Monday, June 9, 2014

Yvonne Kirk - My Pen Pal

by Bert Carson
Photo by Yvonne Kirk
I've been a fountain pen geek since way before there was a definition for one. From the first fountain pen I purchased in 1967 at a Post Exchange in Vietnam, to the one I received last Saturday, I've owned many of them.

It's hard to explain a fountain pen addiction, so until recently I didn't talk about it.  Then a funny thing happened.  I found that I'm not alone in this strange addiction.  There are people all over the  planet who are as addicted as I am, and in some cases, more addicted than I.  Discovering that was refreshing and made it easier to talk about.  So I joined Fountain Pen Geeks, and I began prowling the many blogs devoted to fountain pens and fine paper.

On the 12th of February, I chanced across the InCoWriMo site.  The objective of the site is to promote correspondence the old fashioned way - with pen, paper, envelopes, and stamps.  The price of admission is simple:
1. Agree to answer all letters you receive.
2. Add your name and address to the list of participants.
3. Write one letter a day for a month, either to someone from your personal list or someone on the InCoWriMo list.

The issue I had was the month specified for letter writing,   February, which was almost half over.  I took a deep breath and added my name to the list.  Then I picked a bunch of names and began writing.  Just as the post office was closing that afternoon, I mailed my first three letters.  On the 28th, I mailed my 30th.

From that start, I've connected with a number of people who have become regular pen pals.  Among them, Yvonne Kirk, my friend from Australia who is a true Renaissance Woman.  Yvonne is a wife, mother, photographer, controller of trains, runner, calligrapher, and that's just the beginning.  Also on my list of pen pals is a teacher from Bangkok, an artist in Seattle and another in New Hampshire, a minister and a writer in the U.K., a machinist in Alabama, an entrepreneur in Mexico, a lawyer in Texas, and... well you get the ideal.

If you'd like to explore the original social media, put your name on the list, grab your pen and paper, pick a name from the list, and start writing.