You're holding a letter. What's inside? A weather report from 5,000 miles away? Some devastating family history? A single word? A heartfelt dispatch from your past self that's about to change the course of your life?
Julie Shapiro, Dave Nadelberg, Mark Shepherd and Juliet Blake open their most significant letters. Take a look at the letters in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.
WARNING: There are three category B swears in this episode.
- Hear Open Me part I, the first of this pair of episodes about letters, at theallusionist.org/open-me-1 - where you'll also find links to more interesting letter-related reading matter.
- Get sucked into a letter-reading wormhole at Letters of Note.
- Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing by Lewis Carroll.
- Top 10 epistolatory novels - or, if you want more epistolatory novels, top 100 epistolatory novels!
- Aw - remember the book with all the different letters stuffed in it, The Jolly Postman?
- The other day, several of the Radiotopia producers answered your questions in a Reddit AMA. If you are anxious to understand why I gave up knitting around 2010, read on.
- Julie Shapiro's zine, Anodyne, is BACK after twenty years!
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/open-me-2.
- Donate to Radiotopia to keep this show going, and the others in the Radiotopia family! The 2017 fundraiser is almost over, but if you hurry to radiotopia.fm, you can get some of the excellent donor gifts.
- Try Squarespace for your website-building and -running needs (or someone else's website-building and -running needs!). Give it a whirl during the two-week free trial. And you can get a 10% discount on your first purchase of a website or domain with the offer code ALLUSION.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Julie Shapiro is the executive producer of Radiotopia. Hear some of her audio stories about post: this 99% Invisible episode about stamps, and her ten year correspondence with her late Aunt Lill. She also appeared, along with several other PRX staff, on the 2016 Allusionist episode about state mottos, which is one I enjoyed immensely last year.
- Dave Nadelberg founded Mortified, in which people read stuff they wrote as kids. It's a stage show in 20 cities around the world! It's a documentary on Netflix! It's several different TV series! It's books - including the brand new guided journal, My Mortified Life! And it's a podcast, also in the Radiotopia family. Dave and his Mortified partner Neil Katcher appeared on the 2015 Allusionist episode about diaries, Spill Your Guts.
- Juliet Blake and Mark Shepherd are the best hosts anyone could wish for.
- The episode was produced by me and Martin Austwick, who also makes the music that you hear in every episode. He has a new album out at palebirdmusic.com.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.