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Postmistress' Diary

Wherein the Postmistress Muses on Reading and Writing

Wherein the Postmistress Muses on Reading and Writing

Today, as I washed the sea salt from my hair and the fairy dust from under my fingernails, I pondered a message sent by the mother of an adorable Recipient. “Your Stories have inspired her,” she reports (via the Modern Method of Electronic Mail) “and she is busy writing herself.” While this is by no means an isolated case — many parents report this same phenomenon — it got me thinking with particular concentration this morning.

What inspires a child to read? And what inspires a child to write? Are they aspects of the same process, or two separate questions? I know that the Recipients of Flying Trunk Stories engage in a heightened, experiential way with their adventures. The letters, written personally to them; the extraordinary artifacts which are literally evidence they can hold in their hands; the absence of Electronic Screens; the compelling Reality of their Experience, magical though it may be… these things create an involvement in reading which is near impossible to resist. Writing, though? What is that magic key? The relationship the child feels with the Correspondent often inspires return mail (the Correspondents love getting mail). But more perhaps even than that, the gateways of the Imagination are opened when a child reads with joy. Ideas ignite and language is set free. The voice of the Correspondent provides a model, if you will — an example of a person pouring out thoughts and narrative on a piece of paper to communicate with a dear friend. What wonder that so many children reach for pen and paper themselves, and start to share the Stories which inhabit their own active and magical brains?

So if the Stowaway inspired this particular child to write by sharing the adventures of the Quest of the Rascal Queen, I cannot profess myself surprised. When I see a message, like the mother who wrote, “This is a girl with a bright mind and severe fine motor skill deficits. I’ve never seen her write something without prompting before… Now excuse me, I think I am going to go cry.” I am moved, grateful, warmed, but not astonished. When a child enters a world of imagination as powerful as this, they open their own personal door to inspiration.

And now, dear diary, I must run. I have an urgent rendezvous with a Rabbit.

What People Are Saying

The most creative gift I have ever given. My kids just adore the stories. They check the mailbox every day in anticipation.

Staycee L., Parent of 2 in Novi, MI

I want 100 stories.

Miles F., Recipient, age 5 in Ann Arbor, MI

We were all very pleased with the quality and content and we are all looking forward to the next episode.

Lindsey H., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

It made me feel like I was in a book or a movie.

Lindsay B., Recipient, age 14 in Ann Arbor, MI

Any child of any age will be buoyed, delighted, and moved by these stories.

Karl S., Teacher in Ypsilanti, MI

My son is enjoying this birthday gift so much!  It is his private tale that he treasures and looks forward to -- couldn't recommend it more highly!

Karen P., Parent of 2 in Ann Arbor, MI

It made me feel SO special.

Juliana L., Recipient, age 10 in Novi, MI

Each box is greeted with more enthusiasm! Couldn't wait through dinner.

Carolyn N., Parent in Kailua, HI

My daughter has been loving her story! Thank you, Flying Trunk, for a magical experience!

Abby H., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

My son really enjoyed the story. He loved getting packages in the mail. We read the last letter before bed, and he insisted on sleeping with Bobby Bunny all night.

Jennie A., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

My daughter read it this morning to great delight tinged with sadness that it was the final story. She just loved the gifts.

Karl S., Parent in Ypsilanti, MI

My nephew was completely entranced. He bought into the magic of a beautifully-told story. I am sure this is an experience that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

Michele M., Aunt in Silver Spring, MD

I can’t imagine a better gift for a child.

William J., Uncle in Halifax, UK

My five-year old granddaughter loved her letters from Bobby Bunny. She treasures each item sent with them and keeps them safe and sound in the lovely box they first came in—a great child’s gift!

Christine R., Grandparent in Ann Arbor, MI

So great! It’s been super fun.

Linda S., Parent in Bainbridge Island, WA

Your stories have inspired my daughter, and she is busy writing one herself!

Tanya L., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

My daughter really enjoyed the whole experience of receiving the stories. She really loved the objects too and they helped to flesh out the story for her. This was a a really nice gift and we appreciate the amount of care and effort that has gone into it.

Peter J., Parent in Norwich, UK

She loved it! Her mother and her both participated and had a ball. She opened up the last package with me and she was so excited. She absolutely loved it. I have to say it was quite the experience for her. I am so thankful.

Greg S., Grandparent in Escanaba, MI

I really appreciate that you include older kids. Middle schoolers, especially, are often overlooked in experiences like this; they still have that childlike spark in them that needs to be nurtured. You just can’t find stuff like this for that age group.

Nancy H., Grandparent in Menasha, WI

Bless you for bringing so much joy to so many. Your creativity is amazing. ❤️

Lora C., Grandparent in Crossville, TN

The amazing magical purple box came this evening! Our 11 year old was so intrigued by Ondsii the Chicken-Talker. One of the first things he said before even opening the box is “I’m going to create and draw a character with that name!” We read the glorious letter together and then opened the pouches. Wow. The Magic got to him. So many questions, so much excitement. So perfect. We loved it, every last detail.

Rebecca M., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

The experiences were FANTASTIC! The boys absolutely loved it and the trinkets that came along were always so cool/curious/interesting/creepy... just perfect. They didn’t allow me to read the stories with them — I think that means the letters really did feel very personal to them! It was such a welcome gift that is the opposite of screens and phones and iPads....BRAVA!!!

Cynthia W.., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

My son was so thrilled with all the gifts. He loved the sea glass and the crystal ball. He just believed and loved it.

Jill P.., Parent in Ann Arbor, MI

My son is enjoying the experience very much! The letters from the Genie are very dramatic and entertaining...we can't wait to see where his adventures take him next!

Liz K., Parent in Wayne, MI

Every time a new box arrives, there’s an anticipatory shudder... A worthy gift for someone you love... or someone you don’t!

Michael J., Partner in Ann Arbor, MI

C. has really enjoyed the Genie's letters; her face lit up when the Genie knew things about her. We are thrilled at the joy your story is bringing our daughter.

Paula H., Parent in Troy, MI

Onex, your a graeet story telar! I like you becas your a cat. You ar cute.

Ritika N., Recipient, age 6, in Ypsilanti, MI

The writing is incredible...she should be a major author.

Liz K., Parent in Wayne, MI

Wherein the Postmistress Muses on Reading and Writing