Thursday, 5 November 2020

Still writing

 I'm still here, writing letters, trying to keep away from the elephants in the room topics. Five Questions, Answer by Snail Mail helps. After the current letter I am in the middle of writing, I will answer someone's Five Questions, posted on the A World of Snail Mail forum. 

1st October was World Postcard Day, and where do I know that loves postcards? Why yes, Postcrossing. And so, for it, I requested a couple of addresses and posted them, as well as another postcard to reply to one from Russia sent during February for A Month of Letters. 

There isn't much space on the postcard for many nice stamps. I wanted to use up some of the older stamps than buy the new stamps of the new value for sending by international standard / Air Mail / Post Awyr / Par Avion!

I had slowed down on writing letters recently, as there were days I just didn't feel like picking up a pen. Ideally, I want to reply between a fortnight and a month, but was running at 6 weeks for a few letters last month. I've found my mojo again.

I have written and sent over 365 letters this year, and it feels great! I should surpass 400 before long. I do tend to slow down in December, but whether I will this year, I don't know. Letters bring joy. 

Monday, 21 September 2020

Snail Mail September 2020 update

As Week 3 of Snail Mail September draws to a close, I thought I would give an update on how I am doing. 

I wrote a letter outdoors for week 1, when the sun was shining and the birds were singing. I sat outside in the front garden, glancing up from the letter every now and again, to watch the world go by.

For week 2, I wrote in coloured fountain pen inks. I was able to post one letter in a postbox I'd never fed before. I always use interesting stamps but didn't put in an entry for that.

For week 3, I have used washi tape. I usually use washi for sealing up letters, and a few stickers too. I have plenty of washi tapes and stickers, but sometimes forget to use them.

I have used wax seals on many of the letters I have sent, but I have forgotten to take pictures of them, or they've turned out a bit blurry/not quite all in focus. 

(pictures taken from @aworldofsnailmail on Instagram)

So, with one week and a bit remaining of September, I intend to write some letters to be sent overseas, include some tuck-ins, and perhaps attempt a doodle. I wrote something with my non-dominant hand in February.

I'll come up with some new prompts for February Letters. What would you like to see in them? What didn't you like from this year's selection of prompts (list up on my previous blog entry)?

Monday, 7 September 2020

Snail Mail prompts and challenges.

Over on the forum, a new challenge was started - Snail Mail September, with the hashtag #snailmailseptember2020 and it is running on Instagram, and the forum's Facebook group.

Week 1


•Decorate an envelope for a letter you’re mailing

•Write to a family member

•Write a letter Outdoors

•Send a postcard to someone you haven’t seen in a while.

Week 2


•Decorate mail in seasonal colors

•Mail a letter from a new-to-you postbox

•Use an interesting stamp to mail something

•Write a letter/postcard in colored ink

Week 3


•Send a photograph

•Write to someone about a memory you have of them

•Send something about your city/town/state

•Use a sticker or washi tape to decorate your mail

Week 4


•Write something with your non-dominant hand

•Send mail to another country

•Include a tuck-in in your letter/card

•Draw a doodle/sketch on your letter/postcard

For February, a lighter challenge than InCoWriMo, I started February Letters with A Challenge-a-day with 29 prompts/tasks to do in your letter for the day (and it didn't matter if a letter could not be completed that day).

1st: Use the word duck

2nd: Write a sentence backwards

3rd: Draw some eyes

4th: What can you hear while you write?

5th: What is the nearest tree to your home?

6th: Use the word bird

7th: Did you see a cat this week?

8th: Use the word snowman

9th: What book(s) are you reading?

10th: Draw a smiley face

11th: Do you have any houseplants?

12th: Use the word weather

13th: What was the last boardgame you played?

14th: Did you make any resolutions for 2020?

15th: Use the word postcard

16th: Can you play a musical instrument?

17th: Use the word DIY

18th: What was the last photo you took?

19th: Do you like travelling by train?

20th: Who is your favourite cartoon character?

21st: Can you see a clock while you write?

22nd: Where are you writing the letter?

23rd: Use the word cup

24th: Write a sentence with your eyes closed.

25th: What does your name rhyme with?

26th: What was the last household chore you did?

27th: Do you have a favourite household chore?

28th: Do you collect anything?

29th: Would you like to have your birthday today?

I shall be changing the prompts/tasks for next year. Which ones are good and should stay (or be changed very slightly), and which ones should be changed totally?

These are great prompts/tasks. Do they help? Would you like to see more mini-challenges? 

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

A World of Snail Mail forum

I started A World of Snail Mail forum 5 years ago today although did not open up the membership until two days later. I didn't know what to expect, or how the forum would turn out. 

I have been a member of various penpal groups and websites for a few years prior. Although all these places have good points, there are some unwanted points too. I want somewhere people could feel welcome no matter their gender, and new people to be able to contribute to the various topics.

While new penpals have been found through the forum, the main purpose was for discussion. Now we have Five Questions, Answer by Snail Mail as an icebreaker for correspondence. Even long term penpals answer the questions.

The forum is still small, and that is OK. Quality over quantity. It seems like I could personally vouch for every member. 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Still writing

Snail mail life still continues. I can write to penpals around the world, postal services permitting. The lovely people at Postcrossing have come up with a Postal Monitor to keep track of service disruptions, and links to service updates on the various postal websites.

Some mail has been delayed, sailing across the oceans. For a while, I was sending most letters to the US via the international economy (surface mail) rate. Mail for continental Europe still had to go by Air Mail.

I haven't been able to buy any of the new issue stamps. The last issue I bought was the James Bond issue, but I wasn't able to get many. Years of buying stamps meant I didn't really need to buy stamps. I might try for the next issue celebrating the music group, Queen.

I have been receiving post. Some has come with slogan postmarks. This one, Let's Talk Loneliness is from this month.

Others have been able to buy the new stamps out in the US. I quite like the new global forever stamp, but it does look a little like something else, unintended.
I also like some of the stamps out of Germany. I wasn't a huge fan of Sesame Street but I did learn things from it.
I think I like most stamps. Look how small the stamp is from Canada!
However, it doesn't have the magic in some of the stamps Royal Mail has produced. There were a few issues for Star Wars but only 1 issue had the magic revealed via UV.
Stamps not only can take letters/parcels through the post, they can take people on a journey of knowledge. I really should read more about John Archer, a mayor in London. Wikipedia doesn't have a lot on him.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

The Elephant in the Room, part 2.

It is difficult to escape the current topic affecting the world: Covid-19. But how should you approach this in letters? I don't think it is a topic to be totally ignored, whether your area is in lockdown or curfew on top of general distancing measures, or your area has come out the other side as restrictions start to lift.

The last letter I wrote, I tried to look on the bright side of life, what with wildlife returning to places usually frequented by tourists and people in general, and some pollution levels dropping.

Do you have more time to be able to do hobbies, especially if you've been able to work from home rather than commute to the office? Maybe you are rediscovering things.

However for one penpal whose letter arrived today, rather than go on about The Virus, he kept his missive short.

All I can hope for is for this blog post to find you and your loved ones safe and well.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

The Elephant in The Room

Last week I wrote a letter. However, I did not send it. After a night's sleep, I decided I didn't quite like what I had written in all, so tore the letter up (and composted it), to start afresh. I had ranted on about Covid-19. While it is hard to escape this topic of the moment, I feel it should not encompass the whole missive. So, I wrote less about Covid and more about the other things I wanted to tell my penfriend about. When I finished it, I felt much more satisfied with it.

Maybe I should restart a journal, and use that to rant and rave in.