Wednesday 30 January 2019

Picking who to write to in February from The List

The address book/list over on a handwritten letter every day website is long. Very long. 

Who do you pick to write to? 

  • Do you choose names, and or countries? 
  • Perhaps pick someone with the same first name as you, or from a city of the same name.... 
For something more "random", how about grabbing the nearest printed book or magazine, and turning to page ????? then do a CTRL+F on the address list looking for the names/words mentioned on that page? The magazine or book used may well be a good topic for conversation in the letter you then write. On different days, you might have different books / magazines closest to you. What page???? Well, leave that for you to work out - perhaps ask a family member or friend or ... for a number. More than one CTRL+F search result? Then you could use your discretion. 

Tuesday 29 January 2019

3 more sleeps to go for InCoWriMo-2019

February is almost here, woo hoo, the shortest month on Earth. Why am I looking forward to February? Well, it is a month of handwriting letters every day. For those wanting to use typewriters, manual clunky thunky things, then the project for you is A Month of Letters (handwritten letters also allowed there).  The basic premise is to write a letter every (postal) day. This can be to family, to friends, to strangers (both sites have addresses available to send to), a mixture.  

To write a letter, I first need some ink, I mean, drink - a nice cup of tea.

A little longer and it'll be ready for milk. I like my loose-leaf tea. This duck tea-infuser is one of the better ones.

Also needed is a pen and paper. It doesn't have to be plain paper. It doesn't have to be airmail paper for international mail. The jolly envelope was part of a letter writing set from Paperchase.

Who to write to? If I have a letter I want to reply to that moment, I will do. I have ongoing correspondence with penfriends, some even from 4 or 5 years back through the old InCoWriMo site. The February projects can lead to long term / committed penfriendships, but not every letter will lead on to years of penfriendship. 

What if I wanted to write to someone new, I could look at the incowrimo-2019 address book. The list is long, and I could go scrolling up and down, stopping at random, and pick an address on screen. Or, I could look for countries or keywords in the address. CTRL+F is your friend. Last year, I chose some addresses with trees of some sort in them. I haven't decided what I'll search for this time. Also, I may pick a few people from the comments they have left on the website.

Once the letter is written, and addressed. I'll need stamps. These Game of Thrones stamps came out in January 2018 and I used some of them during February last year. For international mail, other stamps were needed in addition to these 1st class stamps.

I've skipped what to write in the letter. That is a subject up to you, but what I've gleaned from experience, and from others is that it should be written with genuine interest in the person you are sending to, perhaps with stories, anecdotes, and is a conversation you are having with the person you are writing to. 

Friday 25 January 2019

InCoWriMo-2019 preparation in progress.

 Although I still have a few letters to reply to, February means I will be on a letter writing binge so I need to prepare.

  • My pens have been cleaned (mostly) and inked. 
  • I have sorted out various writing papers I think I want to use up, also restocking my letter writing-travel-kit. 
  • I have selected some decorative tapes and stickers to carry about with me too.
  • I live in a touristy area and so raided the attractions leaflets, mostly produced for last year, so I could cut out the maps. I'll include one in some of my surprise letters, well, that is the plan.
  • I need to find my glue roller so I can affix the aforementioned maps to the letter paper when needed.
  • I have postage stamps to hand. I must go in search of Airmail labels.
I think that is about it for now. Is there anything I am missing? I will leave picking who to write to for later as people are still signing up, and signing up closes at the end of January for InCoWriMo-2019. and

Monday 7 January 2019

It is 2019! Where does the time go?

A question asked elsewhere was how many letters did you write in 2018? I didn't actually count but I reckon over 300 letters. I did however keep a record of when letters/postcards came in, and when I posted mail too so I could tot the numbers up. I did not mind the question though. 

I did used to give monthly stats but stopped because it may not be fair to say, "Look at me, look how many letters I write, look how much money I have spent on postage stamps, look how many penpals I have got!" Besides, perhaps I do not want to admit/realise how much money I spend on postage (or even how much stationery I bought last year - at least most of it was in the sales)! One of my penpals has over 150 other penfriends. Some might say that she is a penpal collector, and how can her letters be unique? Her letters are unique, and the ones to me are written just for me.

I could say how many different people I have written to in the past year, but I won't do that. With the likes of Facebook and the possibility of showing others how many "friends" you have on there, and Twitter & Instagram with followers, penpalling is not a popularity contest. It doesn't matter how many penpals you or I have. For me, it is the quality of the letter, the connection that I find is more important than quantity / popularity. For personal reference, though, it may be informative. 

What I might do when February has started & finished for 2019, is to count up the number of surprise letters received and sent through InCoWriMo-2019.