Sunday, February 23, 2014

On The Trail Of...

by Bert Carson
Paying attention to the signs and clues that get me to a particular place at any given moment is like reading the sidebar in a J.R.R. Tolkien annotated book and, in many ways, is as interesting and educational as the journey itself.

Since my current spot on the trail has numerous digital markers, I'll track the last ten days of the trip for you, beginning February 12th.

Wednesday, Feb 12th, it was snowing and bitterly cold in Huntsville, Alabama.  Between sessions of narrating my first book, with the objective of publishing it as an audiobook, I checked my email.  A new post from Margana, AKA the Inkophile was in my in basket.  I read it and then skimmed down her blog links, saw A Fool With A Pen and clicked.  That took me to the first information I'd seen about the International Correspondence Writing Month, InCoWriMo.

This is the second year of the program, which was inspired by NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month.  The objective of InCoWriMo is to promote written correspondence, pen and ink usually, but crayons on paper will work.

I'm a fountain pen geek and I immediately fell in love with the idea, but reason stepped to the microphone in my head and in a deep, voice over style that sounded vaguely familiar said, "Hey, you've got more than enough to do and besides, the month is half over, just forget it."

I tried to forget it, but the temptation to use a fountain pen for something besides journaling got the best of me.  Especially since everyone who added their name and address to the InCoWriMo list did so with the understanding they would answer all letters they received.

So I started writing, with the intention of catching up and finishing the month having written at least 28 letters.  Tonight (Feb 23rd) I wrote my twenty-third letter which means I'm even.  When I received my first letter I was so excited, I blogged about the program - Vintage Social Media - InCoWriMo.

The response to that post made me realize there are a lot of other authors who are fountain pen, letter-writing, geeks.  As I mulled over that idea for a day or two, an idea began to form - Why not create a base of writers who would like to write to other writers? 

I couldn't think of a single reason not to, so I created a web site, and I plan to go live with it next week.   With the wheels still churning, the idea jumped out that there were probably a lot of writers who would love to get involved in writing  letters to other writers but have no experience with fountain pens and don't know where to start learning.  So I emailed Brian and Rachel Goulet, co-presidents of The Goulet Pen Company, my go-to company for pens and pen-related items.  I asked them about the possibility of putting together a couple of basic fountain pen kits that would include pen, ink, paper, and envelopes.

They loved the idea and Rachel and I are brain storming the contents of the kit now.  Details should be avail the day the web site goes live.

The idea of Writers Writing Writers is simple.  If you are an author and you are interested in corresponding the old fashioned way, with pen and paper, with other authors, you sign up.  Signing up is your agreement to answer all correspondence your receive from other members of Writers Writing Writing.

At that point you can wait for someone to send you a letter, or, if you are like me and unwilling to wait, you can choose a name or names of other authors from the list and send them a letter.

That's the idea that originated with the click of a computer key on the daily blog post of a woman who writes interesting blog posts about fountain pens and inks.  If you'd like to be involved in the Writers Writing To Writers project, leave your name and address in the comments and I'll add you to the First Edition of the WWW Mailing List.

How we get to a particular place is often lost in the journey, when in fact, you can't have one without the other.