The Letter Project

February 5, 2011

Special Delivery (75)

Filed under: Mailart — Theresa Williams @ 10:37 pm
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Lauren Carpenter's Flower

This is a letter I got from Lauren Carpenter in September 2010.  On one side is a hand-painted flower and the letter text is on the back, printed in very small letters which is typical of Lauren’s hand printing.  When she wrote this letter, she was tired, sad and worried for her writing.  I’m posting the letter now in light of the fact that she is beginning to get accepted into MFA programs.  –TW

~HELLO THERESA~

Thank god it’s September!  The past few months were all heat & stress.  Work was frustrating.  I didn’t write much.  I felt tired all the time–too tired to read.  I moved into a new apartment with Ryan & our friend Jessi (maybe you remember her from the program–but I’m not sure she ever had one of your classes).  And it was so hot.  Punishing heat.  I’m sure it was no better in BG–or out West!

But now it’s cooling down, and so am I.  Ideas are starting to click in my head, again.  What a relief!  I was starting to worry that I’d lost something, that my talents & ambition & everything I’d learned were just wearing away like a coat of paint, blistering in the sun and chipping away.  Self-doubt comes so easily.  Do you ever feel that way?  I get into a panic mode when I can’t write.  Oh no I can’t write today but I HAVE to, or I’m a horrible person.  That sort of thing.  Terrible!

But September’s better.  It always is.  Mild days, cool nights with the slightest bite of winter, fresh apples in the store, the smell of woodsmoke on the wind, fields turning to rust & straw–all of that just feeds my ol’ soul.  Visiting BG for Black Swamp was a good break from routine, too.  Did you go?  Ryan & I went to see “Trombone Shorty” on Saturday night with Brad Modlin.  My goodness, that boy loves to dance.  On Sunday I wandered the booths with my family and bought myself a coffee mug, a nice ceramic one with a handsome green glaze.  A small purchase, but hugely satisfying.  There’s something comforting about hand-made ceramics.  Earth & human art, right in your hands…

More later.  How is your semester going?  Tell me about your writing projects!  I know you have a lot brewing…

Peace and cool breezes,

[Heart] Lauren

February 2, 2011

Special Delivery (74)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 12:22 am
Tags: , ,

I received this delightful letter today from Jim Lampe.  It is always good to know that your students are continuing to write after they graduate.  Here, Jim describes his process and his progress with writing and with life.  –TW

Theresa–

How are you??

If my calculations are right, it’s been too long.  The last time I wrote to you, it was 110 [degrees] farenheit, and I had to keep a fan trained on the paper to keep the ink from ink from running in the humidity.  [see what happens when you spend all day in a cubicle??  My brain is a looped piece of tape.]  I had just started my insurance practice with New York Life, and hadn’t written a damn.

Fortunately, I’m writing again, with more air in my lungs than I can honestly handle.  I will tell you one thing for sure:  Brautigan was the best name you ever dropped!  I have gotten in a routine of writing down  a chapter from “Trout Fishing” word for word every Sunday evening.  This month, I have produced about fifteen new poems, fifteen of which I am pleased about.

As far as my business practice goes, things are booming!  I’m now up to a net worth of –55 dollars!  (Such success is hardly even noted in the concept of the American Dream.)

I hope all is well in Northern Ohio this winter.

Please wear a coat–

Jim

P. S.  I was going to send you  a letter with a golden rooster on it, but I lost the paper.

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