Samara O'Shea

Archive for October, 2011

The Letter Went Wonderfully

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

When I write letters for people, I rarely know the outcome. Sometimes people tell me they like what I’ve written and sometimes it’s crickets after I send my final draft. I wrote a letter for a young gentleman last week and he went so far as to tell me how it was received by his lady love.

“The letter went wonderfully! I slipped it into her bag just before she left the car at the airport and she found it sometime later in one of the TSA lines. She began to read it and just started crying (happy crying) but she then took notice that everyone else was paying attention to her haha. Thanks again.”

What a good feeling this is! I have no doubt that her reaction would have been exactly the same had he written the letter entirely on his own. I just gave him a head start.

And Now For. . .

Friday, October 21st, 2011

. . .the cutest letter I’ve received all week—courtesy of my 9-year-old cousin Corinne. There is hope for the youngest generation! Bon weekend.



. . .As it Seems

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

I was Googling an old friend last week and happened upon a shocking story. Vicky Ward is a wonderful woman I met at Grace Church in Manhattan circa 2003. Her and her husband Matthew were members, as was I. I knew her in passing for a few years before I knew she was a writer. A major writer! She writes for Vanity Fair and was an editor at Talk magazine back in the day. When my first book was published she was kind enough to give me a quote for the jacket. In recent years she’s written a book called The Devil’s Casino, about the fall of Lehman Brothers.

As I said, I Googled her last week—just wondering what she was up to–and found this: My scandalous (and VERY public) divorce. I um, er, having nothing to say. To read a story like this is one thing. To read it when you knew that parties involved is another. I should write Vicky a letter. At the end of the article she says she’s doing well, and I truly hope she is. This, to me, is a great reminder that nothing is as it seems. . .

The Unrequited Among Us

Monday, October 17th, 2011

On Saturday morning I had a wonderful conversation with a writer named Lisa Phillips . She’s writing a book about unrequited love. After seeing my article in Marie Claire she asked if she could interview me. She’s interested in finding more women to interview about unrequited experiences. If you’d like to share your story with her (you may do so anonymously), please contact her at . You can also take her anonymous survey. (Women only for now. Hopefully there will be a follow-up book for boys =)

The Little Things

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

My cousin and housemate, Kate, brought this home. It’s a gift from her mother. What a cute, clever way to invite autumn in. Everything you see is authentic. No plastic!


This Moment in Time

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Here are pics of the Apple store in Philly–honoring Steve Jobs with post-it notes. It’s a simple, colorful tribute. And with that, I bid you good weekend.



In Response

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

These are the suggestions I gave Toby (from yesterday’s blog), for her potential year abroad:

India – You could go to Mumbai, India and find a man named G. P. Sawant. He’s a real life letter writer, who writes (wrote) for illiterate people. The NY Times wrote an article about him a few years ago and said, “G. P. Sawant, 61, estimates that he has written more than 10,000 letters for people who were unable to do so.” It says his job was suffering because of the tech boom in India, so maybe he doesn’t write any more. But how amazing to find him and hear his stories.

Italy – You could go to Verona, Italy and spend time with the Secretaries of Juliet. People of all nationalities write letters to Juliet (usually about love) the same way children write letters to Santa Clause, and a group of volunteers in Verona responds to them. This is theme of the movie Letters to Juliet, and here’s more info.

Various European Countries – European countries, such as Sweden and Germany, have managed to modernize their post offices so they aren’t on the verge of collapse as the United States post office is. Perhaps you could travel to these countries and find out what they did to bring to institution into the 21st Century. Here’s an article about the post office situation.

Good luck!!

I also told Toby I would be happy to post her stories here if she had time to write me while traveling. I hope this works out for her!