I am way ahead of myself reading the February book selection for the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club, Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White & Elizabeth Lawrence--A Friendship in Letters (Paperback) edited by Emily Herring Wilson. I really must open the book and begin reading some of the entries in My Favorite Plant edited by Jamaica Kincaid, because that is the December book and we already have one post about it!
But I can’t seem to help myself. I have discovered that I love to read books like this, letters back and forth between two people, not originally written for publication. It’s a more personal writing style and you get a better sense of the writers, the time they were living in, the environment around them.
Another such book is 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, a book of letters between a writer in New York and a bookseller in London. Their letters span nearly 20 years and you can sense their deepening friendship and increasing respect for each other through the years as you read the letters, even though they never met in person.
I know there are other books of letters, some between gardeners. I just ordered a used copy of A Year in Our Gardens: Letters by Nancy Goodwin and Allen Lacy. I solemnly promise NOT to read it until I have read through the December book club selection and the January book club selection (Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis).
As I was thinking about this style of writing, letters between two people, I wondered if letter writing be combined with blogging? I could write a blog entry as a letter, but without it being a letter to someone specific, it would seem contrived. And would there be a response back, in the same sense that people wrote letters back and forth to one another? How could that be done in a blogging world? I think it could be done in two ways… through one blog by giving someone else the right to also post or through two blogs linked.
Would you like a blogging pen pal? Someone specifically to exchange letters with, published on a letter sharing blog? Letters would be done as I described above, either in two blogs linked or through one blog. These would not be daily letters, but letters exchanged when there is something to write about, or when time has passed and it is just time to write a letter back, like when letter writers had to wait on the US mail and wrote their letters out by hand. The difference is we would publish the letters on the web for others to also read.