The Letter Writing Revolution

Revitalizing a Lost Art One Letter at a Time

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why We Must Support Our Postal Workers

This is a lazy post as I am simply linking you to this blog that has an interesting post.
I have yet to read it but my Postal Worker friend posted it and so I thought I would, too.

We are still sitting and waiting as to whether or not Canada Post will strike........any day now.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Looming Postal Strike

The Letter Writing Revolution may have to come to a grinding halt if there is, indeed, a Canada Post strike next week. My advice would be that if you are Canadian or sending letters to Canada, that you continue to write your letters but hold of on mailing them until after the strike, if there is a strike in the end. Read on:

Canadian Postal Workers Could Strike

Posted: May 18, 2011 1:44 PM ET(CBC News)

Preparations are being made for a possible postal strike as early as May 24, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says.The union said in a statement Wednesday that it and Canada Post remain far apart on many issues, including wages for new employees and a proposed sick plan that it says is inferior. Negotiations are still ongoing, however. The union will be able to exercise its right to strike and Canada Post its right to lock out at midnight on May 24. Both sides have to give three days notice of their intention to strike or lockout. The collective agreement expired on Jan. 31.

Cheques for pensioners and social assistance recipients will still be delivered regardless, the union said.Volunteers from the union will deliver federal Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and child benefits cheques, as well as provincial social assistance cheques in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.The B.C. government has said it will mail out income assistance cheques one week early on May 18 rather than May 25 to ensure they arrive.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fan Letter

While visiting with friends last night, we discussed the power of the humble letter to get things done and I recalled one letter in particular that I wrote in the spring of 2009 when I heard that my childhood heart throb, Bryan Adams, was going to be performing an acoustic gig in a smaller than usual venue. I decided right then and there that it was now or never. I was going to meet him face to face and The Reckless Campaign was born. I spread the word on Facebook and even wrote a letter to Ellen DeGeneres to see if she could lend a hand in making arrangements. I wasn't really sure who to contact and then it dawned on me that I should just write a letter to customer service of the venue~ The National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Surely, I reasoned, they would pass along my written request to the "right" people. Here is the letter I wrote:

March 22nd 2009

Dear Ms. Deneau;

I am writing to you with a very unusual and special request. I thank you in advance for reading this letter.
It all started when Ellen DeGeneres decided that she wanted to dream BIG and so she started the "O Yes I Can" Campaign. She wanted to be on the cover of "O" magazine. If you have ever read "O" magazine, you know that Oprah has always been the one and only person featured on her monthly covers.....until recently when she shared her cover for the first time with First Lady Michelle Obama. On Friday, March 20th Ellen's dream came true when Oprah invited her to share a cover of "O" with her. I, too, have a dream.

When I was 12 years old, I was introduced to the music of Bryan Adams at a cottage in Temiskaming, Quebec during the summer of 1983. Cuts Like a Knife had been released a few months earlier and I got my first taste of rock n' roll (not counting the Elvis records I listened to growing up). As I blossomed into a young teenager, I would rush home everyday after school and run upstairs to the room I shared with my sister. I would throw on my Bryan Adam's cassette tape and sing into a full length mirror using a hairbrush as my microphone. By January 1984, I met my first love at a small town hockey rink and songs from the album Reckless were topping the charts. In one of the handwritten love letters he sent to me (long before email!), he wrote out the words to the song "Heaven." This song would have a special place in my heart for years to come. Bryan Adams came to Ottawa several times when I was a young teen but I was never allowed to go as it usually was on a school night or I was unable to find transportation. I grew up in a small town in the Ottawa Valley about an hour from Ottawa.
Three years ago, I heard that Bryan Adams was coming to Ottawa and I tried winning tickets by calling into a local radio station and singing "Kids Wanna Rock." I didn't win. Thankfully, my family surprised me with tickets to his concert. Seeing him live brought back all of the feelings I had as a young teenager.
This past Monday I was surprised again when my husband (who, by the way, was the boy that wrote the words to "Heaven" in that letter) told me that he got me two tickets to the concert at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for this August. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to see him again live in a smaller venue and performing acoustically and solo.
I would like to meet Bryan Adams in person…….just for a moment. This is why I have created Julie’s Reckless Campaign. Not sure how one goes about arranging something like this but I know it can’t be impossible. I figure that, like Ellen DeGeneres, if you can dream it and conceive it, you can achieve it. I am not even certain if you are the person to be addressing this letter to but perhaps, you could forward it on to someone who might help with my dream. Any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated!! I can be reached at ***-***-**** or at the above address! I look forward to your correspondence.
Julie Keon
Two weeks later, on the afternoon of my 38th birthday, my husband received a call from a man who identified himself as the concert promoter for the Bryan Adams tour in Ottawa. This man had also been responsible for bringing The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and many other big names to our capital city. He asked Tim to pass along the message that he would make arrangements for me to meet Bryan Adams before the show. I couldn't believe it and thought that this had to be the best birthday present ever!

