(Updated as of Jan. 7/2020) Hello! My name is Alison (Al) and I'm a writer, barista, bookbinder, and musician from Canada! I love everything snail mail and I hope to make many friendships and have lots of fun from this website. A couple of important snippets: -I identify as genderqueer, and I reply to any and all pronouns. Most people use she/her because I am afab and they find it most comfortable, but whatever fits for you works for me! -The name I choose to go by is my pseudonym/pen name (Alison (Al) King) but the PO box is registered in my birth name, so that is why my name is listed as L. Hodgins on my profile- so that packages actually do make it to me. You can just call me Al or Alison though! -lastly, I love meeting new/different people, even if you disagree with me or how I conduct my life. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and basic human decency, so you will never be greeted with outright negativity from me. All questions, concerns, opinions, disagreement, and love are welcome here.
NOTE: I sign most of (if not all of) my letters "Love from Al." As corny as it is, I genuinely mean it as an expression of love from one human to the other. Please do though let me know if I make you uncomfortable in any way- that's not my intention!
I love all kinds of music (even some country- fight me, I dare you) but right now I'm especially into old(er) classics like Gorillaz and older Arctic Monkeys. Honestly, though, I can probably name at least one group I love in every genre, and I'm a sucker for good lyrics and a good groove, no matter where they come from! I'm also a musician- I studied classical cello and voice for 12(ish) years, but now I mostly play Trad West Coast Fiddle and goof off on tracks with my brothers- who are both musicians as well. Fun fact- my parents were/are hardcore punk rockers when I was growing up, so I have a healthy appreciation/love for '80s and '90s punk rock, and still LOVE lots of groups from then (Lunachicks, Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, L7, to name a few)
I have a to-read list about a mile long, but at the moment I am reading The Invention of the World by Jack Hodgins (my grandpa- I'm working my way through his works!) I just finished Love Lives Here: A story of thriving in a transgender family by Amanda Jetté Knox and loved it!! This book honestly changed my life and I try to buy it for/recommend it to anyone who will listen. Other recent favourites include Bastard Out Of Carolina, Order of Odd-Fish (a re-read), The Best Of Adam Sharp, Devil's Trill, and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. I really am a sucker for some good angst, love, and NA drama! I'm also a writer and I have two big projects on the go- an NA Drama-Fantasy featuring lesbians in the afterlife, and an 8 MC LGBTQIA+ found-family drama. Whenever I'm not reading or working on one of my many side projects, I'm working on these. Maybe that's why my reading list is so long!
I love movies. I wanted to be a screenwriter for a while (and maybe still do... shhhh) and I just love when film is done right. Some (pretentious) favourites: Amelie, Barton Fink, Withnail and I, Trainspotting, The Favourite, and Cloudburst. I am also a HUGE nerd, so Star Wars, classic Indiana Jones, superheroes (old X-men, Deadpool, Wonderwoman, Marvel Universe up until Infinity War) etc get me really excited but nothing in this genre will ever be able to top Mystery Men.
I am a huge television junkie, but I can't STAND reality TV. I used to get lost in it when I was really struggling with my mental health for a while but it only ever served to bring me down (with the one huge exception of Queer Eye). I do love a well-written sitcom though, and limited series are usually fantastic. Some series I'm currently watching (in no particular order): Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Undeclared, One Day At A Time, This Is Us, Final Space, The Mandalorian, and (of course) Freaks and Geeks.
OOoooooh Boy, here we go. Folks, I have a large-scale stationary addiction. Like (I'm just assuming here) a large number of people in the penpal-ing and snail mail-ing worlds, I have shelves, bins, baskets, boxes, and bookshelves (and every other container starting with b) filled to the brim with paper, washi, stickers, lace ribbon, stamps, pens, ephemera, books, notebooks, and so much more. Holy crap, you guys. I started an etsy shop (the link is here on this page, I think) to try and offload some of the projects I've started (notebooks, envelopes, cards, etc) but it just keeps coming!! I also knit, sew, embroider, paint, and do all sorts of other fun stuff I couldn't cram into this space if I had to!
I absolutely love penpal-ing and am always looking for more people to send letters to! I write A LOT and will always include some of my writing (other than letter writing) in my letters if possible. I also enjoy the letter aspect of it more than the stuff aspect, so you'll probably get more writing than loot from me, unless it's specified in swap guidelines (ie- not a letter swap).
I will 100% love anything you send to me, but I especially love things that have a little bit of effort put into them (if you have time- I know life is busy and sometimes it's too much) and a little more than just a name/swap name/username type thing. I'm not collecting anything specific (other than Jones soda bottle caps but that doesn't count here) but I love little things that I might not have yet. I'm a junk journal-er and I love chaotic art (embrace the mess y'all)! I also love when things aren't quite perfect, slightly off, and funky or unusual! In terms of postcards, I'm not a huge fan of tourist-y ones, but really anything goes! The weirder/stranger/funky-er the better!
ALSO- I am trying to live as plastic free as possible, so paper packaging only please (if you can- I'm not 100% and one plastic bag isn't going to kill me but as little as possible would be nice). This goes for snack/tea/etc swaps too- compostable/paper packaging is best! I'm also always looking for interesting sustainable living supplies and tips if you have anything you want to send!
Also, as of March 2019, I'm no longer eating added/processed sugar. I rarely join swaps that involve food but on the off change I do, I would appreciate sugar-free items.
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