Jun 25, 201410:48 AM
Bon Vivant

Exploring finery, fun and the good life with New Orleans Bride editor Melanie Warner Spencer

The Joy of Text

Putting pen to postcard is a charming alternative in the electronic age.

A rather old-fashioned ritual is emerging between me and a handful of likeminded friends — we mail one another travel postcards. The group ranges in age from early 30s to mid 40s and suprisingly is mostly male, but now and again, a couple of female pals pop into the mix. It’s fast becoming one of my favorite activities, both as a receiver and a sender of the missives. 
 
As a consummate letter writer (so much so, that I’m a card-carrying member of the Letter Writer’s Alliance, “a member-based organization dedicated to keeping the art of letter writing alive”), it’s yet another fun method of correspondence and admittedly an excellent excuse for this lover of paper products to buy more stationery goods. 
 
The beauty of postcards, especially for those of few words, is that much like Twitter, you are limited to the amount you can write. It takes but a few minutes to dash off a few sentences, or better yet, one sentence — how mysterious. It’s no surprise that several of my postcard compatriots are fellow journalists, but many are not and notes from their travels are just as welcome, entertaining and treasured by my household. Some even get their children in on the writing, either directly or via dictation to mom and dad. If you’ve never received a message spoken to a grown up by a 4-year-old, you are missing out on an experience that is often both hilarious and sweet. 
 
For anyone stumped as to what to write on a postcard, the best advice I ever received on the matter is to simply describe where you are and what you are doing — travel to an exotic locale not required. For example: 
 
Dear Stacy, 
 
I’m camped out at a coffee house in the French Quarter. An afternoon rainstorm began about 20 minutes ago and the sound of the showers outside are making this latte even more enjoyable, as I lean over the steam and breathe in its sweet aroma. People watching and sipping a hot beverage on a rainy afternoon in New Orleans is just about the best way I can imagine spending a Saturday. Wish you were here! 
 
Xoxo Love, Melanie
 
The refrigerator at home has become a work of art in its own right with cards from places near and far, including Greece, Philadelphia, Arizona, Miami and beyond. Some feature gorgeous scenery or landmarks and others — including an 80s-era fellow on a beach sporting a Speedo and quite a mullet — illicit giggles with every pass through the kitchen. 
 
A simple hello from afar — or from your own city — will brighten not only the day of the friend or family member when they open the mailbox to something other than bills and junk mail, but also yours for the act of expressing yourself and connecting with another soul. 
 

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Bon Vivant

Exploring finery, fun and the good life with New Orleans Bride editor Melanie Warner Spencer

about

Melanie Warner Spencer is a native Kentuckian, but says she got to New Orleans as fast as she could. For more than 12 years, Melanie has covered lifestyle, design and entertainment at various publications, serving as the design columnist at The Austin American-Statesman, a senior staff reporter at the Houston Chronicle and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Houston Brides magazine. Her work also has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post and Reuters in the United States and across the globe. In her spare time, Melanie is an award-winning fine art photographer and has been honored by the Texas Press Association for her editorial photography. Cooking and eating fabulous food and taking road trips with her spouse of 15 years, fellow writer and filmmaker Mark Patrick Spencer however, is at the top of her list of favorite pastimes. Click here to like Spencer's Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @MelanieSpencer. 

 

You can reach her at melanie@myneworleans.com.

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