Swap-bot Time: July 22, 2024 5:00 am


This user has been partially suspended.
Date Joined: August 24, 2011
Last Online: February 27, 2024
Birthday: December 29
Country: United States
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About Me

I'm a Gothic fiction and romance writer, retired performer, eternal manic pixie, and hopelessly glittery Renaissance woman! Originally from the Northeast, I began performing in musical theatre at an early age, though ended up retiring when health issues made it necessary. Since then, I've begun a "second act" as a freelance writer, and relocated from Atlanta to Southern California in 2022.

I'm a Capricorn, ENFP, an introspective extrovert by nature, my favourite colours are purple, red, and black, and I'm addicted to reality TV, crime dramas, and historical fiction. I've never outgown my love of sparkly things, fashion, or shopping, and am a city girl at heart---though I tend to bloom where I am planted. :)

My life has taken me around the world, and given me a love for travel, but also an appreciation for stability and the small things. In 2018, I lost my parents. In 2020, I lost my partner of 13 years to cancer, and faced my own health challenges. It's given me an awareness and appreciation for all the little things I used to take for granted, and the quiet parts of life I used to find "boring".

Life hasn't always been an easy road for me, but it's always been an adventure. I love hearing the stories others have and making the world a bit of a smaller place.

I love Paris, New York, and New Orleans, and collect everything from those cities.

Favorite Music

My degree is in opera and musical theatre, so I have a very eclectic taste in music, from classical and opera to jazz to alternative rock. I know way too much about musicals, listen to the 90's alternative station, and 80's music still makes me happy.

Unless you're devoted to country western and polka, you're probably not going to disappoint me in the music department. (and I have since met someone who changed my mind on SOME country music. ;)) Friends tell me they can't listen to Lana Del Rey or Tori Amos without thinking of me. I take that as a compliment. Us strange little girls need to stick together. ;)

Musical theatre influences and favourites include Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Josh Groban, Michael Ball, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Christiane Noll, Mandy Patinkin, Alice Ripley, Elaine Paige, Andrea Boccelli and Sarah Brighman.

Rock operas and opericals are my thing. :)

Swapping & Communication

I've noticed during my many years here, there's always some issue popping up involving drama with ratings, comments, and people judging others. I attempt to follow the rules, but I prefer to take a low-maintenance approach to this whole thing. Hobbies should be fun!

That being said, I put time and effort into every swap I send. I rather expect the same back! A few random items from your desk with an index card bearing the name of the swap is NOT why we do this. I prefer quality and creativity over quantity, or checking that the postmark was sent when you claim it was.

If you have an issue with a swap, please take the time to contact me privately before issuing a low rating. Mail in my part of the US can be slow, especially during winter, so please allow at least 3 weeks for your swap to arrive--and for yours to get to me! :)

If you have a question about low ratings from the past, please ask about the situation and I'll happily provide an explanation.

I like to take the time to get to know people personally, and to share on a level they'll truly enjoy, so filling out your profile will help me be better at this! If you put up a profile, I'm going to read it. I will try to send things that reflect your likes and personality.

I keep journals, the hand-written type. I've done so most of my life, and am never one to say no to a beautiful journal or pens as a special gift. I also like little mementos, poems, quotes, etc, that end up in them. I'm the sentimental type, who will keep a pretty rock, bead, or piece of fabric with a story behind it. I even keep pretty envelopes or beautiful writing!

I didn't know "junk journalling" was a thing, but turning all my mementos into journals instead of collaging my actual walls is much appreciated by my new roommates. :D

Learning about people who live different lives in different places has always fascinated me! If you aren't shy, tell me about who you are and what the world is like in your little corner.

I love all things beautiful, glittery, and unique. I am a sensitive and old soul in many ways, always looking for ways to connect with others. I can't draw to save my life, but I love exploring different artistic mediums and admiring what others create.

Favorite Books

I actually do love to read, though I spend more time writing! My resolution this year is to read a book each week.

I'm a sucker for historical fiction and character-driven drama (Phillipa Gregory, Alison Weir, Jodi Picoult, and Marie Benedict are always on my must-reads when their newest come out.). I love character-based stories that are simply interesting, as well as biographies of fascinating individuals. I love learning about the lives of artists, bohemians, and the unconventional thinkers of any time period.

I am one of the few people who enjoys Russian literature, and worked with a repertory company that produced largely Chekov plays for a season. Every year, I try to set a goal of reading at least 10 books on the "Most Influential Pieces Of Literature" list and 10 from the "Banned Books" list. If something shocks others, I tend to be curious about it.