In August my sister, Stephanie, and I drove to Ottawa, had dinner and then made our way to the NAC. Shortly before the show we gathered with a few others in a small room and waited for Bryan to arrive. They served wine and snacks and informed us that we would all get a copy of his new cd and we were to unwrap it and write our names on a post-it note so that Bryan wouldn't have to go through the trouble of asking the spelling of our name ('cause you know what a pain that is......sheesh). And then, there he was........standing within a few feet of me. I was a little stunned as memories came back of how I used to sit in front of the television waiting to watch Video Hits and hoping that I would see him in a video. And then when we would see him  perform live on the Juno's or the American Music Awards I resembled the screaming teenagers during Beatlemania. And now, I was desperately trying to hush up the screaming 12-year old that apparently still resides in this older body. His "handlers" lined us up like cattle and one by one, we got a couple of minutes to have our cd signed and a photo taken and that was it.

Me with Bryan Adams~ August 2009

Do not underestimate the power of the handwritten letter. If there is something that you really, really want, send a letter and should it land in the appropriate hands, you will be surprised what amazing things can materialize.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Letter Writing Campaign in Support of Midwifery Care

The following is courtesy of the Ottawa Integrative Health Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. If you live in Ontario, Canada and support midwifery care, please read the following post.

Join the Letter Writing Campaign in support of Midwifery Care,
May 5th – May 19th

Thank you taking the time to read this very important message about the future of midwifery care in Ottawa.

The four midwives of the Ottawa Valley Midwives need our help in establishing more hospital privileges for midwives at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.  Currently four midwives have hospital privileges there – this does not begin to meet the demand for midwifery care in Western Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.

New Midwives Need Jobs

When midwifery students graduate, they need hospital privileges to begin practicing.  If the Queensway Carleton Hospital does not extend hospital privileges to new midwives, then there is limited spaces for practice in Ottawa.  Six midwifery students who have had placements in Ottawa will be graduating this spring and we want them to stay in Ottawa so that midwifery care can grow in our community.

Letter Writing Campaign
Please join our letter writing campaign to urge Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman and decision makers at the Queensway Carleton Hospital to increase hospital privileges so new midwives can practice there.  It makes no sense to have unemployed midwives when we have an obstetrical crisis!

Put Your Support For Midwifery Care Into Action

You may be receiving this message because you birthed your children with midwives and know just how special and extensive midwifery care is.  Maybe you birthed your children at home and you realize that in order to attend homebirths, midwives need hospital privileges.  Or perhaps you are pregnant and are wondering why all the practices in Ottawa have such long waiting lists.  Or maybe you have children and you would like them to have access to midwifery care when they are older.  Unless hospitals increase midwifery privileges now, it’s unlikely our children will be able to access midwifery care when they need it.

Whatever your reasons for supporting midwifery care, we urge you to put your support into action.  We realize that many of you who are participating in this campaign are busy parents of young babes.  We deeply appreciate your time and efforts and have tried to make this process as easy as possible for you.

Writing and Sending Your Letters
Following this message, you will see two sample letters.  One is for the Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health for Ontario.  He is very supportive of midwifery care and is in the position to pressure the Queensway Carleton Hospital into policy changes.

The other letter is addressed to Dr. Andrew Falconer, Chief of Staff at the Queensway Carleton Hospital and to Kathleen Nunn, the Director of the Childbirth Centre at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Personal letters have a far greater impact than form letters.

Please take the time to personalize your letter, include your own birth story, your own reasons for supporting midwifery care or your own story of frustration at not being able to access midwifery care.  Following the letters, we have included facts about midwifery care that you may use to personalize your letter.

