Romantically Challenged Help Pt. 3: Love Letters

>> Saturday, February 13

 I am a HUGE fan of writing (Uh, duh?!! I write a blog and working on a children's book) and I write a lot. When I say a lot, I mean a lot.  I keep notepads next to my bed so if I wake up in the middle of the night to write an idea, I can. I keep notebooks in my purse so that when inspiration strikes even if it's just a sentence, I jot it down. I write so much that I make lists for everything. I make lists about lists about lists. It's a bad habit but it helps me stay organized and on top of all that I have to do. 

Writing gives me time to slow down and prepare my thoughts and actually just dissect and analyze, because if you were in my mind it would be like riding on the German Autobahn, with how fast and how many thoughts are going through my head at one time. Due to my love of writing, it's no wonder I love a good romantic love letter. I'm not talking about love letters written in emails, on facebook or through text messages (I might be in trouble with that statement). I'm talking letters that are on nice stationary, written in ink with nice and elegant penmanship. It says a lot about the heart and character of a person that can actually sit down, take time and compose a well-written letter expressing their innermost feelings to someone. It's timeless, romantic and just simply beautiful. 

I wrote a letter to BD (you will never see or read it - so don't ask), it was 10 pages long, okay, maybe 9 and I wrote it to tell him how I felt about him and he liked it (at least I hope he did). The letter I wrote to him was the most vulnerable I have ever been with anyone. I'm amazed I let myself go there because I'm usually reserved in relationships. I have written letters before to guys I've dated in the past but never, ever like this one. After that, I don't think I will ever be able to write anyone else a letter like that. It was pretty good, maybe I should frame it. In my letter, which took me 3 days to write and perfect, I took time lay out what makes BD so special and why I swoon (I love saying the word swoon, don't you?) over him. 

Writing a love letter is the perfect way to show someone you care about them by writing the words you can't express verbally. Your letter should come from the heart. It should be sincere, honest and caring. I want to give some advice to those who need help in the love letter writing department by offering some tips and giving examples of some famous love letters I love for inspiration. So, sit down, turn on some romantic music, pour a glass of wine and let inspiration take hold. You never know where your heart's journey may take you............ 

Below I've posted some helpful tips on writing the perfect love letter from Larry Barkdull to help:

by Larry Barkdull, Award-Winning, Nationally Recognized Writer
1. Presentation. Use beautiful stationery (a neutral, soft color, such as cream or white) and a flair pen with black or brown ink—no blues, greens or reds! Remember, your Love Letter is being written to someone special. Hand-written letters are best. This is personal--you are not writing a business letter!
2. Ambience. Go to a secluded place and put on soft, romantic music. A quiet room would be nice. Dim the lights. Stimulate a romantic mood.
3. Keepsake. Date your Love Letter (month, day, year). This is a letter that will be treasured and remembered. You can bet that it will be read over and over and safeguarded in a special place.
4. Greeting. Choose an endearing salutation. Don't be formal. Use you love's first name. For example: "My dearest Jennifer . . ." or "My darling Matt . . ."
5. Beginning. Start your Love Letter by telling your beloved your reasons for writing. For instance: "I have lain awake many sleepless nights trying to compose words that might adequately describe the feelings of my heart. But every time I have made the attempt, I have failed miserably. Please forgive my poor effort and accept a trite and simple phrase: I love you. I think I can say it no better than that..." Never insult your beloved's feelings or belittle yourself by saying something like: "I know you probably don't feel this way," or "You must think I'm crazy." If you are timid in your Love Letter, your attempt at conveying heartfelt words will fall flat and might be misunderstood.
6. Body. The body of the Love Letter should include reasons for why you fell in love. Here are some ideas:
      recall when you fell in love with him/her
      explain how your life has changed for the better
      describe how much you miss your love when you're apart
      explain that you can't imagine life without him/her
      list some of the many things you have in common
      tell how wonderful and complete he/she makes you feel
      recall some special moments you've shared together
      mention times you've picked him/her out of a crowd
      list qualities that set him/her apart from everyone else
Avoid being casual, too light-hearted, or openly erotic. A Love Letter is a letter of respect that coveys deep, difficult-to-express feelings. Don't discount the impact of poetry in place of, or in addition to, your words. Maybe your beloved has a favorite author or poet. It will be seen as a compliment if you take the time to quote someone he/she admires. Be sure to give proper credit where it's due. Don't forget the Internet is a great place to find that poem or song you are trying to quote!
Be real. Your Love Letter should be a carefully crafted work of art, but it also needs to sound sincere. You want your Love Letter to make your beloved fall in love, not fall into laughter. Be confident as you express your emotions, dreams, and vulnerability.
NOTE: don't expect your first attempt will be the letter you send. Practice on scrap paper before you start writing on your good stationery. REVISE, then leave it for a few hours, then return and revise it again. Read it again in the morning before you send it. You'll improve it, as well as have fewer regrets—guaranteed!
7. Closing. End your Love Letter with carefully worded prose: "There, I have said it. I can rest now. And as I dream, I will dream of you." Make your closing upbeat and positive.
8. Valediction. Don't just end with: "Love, Eric." Even if you said, "All my love," it would be better. You become even more romantic by writing something like: "Dream of me, my love..." What you want is a simple, yet heartfelt goodbye: "With undying love," or "Forever yours." Remember, you may think this is too sappy, but your loved one will treasure each word. Be prepared to have it quoted to you in years to come.
9. Insert. Include a special extra: petals from a flower, sprinkles of stars, a teabag of your favorite tea ...You get the idea. That little extra effort means you really put some thought (and heart) into this.
10. Neatness counts. Gently fold the Love Letter and place it in a neatly addressed envelope—hopefully, one that matches your stationery. The correct way is to fold a small stationery sheet (or sheets) in half with the text on the inside. Place the letter in the envelope with the crease at the bottom and the salutation facing the back. Hand address the envelope. Remember what your elementary teacher taught you about penmanship--make sure your love is able to read your writing! Add a stamp that looks romantic--the Garden Bouquet stamps are nice--and affix it upside down. It is a custom that means, "I love you." Drop the letter in the mail. That's it! Expect an emotional response. And here's another tip: buy some breath mints--you'll need them!
11. Be expressive. Here are some popular words to use in your Love Letter: angel, angelic, lover, giving, alluring, tempting, sensual, sensuality, seeing, tasting, touching, holding, caressing, memories, memorable, darling, gorgeous, absence, velvet, voyage, beautiful, vision, elation, blossoms, happy, kisses, innocent, passion, dreaming, delirious, temptation, complete, desire, content, embrace, rainbow, rose, adoring, stars, privileged, heart.

