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May 2Liked by Samuél Lopez-Barrantes, Meg Oolders

I love your 'slow jam discourse', Meg & Samuél - letters are such a great medium, aren't they? One of the most fun things I've found to participate in since first landing on Substack has been my correspondence with fellow British writer Terry Freedman - something which had been intended originally as a three-week, six-letter exchange is still going strong well over a year later!

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Thank you, Rebecca. Over a year?? That's some impressive pen-palmanship. I love writing letters. I would rather write a letter to just about anyone than attempt to fully express myself verbally. But sadly, it's becoming less and less acceptable as a means of communicating thoughts. People just don't have time to read them. Or are unwilling to make the time. I'm pleased to meet another letter-lover and am rooting for you and Terry to break the current record for exchange longevity. 💜🥂

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May 2Liked by Samuél Lopez-Barrantes, Meg Oolders

Your comparison of middle-age to adolescence is interesting. Speaks to the parabolic arc of our lives, though I've normally considered the parallel between the very young and the very old.

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I also really dug this. A puberty of sorts. It makes sense with the culture of the "midlife crisis" and of course the astrologists argue for a second-Saturn return. Who knew, people keep changing ... or at least the conscious ones do?

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May 2·edited May 3Author

It is SO interesting. But I'm gonna throw a wrench in your arc and say that I suspect/hypothesize/have come to discover there is a gender divide at play here. Women experience SEVERAL arcs (each with its own potential for a midpoint crisis) over the course of their lifetime. Puberty starts and ends in time for their reproductive/parenting years which start to fizzle around perimenopause which ends with menopause. Their (our) arc is not an arc so much as a series of loops - which is how one author I greatly admire once described the plot structure of one of her feminist YA novels. She was actually comparing plot structures to orgasms at the time, but you boys get the idea. 🙃

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May 2Liked by Meg Oolders

And then there are the actually old.... hmmm....... and the generation before mine that recorded their entire lives in letters....

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we can only hope there's somewhere on Substack to read those letters ... and to find old shoe boxes with older ones still. Each generation leaves its mark in its own way., and it's a treat it is to be able to participate in the modest mode of the metamodern generation.

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Hey, Samuel. You just met my mom. 😁

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May 3Liked by Samuél Lopez-Barrantes, Meg Oolders

Sweet. I want to hear more about Paris and New England so I can live vicariously. Please?

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In my dreamworld, which isn't that far away as far as having friends in both lands, I'd spend the sunny months in Paris and the cold ones writing in Vermont/Maine.

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Sounds ideal. 🙏

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I'd rather Samuel and I pull a house swap ALA "The Holiday" and continue our exchange from inside each other's universes. I'm sure our spouses wouldn't mind the disruption. 😂 All in the name of good art, I say.

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We used to do home exchanges. It’s a thing. The company we used is still around. https://www.homeexchange.com/

We once stayed in a fab apt in Paris.

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May 3Liked by Samuél Lopez-Barrantes, Meg Oolders

So happy to have discovered Samuél through this post. Thank you.

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You are welcome! You two will get along famously!!! 💜💜💜

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🙌😊

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This is awesome. Indeed…long form and giving genre corrals the boot. No wonder I like it around here so much.

A paragraph that particularly stuck out me is the one about middle age seeming like adolescence. It’s been my experience, too. Hmmm…is that why I was called last spring to grab the novel I wrote from 1987-1990 (that would be age 13-17, the book I’d thought would only be blackmail fodder and my proof to myself that I could complete a novel length work) and turn it into something I would ever want to share with other people? I’m sure it’s one of many reasons.

So yes. It feels that way to me too. Fascinating… Thanks for letting us be flies on your creative walls. 🤓🤩🤓

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You wrote a novel in your TEENS??? I am so impressed. The most I ever churned out was a smattering of angsty poetry, strummy guitar songs, and a few short stories. Though I won my first ever literary award in 3rd grade.

I wish you all the joy that comes from revisiting your former self and discovering you are still that same person ... just ripened.

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In so many ways, I really kind of am, which has been a relief after feeling like Dain Bramage killed the person I was. Well, that character's name is Phoenix so she was rather prophetic, because there were absolutely pieces that rose up straight out of the ash.

Oh, shweeeet! What was it? Mine was 5th grade, a state essay contest for Conservation Day that I wrote while stuck at home with strep throat. And oh, rest assured. There were absolutely short stories and a whole lot of angsty poetry. No strumming though. Only my cheesy heart-strings. Gwa-har-har!

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May 3Liked by Meg Oolders

I love these letters!

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Thank you, Sis!

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I love this! While I imagine my substack pieces as letters to at least some of my readers, to actually have this sort of thing play out as a real dialog is terrific.

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Thank you, Mary Lou. These letter exchanges were "trending" on Substack a year or so ago. But leave it my fellow rebel and I to wait until they reached "retro" status to contribute our own exchange. 😉 I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

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I loved this one. You and Samuel are a very good match.

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Thanks, Andrei.

I love pen pal exchanges. Surprised there's not an app for finding letter writing partners. There should be!

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Well, there actually is! It’s called Slowly! It matches you with random people worldwide. I used to use it when I had more time, as if you use it for a while your inbox fills up pretty quickly. Check it out, though. It’s great.

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