We're Alive & Well

We don't blog anymore, but that doesn't mean we aren't active! We've got a Facebook community filled with lots of conversation about penpals snail mail, stamps, mail art, fountain pens and more! We also publish a newsletter and send that out via email on the 1st of every month. Don't you want to get in on that fun?! Join us!

Becoming a member also gives you access to our private online database of members, complete with addresses and lists of interests! You can peep, peruse, forage, explore and find new penpals to exchange mail with.

Feel free to check out our FAQ page if you've got questions. Send us an email if your question is not addressed there.

Going Postal


Every month we publish an interview with one of our members in our newsletter and we call this feature Going Postal. Here's March's edition!


By Michael Webb AKA Slayer of Popcorn
This month, Going Postal cleans the mud off of its boots and heads into the Western US for a visit with Purple ShadowKari Conroy!
1. Why did you join the LEP?
I had a few penpals who wrote me on LEP stationery. So I asked them where they got that stationery and they told me about this awesome group. I have been a member ever since!
2. What is the best thing about the LEP?
The quality of penpals in this group are amazing. Most of the penpals I have found on here decorate their letters and envelopes so cute. It instantly brings a smile to my face when I get a letter from someone in this group.
3. What is the least optimal thing about the LEP?
Well like any group, it is sad when you really connect with a penpal and they quit writing you. I do understand life happens though. So I try not to take it personally.
4. What is the one thing you think new LEP members need to know?
Get involved with the group! There are lots of swaps monthly. If someone sparks your interest in the database shoot them a letter. I have found some great pals by going into the database and randomly writing a letter.
5. What is your favorite place to write letters?
Most of the time I will write letters while watching Netflix, a movie or TV in my bedroom. Writing on my bed is sometimes a pain because my dogs Annie and Zeva have to be up in my face. I really enjoy writing letters on my back patio or in a park.
6. What is the strangest place you have ever written a letter?
I once wrote letter before a University of Utah football game. I had an hour to kill before the game so I wrote a letter. All the season ticket holders I have been sitting by for the last 13 seasons asked what the hell I was doing? I said writing a letter like they all used to do.
7. You're only allowed one pen, upon penalty of death or severe tickling. Which pen do you select?
This question is easy! Ink Joy ball point pens. I buy them several times a year! Everyone raves about the Ink Joy gel pens but, I have never liked gel pens! Give me a ball point pen anytime.
8. Have you ever written a letter to a celebrity? Did they reply?
I used to be a huge American Idol lover. When my favorite got eliminated I sent her a letter. A few months later I got a card from her. So, she wasn't a very big celebrity but I was happy to get a response.
9. What is the silliest/funniest thing you have ever received or sent in a letter?
A good pen pal of mine wrote me on a flip flop. I laughed so hard when I received it. I am obsessed with flip flops and sometimes try to wear them in the winter time haha.
10. What is one misconception you think people have about the LEP or pen palling in general??
For me people think I don't have a lot of friends in my everyday life because I penpal. I actually have a lot of friends and always have. Ever since I was a little girl I would write my friends notes in junior high and high school. After high school I would still write letters because I loved doing it. In 2004 a former friend introduced me to penpal sites and I have been going strong ever since. But yes, most of the responses I get from people are they think I am friendless because I write letters. LOL.
11. How do you know you are done writing a letter?
Usually when I have answered all of my penpal's questions and I have nothing else to say.
12. Do you always mail your letters from the same place?
Yes, I always take my letters to the post office to drop in the mailbox. I don't trust the post office to take it from my mailbox. I take all my letters to the post office which is about a mile away from me.
13. How do other people or animals react to your letter writing?
About 13 years ago my grandma told me I would never get married if all I did is write letters in my free time. I feel like she cursed me because I am still single. LOL. Most people think it is weird that people still write letters. They would rather send a text or email. My dogs hate when I write letters because they don't get as much attention when I do.
14. Do you save special stamps for your letters? Or do you just apply the next stamp you come across?
I am a stamp hoarder lol! I always have about 300 stamps on hand. No I use whatever stamp I am feeling that day. The ones that I keep for a special occasion are my Harry Potter Stamps.

24 Days of Letter Writing: An Advent Calendar

Happy Holidays from the LEP! Here's our letter writing themed Advent calendar. Be sure to bookmark the page so you can come back to it each day. No peeking to days ahead!


LEP Geeks & Freaks: Fandoms, Gamers, and Geeks

We all know The League of Extraordinary Penpals is an awesome way to meet like-minded, pro happy mail individuals. While our dedication to pen palling bonds us together, we understand that there are different interests out there.

