Archive for Penpal Interviews

November 10th, 2014

Penpal of the Week #150

 

Happy Monday! I can’t believe that 150 people have been interviewed on this blog already. Isn’t it amazing?! Let’s find out who’s the special #150…

 

Please tell us about you!

My name is Jason. I’m 18 years old.

 

Top 10 quirks:

1. I’m vegetarian.

2. I’m Sagittarius

3. Artist

4. I love The Beatles

5. Love dogs!

6. Spring is my favourite season.

7. I’m an only child.

8. I knit.

9. I like to press flowers.

10. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says peace in braille.

 

Jason 1

Selfie.

 

I have rainbow gauges in my ears. I’m FTM transgender but only identify as a very gay male. I will write to anybody! I love fast food, tie dying, decorating my room, shopping online and off (but mostly online), cuddling with my Cockapoo named Mickey, throwing parties, eating candy, making things, fashion, can’t cook to save my life, Netflix, crafts, clubbing, and making people laugh, I am generous and enjoy Oldies. Green is my favourite colour. I hate the colour orange. Halloween is my favourite holiday. I’m addicted to playing Kardashian on my Ipod and just recently using Instagram. I want to travel a ton one day and be an elementary school art teacher. I collect international stamps, postcards, Betty and Veronica Archie Comics, kawaii stuff, *stickers*, and trinkets (I pick things off the ground, I’m a klepto like that). I write in a diary everyday. I believe loosely in karma, fate, kismet, déjà vu, reincarnation, dreams, destiny & fate. I love four stores: Etsy, Hot Topic, Francesca’s, & Claire’s. People say I look like Brenton Thwaites. My Celeb Hotties are: Joseph Gordon-Levitt *swoon*, James Franco, Paul McCartney, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Krasinski & Josh Hutcherson (I have no idea why they all mostly start with “J” lol). But my favourite actors are Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman.

 

My favourite foods/restaurants are mangos, 99 Restaurant, Dominoes pizza, pickles, & Pinkberry/Froyo World.

 

Jason 2

My cockapoo Mickey.

 

~Social Media~ : Facebook, Instagram.

 

My favourite movies and TV shows are Juno, Aquamarine, The Office, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Investigation Discovery, Bojack Horseman, Detention, Crank Yankers, How To Catch a Predator, Mary and Max, Bates Motel, Bob’s Burgers, & Dateline. As for Horror films the scariest I’ve seen are: Vile, Quarentine, Would You Rather & Truth or Die. My favourite books are The Catcher In The Rye, It’s Kind Of a Funny Story, & Life As we Knew it.

 

My favourite quotes are “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “If you wait to tell someone you love them, it’s too late.” -Paul McCartney “If you don’t shoot, you don’t score.” “It’s all okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” -Paul McCartney

 

Jason 3

At the beach.

 

Describe your personality in 10 words!

creative, imaginative, artistic, impulsive, dreamer, unique, generous, thoughtful, fun :3

 

How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I have been penpalling since I was around 9. I met a girl at a beach named Joy, and still write her. Then met a homeschooled girl named Lilly who was bland, & converted me into vegetarianism when I was twelve. Lost contact over a fight I can’t remember. Then I started writing to my Nana’s Bestfriend’s granddaughter named Emily when I was around 13. Haven’t heard from her by letter since before my transition I think.

 

Jason 4

Me at my 1st grade spelling bee when I spelled field wrong.

 

How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

Don’t let this number turn you away but I have like fourty+ penpals. I’m in the process of counting them by sending them index cards that say: “Please send back to me :) Name, Address, Bday:” One of my penpals sent one to me, that’s where I got this organizational idea from. I have pen pals from France, Germany, Canada, America, Portugual, Italy, & Asia.

 

What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

Movies, books, music, daily stuff, dogs, pets, things we collect, & shopping!

 

Jason 5

I love Haunted Houses, they should be around year round.

 

What are you looking for in a penpal?

Looking for: • Pen Pals • Art Pals • Package Pals • Snail Mail

 

If you literally like anything I like email me and we can get this party started! I ask that you age 13-29. No country requirements, I enjoy using stamps lol. What I expect from a penpal is LGBTQA respect and a consistency to correspondence. But I seriously love meeting new people with different interests and writing to them, so if you are interested hit me up! (jbartlett1@my.ccri.edu)

 

What do you like the most about penpalling?

Learning about other places, making lasting friends and sending gifts.

 

In what language(s) do you correspond?

