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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Bledsoe

Why We Write Letters: the one about using our pencils more.

When people are asked what got them into letter writing, if it was not something they already did, the answer will often be that it was a way to use some of the things they had bought. I did write letters in the past, two of my grandparents retired from the post office, and my mother subbed there when I was young. The USPS is literally in the family with us. I was taken to post office picnics, entered into USPS writing contests, and often helped my grandfather set up people's delivery vehicles. I may not have written letters at the frequency I do now, but my life was usually interesting enought to allow me to write letters even in the internet age. I got to participate in an exchange trip with Hamm, Germany, and write to my German friends. I joined the army and mail call was still the best time in basic training. We went to Iraq and while the internet was spotty (at best) the USPS still let us send mail for free. Later in life, I was not writing letters, and I missed it, but did not get back to it. What brought me back was looking for more ways to use objects I had always loved, but in 2015 rabit holed on collecting, Pencils.

These are my pencil cups, there are many like them, but these are mine. It was six years ago, I had tried to branch out from the usual Ticonderogas we all know, and had been to CW Pencils. It was an awesome trip which led to me finding The Erasable Podcast Pencil Community on facebook. In there were tons of ways to use our pencils more (so they didnt sit around like hipster beanie babies) and in there was letter writing, my old friend. This is actually the story of how I came to INCOWRIMO. Some pencil people posted about it, and I scrambled to finish out the month as I had learned about it late.

I have come a long way since then, writing here on what I hope one day is THE INCOWRIMO site. I have bought more pencils and their accessories, fountain pens, and typewriters. While Katie has mostly taken over the fountain pens and their culture, the pencils and I keep the graphite faith. I still find INCOWRIMO to be my chance to reconnect with them. I have not had time for journaling, and my work does not need too many pencils (even if I do use them for my own notes) but letter writing is my choice, and INCOWRIMO still holds the magic that caught me six years ago. It is a chance to use my pencils. I have had to reset those pencil cups as many times in this month as I did for the whole year last year.

The process is a rip off of Steinbeck. I hate dull pencils, and my definition of dull is a bit liberal. I sharpen all the pencils and put them in the cup on the right. I use one until the point is dull in my opinion and put it point down in the left cup. Yes, I did steal this from John Steinbeck after the Blackwing 24 came out, except I love a variety of pencils.

Sometimes we need a reminder to use the items we collected. It comes after a break. If we force it, they become burdensome to us and we start to hate it. I have enjoyed reconnecting with my pencils this month. Last year was a bit rough on me and I hardly wrote, I suspect the same is true for many of you. How many of you felt rejuvenated by INCOWRIMO? Who saw their first INCOWRIMO as a chance to use their writing utensils?

2 days left.

Brandon Bledsoe

The Ministry For Uncivilized Behavior

Care Of: Uncivilized Letters

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Lu Bladno 61 Piercy Crescent Fredericton New Brunswick E3B 72G Canada Brandon Bledsoe PSC 305 Box 869 APO AP 96218 Katie Bledsoe PSC 305 Box 869 APO AP 96218 Renz Eulric 661 Maryland Street Winnipeg,

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