Letter from Rachel: a sample

Envelope addressed to You, Your email address, from Rachel McAlpine, To Your world, with airmail sticker and stamp

A letter from Rachel to you

Get a letter from Rachel

Below is the first Letter from Rachel: after sending it to subscribers, I’m publishing this one here as a blog post. It’s an example of what you’ll receive if you sign up for a letter from Rachel.

Dear virtual friend
Some time ago you signed up to receive occasional news from me about books, courses, and my blog. I confess that for several years I have paid no attention to my mailing list — and that was bad.

Now I intend to send out a letter five or six times a year. It will contain a few items of personal news, plus a boot camp mini-tip, plus a shortlist of recent blog posts. Also, my blog will be more consistent in schedule and content. That’s the plan: now it’s in writing, and you are my witness!

Remember that you can easily stop getting letters: an unsubscribe link is at the bottom of every letter.


Photo of Templates, a small book of poems and photos about growing old

Templates: a tiny book of poems and photos about growing old

My new book, hot off the press, is tiny, just six poems and six photos from our family album. It’s called Templates, and features some poems from the Unyoung series. It’s a beautiful little book and a unique gift for any friend or relative who notices that they are getting older. I intend to sell the book from my website: organising this will take a few weeks, for sure. Price for web-based sales will be around USD13 plus shipping.

I will be doing public readings of Templates and other poems around Wellington (New Zealand) over the next few months. I would love to include a few retirement villages. If you’d like to arrange this for a group you belong to, please email me at rachel(at)writing(dot)co(dot)nz and we’ll talk. It’ll be fun.

The Write Into Life blog now has almost 1,000 subscribers, and the website is overdue for review. I want the site to remain calm and stable, and to be more accessible and user-friendly. It won’t have the latest whooshy and whizzy and fizzy and busy style.

The Older Bloggers Survey results will be used to improve life for isolated people. Many of you contributed to this research, which showed so clearly that blogging can bring mental, emotional and social benefits to older people. This project will take time. (Any offers of help gratefully received.)

Ronni Bennett’s blog,  Time Goes By
Ronni has been blogging about “what it’s really like to get old” as an unpaid full-time job since 2003. Now her many readers, including me, learn that Ronni is likely to die within a year. Do visit Ronni’s honest, unsentimental, thoughtful blog.
An interview with Ronni Bennett from 2003


Don’t fight the urge for an after-lunch nap.
It’s a habit with positive benefits at any age.


In August, I blogged full tilt about the results of the Older Bloggers Survey. This felt like a huge enterprise, and I was puffing at times. But I found the material fascinating, and I was buoyed up by encouragement from readers: your support kept me on track.
Links to all 13 articles about the survey in one spot

In September I was in Seoul as a writer in residence, a luxury for any writer. I blogged briefly, poetically and visually about this extraordinary experience. Again, you can live my Korean month vicariously from this page: Seoul Diary

In October, so far I have barely put fingers to keyboard, succumbing to jet-lag and a backlog of routine tasks involving computer hardware and software, tax, home maintenance etc.
The way of the blog
Home kitchen after travel

Thanks for reading! Till next time,


Get a letter from Rachel

Golden kowhai flowers on a kowhai tree

It’s spring in New Zealand. Kowhai trees are smothered in golden flowers.

15 thoughts on “Letter from Rachel: a sample

  1. Sadje says:

    Thanks for the update. Missed you posts. Good luck with new venture and congrats on the book of poems.

  2. cedar51 says:

    Seoul certainly has made you “think” and possibly say “just do it…” – looks like we are in for an interesting continuing new journey with you…

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I would be glad to help with the survey in any way that we could across the continents. betsyfrompike@earthlink.net

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you Elizabeth! I will get in touch soon.

  4. rummuser says:

    I am sorry that the earlier comment went off before I could complete writing it.

    I am already subscribed to your posts. I will be happy with whatever frequency that you choose to send your letters.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I am happy to know that you’re subscribed. And I won’t overload your inbox.

  5. candidkay says:

    First of all, congrats on the book! I wish I was local–I’d come to a reading and applaud your work. Second, your drive amazes me. You’re tackling a lot! But all good things. Motivating me for my weekend . . . thanks;). Have a lovely one yourself.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh thank you Kay! I am flattered 🙂 Now it’s funny, tackling too many things is my weak point, and I think I have just narrowed down my jumble of activities to something manageable. Hope so.

  6. hilarymb says:

    Hi Rachel – thanks and I already am signed up – it’ll be really interesting to follow along and contribute where I can, or learn … I participated in your survey. I’ll check in on Ronni’s blog … the people who do blog at end of life – there was a doctor in the UK, who died at 33 or thereabouts, and others … do help us all understand more. Good luck with your new release – take care and cheers Hilary

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Hilary.

  7. I’m a new subscriber and I think I’m going to enjoy your blog very much!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you and welcome!

  8. alison41 says:

    I’m a regular subscriber (& appreciater of your work). You asked for help in the post – not quite sure if you want it at a local NZ level, or if distance will not be a problem. Let me know.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Alison thank you so much. I think I was premature in asking for help— things are becoming clearer very slowly. But I will let you know when the plan matures!

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