English :)

 

Jason 6

My handwriting and address.

 

What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I write my letters in class, at home in my room, or in moving vehicles. It takes me 1-2 days to write back, this only depends on if I have stamps, and me organizing what I will send to the penpal.

 

Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

I had some really creepy looking guy in Australia asking to send sexy letters back and forth. I threw away the photo and letter immediately it was scary. But, we are continents away so that settled my fears a bit. I watch too mush scary stuff. Cross that. I don’t watch enough. :)

 

Have you met any of your penpals?

I’ve met Lilly, Emily, Joy, and this girl Sophie I met at club Ego.

 

Jason 7

When I met Michelle Kwan.

 

Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Yes, I’d love that, I never turn people away, I only turn away people not in my generation. I feel we can’t relate in that way. I don’t mind writing first when I have an excess of stamps but that’s rare haha, so I’m hopeful potential new friends don’t mind writing first. I send small gifts, and even surprise you when I’m thinking of you. Thanks for reading!

 

Thank you Jason!

 

Who would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week next?

November 4th, 2014

Penpal of the Week #149

 

Sorry for being a day late with the Penpal of the Week interview! Yesterday was one of those days where everything that can go wrong does – don’t you hate them?!

 

Thankfully, today is a lot better, so I can finally publish the interview I did with Denise. I thought it would be fun to feature my girlfriend on her birthday week! She’s turning 39 on November 6. Here you go!

 

Please tell us about you!

I’m Denise and I live with the most beautiful (soon to be my wife) woman in all the world. We live in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec. We have 3 cats that keep us entertained. My self-imposed job title is: minion. I rather like it. I enjoy playing personal assistant to Julie as we maintain Penpal of the Week, the League of Extraordinary Penpals and La Papierre. I have a 14 year old son, Robbie, who lives in South Dakota with his dad.

 

Denise1

This is me, a lovely shot taken by Julie.

 

Things I like: Snow, coffee, Tilt-A-Whirls, board & card games, dry red wine, watching people I love from a distance, the color orange, pinball, acoustic (but not live) versions of any songs, autumn, American football, sushi, holding hands with Julie, rainy days, washi tape, imperial rolls, camping, popcorn, Moleskines, cooking, golfing, social media, old people, shoes, pizza, 1970s aesthetics & design, Apple products, Nibs, cilantro, bags, pumpkin flavored things, big fluffy blankets, appetizers, beer and swiss cheese.

 

Things I dislike: Injustice, laundry, mosquitos, judgmental people, raspberries, blackberries and putting tupperware/plastic containers away.

 

Describe your personality in 10 words!

Caring, generous, patient, supportive, humble, encouraging, calm, easy-going, organized and efficient.

 

mylove

I love this girl with everything in me.

 

How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I have been sending notes and cards since I was about 18 years old. I would send encouraging words to family and friends. And sometimes I would seek out strangers to send a note to as well. When I would see a story in the news or hear about someone who was struggling I would track down their address so that I could put something in the mail to them.

 

In 2013 I felt the urge to step up my writing and look for ways I also could connect with people who would write back when I sent mail out. I started an online search for penpalling and I found this blog right away. And through this blog I discovered the League of Extraordinary Penpals. I joined right away and that’s where I found my very fist penpal, Sherri.

 

I felt an instant connection with Sherri and immediately I admired her for the quiet strength she displayed. We had adoption in common, as we both have adopted children. I believe this was one of the first things we initially wrote about. Sherri is a faithful and consistent penpal that I’ve grown very fond of.

 

Denisevanhoutte

Writing letters at our favorite local cafe.

Julie probably caught me looking up how to spell a word.

 

How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

I currently have 17 penpals. 4 from Canada, 1 from France, 1 from Sweden, 1 from the UK and 10 from the United States.

 

What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I do like to write some about the happenings of my life, but I really prefer to take a particular thought or experience and expound in great detail about it. I like to write about the people around me, sometimes they are complete strangers and sometimes they are the people I know and love. I like to write about observations I’ve made. I value story. I also frequently like to bring up opinions or theories on topics so that I can hear other people’s perspective. I always respect and welcome a different point of view, as long as the respect is reciprocated.

 

rainbowletter

A sample of my tiny handwriting in a rainbow letter

I sent off to my penpal Sofie in Sweden.

 

What are you looking for in a penpal?

I am looking for penpals who can get beyond the surface level of communication. I’m simply not all that interested in that stuff. What’s going on in your head and heart beyond the initial protective wall we walk around with?