Did you know we’re also on Facebook? In addition to the LEP Facebook group where we talk about the swaps, proper penpal etiquette, stamps and so much more, we’ve been able to add groups for different interests within the LEP.

Due to member interest we’ve created a specialized Facebook group celebrating fandom and embracing your inner Geek! There were literal SQUEEs of excitement when this group opened, which you may have heard (depending on your location).

LEP’s Geeks & Freaks is the perfect place to ‘get your freak on’ by embracing your Geek and celebrating the fandoms, games and more that help make life just a little more fun! Whether it is talking about an episode of iZombie, playing Fandom ABCs or announcing your deepest Geek-fession, we can help.

We also have your back with:

Recommendations on your next binge-watch?
Looking for a Beta reader/editor for your latest fanficton?
Discussing strategies for your newest boardgames?
Figuring out what to throw at your RPG group in their latest campaign?

It doesn’t matter what level of geekery you identify with, LEP Geeks & Freaks is a great way to explore the geeky things you love, or want to love.

If you’re interested, please search for LEP Freaks & Geeks and request to join today! We cannot WAIT to see you.

- Nicole R. AKA GothamGal, California

PS - If you want to be a part of the amazing LEP Facebook communities, you first have to be a member of the LEP. Click here to join today!

LEPOSTSECRET II


Inspired by PostSecret, we asked members to mail us their secrets. As promised, the collected underground thoughts of LEP members, sad and scary and sublime, can be found in their original form.

"I'm having an affair with a married man. I know it's not good, it's not something I have ever done before. I didn't ever expect I would be in this situation. I'm also friends with his wife, we do quite a lot together, probably really one of my best friends. But the worst thing is, I don't feel guilty. She's cheated on him before, while I've been there sometimes, she slags him off to others, always moaning about him etc. I know it's not an excuse to be doing it, I know it's wrong, but we don't want to stop. The only reason he's still with her is cause of the kids. He says they're just two people living in a house together looking after the kids. He thinks she'd try and turn the kids against him if he left, I agree with him. Maybe one day..."


"I am in love with a man I've never met and am only staying with my husband for the sake of the kids."


"My work environment is volatile. I am severely depressed because of it. I feel so alone. I wish I had someone to talk to."


"My mother has never loved me. She told me at 16 years old that had she known she was having a girl, she would have aborted me. She disowned me officially last year. I was 40."


"My mother was psychologically abusive and to this day no one knows except my partner and the counselor I had. My family refuse to accept it, even if only as my truth, and they bury their heads in the sand. My siblings had a different experience- they had strong friendship groups to provide some difference. Perhaps that is why she actively isolated me? To this day, decades later, I still feel the pain of that isolation regularly as fresh as the day it began and the next and the next as it was seared into me how useless and worthless I am. It has dogged every step of my life and every challenge I have faced. I have never had any sense of belonging, support or felt part of a family from which to approach life, and I wonder daily if I will ever feel loved or accepted before I die. Perhaps I am too broken now to ever come back. I get angry, but mostly at myself for letting it all happen to me... but then that's to be expected when everything was always my fault and no one told me any different until two years ago. I've carried this a long time, and every time I try to heal it shreds me again. Now folks are bored of the person who can't get over it, who can't just get on with life and so I choke it all down again because it is, I am, inconvenient and I don't want to be alone again. I can't stand to see the disgust on their faces."


"It wasn't my father than found your cocaine. It was me. I'm so sorry."


"People think I'm so happy-go-lucky- funny and relentlessly positive. But it's often carefully constructed to hide crushing depression. The days when I'm funniest are the days I'm most likely to be abstractly thinking about just dying already."





Dear Fancypants: Facebook and Penpalling

Welcome to Dear Fancypants, an advice column on penpals and other philatelic things. To submit a question, contact cpt.fancypants@kimmiedearest.com.

Dear Fancypants,

I have recently restarted penpalling after a long hiatus, but I'm struggling to establish good reliable penpals.

At the start of this year I joined a couple of groups for penpals-- mostly on Facebook, because all the other sites attracted a strange crowd that either wanted money or pictures-- but I digress.

I found a particularly active group on Facebook (not LEP), but there are several things that bother me and I don't know if they should.  The moderators engage in a lot of drama and there's a lot of name calling and deleting of posts. I feel that it takes away from the experience of penpals. This censorship also results in being blocked if anything is said.

I have been unsuccessful in finding penpals in this group; I have sent dozens of intro letters and only gotten one or two back. The only reason I stay in this group is because at least I can participate in swaps and things like that.

I don't feel that my letters are boring or offensive but somehow I just haven't found good matches. I am here with adorable stationery and a million ideas in my head but no one to send them to.

