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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Tiger and The Wind

Welcome, all! You’re just in time for the monthly (1st Wednesday) on-line gathering of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where you’ll find helpful tips, handy resources, the latest trends in publishing, and a comfortable place for hundreds of writers – just like you and I – to share our writing journeys!
Feel free to meander and mingle. Our gracious co-hosts this month are:

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a writing rut, or in need of the perfect timesaving writing tool, this month’s IWSG Newsletter offers invaluable insight and excellent tips for both!
For member news and clever and witty movie reviews, our founder, Alex Cavanaugh, has it all!  

Happy October! It’s National Name Your Car Day! 

Have you ever named a vehicle? I once had a Mini Van that I named Tony, as in the tiger you could put in your tank along those endless summer road-trips. Tony’s previous owners had evidently been on a road adventure when they limped him into our parking lot one exceedingly hot summer day. The knocking rod sounded ominous at best. When we handed the harried owners an estimate, they handed us the title and walked away. It wasn’t hard to understand their frustration, but they left behind a mystery I’ve pondered ever since.

Under the passenger seat was a dusty unaddressed postcard from Boston. The only words on the back were “The wind” That’s it. No greeting, no punctuation. An unfinished thought on a card never sent. But why?

And whatever happened to Postcards?

An idea likely arising from the illustrated (picture) envelopes of the 1850s, the Postcard didn’t exactly dive into the U.S. Mail stream until Congress passed an act in 1861 allowing privately printed cards, which eliminated the need for an envelope, to be sent by mail at the cost of a penny each. It was John P. Charlton, a Philadelphia printer who copyrighted the very first American postcard in December of that year. Not quite ten years later, Charlton’s business associate began reissuing Charlton’s cards under his own name; Hyman Lipman. Meanwhile, in 1872 the government began producing its own “postcards” for a penny and raised the cost for non-governmental cards to two cents each.

Nevertheless, thirty years and numerous acts and measures later came the “Golden Age of Postcards”; the vast popularity of which led quite naturally to the “Real Photo” era facilitated by the Kodak “Postcard Camera.”

And just when interest began to wane in sending as well as printing the card-shaped carriers of abbreviated messages from afar, a new printing process was devised using a higher rag content, and the Linen Card was born. The linen cards achieved such worldwide popularity they remained in circulation long after the advent of the colorful and enthusiastically accepted Photochrome card.

Union Oil Company began selling the cards; depicting realistic images, in their western service stations in 1939 and while sales remain steady, it is attributed more to nostalgia than for the purpose of brief communications.

Have you ever sent or received a postcard? I wish I had, though brevity is not my strong point ; - )  In many ways I couldn’t do without today’s technology, in other ways I lament the loss of the personal connection, the genuine warmth that comes across in a hand-written note – even if my letters often do exceed the limits of a short story ; - )

On the subject of Short Stories, a Portmanteau (or, Collection) called The Haunted House was first published in 1859 for the weekly periodical “All the Year Round” It was conducted by Charles Dickens; who wrote three of the eight stories compiled in the collection. Could this have been the first-ever Anthology?

Happy Writing!