Sunday, April 20, 2014

3D dinosaur stamp from South Africa

South Africa 3D dinosaur stamp

Yesterday I received a Postcrossing postcard from South Africa with this AWESOME stamp! I grant you I don't get too much mail from South Africa, so all their stamps are pretty novel to me, but I just had to share this one. It is a dinosaur skeleton displayed in 3D! I wish I had 3D glasses to appreciate it properly. (Where does one find cheap 3D glasses these days, anyway? Like under 5 bucks? I'd buy 'em just to dig this stamp!)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Back in stock: I jump for joy over snail mail!

Jump for joy over snail mail postcard 2

After being sold out of this postcard for over a year, I finally have it back in stock in my etsy shop.

"I jump for joy over snail mail!"

Does a good letter bring you joy? Do you jump up and down with excitement when you pull promising snail mail out of your mail box? Okay, maybe there aren't too many of us who are THAT geeky over mail, but you can show your love of good old fashioned snail mail with this vintage graphic of a girl dancing on a snail. What's not to love?

Along with "I jump for joy over snail mail!", I also have 10 other postcard designs for the postal enthusiast.

May your weekend be filled with good mail!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

An update on "Revolutionary" - thank you for your support!

Revolutionary by Alex Myers, at Politics & Prose

If you've been following this blog for more than a month or two, you know that my best beloved and husband of 11 years, Alex Myers, is an author whose first novel, Revolutionary, was just published by Simon & Schuster in January 2014. I've blogged about it frequently (see posts tagged "Revolutionary"), and then I tried not to crow about it constantly because that becomes tiresome when this blog is about letter-writing, no?

But two reasons have compelled me to share an update:
1. Many of you have been kind enough to ask how the book is doing, and
2. The support from my pen pals and blog readers has been overwhelming, and I want to share my gratitude.

Alex Myers at Politics & Prose, 26 Jan 2013

So let's tackle the updates first. Alex has been doing readings all over the country, to some great audiences. Above, he's shown at the first reading here in Washington, DC, at the fine Politics & Prose bookstore. The book has gotten some very positive press as well, so I just have to share that briefly, too:

There has been more good media coverage including some some radio interviews, and if you're interested in delving deeper, you can find all of that on his website.

Alex Myers at Harvard Bookstore, 31 Jan 2014

Alex also spoke at the excellent Harvard Book Store on January 31 - shown above. (I don't know if you can make it out in this photo size, but he's standing in front of a rack showing stationery supplies: pens and notebooks. I just had to point that out to you, my dear blog readers.) An extra-cool feature of the Harvard Book Store talk is that they recorded it all on video, so if you are interested in seeing Alex read from and talk about the book, check out this video! You can see his wit and charm in action.

And finally, last but possibly most importantly, I owe a debt of gratitude to all of my wonderful blog readers and pen pals who have bought the book, read the book, talked about the book, tweeted about the book, blogged about the book, and generally supported it in innumerable ways! Let me share just a few out there in the blogosphere that you can enjoy, too:

Ambrosia Jefferson wrote a fine review on her blog (and great reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, too!), and her reviews were among the first out there. Thank you, Ambrosia!

Cathy Stewart, the fantastic force behind some fantastic mail, is holding a book club discussion on Revolutionary on her fine blog for independents, Politics 4 the People. She's posted heavily about it there, and another fine pen pal and mail blogger, Postmuse of the Orphaned Postcard Project, wrote An epistolary review of Revolutionary on Cathy's blog. Thank you to Cathy and Bonnie Jeanne! I am sure the Politics 4 the People phone-in book group discussion this coming Sunday is going to be marvelous, and I look forward to overhearing Alex's end of it from here in our apartment.

And thanks to all the readers and writers who are continuing to buy, read, tweet about, and talk up the book. Did you blog about it and I missed your post (or missed acknowledging it)? Let me know in the comments or in an email!

If you're interested in hearing Alex speak or checking out his other writing and activities, do follow him on Facebook; he announces his readings and speaking engagements there, and here's some exciting breaking news: Alex will be sharing some speaking engagements in the future with Erin Lindsay McCabe, author of I Shall Be Near To You.

Finally, I will just note that Revolutionary is available in hardcover and ebook from bookstores in North America and online retailers like Amazon and others.

Thanks for your patience with my long post about my dearly beloved's book, and happy reading and writing to all!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

XOJane's thoughts on how to find a pen pal, and why I haven't been blogging

I'm a little late on the uptake, but I just came across this lovely article on XOJane by Marianne Kirby: "To get a letter, send a letter: where to find a pen pal."

Some of the resources she lists are ones I've heard of and mentioned, but some are new to me, and she does a lovely job of explaining the ebb and flow of letters, and why she always comes back to them. Also, she gives out her PO Box address and offers to write a letter back to anyone who writes to her. Do check out her fine article.

