I’m not one of those people who sends out birthday cards on time to everyone I care about. It’s not an indication of my level of caring. There have been times, lots of them, when I’ve tried to be that person. I usually make it through about the third week of January. Then the cards begin to arrive a week or two late. Then I finally give up and stop sending them all together and just make a phone call. I don’t think I’ve ever sent out a November birthday card, except to my niece who is a special exception. And her card is usually late.
I do have one friend, though, that I send a birthday letter. We have been friends for many years. Now we live in different countries. Her birthday is New Year’s Eve. I just began her letter today. It usually takes me a few days to write the whole letter. It’s long and juicy and does its best to lessen the miles between us. This is the way she gets to meet my children and my husband. This is the way she gets to see my home. And in this incredible technical age, I handwrite this one letter. It’s a sentimental thing. This way she gets to touch the same page that I’ve touched.
letter writing exercise: Choose someone you care about whose birthday is soon and write them a long letter. You can stick it in a birthday card if you need to. If this is a literary exercise for you, create two characters and have one of them write a birthday letter to the other. Maybe two characters that you’ve written about before but in separate stories. Check out rivertrout.com for some inspiring literary letters.
I’d like to begin to post your exercises on my blog. Feel free to send me your write.