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I have been following a series of postcards on Elizabeth Staggs’ blog (Byrd & Lomax) which is nothing short of beautiful and inspired.
They’re a series of postcards she wrote up for the creative writing class she is taking with Colin Rafferty, and the assignment is quite fun. Here’s how Elizabeth describes it:
Our professor mentioned the not-so-secret fact that anything openly accessible that goes through the postal system is read. Magazines, literary journals, newsletters: all get read by bored or curious postal workers. This, of course, includes postcards. In the spirit of getting one’s original work in front of an audience (albeit a small one), our assignment is to write a short fiction on the back of a postcard & send it to Rafferty over spring break.
I got really excited! Postcards are an ultimate appeal to my analog nature. Not only are they the literary equivalent of vacation snapshots, there is that ticklish curious feeling of being on the edges of someone else’s life. Like epistolary novels or peering into a room of safe deposit boxes, or even, to an extent, blogging, you have access to story that invites you to recreate the missing parts. Vague references tease you into furthering the story, imposing your own order onto something that’s only supposed to be shared between others.
The above postcard is my personal favorite, but there are seven in all and I highly recommend you take a minute and view them all, they are really powerful.