Friday, February 27, 2015

Spacecat: The Case of the Empty Envelope

The case of the empty envelope

I recently received this phenomenal handmade envelope from Allison Anne, a mail enthusiast with whom I connected via Twitter. We'd exchanged a couple of postcards, and she sent me a letter... but alas, I only received the envelope! It appears the letter fell out en route somehow.

The envelope is so spectacular that I had to share it with you. She tells the full story on her blog, and we both blame the tape used to seal the edges. It wasn't too sticky, and on one edge the tape had come unstuck, giving the letter an escape route as it was squeezed through the mail sorting machines... or so we surmise. (I had to secure it with transparent tape for this photo.)

Space Cat Envelope

I'm sure it was a spectacular letter - how could it not be, transported by such a space cat? - and I'm so sorry to miss it, but nevertheless, I am delighted by this excellent envelope.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mike says I don't write often enough

"You don't write often enough"

Yesterday I received another great Postcrossing postcard, and laughed out loud at what Mike wrote. Turns out he was already a regular reader of my blog when he was assigned to send me a Postcrossing postcard, and he tells me I don't write blog posts often enough. I think he's right.

I'm trying! I have a goal of at least 5 posts per month. I failed in January, but I'll manage (and maybe exceed?) that for February.

On my Postcrossing profile, I invite senders to share a beloved pet story. I really enjoyed Mike's story about how their cat Tiger came into their lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cat with cherry blossoms postcard


Here is another delgihtful Postcrossing surprise: a fantastic cat among cherry blossoms postcard from Japan. It is hard to appreciate the loveliness of this card in a photo, because the postcard has textures; some of the cherry blossoms are raised in a textured, hard-tissue-paper-like fashion, as is the chop seal near the bottom by the kitty, and some of the blossoms are gold foil. That doesn't show up so well in this photo, but you can get a better sense of it on the JP-640891 Postcrossing postcard page, where the sender uploaded the photo of the postcard before she sent it.

JP-640891 back

I don't usually post the backs of postcards, but this one was so adorable I had to share.

  • a Hello Kitty airmail stamp
  • a drawing of her fluffy dog Moko
  • cat, bird, and mushroom stickers
  • cat washi tape
Yay Postcrossing surprises!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

LWA Virtual Mail Social all day today: Sunday, February 8!

Today's the day! Today's the day! All day today - Sunday, February 8, whatever the 24 hours of Sunday are for you, wherever you are - the Letter Writers Alliance is having a Virtual Mail Social.

In celebration, I'll be writing mail much of the day today!

You can play along by using the hashtag #LWAsocial on Twitter and Instagram. The main event is a Live video social and chat at 4pm EST / 3pm Central time. This is their second such event - the first was in December, and I was utterly tickled by how delightful it was: great, great fun. I really enjoy the camaraderie of seeing all the tweets and photos from other letter lovers writing mail at the same time, and it inspires me to write, too. So I'm participating already, and encourage anyone else who is interested to join the fun.

Love this #postcard from the National Postal Museum #npm

A photo posted by Missive Maven (@missivemaven) on

Also built into the video social will be a chat window, and the instagram feed for #LWAsocial. I had been toying with the idea of joining instagram for a while now, and this was the final push I needed. So yesterday I joined up, and now you can find me on instagram as missivemaven. There's sure to be much mail and many cats in my instagram feed. And I'll be posting lots of photos of my #LWAsocial mail there.

Happy #LWAsocial day! Join the fun! Write more letters! And maybe I'll see you at the LWA Virtual Social at 4pm EST today.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Another virtual Letter Writers Alliance social tomorrow: Sunday, February 8

I haven't been blogging or tooling around on the letter-writing internet world lately, so I'm a little late to the party on this news, but nevertheless I'm SUPER excited to share that there will be another Letter Writers Alliance Virtual Social tomorrow - Sunday, February 8, 2015. The social will happen all day, and the live video with chat will be at 4pm EST (3pm US Central time), a time the LWA founder/goddesses have settled upon as a window when the majority of their global members will be awake. I'm thrilled with the time - not only am I awake then, but I tend to be in the letter mood in the late afternoon hours as well. I shall endeavor to participate throughout the day - lately Sunday is my best letter-writing day in any case! - and join in for the video and chat if I can.

They held their first live video social in December, and you can watch the archived video from that event; my blog post for that was filled with eager anticipation, and I assure you, it did not disappoint. It was even more fun than I imagined, if that is possible.

Looks like they have moved from sharing photos on Twitter to sharing them on Instagram, so I guess maybe this is the push I finally need to join Instagram. Sigh. More social media.

But! Social media is a wonderful platform for bringing together epistolary enthusiasts. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend of good mail.