We are providing e-mail addresses where possible.  We have been told by hospital admin that the doctors we are sending letters to do not read their own e-mail, so snail mail will be much more effective at getting a strong message across.
Please send your letters to:

The Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health for Ontario

George Smitherman is very supportive of midwifery care and is in the position to pressure hospitals to offer more privileges to midwives.
Dr. Andrew Falconer, Chief of Staff
Queensway Carleton Hospital
3045 Baseline Rd
Ottawa, ON
K2H 8P4

Kathleen Nunn, Director of the Childbirth Centre
Queensway Carleton Hospital
3045 Baseline Rd
Ottawa, ON
K2H 8P4

Sample Letters

Sample letters available at:
Additional Facts About Midwifery Care – for personalizing your letters

Midwife-attended births are cost  –effective for the health care system.  This cost-effectiveness is a  result of fewer interventions, such as c-sections and episiotomies, as well as  shorter hospital stays and lower re-admission rates to hospitals.

In August 2004, Health Minister  George Smitherman said, “What better way to invest our precious health care  dollars than in support of the midwives who help to bring us such  wonders.”  The province needs to focus on sustaining the profession to  allow women to benefit from midwifery care.

Because midwives continue to  provide round-the-clock care for women and babies during those first few  critical weeks of life, women are 60% less likely to be re-admitted to  hospital.

Pre-natal visits with midwives are  typically 45 minutes long, so clients have time to ask questions, consult with  their midwife about nutrition, bring family members with them to appointments  and build a relationship of trust with their midwife. 

Midwives see birth as a natural  process

Midwifery has a clear record of  growth when there has been an overall decline in the numbers of maternity care  providers.  Granting more hospital privileges gives midwives the ability  to continue to increase their role in providing critically needed maternity  care to women in Ottawa

The demand for midwifery care is  outpacing the number of midwives in the city
The Queensway Carleton Hospital’s core  values are:  Accountability, innovation and respect – values that are in  keeping with midwifery care
Childbirth Services is one of the  QCH’s cornerstone programs
There is a high population of  young families in Western  Ottawa.

For more information:
 Please contact Kathleen Wilker of Consumers Supporting Midwifery Care:

The following websites also offer great information about midwifery care:

Consumers Supporting Midwifery Care:
Association of Ontario Midwives:
Ottawa Valley Midwives:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hidden Letters

Century-old love letters found hidden inside N.S. home

A family in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has come across 31 love letters that had been hidden behind a wall in their house for almost a century. 
Pat Mackinnon and her family stumbled across the letters during a renovation project.
The letters were written by Captain Graham Roome to his fiancée Annie Hollett, as he fought in Europe during the First World War. They spanned five years and three countries, as he described details of the war, life abroad, and his feelings for her.
A passage in one of the letters reads: "I could almost imagine you here with me, your arms tucked through mine and every little while you'd look up at me and say I love you little boy..."
Roome eventually married Hollett, and in 1920 they built the house in Dartmouth where Mackinnon now lives.
When Mackinnon found the letters, she wanted to know more about the couple and if they had surviving family members.
"We started to read them, then I rushed home to Google the names and found the family," said Mackinnon.
She was able to track down Chris May, the grandson of Roome, who said the couple lived a long, happy marriage."
"They were very genuine, an in-love couple, and they served each other equally and faithfully all the way through," said May.
Along with the letters, the family found a Christmas card and pictures.
"I was so impressed with the times, his writing is beautiful, I thought wow, my sense is they were educated, madly in love, and apart from 1915 to 1919," said Mackinnon.
The letters have been given to the Roome's family.

With a report by CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl News Staff

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One of These Days......

.........I'm gonna sit down and write a long letter to all those good friends I've known.

I am in a bit of a quandary. I am not sure if anyone has noticed my lack of blogging recently. Perhaps, it is the fact that this is the longest attempt ever made for winter to turn to spring. Perhaps, it is the copious amounts of sugar I have been eating since before Easter. Perhaps, it is the lack of exercise lately. Most people I talk to have had it up to here (I am holding my hand up above my head!) with this weather and rain. Whatever it is, I have not been inspired to write on TLWR blog. It's like my inspiration melted with the snow. Even now that I am back on track with exercise and eating well, I am just "not that into it" anymore.

I recognize that writing a weekly column for our local newspaper puts more pressure on me to find the time to write and therefore leaves less time for writing on my blog. If my job was to only write, there wouldn't be a problem. Most days, I am casting, running workshops, teaching prenatal classes, running a hosuehold and caring for our daughter.

Lately, I have found I haven't had as much time to write letters. AAAAahhhahhhhhhhhhhhhhh....(That's me screaming). No time to write letters? How can that be? That is a priority in my life. But that is where I am at and what is the quandary, you ask?

Do I continue with the blog or do I wrap things up on the 1st anniversary of its launch (June 16th) and trust that the revolution will carry on without the blog?