|Photo by Yvonne Kirk|
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.