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.

Friday, 20 March 2020

February letters round up.

This is what a month of letters received looks like. Not for the whole of February but midway through until midway through March. I haven't counted them, and I should be replying to them in due course.

So, how did my Month of Letters / InCoWriMo / February Letters go? Quite well in the end, after flu in the first week (yes, just flu, not coronavirus). I sent over 50 letters (and a few postcards too).

As for receiving mail, I was away from home for over half the month, and so I have no idea exactly when some of the letters arrived. Overall, it was a good month.

One of the things I bought while away was a wax seal coin. I haven't tried it out yet. I have also ordered other wax seals. I am not going to tell you how many I have got, but I was rather shocked at the number I have.

I also bought a couple of bottles of ink, and 2 more ink samples, to be included on my inks page soon.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Slogan postmark

Here are some recent slogan postmarks from Royal Mail. I wonder if any of the letters I have sent recently have some slogans printed on the envelopes, and neatly at that.

Yes I do like you otherwise I might not have replied to the letter you wrote.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Penultimate Day

February is almost over for another year and InCoWriMo / LetterMo draws to a close. Apart from having flu early in the month, I have enjoyed writing missives to strangers. I have written some responses as well - but March is looking like a month full of replies.

One question that could be asked of me - why write to new people when you have plenty of penpals already? My response would be that I see this month as bringing the joy of letters to new people, perhaps trying letter writing for the first time or  since childhood. Making new connections also makes the world a smaller place.

Although it would be nice to have a reply, or at the very least a thanks either by snail mail or by electronic means, I am in part glad that not every InCoWriMo / LetterMo letter sent will not  yield long term correspondence. I know I cannot write to everyone. I respond to almost all InCoWriMo / LetterMo letters via snail mail. It may take time. I think I will be kept busy if I want to reply within a month of receipt.

Some letters do not have a hook to catch a reply. Some letters can be boring, or phrased politely and infer no response is required.

Apart from flu wiping me out for a week and no letters were written then, averaged over the course of the month, I have definitely written more than one letter a day. I am not disappointed, although I did start the month expecting to be able to write daily. I did also fail the Challenge A Day with the writing prompts. On days I could write, I didn't always use the prompt. Do writing prompts help?

Overall, I think it has been a good InCoWriMo/LetterMo. I hope everyone received at least one surprise (or first) missive. I also hope the person behind the alternate InCoWriMo site (the one with the year in the URL), will be OK, and my thoughts are with him.