Julie and I are recovering from a nasty case of food poisoning that we suffered from this weekend… so I’m happy to be focusing on something positive like this lovely interview with Beatrice!
Please tell us about you!
I’m Beatrice, but family and friends call me Bea. I was a very serious child, so not many people called me Bea until I was an adult. I am making up for lost time, as I am not a very serious adult! I am 36 years old, but I certainly don’t act my age. Old is relative!
I live in Missouri, but I consider myself a Kentuckian. I’ve also lived in California and Oklahoma (most recently). I have a partner, John, who I’ve been with for 5 years. We also went to high school together, but no sappy love story. We have two cats.
I am a Special Education Teacher, but moved in the middle of the school year due to John’s job. I’m applying to graduate school to get a Master’s Degree, and eventually a Ph.D. I think that being a Special Ed teacher is the best profession, and I’m excited about mentoring and guiding new teachers. I’m also geeking out about the research aspect.
I am by no means a selfie expert!
This is me at Wizard World Comic Con in Tulsa, OK last November.
I have more interests than I have time for! I love creative pursuits. I knit, crochet, sew, dabble in paper crafts. I am a crafting junkie. I also write. Mostly poetry, but I’m trying to write more short stories as well. I love to learn new things (and have new experiences!) I read like crazy. Urban fantasy is my favorite genre, but I also love adventure. Really, I’ll read anything, though.
My blog: http://beawrites.wordpress.com
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beawhiz
Describe your personality in 10 words!
Disorganized, feminist, writer, bookworm, geek, socially awkward, vegetarian, teacher, learner.
Borg- My furbaby, hanging out with me while I answer a letter.
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
When I was in middle school, one of my teachers in an elective–French, I believe–asked us if we wanted a penpal. I was connected to someone from Japan. I don’t remember her name or how long we wrote. I then wrote a friend who I’d gone to camp with in high school. In college, I picked it up again and haven’t quit since!
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
I don’t keep count of how many penpals I have. I’m disorganized (probably my biggest flaw), so I have a reply pile and respond as letters come in. I don’t care about how long anyone takes to write since I have a tendency to take a while. I just enjoy getting (and sending!) mail.
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
Anything geeky. TV, movies, books, cosplay, comic-cons. Daily life, creative pursuits. Travels, funny or weird stories.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
I like penpals who ramble on about just about anything, because that’s what I do! I also enjoy penpals who ask lots of questions. I generally ask questions in my letters, but sometimes I forget. Penpals who also forgive my long lapses in communication are awesome!
Feminism in Fandom panel- I got to talk about two of my favorite things at the Comic-Con:
Feminism and Geekery! It was one of the most awesome experiences, and we had a great
audience. I got the opportunity through my Nerdy Girls group in Oklahoma City.
They have several chapters, and are an awesome group of ladies.
What do you like the most about penpalling?
I love making connections with people all over the world. It’s a vicarious way to travel. It’s also a way to “meet” people that you may not have otherwise. I have only one life to live, and I like to hear other people’s stories. What brought them to the place they’re in, vacations they’ve been on, weird or funny things that have happened to them, and so on.
In what language(s) do you correspond?
English. I know a little Spanish, German, Dutch, French, and American Sign Language, although you can’t really write a letter in ASL. I wish I was fluent enough to write letters in all those languages, but English is my only writing language. I appreciate all the people in other countries who have learned English well enough to write in it!
A small percentage of my pen collection- Obviously, my favorite
office supply is pens! I have a bit of a problem. This photo doesn’t even
show a small portion of the pens I possess.
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I have only ever once written a letter in one sitting! I usually write them stretched over a day or two, sometimes longer. I pick out stationery and a matching pen specifically for the letter I’m writing. I’m addicted to office supplies and have more pens than I’ll ever be able to use. I am making a foray into fountain pens currently. The length of my letters varies depending on what’s going on and how long the letter I’m replying to is. Right now, I’m running at about a month in reply time.
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
Sadly, no. I wish I could say yes, because what a story it would make! I’ve wanted to do “naked mail” for a while now, but haven’t thus far. I do love to swap things in the mail. I love it when penpals tuck things into a letter. I try to remember to do it as well, but usually forget in the push to get letters to the post office.
This is our other cat, General Tso. We call her Sophie for short.
Have you met any of your penpals?
I have met two of my penpals. Once, I was flying through Texas at Christmas-time and a penpal was outbound from Texas to Vienna. We were there at the same time and were able to meet up in the airport of all places! The other lived close enough that he could come visit.
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
I should say no, but I love people, and I love penpals! I love getting to know new people, and hearing their stories. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be taking a short break from posting Penpal of the Week interviews for the summer. Julie will explain why in a post later this week. However, I am still very much interested in setting up some interviews for when we come back. Please send me an email if you would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week!