I have a special post lined up for today. After reading and reviewing The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith I was deeply moved and fascinated by the use of Postcards as a way of keeping up with each other. It's such an original and refreshing concept that I had to ask Jennifer about it. In this post you will see how Postcards was an inspiration for me and my childhood til now and how it made this novel into a Global Love Story.
Wish you were here
Hope you Enjoy.
The 'postcard' except of the novel that inspired me...
"He flicked the light over the dishwasher, then the oven, and finally up to the refrigerator, which was covered in postcards, each one pinned by a brightly colored magnet. he sat up to take a closer look, focusing the light so he could read the names scrawled over them: Florence, Cape Town, Prague, Barcelona, Cannes, Saint Petersburg.
"Wow," he said. "Have you been to all these places?"
Lucy laughed. "Do you think I'm sending myself postcards?"
"No," he said, his face burning. "I just figured-"
"They're from my parents. They go to amazing places, and I get a piece of cardboard," she explained with a shrug. "They always bring one of my brothers a magnet and the other a snow globe. It's kind of a tradition. Apparently I asked for a postcard once I was little, and I guess it sort of stuck."
He glanced again at the mosaic of photographs. "Postcards are overrated anyway."
"Oh yeah?" she asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Yeah, I mean, what's the worst thing you can say to someone who isn't on some beautiful beach with?"
" 'Wish you were here' " He rapped his knuckles against the scene of Greece, which was hanging near the bottom. "I mean, come on. If they really wished you were there, they'd have invited you in the first place, right? It's kind of mean, if you really think about it. It should say: 'Greece: Where nobody's all the upset you're not here.'"
... But to his relief, she began to laugh. " 'Rome: Where it is beautiful, we've pretty much forgotten about you,' " she said, sitting up. Her arms were looped around her bare legs, and her mouth was twisted in humour. " 'Sydney: Where you're really missing out.' "
*Taken from my e-galley version. This may not be same in the final publication.
I've collect postcards for years since I was a little girl where all my family and friends would send them wherever they went. It's such a refreshing and original concept to use postcards as a way to communicate between to people...
What made you use this between Owen and Lucy? What's makes it so different between, letters, emails or face to face?
"As a kid, one of the highlights of our family vacations was getting to send postcards back home to my friends. And I was thinking recently about how rarely that happens now. I live in New York City, so I walk by tourist shops all the time, and I see the racks filled with glittering pictures of Manhattan at night or at sunset, and they seem to sort of represent the best of the place. So in sending one, it feels like you're giving the person who can't be there a little piece of the moment, and there's something incredibly romantic about that -- though there's also something really practical about it too. Because there's only so much space on the back, you have to get right to the point. You have to say the thing that matters most, whether it's "I love you" or "I miss you" or "Wish you were here." A postcards is much more succinct than a letter, much more deliberate than an email, much more visually beautiful than either one. So for the book, I just really loved the idea of these two characters trading postcards across the distance, and how -- in spite of the length of time it took, and in spite of the amount of space they had to express themselves -- it still meant the world to them."
---> Jennifer E. Smith
After reading again over the postcard excerpt above, I realised that Lucy is similar to me in how I started collecting and receiving postcards. When I was a little girl, my family would go abroad and I always say 'Send me a postcard...' and it kind of stuck with my family. Even now, 19 years old, I think it will always be a tradition for me, I will send postcards to my family too. Just receiving that postcard, I would always have a smile on my face and treasure it as a little girl. Then I started a collection... I have hundreds and here is a sneak peak at my collection...
|Only a portion of my postcard collection,|
received around the whole world.
|Postcards inspired by The Geography|
of You and Me
Sending a postcard doesn't just send a message, it sends a part of yourself with it. Using it as a way to keep in touch with someone you care very deeply for on the opposite end of the world and then reading about it one author becoming one of my favourites in contemporary writing really inspired me.