring board and I heartily endorse this starting point.  Usually it is easy to write to a child, parent or friend.  I have even written a letter to myself.

For further inspiration, I highlight Alexandra Stoddard's The Gift of a Letter and Dorie McCullough Lawson's Posterity:  Letters of Great Americans to Their Children.

There is no reason for apology here.

Just do it.

PS  With my own children  I required that they write thank-you notes, even to direct family members who may have been thanked at the time the gift was opened.

  Here's an example of one of my thank-you notes to my parents.

  Here's a link to one of my sister's creative thank-yous.

Another link to my thoughts on thank-yous.


  1. My mom also drilled into me the necessity of thank-you notes, and I've tried to pass that on to my kids. It's so important and shows such appreciation.

    I'm not a letter-writer myself. I do an awesome thank-you note b/c I've been on the receiving end of gifts for so many years. (Sigh.) I do love the *idea* of a letter-writing life and culture, but I don't take the time to do it. I love how women used to set aside an afternoon or two, or an hour each day, just for letter writing!

    1. Letter writing/receiving is sadly on the wane. But I still enjoy the idea of making someone's day with a little piece of first class mail.

  2. I admire your diligence in teaching your children the fine art of thank you notes. It's one of the things I was determined to carry out with my own children, pre-motherhood. Now that I'm in the throes of raising my brood, I'm not nearly as idealistic about what I'm actually capable of seeing through to completion. Sigh.

    1. We were not perfect in our application, but I treasure the notes I have from our girls.

  3. Dana,
    I had to laugh about your reason for blogging. Has it worked? I try to be diligent with the children's thank-you notes but sometimes I am not.

    1. Glad to have given you a chuckle ~

      FWIW - I still have trouble *holding my tongue*

  4. Just do it - very good advice!
    Writing notes is a weakness. But it's such a good practice, and easy one in which to engage the children. I still have young ones I can help learn the habit.
    I'd like to begin writing to my grandchildren. Another something I'd like to do this summer.

    1. I write best in the mornings ~ and one current project is to revisit my earlier posts and perhaps create memory books of them.

  5. A thank-you note is a wonderful way to learn expression and practical writing. It is a win-win!

  6. Judith Viorst's Poem

    Thank-you Note

    I wanted small pierced earrings (gold).
    You gave me slippers (gray).
    My mother said that she would scold
    Unless I wrote to say
    How much I liked them.

    Not much.

  7. I love that quote you highlighted - somehow I had skimmed right over that one.

    Letters are treasures in this electronic age.

    I'm running late with this chapter due to out of town company, but didn't want to miss it.