Samara O'Shea

Archive for February, 2011

Letters from Home

Friday, February 25th, 2011

I received an e-mail from author Kristina McMorris this week and am mega excited about her upcoming book. It’s a debut novel called Letters from Home. To celebrate the book’s release Kristina is hosting a contest, which I am absolutely going to enter. Details:

Submit a love letter by March 31, 2011. It can be short or long, funny or heartwarming, poetic or satirical, real or made up. Some ideas include…an actual WWII letter; an imaginary note from Juliet to Romeo, from Donald Duck to Daisy, or from Amelia Earhart to a secret love with whom she might have run away. It can be a letter you once received, a copy of one you’ve sent, or one you should have written long ago. It can be a message to God, a deployed serviceman, your favorite celebrity, and the list goes on.

I think she’s going to get many fascinating letters in response, and I hope she posts some of them on her website. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the book trailer:

Writing the White House

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

I received a very thoughtful response to my post last Friday—regarding the couple who sent their wedding invitation to the White House. The commenter, who wishes to remain anonymous, has offered a wealth of information on the White House Greetings Office. Thank you very much nameless muse.

In light of the news she sent, I’m going to make sure my sister sends a wedding invite to the Obamas, and I’m going to attempt to have a congratulations card sent to my aunt who just adopted. What a wonderful service the Greetings Office provides!! Details:

“I volunteer in the Greetings Office, answering the President’s mail, and he most definitely receives hundreds of invitations a week. He has yet to attend one, but I am betting on him showing up one of these days to one in the DC area; he’s known for deciding to go places on a whim. But the real reason people invite him is to receive the very nice letter on White House stationery in return, congratulating them on their marriage. (And thankfully, the Obama administration sends congratulatory notes to all couples regardless of the mix of their genders.) Each envelope is hand addressed by a staff member or volunteer, and we put a lot of care into them. We know people save letters on White House stationery for years and so we take the job very seriously.

People can also get letters from the White House to acknowledge anniversaries (every 5 years after the 50th), birth or adoption announcements, retirement from public service, Boy Scout Eagle Awards and Girl Scout Gold Awards, and birthdays for those 80 years and older (70 years or older if the recipient is a veteran). There are many other categories, but those are the most common.

Americans can request such an acknowledgement letter for a loved one by writing to:
The White House
Attention: Greetings Office
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

The “Greetings Office” part is important because it will get your request routed faster than if they have to sort it along with the tousands of policy letters he gets every day. Requests for acknowledgements of anniversaries, retirements, awards, and birthdays should be sent at least 6 weeks in advance of the occasion, and should include the honoree’s name, preferred form of address (Dr., Mrs., Col., etc.), and the address to which the requestor wishes to have the greeting sent. If requesting a letter for a married couple, the writer should include their married names and their current address. For a baby, the parents’ names and the baby’s name should be included.”

The Dooce Experiment

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Two Thursdays ago my visitor number shot up to 1,226 (thanks to everyone who stopped by!) My visitor count is usually in the low hundreds, so I was thrilled with the spontaneous spike. I can’t help but wonder if it was because I mentioned The Pioneer Woman on the 10th. Her daily numbers are in the high thousands or low millions, I’m sure.

Today I’m experimenting and seeing if I can have another day of higher traffic by mentioning Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce. Dooce.

No, it’s not the mating call of Anser Geese, Dooce is a popular blog created by Heather Armstrong. She’s another lucky lady who makes her living from blogging. Ah, envy. She’s on my mind because there is a fantastic profile of her in today’s NY Times.

Pen & Paper & Proust

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Stop by A Beautiful Ripple Effect if you have a moment and read my Proust inspired questionnaire given by the lovely and talented Hope Wallace Karney.

Got My Hearts

Monday, February 21st, 2011

This time last week, I was complaining because I had been let down by two Dunkin Donuts that did not have the heavily advertised heart-shaped donuts for Valentine’s Day. Yesterday, I walked into DD going after my usual Sunday morning toasted-almond iced coffee and a bagel with way too much butter on it, and I spotted the confectionary hearts. They had some extra. Isn’t that a great metaphor for life: You’ll get your hearts when you least expect them.

Eye Candy

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Well this is what Eye Candy looks like to me anyway: calligraphy and stationery. Yay!
I was perusing Style Me Pretty yesterday and came across these. Take a close look at who the invite is addressed to. I’m not sure if they really sent this to the White House, but what a fun idea if they did (especially since it’s a same-sex wedding).


And this is adroable. It’s what I call The Last Letter. Bon weekend!


Finding Out Your Fiancé Is Gay

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Here’s my latest for The Huffington Post. Two in one week—I’m on a roll. Of course, I’m not talking about MY fiancé in this article. You’ll see . . .