February: a big month for mail

Clearly I have come in under par so far for my resolution to write more blog posts in 2015, but at least I have been spending my time actually writing mail. I hope that's a fair excuse for lagging behind in the practice of blogging about mail. January was a hugely productive writing month for me, and I enjoyed every letter and postcard.

And fans of mail have a fine month in February! There are two letter-a-day type challenges this month: A Month of Letters, aka "LetterMo," and International Correspondence Writing Month, aka "InCoWriMo." While I don't participate officially in either of these (I write as much as I can, all the time, and most months average more than one piece of mail per day anyway), I know lots of folks who really enjoy them, and I think they're a fine way to get anyone to engage more deeply with mail. If you tend to like shorter projects, or like to challenge yourself with daily goals, maybe one of these might be a fun thing to try. Also, if you're looking for pen pals, both of these are a great way to pick up new ones. There is even a page of addresses from letter-seekers on the InCoWriMo site.

Happy February mailing, everyone!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Missive Maven round-up: 2014 in review

Outgoing mail, Dec 15

Happy 2015, readers and letter writers! A lot of momentous stuff happened in Missive-Maven-land in 2014. I just had fun perusing through some old blog posts, and thought I'd share some of the year's highlights here. (The photo above shows some of the mail I wrote for the Letter Writers Alliance virtual social on December 13, which was an absolute blast!)

Revolutionary, in boxes

One of the most exciting events of 2014 was personal in our family, but I blogged about it a fair bit: the January 2014 publication of "Revolutionary," my best beloved Alex Myers' first novel. It is "a fascinating retelling of the story of America’s first female soldier, Deborah Samson Gannett, who ran away from home in 1782, successfully disguised herself as a man, and fought valiantly in the Revolutionary War." The novel does have a significant epistolary element, so it does fit into the letter-writing theme of my blog! After the release of the novel, Alex did quite a bit of speaking and book touring, and in a later blog post, I gave an update on some excellent press and thanked you all for your support. On another note, "Revolutionary" will be released in paperback later this month, on January 20, 2015.

Sleepy Magic, Sleepy Soda

There was much heartbreak in the summer of 2014, when we lost our deeply beloved 17-year-old cats, Soda and Magic, within roughly two weeks of each other.

In Memory of Soda: April 1997 - July 7, 2014

In Memory of Magic: March 1997 - July 25, 2014

The move from Rhode Island to DC was a very difficult one for them, but they lived good lives of joy and mostly good health, and I'm so thankful for all the years we shared.

Oberon and Stella on the couch, New Year's Eve

We could not live without cats, and later that summer we adopted two kittens who we named Oberon and Stella. They brought us much joy in our grief, and it has been sweet beyond words to watch them grow up. The photo above was taken on New Year's Eve 2014, where Stella and Oberon and I spent a lot of time hanging out on the couch together. (Truthfully, Stella and Oberon spend a lot of time hanging out on the couch together in general, with or without me.) They are now 9 months old, but still very much acting like kittens!

Oberon likes my stationery shelves

And now back to more blog-appropriate news. I completed a project I'd been meaning to do for a long time: adding a page to my blog called Stationery Sources. I'm often asked where I buy my stationery, and this page lists links to all my favorite vendors, and each link has a little blurb about why I like their wares.

Melissa teaches us about envelope-making

Another wonderful mail milestone in 2014: I finally went to a mail social! I wrote a huge blog post about The October Mail Social Club at the National Postal Museum, which took place on World Post Day! These Mail Social Club events are coordinated by Melissa of Craftgasm (pictured above, showing us how to make handmade envelopes), and she does a really fine job with these events. I hope to attend at least one more in 2015! If you are able to attend one of them, held monthly at the National Postal Museum, I highly recommend it.

Letter log sent: ink used in letter

Also in the department of "blog posts I meant to write for ages," I shared a post called Habits: How I keep my letter log, about my system for recording incoming and outgoing mail. That's one of my more popular posts, and I'm glad letter-writers have enjoyed reading it.

Outgoing mail pile, Dec 15

And finally, a round-up of some of my favorite posts of 2014:

  • Fabulous mail to kick off 2014
  • Legal tender sender
  • Postcard signed by Inge Löök
  • 3D Dinosaur Stamp from South Africa
  • Essay by Alex Myers on this week
  • Postcrossing stamp from Belarus
  • Meeting a pen pal + mobile Letterpress
  • Mozart stamp from the Czech Republic
  • October 11 is National Coming Out Day
  • Who's excited for Halloween?!?
  • Russian Rainbow Circus Stamp
  • Best Hanukkah Card EVER
  • Happy New Year, in a Russian winter postcard

    One of my resolutions for 2015: more blog posts! My blogging was a bit more sparse than I'd like in 2014, and I hope to be more regular in 2015. Thanks to all my readers for your continued readership and comments, and Happy New Year!