Archive for Penpal Interviews

May 11th, 2015

Penpal of the Week #174

 

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.

 

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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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/hippybea/

 

Describe your personality in 10 words!

Disorganized, feminist, writer, bookworm, geek, socially awkward, vegetarian, teacher, learner.

 

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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.

 

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Handwriting- Self-explanatory.

 

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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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: busweet@gmail.com.

 

Thanks Beatrice!

 

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!

 
May 4th, 2015

Penpal of the Week #173

 

Today is extra fun because an interview with just one special person is providing penpal potential with MANY characters!

 

Please tell us about you!

My name is Sarah Starr, and I’m 35 years old. I live in Torrington, Connecticut, in the northwestern corner of that tiny little state. For the time being, I work in an arts and crafts store, Michaels, and I live with my parents. I have one sister who lives elsewhere with her husband. I am a Mormon, the only one in my family, and I love to talk about religion — no matter what path you follow! The only thing I would request is that, if all you have to say about religion is “I don’t believe in what you do and I think you’re dumb for believing in what you do/your church is a cult,” then don’t write to me about religion :)

 

I am a passionate creative writer and actually correspond more as my characters than as myself! I have a vast range of characters, men and women, magic people and vampires, steampunk scientists and happy hippies, just to name a few! My email is TheStoryInYourEyes@gmail.com; please email me and ask me for the list of my characters and their pictures to choose one! You don’t have to write as a character; they are perfectly willing to write to you as yourself, and all I ask is that you treat them like any other penpal!

 

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Your humble interviewee, at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens while visiting my sister.

 

Describe your personality in 10 words!

Intelligent, grammatical, charming, loving, bookish, shy, generous, anxious, funny and talkative (in a written form!).

 

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

I first had a penpal as a young child; her name was Lindsey and she was from Wisconsin, and it was through a school program. Later, in my early 20s, I had a penpal named Haruka from Japan, who sent me fantastic snacks in the mail. And now I’ve been a LEPeep since 2013!

 

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Envelopes I made using my envelope punch board!

 

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

I have about 15 active pals right now (defined as, I’ve gotten letters from them this year!) but some of them write to multiple characters, or to me and multiple characters! I love it when people are enthusiastic enough to do that.

 

What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

Depends on the character. Phineas likes to discuss his family and his religion; Theodosia likes to talk about her opinions, her science and her pet birds; Florian likes to talk about pretty boys and the pursuit of pleasure; etc. For myself, I like to talk about my stories, my opinions, music, art, anything beautiful or fun.

 

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My character Phineas Steadwell, from my steampunkish story “Daybreak”,

as rendered by Nick Robles.

 

What are you looking for in a penpal?

Someone who is willing to take my character thing seriously, treat them like they’re real, etc. Someone who will be honest and heartfelt, and allow me to be honest and heartfelt in return. I, and my characters, want to be your friend! We want people who will let us in.

 

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The custom address labels I had made for one of my characters;

almost all of them have some.

 

What do you like the most about penpalling?

The ability to make friends from all over and the excitement of every day holding the promise of a present folded into an envelope; a message of love from another’s hands!

 

In what language(s) do you correspond?

English, though I can write in French all right and read it better. I love languages though and would love to sample yours. :)

 

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One of my favorite poems, “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by W.B. Yeats,

written in my handwriting.

 

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

I write in the morning, with my cup of herbal tea at my side. I’d say my letters are medium in length, and I try to answer very fast, though I am not always successful. I love pretty stamps and stickers and they are found liberally on my envelopes :)

 

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My characters Michael Slaiby and Arkady Luzhin (and their cat Pachemu!)

from my vampire story “Silver Key”, as rendered by Verna Jaaskinen.

 

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

I think I’m the one making the weird requests, hehe. I think the post office thinks I’ve lost it, since I get mail for about 12 different people at my P.O. box!

 

Have you met any of your penpals?

Unfortunately not! I would really like to though.

 

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An example of my passion for multiple stamps!

 

Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Always! There is always room beneath my pen for people who would like to be friends. :) My email is TheStoryInYourEyes@gmail.com.

 

Thanks Sarah!

 

If you are interested in being featured as our Penpal of the Week, please send me an email. I would love to interview you. Have a great week!

 

Hello!

My name is Julie and I'm 35.
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 wife,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after amongst
piles of cats and stationery.

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

She's 39 years old,
from the United States,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

Send your penpal ad & top 10 quirks to:

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