I don't just read serious literature. George R.R. Martin, Jodi Picoult, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Sarah J. Maas, Shana Abe, and John Greene are favourites, and my favourite books are "Never Let Me Go" and "White Oleander".(by none of those authors; I see now how that sentence can be confusing.) I enjoyed "Hunger Games" and "Divergent" series immensely, and yes, I've read all the Twilight books. I've watched the movies more than once, fully admitting the writing is bad. :P

Anne Rice is my kindred spirit. (I write Gothic fiction and love New Orleans, and have spent years of my life on the adventures of a French Revolution-era vampire! ;) )

Though I write romance and erotica for my clients, I typically don't read romance novels. Every once in a while, a book comes around that's an exception.

Favourite Quotes

I collect great quotes, and will frequently use them in my art, journals, or just daily correspondence. :) I used to scrapbook the blank space on my walls (seriously, two walls of my room were a giant bulletin board filled with photos and memories.), so beautifully hand-written quotes are welcome and will likely be added to the collection. Here are some of my favourites:

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting". ~e.e. cummings

"Take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves." ~ Dorothy Parker

"The question isn't who is going to let me; the question is who is going to stop me."---Ayn Rand

"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." ~ Andy Warhol

"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves." ~Bertrand Russell

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles." ~ Jack Kerouac

"I drank to drown my pain, but the damned pain learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good behavior. " ~ Frida Kahlo

What I'd Love To Swap

Just a sample of my interests:

  • Journals, letters, and other pieces of self-expression.
  • Pretty ephemera and lace, especially vintage
  • Unique items for junk journals! This is my latest obsession.
  • Lined stationary, memo sheets, and notecards of any size
  • I really need some creative PDT papers/stickers!
  • Postcards and handmade envelopes
  • "Surprise" packages based on profiles or swap details.
  • Unique things from other countries
  • Martini glasses and 1920's-themed stuff, and unusual cocktail recipes.
  • Things related to faeries, elves, vampires, or with a fantasy/Gothic feel.
  • Things featuring redheads, particularly of an artistic, vintage, or fashion vibe. I have vibrant red hair, so am partial.
  • All things French! I adore the Rococo era, particularly all things Marie Antoinette and Versailles.
  • "Gone With The Wind", Scarlett O'Hara, and mementos from cities like Atlanta and Savannah. I called that area home for 13 years.
  • Musical theatre, opera, and ballet. Anything Broadway or West End makes me smile.
  • Purple, pink, red, gold, and black are my favourite colours.
  • New Orleans-themed items and ephemera
  • Your favourite quotes
  • Blank postcards; the more unique and artistic, the better.
  • Postcrossing or Happy-Mail stickers of any type. I'm active there, also. :) I wish there were Swap-Bot stickers too!
  • Notecards or stationery with envelopes. Again, I promise these will be used.
  • Washi tape, even small samples. My world overflows with washi tape.
  • Creative stickers (not teacher/school/reward oriented). Really tiny ones are welcome! I use them for Postcrossing.

Less Traditional Obsessions

  • Anything to do with costumes and costuming, or fashion...the more flamboyant, the better. Before moving, I actually had a "costume room".
  • Vintage jewelry
  • Things designed for meditation and relaxation
  • Gel pens, blank notebooks, junk journals
  • Salvador Dali, Degas, Waterhouse
  • Anything related to the Baroque and Regency eras. Give me Jane Austen any day!
  • Tarot cards, candles, spells, affirmations, etc.
  • Perfumes and essential oils. I actually like those samples no one else wants!
  • M&M's characters, Lilo & Stitch, Minions, and Smurfs

Things I Don't Much Like

  • The colour yellow.
  • Bees. Also, beehives, honey, flowers with bees on them. I have bee-phobia.
  • Taffy, caramels, and other sticky candy.
  • Confetti. Please don't throw confetti in your envelope. I love glitter, but on things, not on my floor. ;) If you want to share confetti or glitter, please package it.
  • Random office supplies. I really don't need index cards or Post-Its. I once received a rubber band as a swap item! :O
  • Hatred or bigotry of any kind. I am an open, authentic person who enjoys learning how other people live. Consider me a "safe space" :)
  • Children's items, including teacher/reward stickers. I don't have children, or really interact with children, so I have no one to pass these things to.
  • Things rescued from the trash, such as cardboard boxes or magazine cutouts (vintage papers welcome!). I'm just not someone who uses these things, and I feel awkward about passing them on.

