Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Digital Letters’ Category

If I Could Turn Back Time

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

If I had it all to do over again (and by all I mean launch LetterLover), I would have included a newsletter. When I first started this site in 2005, I offered Letter of the Week as a way to keep audiences coming back for more. It didn’t work very well, and I’m not even sure I updated it that often. Certainly not weekly as the name would suggest. Shame on me! In time came social media as a way to continually engage an audience, and updating a website regularly seemed unnecessary. Again, in time, social media changed (please see previous blog about my breakup with FB and Twitter) and I find writers with newsletters are in the best position to reach their audience. (more…)

Snail Mail My E-mail

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Not one but two friends sent me a link to Snail Mail My E-mail. Send these folks an e-mail (addressed to someone you know) and they will hand write and mail it for you. They’ll even seal it with a kiss if you ask! This service is free, and they kindly request that everyone uses it only once because they don’t want to overwork the volunteers. I posted the link to this site on Twitter last Friday and had a fun discussion with some readers.

Rodney (@rodney_o)said: “But is not the beauty of handwritten correspondence also the effort a writer takes to pen a note or letter?”

He’s right. This site does deny the writer the chance to connect with the page.

Reader Stephanie (@syntaxoflife) responded: “That’s part of it, but first we need to get people to understand how nice it is to receive mail! =)”

She is also right! When one becomes a lover of receiving handwritten mail, then the realization that s/he, too, can make someone’s day by writing a letter is not far behind. I am grateful for any gimmick that gets the letter-writing conversation going. If there’s anything I’ve learned from doing what I do, it’s that everyone has a letter story to tell. Whether it’s a letter they’ve written or received, everyone’s face lights up when telling an epistolary story. Sometimes that’s enough to send them home to sit down and hand write someone they love.

Doogie Howser, J.W. (Journal Writer)

Friday, January 28th, 2011


I caught the end of a Doogie Howser rerun a few nights back. I had forgotten that he was the orginal computer journaler. At the end of each episode he’d type a few words of wisdom onto his very blue computer screen.


He wasn’t blogging—just journaling for himself and the audience, of course. This was the early 90’s, a few years before e-mail became a must. I suppose one writer for the show had a vision that some of us would be journaling on our computers someday, and he was right. So hats off to that man and his vision. Hats off also to Neil Patrick Harris—the ultimate comeback kid. It’s been a hilarious pleasure watching his career the past few years.

For anyone interested in Doogie’s journal, I found this: The Personal Journal of Doogie Howser, M.D. I’m not certain they are all real. Some of them seem so, but others don’t. Ah well, it’s a quick mouse scroll down memory lane.

This is my fav:

Ray and I got caught up in comparing ourselves to others. It doesn’t matter weither* you think too much of yourself or too little, either way you lose.

*Whether is spelled incorrectly on The Personal Jouranl site.

Letters to the President

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Just when I thought I couldn’t love our left-handed president anymore, THIS came along:

Letters of Note

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

I’ve known about this website for a while and can’t believe I haven’t plugged it here. At least I don’t think I have. Stop me if you’ve heard this before:

Letters of Note is the greatest digital collection of letters there is. Creater Shaun Usher has amassed (and continues to amass) letters, postcards, and ephermera of the most impressive kind. What amazes me is that he posts a letter each day. Yesterday it was a letter from Bruce Lee. Today it’s a letter from Wil Wheaton (who I had huge crush on way back when). It’s a reminder that there’s no shortage of amusing missives in the world. I highly recommend you add this to your list of blogs to visit on the daily.

P.S. This Steve Martin letter is worth a gander, too.