… I finally wrote your song,another unsent letter
In a pile addressed to you, c-/ of somethin’, somewhere better
~Machine Gun Fellatio’s Unsent Letter
In the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to find time to write any fiction – let alone getting to Fiction Friday. I always feel I’m mining my soul and slowly killing off my creativity when it’s a been a long time between fictional drinks. As a consequence I’ve been searching out short and sweet methods of writing to get a daily fiction fix.
The prompt was:
Choose a period of time, perhaps five or nine months. Every day, write a letter that will never be sent to a person who does or does not exist, or to a number of people who do or do not exist. Create a title for each letter and don’t send them. Pile them up as a book.
I was a prolific letter writer as a teenager – born from the love of writing, a 4000km divide between my friends and I after we moved when I was 15 and the exorbitant costs in the 80’s of long distance phone calls. It was a habit that took many years to die out and I’m certain I could fill numerous volumes with my old corresondences. My friends and I still bemoan the lost art and quiet joy of receiving a handwritten letter.
Between the letters I wrote and the journals I kept, my teenager years and early 20’s a rather well (though probably embarrassingly so!) documented. I still have a huge bag full of letters I received over the space of ten or so years and I’m hoping in the next few months to repatriate all those letters to their original authors and receive mine in return.
Not surprisingly, my interest was immediately piqued by the Language is a Virus random writing prompt! A means to writing something fictionally expedient but creatively satisfying.
So, I’ve decided to write a fictional letter to fictional others for 21 days – remembering letters do not have to be the 50+ A4 page tome, as they were in the eighties. I’ll be posting them up – short and sweet – on my blog. I have no idea who will speak through me yet – I’m going to surrender to the Universe, even though I can already think of a dozen characters I’d like to correspond as and with!
I’d never considered utilising letter writing as a way to explore characters, new, old or waiting to bust through from the other side. Or in my case – as a means to an end in keeping the creative spark alive and well in busy times.
Who is with me? You can read the first of my letters entitled Dear John.