In other news, I suppose it is good news to explain that the reason I haven't been blogging much lately is because I've been writing lots of letters. The 5-year-old son of my cousin is newly a mail devotee, and he writes me almost daily... I've been trying to keep up with him, and sending him letters and postcards almost daily, too! Whew. It's exhausting but exciting work to mentor the epistolary aficionados of the future. Also, his dad (my cousin) is writing letters to me, too (generally in the same envelope), and that brings back some great memories. His dad and I used to write each other pretty frequently, back in the days before email had overtaken the world, and it's delightful to take up that habit again with him. Oh, and I've been trying to keep up with all my other letters, too... though I've long since made my peace with the fact that I'll never really catch up. That's okay. I enjoy trying.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bats and cats... and hands


I received this odd little gem via Postcrossing recently. The sender noted I liked both bats and cats - and oh, I do! I do! - and that I might be especially fond of them in combination. Indeed! This was RU-2324265 from Russia. Granted, they're not real cats or real bats, but I like the fanciful intersection of photography, craft, and illustration. And what's with the hands? I don't know, but I think they're kind of creepy cool.

This is why I keep on Postcrossing year after year (I've been Postcrossing for more than 7 years now) - all these fantastic little surprises in my mailbox.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New postage rates for 2014

For my USA readers: postage rates changed on January 26, 2014. Yes, I am a month late announcing this news here on Ye Olde Blogge, but I hope this fabulous graphic makes it worth the wait. Thank you to Donovan of the Letter Writers Alliance for sharing this lovely image detailing the new rates, and for making it Creative Commons licensed so we can all share the love; you can see her full post here.

Here's the breakdown of the new rates, for sending letters and postcards:

  • Postcards within USA – 34 cents
  • Letters within USA (up to 1 oz.) – 49 cents*
  • Letters within USA (1-2 oz.) – 70 cents
  • Letters additional ounces – 21 cents
  • International letters and postcards – $1.15

    *Oddly enough, metered letters are 48 cents instead of 49 cents. But isn't a stamp prettier than that ugly meter label, and worth another penny?
  • Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Postcrossing: multiple accounts unwelcome

    I have blogged before about the phenomenon of some Postcrossing users having more than one account, and my frustrations and mixed feelings around that situation. (Since my aforementioned blog post was more than 2 years ago, I'll lay your questions to rest: no, of course not, I never created a second account and have only the one Postcrossing account, as I feel pretty strongly about this.) I've just come across this wonderful answer in the Postcrossing FAQs about this matter:

    Can I have more than one account?

    Spoiler: the boldface leading sentence reads "Postcrossing does not welcome multiple accounts per person," and then goes on to explain the reasoning in a very logical and thoughtful manner.

    Hear, hear.

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Postcard signed by Inge Löök


    Another lovely Postcrossing surprise came to me recently: an Inge Löök "old ladies" postcard, signed by the author herself! Inge Löök is a Finnish artist, and I am a big fan of her illustrations, especially the joyous old ladies.

    Inge Look signed postcard

    No, she herself didn't send this to me, but a Finnish postcrosser had the postcard signed by the illustrator, and sent it to me throughPostcrossing. It came to me as FI-1978556.

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    Legal Tender Sender

    $2 letter

    I recently went to a party hosted by a new friend, who mentioned he's into letter writing and mail art. So of course I sent him a pretty fancy thank-you for the evening's fun (and I'm kicking myself that I didn't photograph it, because it was my first fine piece of my own mail art in 2014, but oh well), and he wrote back immediately with this creative offering. It's a letter on a two-dollar bill! I got one heck of a kick out of that fun idea. I've received a lot of letters on lots of different items, but this is my first time getting a letter written on currency. Cool.

    fiction envelope

    He decorated the envelope quite nicely as well, with random little cut-out quotes. This was a literary sort of party, you see...

    rainbow balloons postcard

    ... and he included this lovely postcard. It looks to be original artwork, hand-drawn and painted, and I wonder if he did it himself. I'll have to ask him, in my response.

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    Revolutionary giveaway, and readings in DC in Boston

    I recognize I've been crowing on and on about "Revolutionary," my husband Alex Myers' first novel, and I thank you for your patience as I share a little bit more news.

    Giveaway: Goodreads is doing another giveaway. You can enter to win one of 10 free copies between now and January 24. Woo hoo!

    Readings: Alex will be giving readings at bookstores in DC, Boston, and Cincinnati. I will be joining him at the readings in DC and Boston (but am unable to travel to Ohio with him, alas). Here's the info:

    Washington, DC
    Sunday, January 26, 1pm
    Politics & Prose bookstore
    5015 Connecticut Ave NW

    Boston (Cambridge/Harvard Square), MA
    Friday, January 31, 7pm
    Harvard Bookstore
    1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA

    Cincinnati, OH
    Wednesday, February 5, 7pm
    Joseph-Beth Bookstore
    2692 Madison Road

    All of these readings are free and open to the public. Any additional readings and events will be posted under events on I know I have a lot of blog reader and pen pal friends in Boston and DC in particular... if you are in the area, please come by and say hi!

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Today is publication day for "Revolutionary!"

    Today is the very big day that I've been waiting for and crowing about for years: publication day of "Revolutionary," my best beloved Alex Myers' first novel!

    "Revolutionary should now be available at your favorite local bookstore, along with fine internet retailers, including Amazon, IndieBound, and Bookish.

    I am also bursting at the seams to report that the novel is off to a very good start: it got an excellent review in yesterday's New York Times! Check out "A Personal Revolution Is Set Amid an Epic One" in the Times online.

    And, of course, the novel has an epistolary element -- even more reason to love it!