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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 16, 2006

You can write the perfect love letter

Advertiser News Services

Taking extra care with the words used and presentation for a love letter can reap dividends with the object of your affection.

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What's the best way to sweep your lover off his or her feet? Try writing a love letter.

Victoria Napolitano, a police officer in San Jose, Calif., who has set up a business in writing love letters for the romantically impaired, says a well-written love letter can make or break a relationship.

"Love letters are often saved and savored for more years than the actual relationship," she says. "They are an expression of feelings in words that capture innermost desires and hopes ... like nothing else will ever do."

Napolitano says a handwritten love letter is likely to get men the prize of affection. "Don't wimp out. This is no time for yellow stickies. This is not a business memo either," she advises.

"The writers of poems and letters in the 18th and 19th centuries really understood the power of personal letter writing," Napolitano says. "The impact cannot be compared."

Napolitano suggests you take some of the Romantics' lessons and modernize them with technology to make your Valentine's a special experience this year.

A personal, handwritten love letter is probably the easiest and one of the least expensive ways to tell your honey how much you love her or him.

Napolitano offers some advice to those who want to take a crack at it. Here's what she suggests:

  • Plan ahead and start early.

  • Buy some really fancy parchment or paper with a matching envelope.

  • Buy some wax for a nice envelope seal.

  • Get a classy ribbon to wrap the package. Use a fancy pen or a calligraphy pen. "The love-letter-writing masters knew that presentation and mystery are all part of the excitement and enticement," she says.

  • Use a special picture or photograph.

  • Set aside writing time.

  • Research what you want to write in advance.

  • Search online for inspiration. Search on the words "romantic love letters" and you'll find some of the most famous love letters of all time. Use them for inspiration and convert them into words that convey your own feelings.

  • Write the words down in advance. Rewrite them until they sing. You don't need a lot just a few heartfelt lines. The only real requirement is that the words be really personal and really true.

    The opening and closing have to be carefully matched to the nature of your relationship, the personalities of both people and the state or stage of development of the relationship, Napolitano advises.

    "You don't want to be too forward if it's too early," she says, "yet you don't want her to think you want to be friends if you are actually thinking about marrying her."

    The closing of the letter should summarize your feelings.

    Then put it all together. Place the words on the page and place the picture on the stationery in a tactful and balanced way. There had better be no typos or misspellings.

    Scent the package lightly and seal the envelope with the wax. This way the recipient experiences the letter with all the senses.

    Napolitano suggests you place it in a special envelope, and deliver it with candies or flowers. Slip it in your loved one's brief- case or lunch box, or ask a waiter to give it to her as she is having lunch.

    Whatever you do, just make sure you add a tiny little bit of extra flair and make sure that it gets delivered in time and not too late.

    Learn more: www.eleganceinwords.com