Hello, happy Monday everyone! I hope your week will be wonderful!
Before I post today’s penpal interview, I just want to let you know that I’m still looking for people to swap with. If you’d like to receive 29 stationery sheets like this, let me know! I have a total of 116 sheets, so I can send 29 of them to 4 different people. If you want to make sure that you can trust me, you can look at my perfect ratings / positive feedback on Etsy and Swap-Bot. Thanks!
And now let’s meet the Penpal of the Week.
Please tell us about you!
Hi y’all! :) My name is Holly, I’m 23 and I live in Texas. I have a younger sister named Cara and we’re really close, even though sometimes we want to kill each other in the way only sisters can. Currently I’m working in marketing for the summer, but I’d like to do something more with writing or public relations. My dream is to work in the music industry in some way. My favorite color is pink, and I have a weakness for anything glittery, even worse if it’s pink and glittery! One of my favorite things is to curl up in bed and read a book while listening to it rain outside. I love cheese and olives a lot, and my favorite dessert is red velvet cake.
Me before a Dallas Cowboys game.
I love reading so much and I always have a book (or five) at hand. Some of my favorites include “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith, “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson, “Let’s Get Lost” by Sarra Manning, “The Song Reader” by Lisa Tucker, and “Diary” by Chuck Palahniuk. I live down the street from a library and it’s my second home. I tend to read mostly fiction and romance, but I’m always open to suggestions.
I really love music. It’s really important to me, I own so many cds and some vinyl as well. I love how music speaks to you and I just couldn’t live without it. Going to concerts is one of my favorite things in the entire world, and I try to go to one every month or so if I can. My first concert was Morrissey in 2005 when I was 15. My most recent concert was Warped Tour, where I got to see Taking Back Sunday for the seventh time. They’re one of my top favorite bands, along with Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines and Foo Fighters. I also love Britney Spears, Drake and Jay-Z. I love pretty much all music except country.
My younger sister Cara and I.
I also love American football (Dallas Cowboys, Texas Longhorns) and soccer / football (Manchester City and FC Dallas). In case you’re curious about how I like Manchester City, don’t worry as I’ve prepared an explanation. I always thought I didn’t like soccer because it was boring until I watched the 2010 World Cup and realised that it’s really that MLS soccer here in America isn’t at the same talent level as the rest of the world. I do like FC Dallas, especially because it’s close and tickets are cheap, but the English Premier League is just so much more exciting. In 2007 I visited England and while there I visited Manchester and I fell in love. I had some extra money at the end of the trip and I bought a Manchester City jersey because I liked the light blue color, I had read a book about New Order and I think that was the team they supported. Basically I knew nothing about the team / soccer at all. I kept it and when I got into soccer in 2010 it just felt right that City was my team, and I’ve supported them ever since. One day I want to go back to Manchester and go to a game!
Me with New York City in the background with my Manchester City scarf.
Describe your personality in 10 words!
Passionate, loud, caring, creative, happy, talkative, excited, loving, friendly, optimistic.
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I’ve been penpalling for about a year now, I started last summer. After I graduated college, I moved back home and away from all my friends. I had trouble finding a job and felt a little lost, and when I stumbled upon a pen pal group on Live Journal it just felt like it was meant to be. I had a lot of trouble at first finding pen pals that really stuck around. My first real pen pal was Rachel from New Jersey, unfortunately she stopped writing me a few months ago. It took me a while to find people that would write more than one letter but eventually I found some wonderful friends. This blog actually helped me find a lot of my pals!
I also write to one of my college friends, one of my high school friends, and one of my very best friends, Pete. He lives in New York and writing letters is a fun way to still feel close while being halfway across the country. We talk on the phone all the time, but I really enjoy getting mail from him too!
My friend Pete and I pretending to fly a plane.
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
I have about 15 wonderful pen pals and they’re from America, Canada, England, Finland, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand.
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
I discuss anything and everything, it just depends on the pal! I love music and tend to talk about it a lot, especially with my pals that I know like it as well. My pal Kiera in New York and I swap stories about concerts we’ve been to, and my English pal Sukie and I started writing because we both love The Libertines. One of my Canadian pen pals Kaitlyn and I started writing and we really bonded because we’re both working in more creative fields and it’s not often the easiest career path. It’s really nice to be able to talk to her about that because she can really relate to my experiences starting out in the working world.
Generally, I tend to just ramble on about what happened to me that day, what I ate, what music I’ve been listening to, and just whatever random thoughts occur to me while I’m writing. I give all my pen pals a fair warning that I tend to ramble on and be quite random in my letters, luckily I’ve found people that will put up with it. The longer I write to a pen pal, the more personal and in depth I tend to get about my life.
My washi tape collection.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
I want someone I can get along with, that I feel I am truly friends with. It’s important to me that I feel like we “click”. It’s hard to explain, but you know when you find it. I like a give and take, I want to know about you but I also love when my pals ask questions and really make the letters interactive and like a real conversation. Basically, I want a true friend. I also like to exchange little gifts from time to time, especially tea!
What do you like the most about penpalling?
There’s so much to love about penpalling! I’ve gotten to meet some wonderful people all over the world. It’s so fun to go to your mailbox and get a letter from a friend. I also feel like I’m learning a little more about the world too. There’s just something amazing about writing letters to someone you’ve never met in another country and being able to forge a real connection with them.
I also love all the pretty things that go along with penpalling – washi tape, pretty stationery, mail art and stamps! I’ve made friends with one of the postal workers at my local post office and he will pull out all the stamps for me to look at and pick what designs I want to buy. I’ve been venturing more into mail art lately and it’s been fun. One of my Canadian pen pals Ashley always sends me envelopes covered in the most amazing and creative collages and it inspires me to push myself to be more creative with my mail.
Some of the amazing mail art I get from my lovely pen pals.
In what language(s) do you correspond?
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
When I get a letter, after I read it it goes in my “to be replied to” basket. When I start writing a letter, I pick out the paper and envelope first, and usually address and put stamps on the envelope first, then write the letter. I used to sit on the floor with my pink and white zebra clipboard and write the letter, but as I now have a big beautiful black desk that’s where I currently write my letters from. Sometimes I reply quicker than others but you will always get a letter back. The speed isn’t consistent but the content and quality of the letters are (at least I hope so!). I’d rather have you wait for a letter than get one before it’s ready to be sent. I have some pals that I just write note cards with, some it’s 2-3 pages and some are longer yet. I generally try to write as much as what was written to me, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. I also have a notebook in which I record all of my incoming and outgoing mail, so I know when I need to check up on a pal or make sure my letter wasn’t lost.
My beautiful desk where I sit to write letters! You can see my
“to be replied to” basket on the left and my clipboard I use to write letters on.
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
Once one of my British pen pals put the wrong stamp on a letter so it was sent on a boat with an official note explaining the delay, it took 2 months to get to me but somehow didn’t get lost!
Have you met any of your penpals?
No, not yet, but I hope to in the future.
This is what my handwriting looks like!
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
I’m not actively looking but if anyone out there feels they would get along with me, send me an email!
Thank you so much for interviewing me, Julie! :)
You’re very welcome, Holly. Thanks for playing along!