For some inspiration, here are some of my favorite famous love letters -
Letter from Count Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer, to Valeria Arsenev, his fiance. 

November 2, 1856
I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever precious - your heart, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings.
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Love Letter from Mark Twain to his wife, Livy on her thirtieth birthday

27 November 1875

Livy darling,
Six years have gone by since I made my first great success in life and won you, and thirty years have passed since Providence made preparation for that happy success by sending you into the world. 

Every day we live together adds to the security of my confidence, that we can never any more wish to be separated than that we can ever imagine a regret that we were ever joined. You are dearer to me today, my child, than you were upon the last anniversary of this birthday; you were dearer then than you were a year before – you have grown more dear from the first of those anniversaries, and I do not doubt that this precious progression will continue on to the end.

Let us look forward to the coming anniversaries, with their age and gray hairs without fear and without depression, trusting and believing that the love we bear each other will be sufficient to make them blessed.
So, with abounding affection for you and our babies, I hail this day that brings you the matronly grace and dignity of three decades.

Always Yours
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Love Letter from Napolean Bonaparte to His Wife Josephine
In addition to being a brilliant military mind and feared ruler, Napolean Bonaparte was a prolific writer of letters. He reportedly wrote as many as 75,000 letters in his lifetime, many of them to his beautiful wife, Josephine, both before and during their marriage. This letter, written just prior to their 1796 wedding, shows surprising tenderness and emotion from the future emperor.


Paris, December 1795

I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?... My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for you lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!
You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.

Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.
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Love Letter from President Woodrow Wilson to His Wife Edith Bolling Galt
Edith Bolling Galt later became Edith Galt Wilson, Woodrow Wilson's second wife and First Lady of the United States

The White House
September 19, 1915



My noble, incomparable Edith,
I do not know how to express or analyze the conflicting emotions that have surged like a storm through my heart all night long. I only know that first and foremost in all my thoughts has been the glorious confirmation you gave me last night - without effort, unconsciously, as of course - of all I have ever thought of your mind and heart.

You have the greatest soul, the noblest nature, the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known, and my love, my reverence, my admiration for you, you have increased in one evening as I should have thought only a lifetime of intimate, loving association could have increased them.

You are more wonderful and lovely in my eyes than you ever were before; and my pride and joy and gratitude that you should love me with such a perfect love are beyond all expression, except in some great poem which I cannot write.

Your own,
Woodrow










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