Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beginning the Preparations - Entry #2

Preparation.  That is the overriding buzzword that pulsates through my head as I set forth on this yearlong journey.  Who will I write to?  Will I just randomly think of people to send a note or card or letter to or will I come up with some sophisticated algorithm to guide me?  Who are friends or colleagues I have drifted away from over the years?  On the flip side, I want to keep the spirit of spontaneity alive.  While I have dozens of people in mind I don’t want to be so lock step in my approach to leave no room for brazenness or caprice.   I may also feel the need to be flippant or irreverent in my choices.  To put it simply, I’m averse to limit my creative juices.

Interestingly, as names and faces flash before me I realize a major complication.   I have access to the email addresses of many people on my write-to list, but I have very few snail mail addresses.  I can’t remember the last time I asked for someone’s street, city and zip code to add to my little black book or email contacts list.  In today’s world, what’s the point?  True, gives me quick and most likely reliable intelligence, but for a project of this magnitude I want to be doubly sure the mailing addresses I have are the real McCoy.  Of course, utilizing the Internet to retrieve the necessary information is only useful if I have knowledge of where the would-be recipient resides.  I may know the state or general geographic range of individuals on my to-send list, but not enough data to plug into an online database.  What to do?  I guess I’ll have to put on my thinking cap while I take a long hard look at what action to take when I cross that proverbial bridge.  In other words, I’ll just have to come up with some ingenious solution to stealthily track down the requisite information.  

The next major decision--deciding who’s up the first week?  Would it be best to focus on a random group of individuals, the first few names that pop into my head, or lean to a more thematic direction?  Congratulating graduating seniors?  Missives to family members?  Thank you cards to my favorite eateries?   The overriding question--should there be a method to my madness?  I ponder this point over and over as the start date draws nearer.  One thing I do know—just as John Kralik had kept a spreadsheet of his handiwork—who, what, where, when, and why--so would I.  Wouldn’t it be interesting (instructive?) to be able to look over those “365” next spring?  Would I write more to friends?  Colleagues?  Strangers?  What would be my motivations?  The Excel file would provide a wealth of data to scrutinize at a later date.  It would also help me stay organized and prevent inadvertent cheating as I strive to avoid people receiving multiple notes. 
T minus 7 days.

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