Write the Right Words | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Write the Right Words

On closing night, I found myself staring at a stack of thank you cards waiting to be written to all of the wonderful people I got to work with while doing La Traviata last month.  The director, the maestro, the resident opera artists, the stage managers, the costumers and so on and so forth.  I was definitely grateful for all they did and for the honor of sharing the stage with them, but I have a hard time writing just the right thing in these sorts of notes.  And when I am faced with such a large stack, it's even more difficult to make the message personal and heartfelt instead of canned and repetitive.  Of course, this stack was nothing compared to what I faced after my wedding, but still.  I wanted the recipients of these thank you notes to really know how sincerely grateful I was.

Unfortunately for me, I had not yet received Write the Right Words: Messages From the Heart for Every Occasion by Sandra E. Lamb.  It came the very next day and I cursed my bad luck when I began to read it.  My thank you notes would have been amazing if only the mailman had brought the book the day before!

This book is truly ingenious.  Lamb emphasizes how much every greeting card needs personal, heartfelt and handwritten message to make it complete.  The art of the handwritten note or card is slowly being lost as we rely on the ease of shooting off an e-mail or a text message to someone.  But nothing makes me happier than opening up my mailbox and finding a real card that is addressed to me.  I love getting thank you cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards....you name it, I love it.  But the ones I love best are not the ones that rely on Hallmark's poets and a signature.  I love the real, handwritten messages the very most.  They make my day and I read them over and over.

Ms. Lamb shares infinite (okay, maybe not infinite, but almost!) ideas about how to write the kinds of cards that people will read again and again.  There are quotes and sample notes for every occasion you can think of.  When I turned to the section for thank you cards, I was overwhelmed with the possibilities.  I was also inspired to write notes of appreciation to people I may not have thought to write before.

Everyone needs this book.  You need this book.  This book and a very large stash of note cards and stationery to go with it.  Because as soon as you read it you'll want to start writing notes to everyone in your life.

The good news for you is that the author is giving away an autographed copy to one of my readers!  (US/Canada only, no PO Boxes) Just leave a comment here and tell me about your favorite handwritten note you've ever received.  I'll draw for the winner on Wednesday, August 25th.

Thank you to TLC book tours for the opportunity to review this book.

24 comments :

  1. I think I DO need this book! Like you I am always delighted to find a real envelope and hand written message in my mailbox. I keep each one as a treasure from dear friends and neighbors - and wish that I were more diligent and creative in getting frequent notes out to those I appreciate. I'm ordering it from Amazon - hope it's in stock :)

    Kristin

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  2. A few years back, I received a card from my grandma. She wrote how much she loved me and how wonderful she thought I was. I've remembered it ever since.

    I think I need to write her a thank you note.... :)

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  3. I would love this book! With the amount of thank you notes I write, sometimes I say the same things and even though it comes from the heart, I want to improve it. I love receiving thank you notes, it lifts me and adds to the desire to be a better person!!

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  4. I could use that book! My favorite handwritten note is one I received six months ago--a thank you note for providing music for stake conference. The way it was written and the confidence expressed in me really touched me. :)

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  5. I'd love that book! I'm not good at sending notes, but I want to be. My grandmother sends a card for every occasion, and there is always a personal note included. I love it, I keep them all. One of my best friends is treasured by me precisely because of her ability to write a note that would pick me up and make me feel important. I'd also like a big pile of stationary and a handwriting class, because I value a hand written note so much, and would like to keep them alive and well. Sounds like a great book!

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  6. I got the best note one Sunday after a lesson I had taught in Sunday School. The heartfelt sentiments and her words hit me right in my core and not only did I feel grateful to her, but to God also for giving me the talent and ability to teach.

    I don't do many things well, but I can teach a church lesson pretty good! : )

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  7. I totally trust your advice, so if you say I need it, I agree. :) Put me in for the drawing.

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  8. I need this book. I always struggle with writing notes because like you said, I want them to be meaningful but they always end up sounding boring and uninspired.

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  9. This book sounds great! One of my favorite notes came from a friend who knew I was feeling down about a certain situation I was facing. It was loaded with love and encouragement, and came with some chocolate chips and nuts, and a suggestion to make cookies!

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  10. That sounds like a great book! I write notes to all my cast and the volunteers for each play--I'm definitely running low on nice phrases!

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  11. What a cool idea for a book! I could use that too!

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  12. I sometimes feel like I might be the last person out there appreciating real, live handwritten notes both sent and received in the mail. There are so many handwritten notes I've saved over the years from writing a 2nd grade classmate that moved mid-year to notes from students and treasured notes from Grandparents. And today, I love sending people that wouldn't really expect a note, a note. Would love to win this book!

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  13. I still love to write thank you notes, and I find that I am almost a loner in this category. I love stationery, but most importantly, I think that people's kindness to me deserves a personal note and that it isn't just expected.

    I don't have a favorite, but I love the notes I get from my kids. Simple, often mispelled and dirty, but so sincere.

    I definitely need this book!

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  14. I just sent out a flurry of hand written inky letters last week. I could've used this book!

    PS: Lara, email me your snail mail address, I'd love to send you an inky letter.

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  15. PS: My favorite handwritten note? I have too many. They are love notes from my children, drawn with hearts and stripey clothes and smiling faces, some spelling out the word "mom" or "love you", etc. They are taped inside my armoir, I see them every single day.

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  16. What a lovely review! I wish the book would have come to you one day sooner but I have a feeling you'll be using it for years to come. Thank you so much for being on this tour. We really appreciate it.

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  17. The best note I ever received was from my Dad on Valentine's Day, fifteen years ago. He was on a business vacation and the letter was a complete surprise. But the best part wasn't the fancy Hallmark card - it was my dad writing to me to say how much he loves me, how proud he was of me, how wonderful I was. My dad's not a great communicator, and he had never said any of those things to me before.

    I still have that note.

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  18. I am trying to be better about saying thank you and helping people understand that I mean it. A friend once sent me a little note out of nowhere that said how glad she was that we touch toes so often. So simple, so sweet, and still in my kitchen island drawer so I can read it when I need to.

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  19. I need this desperately. I just ordered some new blank cards yesterday and felt a pang knowing I'd have to come up with the right words to put inside!
    When my husband was in the first gulf war and I was pregnant with our twins, we wrote each other every day. We both saved every letter. I wouldn't take any amount of money for those.

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  20. NEED this, would LOVE this! Pick me!

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  21. I really could use a book like that. I love to write, but worry if I sound cheesy or worse insincere. My favorite note was one I recieved from my Hubby when we were dating. He is not sentimental but it was poetry.

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  22. My mother-in-law wrote me a note after I met her for the first time telling me how nice she thought I was and how glad she was that I was marrying her son, who is now my husband. I was so relived, becuase I just really, really wanted to have a nice relatioship with her, and I do.

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  23. I am terrible with writing notes to people. I have started a dozen or so, but somehow never quite get around to sending (or finishing) them. My favorite note was from my little sister. I was having a hard day and she placed it on my pillow that night. I still have it. If I win this book, you will be the first recipient of the knowledge gleaned from it. :)

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