How's this place work?

If you could take a little mental holiday and go to any imaginary place, where would you go?
And what would you do while you were there?

Send me a postcard, handmade or otherwise, from an imaginary location. It can be a place from a book or a movie or a piece of music, or some other world you made up. On the other side, write and tell me what you've been doing on your vacation from reality.

All postcards to be addressed to:

Wish I Were Here
6219 156th Ave. NE
Redmond, WA 98052
United States

I'll scan a selection of postcards and post them to the blog for all and sundry to enjoy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The magic of correspondence

Some years ago I was visiting with a friend and fellow bibliophile who, during the course of the conversation, discovered I had never read the Griffin and Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock.  She promptly guided me to the sofa, set me down and handed me the first book.

"Go on," she said.  "It's a fast read."

I stayed on that sofa, completely engrossed, until I'd finished all three books in the trilogy. (She was right -- it was a fast read.) Something about the entire package -- not just the story itself, but the visually gorgeous way it was told, the delicious and slightly transgressive sensation of reading someone else's mail -- fascinated and delighted me.

Since that experience I've developed a fondness for postcards, letters, mail art and other entries in the dying art of epistolary magic. I've signed up to participate in Postcrossing and received postcards from random people all over the world. Often what was best about these postcards wasn't the beautiful image on the front, but the imaginative text written from one stranger to another on the back. Poems, whimsical fantasies, drawings, games, challenges -- all of these have hit my mailbox at one time or another, and they're full of fun and intelligence and wonder. Not that all Postcrossing postcards are like this; some are reserved, pedestrian, uninspired -- even blank.

And that got me thinking: is there any way to encourage more creativity, inject a bit more whimsy, into this process?  I'm not sure, but I hope to do that with this project -- to attract your interest with the premise of creating a postcard from an imaginary place, to get you thinking about the imaginary location you'd most like to visit and what you'd do there, and then to inspire you to send out a little visual slice from the triple chocolate suicide layer cake that is your imagination. You can choose to participate as anonymously or as transparently as you like.  But let the imaginative side of your mind run free!

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