Author: Lynette M. Smith
Publisher: All My Best
ISBN: 978-0-9858008-0-2

In this fast-moving world, people rarely take the time to express their appreciation for another. Consequently, many have no idea what a difference they’ve made in someone else’s life. But if they were told – in a letter meant to be read and read again – not only would they feel grateful, but they’d be inspired to do even more good in the world,” Lynette M. Smith states in her preface in her book, How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure – For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special.

With two hundred and twenty-two pages, this short paperback book is geared to the old-school theory of writing cherished letters instead of quick non-personalized short emails, blunt text messages or dull, hurried voice mails. With a forward by the director of The Emily Post Institute, the book is divided into four sections: the basics of writing a treasured letter, writing for special occasions, writing for occasions made special and an extensive sixty-two page appendix.

Breaking down the process analytically, Smith initially advises how to use her book by following five simple steps. The first part of the book discusses how to plan, write, package and present a personalized letter, using special dates, offering writing tips, how to display it using frames and the opportune time to give it to the recipient. The next part explains suggested writing styles for birthdays, school events, military personnel, romance, family, culture/religious rites and career accomplishments. The third part delves into ways to honor, thank, and reconnect with those we love, cherish and respect. The appendix is separated into four divisions: lists of words to describe specific age or vocation groups, quotes and inspirational thoughts related to many avenues of life, how to start the beginning of the letter based on the person, experience or relationship and finally, important dates of the year to coincide with writing the letter.

With this helpful book, at any point in a person’s life, one can look up a definitive topic or milestone of a family member, co-worker or friend and write a thoughtful, expressive and appreciated letter. Besides learning how to wish someone a thoughtful fiftieth birthday, honor a veteran, write to sons or daughters on their wedding day, apologize and mend a past relationship, thank a hospice worker or grieve and eulogize a loved one, the reader will know what is appropriate, what not to say, how to present it and how to preserve it for the future.

Smith does a good job showing how to express oneself in a thoughtful, heartfelt manner when writing a letter, spoken praise or eulogy. This book is a keeper in the “how to” bookcase for anyone who wants to express feelings of appreciation, gratitude and love.

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