I hear all these success stories of penpals but I'm beginning to think they are a fictional world!

Do you have any tips/ideas? Should I continue with this Facebook group?

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Unmatched Penpal :)

---

Dear Unmatched Penpal,

Your time is too precious.

There are so many amazing things to be done and experienced in this world, and I doubt that dealing with a bunch of probably shitty and unproductive drama on a Facebook group is on your bucket list.

I'm nonmonogamous and polyamorous and don't believe that there is One Magic Partner that can fulfill my every single need. What the hell does this have to do with your question? Well, it sounds like this Facebook group fulfills a certain need, but you want it to fulfill all your mail-related needs and it's just not going to do that. You say that you stay in this Facebook group because at least you can participate in swaps. If those swaps are fulfilling for you and there are parts of the group that enrich your life, take those things and leave the rest.

Of course, when a large number of diverse people congregate in one space, there's bound to be misunderstanding and 'drama' sometimes. Not everything can be goodness and light 100% of the time. This is why Facebook notifications can be turned off and your newsfeed curated. Maybe you only want to check in to this group when you are in the mood for joining a swap and don't need to see the group's posts on your newsfeed alongside pictures from your grandma's 90th birthday. Tailor your Facebook experience to fit the kind of relationship you want with this group. Set your expectations and boundaries and relate with this group accordingly.

If you really don't want or need this unnecessary negative energy in your life, walk away. There are other groups and places to find penpals. You can start with this little post I wrote on where to find penpals. Perhaps you'll find a group that better meshes with what you're looking for, or better matches penpals for you, or gives you more of an opportunity to pair up with someone who is definitely looking to write and isn't already overwhelmed with correspondents.

And remember: penpalling is building a relationship through paper and pen. I often find my letter writing relationships are better served by getting the hell off Facebook.

I'll be following up later in the month with a separate post on how to better your success rate with finding penpal matches, and I'll update this post with that link. In the meantime...

Be Brave and Be Honest.

xoxo
Captain Fancypants

LEP HQ Vermont Meetup 2.0


LEP HQ Vermont Meetup 2.0
By Cassie Swisher aka The Punctual Procrastinator

October 14, 2016 was almost, but not quite, a full moon, but it may as well have been. It was certainly bringing out the crazies as five of us were en route to Winooski and our beloved Julie and Denise.

Cecilia was the first to arrive after 7.5 coffee stops. While it was close to 4:00pm when she went inside and made her appearance, it is very likely she was waiting in her car since 7:00am.

Stephen was the second to arrive after making a stop in Stephentown to conduct some of his mayoral duties and hold court with the Stephentown peasants. After receiving appropriate homage, he arrived at headquarters. 




It should also be noted that Jennifer Ong made her appearance in the form of pies, which were delicious and devoured in due time.




Then I, Cassie, finally arrived about 7:30pm. I had been on the road since 6:00am (and this, unlike all the above, is not an exaggeration). I am proud to say that, despite being in the early stages of pregnancy, I miraculously only required three potty breaks (and one ice cream break).

Friday night, we took bathroom selfies, shoved beanbag couches up a narrow stairway, and maybe did a little writing. I studied an operating manual on Thanh-Thuy while Denise double-fisted glasses of wine. Once we all recovered from the travel-jitters, we retired.





Saturday morning found Cecilia again loitering outside of headquarters at 7:00am. We let her in a couple hours later. Logan and Christopher arrived as zombies. Logan joined the writing session while Christopher took himself to bed for his first sleep in 50+ hours. Unable to revive him, the rest of us set off to Tiny Thai for the lunch special.



We eventually got Christopher up and alive and headed to Church Street for some shopping, street food, and Ben & Jerry’s, then it was off to the funeral home for the traditional game of Cards Against Humanity. A C.D. exclusive cutting board was presented as 1st prize and I won, much to my amazement. Thanh-Thuy forced us to take home books, we returned to headquarters for more writing, Denise and I wore our matching elephant pajamas, and the Stationery-Buying Battle commenced with Cecilia once again the winner.


 

Sunday saw Vegan breakfast (apparently you can make bacon out of eggplant), postcard perusing, and facials. A little more writing was squeezed in as well. Christopher and Logan spent 6 hours packing the car and heading towards the door and Cecilia left with her suitcase of stationery and possible smuggling of eggplant bacon. No doubt she stopped for coffee before leaving the city. I left the next morning and Stephen later in the day. We do not know what happened to Julie and Denise once we all left, but boob stamps were held for ransom, the beanbag couch had to come back downstairs, and there must have been some empty-nesting going on. The question is, did Denise do this with or without pants?



Stay tuned for Meetup 3.0!