mailboxes in rural Colorado

My brother and one of my sisters are pretty much the only people who write physical letters to me.

My mom used to, but she passed away almost nine years ago.

I challenge you to write to me. Just one letter or postcard.

If you leave a comment on this blog post, I’ll see your email address* and contact you for your snailmail address. I’ll send you a letter or postcard, and you can write back.

Just once.

No strings, no obligations.

Why? It’s fun to get a hand-addressed hand-written letter in the mail.

* No one else will see your email address.

If you liked this post, you might like this one and this other one.


Skip the secret sauce

My shelf of hot sauces

Superior State University (ironically named) has an annual list of banished words. This year’s list includes: conversation (as in, “join the conversation”), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, giving me life, and physicality.

Part of my job involves putting words together to communicate the value that the company I work with offers. There’s a fine balance between being interesting and being too interesting.

Overused catchphrases can induce rolled eyes, soft sighs of pain or simply a click-away from the web page.

This year, let’s strive to write with words that communicate well, without harm to our readers.

Special thanks to the Wall Street Journal for pointing me to the Superior State University list.


Retire online

retire-onlineI thought that this headline represented an unusual choice. I chalk it up to marketing innocence – or ignorance.

My thoughts were several: does this mean that I can retire if I start an online business? That Patty Duke has already retired online, except for her promising modeling career? That this website (not prominently featured) would help me to learn how to retire? That as an internet user, I am encouraged to help an older person who does not know how to use the internet?

Takeaway: Writers, let’s think a little more carefully before we publish those headlines.