His and Hers Notebook
by Kat Richter

Notebook full of love letters between a girlfriend and boyfriend.
Love letters are a bit passé these days. Why bother with proper stationary when you can simply text, email or tweet your significant other to let them know they're on your mind?

Well, for starters, hand written letters are romantic. Secondly, they're unique. Last but not least, they're a wonderful way to commemorate your relationship because they're physical. Provided your house doesn't burn down, you can re-read them as often as you want and when you're alone at night wishing your lover was at your side, there's nothing better than the feel of crisp paper in your hands. (Except maybe a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Or your lover for that matter, but we're pretty sure that the love letter takes a close third.)

Now before you go running off in search of a quill pen and parchment paper to woo your special lady friend, we're going to suggest you buy a notebook instead.

That's right, an entire notebook.

You don't have to fill it all at once - in fact you and your partner are going to fill it together - but let's take a moment to select the correct type of notebook first.

Aim for something small. You don't want a scrappy little party favor, but you don't want a huge college-ruled 5-subject either. We suggest Moleskin notebooks. Contrary to popular opinion, they're not actually made of mole skin; they're based on a traditional French design consisting of a simple rectangular cover, a small internal pocket and an elastic band.

It may sound silly, but Moleskins are essentially the Ferarris of stationary. They were used by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway and even though their love lives didn't turn out particularly well, yours will because you're not going to use your Moleskin for sketching or drafting your next novel. Oh no. You're going to write a letter.

You can order Moleskin's online at moleskin.com. They're also available at Barnes and Noble, Staples and many smaller, independent book shops. They come in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes - even Star Wars themed!

Pick a small, pocket-sized one and make sure you have a nice ballpoint pen ready to go. (Of course, if you really want to up the romance factor, you can use a quill pen or a calligrapher's pen with interchangeable ink cartridges.)

Now, you've got two choices.

Option 1) Carry the notebook around with you for a week or two and jot down your thoughts whenever the mood strikes. Said thoughts should be at least vaguely romantic (i.e. not your weekly grocery list) and should be addressed to your partner. Date each entry and if you have trouble thinking of what to say, you can start by simply describing your surroundings or telling your partner that you're thinking about them.


Be sure to write on only one side of the page. Why? Well, here's the fun part. Once you've filled the notebook, it's time to give it to your partner. You can wrap it like a present or enclose it in an envelope with a romantic greeting card but either way, your work is done. Now it's up to your partner to fill the remaining pages with some love notes of their own, this time addressed to you.

Option 2) Write a single letter to your partner. It can be several pages long or just a few lines. The next time you're together, give the notebook to your sweetheart and ask him or her to write a letter back to you. Keep trading until your notebook is completely full. You'll be like John and Abigail Adams with your very own collection of letters. In fact, maybe your notebook will go on to become required reading for college freshman all across the country; you never know!

Trading off can also be a great way to stay connected in a long distance relationship. Be sure to select a very small, very lightweight notebook so you won't get stuck paying exorbitant shipping rates, then load up on envelopes and stamps. Write your letters one by one, mailing the notebook to your partner after each round. It's certainly not as fast as email but good things come to those who wait and now you'll have a keepsake of your relationship.

Tips

If you're experiencing writer's block, just keep it simple. No one's asking you to be Shakespeare. Just be yourself and speak from the heart.

Be honest. Oftentimes it's easier to communicate in writing so if there's something you'd like to say to your partner that's too embarrassing to say in person, say it in your letter.

If you like to draw, include a few sketches - or even simple doodles - in your notebook. We can't all be wordsmiths so spice it up with colored pens for a touch of whimsy.

Consider the way your words look on the page. You can write sideways, upside down or even in a spiral curving your sentences around themselves as you go. Just resist the urge to add stickers (you're going for romance, not production value).




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