xoPenPals Is Happening Now

Damn, y'all send some amazing mail.
Publish date:
February 13, 2014
correspondence, pen pals, zines, snail mail, mail, postable, old school communication

When I wrote about how to find a pen pal at the tail end of January, I included my address and figured a few folks might write me. Y'all have filled my little post office box with totally amazing mail beyond anything I imagined and I have been having so much fun responding to every single letter and postcard. I am LOVING IT.

(And I stand by what I said -- send me a letter, and I promise I'll write you back! It just might take an extra day or two.)

But it wouldn't be cool of me at all to keep all this fun to myself; that'd be so selfish! And thus I spent the week figuring out the best way to organize a pen pal swap.

Did anyone ever find pen pals via zines? Man, zines -- I have been feeling the late 90s vibe lately and that means I have been thinking about black and white photocopied booklets, hand stapled and full of music reviews and photos of girls in striped tights. Nostalgia!

Anyway, the thing with zines was that you could post a little pen pal ad and then folks would write to you -- in essence, you posted a profile. A proto-profile, explaining about why you loved the Cure and how your parents just didn't understand how much hair spray you used.

I read goth zines, OK?

Instead of going that route, I found (and have been using) a cool site called Postable. It's a two-part kind of deal. First, it's an online address book, so you can have people add their address to your address book -- like crowdsourcing all that info in one convenient place. Second, it's a letter-sending service -- you can pick a card (any card) and send it to anyone or everyone in your address book!

Since each card is only two bucks (plus postage), it's easy to send someone a personal note -- or, in the case of me and commenter 1337, it's easy to send each other the exact same card on the exact same day! Spooky or serendipitous? So much awesome.

The cool thing is that you can just use the address book feature on Postable without ever using the letter-sending service; that means there's a confidential way to give each other your addresses that doesn't involve anyone posting a black-and-white selfie with Siouxsie and the Banshees hair. (Please note: If you post a black-and-white selfie with Siouxsie and the Banshees hair, I will write to you!)

So let's get this pen pal party underway! Leave a comment with your name and a little bit of info about yourself -- and then link to your Postable address book, email, or other contact information, whatever you feel comfortable sharing. (A lovely person sent me a postcard and mentioned General Delivery as another alternative to giving out your address -- check it out at your local post office!) Then, send some letters! Or postcards. Or whatever. It's all magic in your mailbox.

Not sure what to say? I'll kick things off.

Hi, I'm Marianne and I'm a part-time freelance writer and a full-time fattie. I love overwrought goth, stompy industrial, and ridiculous lounge music. I'm a Star Trek nerd (TOS and TNG) and a sci fi nerd and basically a nerd in general. I like to make things: knit, crochet, spin, silversmith, container garden, quilting, whatever -- can I put glitter on it? Write to me if your idea of a fun Saturday night involves rolling for probability or shouting at your XBox. Put your address in my Postable address book here or write me at P.O. Box 781101, Orlando, FL, 32878-1101.

Let's make all the days good mail days!