 

What do you like the most about penpalling?

“Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.” When I first heard this quote from Lord Byron I instantly connected with it. I am someone who values solitude. When I sit down to read a letter from my penpal I feel as though I’m spending time with them, in a quiet one on one kind of way. And when I sit down to reply to a letter I feel the same kind of connection.

 

I always have the goal to live my life with intentionality. Penpalling is completely intentional. It takes time and effort to write a letter. There is something pretty remarkable about someone taking the time to sit down and hand write words for you.

 

process

The beginning process of decorating an envelope.

 

In what langauge(s) do you correspond?

English. I’m currently learning the French language, but I am not near fluent enough to correspond. One day I will be able to write to a penpal in French.

 

What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I used to not be able to write a letter if I wasn’t at a desk or table, but I’ve recently discovered the joy of snuggling up on the couch next to Julie while we write letters and it’s become my favorite space to write. Very rarely do I write on the back of stationery, unless it’s lined on both sides. My handwriting is very small so I can fit more of a letter in less pages.

 

When I start a letter I will spend some initial time writing about me and what’s going on in my world and then I will jump in and respond to the things in the letter I’m replying to.

 

Some of my letters are long and some are short. I enjoy having a variety of short and long letter penpals.

 

Lines. If I don’t write on lined stationery then my letter becomes a visual mess that is not enjoyable for anybody. My favorite kind of lines to write on involve graph/grid patterns.

 

It is difficult for me to make the time to sit down and write an entire letter in one sitting. I tend to write for a bit, do other life things and then return to the letter. Repeat.

 

I’m not great at asking questions in my letters. It’s not because I’m not interested, I’m basically interested in everything. However, it feels rote and awkward for me to ask the questions. I prefer when letters take on a more natural back and forth ebb & flow. However, if I’m super curious about something in particular I will always ask.

 

I really enjoy decorating envelopes. I’m not much of a cut envelopes out of magazine/scrapbook paper kind of snail mail artist. I mostly like to take standard envelopes and make them look nice.

 

graphletter

I really really really like to write on graph paper.

 

Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

When I lived in Georgia I became friends with a lady who worked at my local post office. She loved to look at the pieces of mail I sent out and loved all the washi on the envelopes. I would visit my post office friend every day with a piece of outgoing mail and she would ooh and aah. One day while I was paying for some stamps I thought I heard a chicken cluck. I ignored this because I knew I would not be hearing chickens while I was paying for stamps at the post office. Cluck cluck, I heard it again. I must have had a funny look on my face because my postal worker friend busted out laughing at me.

 

Apparently the customer before me had come in to send off his package, a live chicken. There was a box with holes and a live and breathing chicken was being sent in the mail. I had no idea. I was so amazed by this I had to Google the shipping of live chickens and found quite a few websites about it, like this one.

 

live chicken

There was a live chicken clucking for dear life in this box.

 

Have you ever met any of your penpals?

I have met one of my penpals in Wisconsin. I was making a road trip from Georgia to South Dakota and I stopped along the way to share an ice cream cone with Laima. I was somewhat in a hurry to get to my destination so we didn’t have much time to chat, but it was a great experience to meet a penfriend face to face.

 

Last May, Julie and I met my penpal Katie. We went out for sushi with Katie and her husband Carl. Then we hung out for a bit at Katie’s place.

 

jkdcollage

Julie, Katie and I.

 

Are you currently looking for more penpals?

No. But yes. I’m looking for some non-traditional types of penpals. I’m looking for a senior citizen penpal. I’m looking for a postcard only penpal. I’m looking for a notecard only penpal.

 

Thank you Denise! <3

 

If anyone wants to send a little something in the mail to Denise, just use the address on this page. And if anyone would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week before 2014 ends, please get in touch with me!

Hello!

My name is Julie and I'm 34.
I live in Québec (close to Montréal) and I speak French.

I write letters, I love stationery and I have a handwriting fetish. I often eat sushi, still feel like I'm 16 and only wear skirts & dresses (with colorful tights when it's cold).

I'm happier with a mind full of ideas, a mailbox full of letters from my penpals, a shop full of stationery, a house full of cats and a day full of hugs.

Read my Top 10 Quirks here.


This is me with my girlfriend,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after amongst
piles of cats and stationery.

Denise will blog here
from time to time and is
the one in charge of the
social media: Facebook,
Twitter and Pinterest.

She's 38 years old,
from the United States,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

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