The Letter Project

July 10, 2011

Special Delivery (83)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 2:04 am
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Suzy Anderson sends a letter in response to the crow announcement card (82)

July 8, 2011

Dear Theresa,

Thank you so much for “Crow in the Rain” and sharing your poem “Reading Winesburg.” The quote from Anatole Broyard certainly hits home that everybody wants something. Without wants, why would we need to move forward? Wanting something gives us a goal to aim for, a destination to travel to. 

I agree that “The best things happen when you aren’t trying so hard.” Congratulations on getting “Reading Winesburg” accepted for publication!

I’m having a wonderful summer. I’m copy editing at the BG News, and I just got a job at Meijer. I’ve read several books and written more than I have in past summers. Since writing every day this year, it feels easier by now to sit down and put something on paper. No writer’s block for me!

I’ve picked up finger painting for a novel idea. It’s fun to get my hands dirty and create a vibrant picture. I learned how to knit hats. It only took six hours to make one.  

Alice’s Adventure is one of my favorites in “Winesburg, Ohio.” I also enjoyed “A Man of Ideas” and “Loneliness.” I like how all of the sections connect back to George Willard. It would be interesting if some of his articles were included so I could see how much the Associated Press Style has developed since then! As a journalism minor, seeing the process of journalism in the past is fascinating.

It’s amazing that even though times change, the inner lives of humans have stayed consistent with hopes, fears, and wants. 

I hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as I am.



July 2, 2011

Special Delivery (78)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 9:48 pm
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Melanie Tokar replies to Suzy Anderson’s letter, telling about an adventure of her own.  –TW

Dear Suzy,

Hello! I apologize for not replying to your letter – yesterday I was stuck at work and in the evening I finished reading “Living Dead in Dallas” by Charlaine Harris. I have the day off today, and I much prefer writing letters on days when my body, mind, and spirit are all at ease. I believe the written word carries the author’s energy to the person receiving the letter, so I always make sure I’m in a positive state of mind whenever I sit down to compose one. 🙂

speaking of letters, thank you very much for the one you wrote to me last week. I feel honored that you’ve shared such a personal (and integral) part of your childhood with me! I can greatly relate to what you’d said about not being able to find adventure within the boundaries of reality. After living with a controlling mother for nearly 28 years, it wasn’t til I reached the age of 24 (when I started at BGSU, actually) when I started to allow myself to go on my own adventures, withotu worrying about when I should be home, or what I should be doing elsewhere. Heh, didn’t you discuss this 6-letter curse word in your letter? I just now realized this…

Anyway, I’m proud of you for venturing through that rain storm! I love to stand in a downpour for several seconds – there is something renewing about summer rain that is pure magick (fantasy in reality – a fine example right there!).

I went on my own little adventure this past Monday, on a complete whim. I visited the Bridal Veil Falls park, an area surrounded by trees and where the famous Tinker’s Creek drops into a canyon and flows through the middle of Valley View. I believe Alice would have LOVED this place. 🙂 My dad brought me here all the time as a kid, and whenever I come here I feel his presence, and can almost hear his voice (something I haven’t actually heard in 5 years) tell me that all is right with the world.

And of course, I believe him – he’s my dad. 🙂

Well chica, dinner is ready so I must set the table and summon my mom in from the garden. 😉 I’ll read the story you emailed me after dinner…and also send you an electronic copy of my story “Thunder Struck” as well. Good luck on your job hunt! I greatly look frorward to hearing from you again. 🙂

Love, Melanie

June 29, 2011

Special Delivery (77)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 2:29 am
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On The Letter Project Facebook page, I challenged people to write a letter based on Alice Hindman’s adventure in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio.  In Suzy Anderson’s letter to friend and classmate Melanie Tokar, Suzy makes connections between art and life. –TW

Dear Melanie,

How are you? How’s your summer so far? I’m working on getting a job, otherwise reading and writing in my spare time when I’m not at the BG News.

I finished reading “Winesburg, Ohio” by Sherwood Anderson. Hearing tales about people’s ordinary lives haven’t always fascinated me. I grew up reading fantasy and science fiction, so when I began reading short stories and novels in the literary vein, I didn’t know what to do at first. After reading several stories, I realized reality is more interesting than I gave it credit to be. I guess I wanted my life to be extraordinary and that the only way I could do it was through alternate worlds and dimensions. Yet there are human qualities in those imaginative stories. I was using imagination to understand reality when I could also use other characters’ realities to understand my reality.

In Alice’s story, “Adventure” in “Winesburg, Ohio,” the narrator says, “And then one night when it rained Alice had an adventure” (Anderson 63). She did indeed with running in the rain. She acted on impulse and didn’t stop to think and talk herself out of it. I did something similar earlier this summer when I was riding my bike downtown to run some errands. When I exited the store, it had started to rain and thunder. I could’ve stopped somewhere and waited for the storm to lighten or end, but I didn’t. I wanted to go home. The sooner the better.

I rode my bike through campus and down the neighborhood roads to get home. But along the way, there were puddles and puddle-free spots. At times I rode through the puddles just to see what it would feel like. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that was probably a bad idea, but I told myself I was going to get wet anyway with the rain. Why not have some fun and take my mind off the thunder to make the trip home less scary?

Knowing me, this experience certainly prompted a short story that is still in progress. The point is, I think everyone needs adventures once in a while. They break the monotony of daily life and give us something to look forward to. There always seems to be a lesson to learn on adventures. Alice needed a moment to feel youthful and courageous because she wanted Ned to return to her. In the end, she “…began trying to force herself to face bravely the fact that many people must live and die alone, even in Winesburg” (Anderson 64).

Maybe that’s why I was drawn to fantasy and science fiction as a kid. I wanted adventure where I could learn from the characters and journey away from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to new worlds I couldn’t access as a child other than through books. I still take adventures through printed (and electronic) pages. But once in a while, I don’t mind taking a real-life adventure to learn something new about myself.



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