Favorite Television

I spend way too much of my free time watching TV, but it's always been a favourite thing of mine! I love reality television: Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, The Challenge, Love Island. I've recently gotten into new reality TV ideas such as The Circle! :)

I also love true crime stories and documentaries (I have watched Dateline since I was way too young. lol). Whatever the latest suspense or thriller is, I'm probably watching. HBO's "Love And Death" is in the queue. "YOU" is probably one of the best series I've come across in a long time.

There's not a period drama out there I won't watch..bring on the next season of "Bridgerton"! :)

Swapping Preferences

I love pen pals! When I meet someone I have a lot in common with or we really get on well, I'll absolutely want to write back after the swap, so don't be surprised if I do. :) I'm outgoing and up for new friends.

If you have me as a partner, I appreciate those who write to me--anything from how their day is going, to what you're thinking about at the time. I also like decorated envelopes or artistic expression, if you're an artsy person. (I am not. I draw stick figures and smiley faces. ;) )

I'm active on Postcrossing, and always happy for postcard pals.

My city is located in the middle of nowhere. If you look on a map, it's in a blank space near the words "Mojave Desert". Life is slow here, including mail, which I call the Pony Express. Please allow 3 weeks before contacting me about something missing.

I think I get more mail than the rest of the place combined, but it's helped this big city girl adapt to small town life! xD


Tuutis rated for Christmas Postcard - International on Jul 8, 2024
Comment: will rerate if I receive something
Pyrhulla rated for Pick me up October on Mar 12, 2024
Comment: Never received and did not respond to message.
JBuchner rated for Pick me up November on Feb 18, 2024
Comment: ❤️
papercraft70 rated for Ugly Stickers Postcard on Feb 16, 2024
Comment: Alayna, even you mailed your swap late on 4th Dec where the due date supposed to be on 25th November. I don’t really mind that much but too bad I did not get the swap. I message you on 4th Feb regarding this swap and you said you will re-send. That was around 12 days ago on our last message. I saw your last log in was on 9th Feb and hope everything is fine with you. I will sure re-rate it if I receive your swap.
Response: How do you know I mailed the swap late? I am not sure if I did or did not, but while unfortunate you did not get the swap, it was not because it was mailed late. You contacted me, told me it was missing, and I resent. It can take 2 weeks in the U.S. and up to 4 weeks international for mail to arrive from my town, which I share in my profile. I resent the postcard, and you left a "1" rating regardless. :( Hopefully the second card arrives soon, but do expect it around the end of the month, based on past experience with delivery times to your country.
CrystalZ rated for Stuffed envelope craft destash #1 on Jan 17, 2024
Comment: Never wound up getting anything from this swapper and stopped being communicated with sometime ago as well. If the package ever winds up showing up I will happily rerate you!
Response: Hello there! I sent this package twice, and it's rather frustrating that neither of them were received. I'd be happy to resend it a third time if you'll message me your address...the only thing I can think to do is add tracking to the package. :)
Limoncello rated for National Nothing Day - January 16 on Jan 11, 2024
Comment: Lol..this truly is the best swap where we didn’t send anything. 😂 So thanks for nothing. 🤣
Comment: Thank you for nothing !
Comment: Loved your letter and the extras. Thank you so much! Hope to "meet" you at the mail box again soon.❤️
basykes rated for 30 Stickers - November - USA on Jan 4, 2024
Comment: Sorry for rating so late. . Thanks for everything you sent...and Happy New Year.
swolverton rated for GREETING CARD - THANKSGIVING on Dec 12, 2023
Comment: Thank you for the cute card!!!
Comment: I love the card. I cannot believe the post office let it sit around until today. 🤬 It is postmarked October 30. I love the address labels. I have to learn how to make those!
Comment: Thank you for the lovely card and extras - Happy Holidays!
Comment: I did not receive anything, but rating a 5 so that I can archive it. :)
Comment: Thank you for the beautiful Card and all the goodies you tucked inside! The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was really fun this year! It was the perfect weather and there were still leaves on the trees lining 5th Ave! I love living so close though I do choose to watch on tv even though I could go and be there in less than an hour! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving! You are so right, theres no place like the east coast for Holidays! xx Gabi
Trekky1 rated for Sticker rating booster 2 on Nov 27, 2023
Comment: I never received this swap, I followed up on the 5th September and this message was not even read..... I also followed up on the swap I sent, but only got a 'assumed she got it as was away" but never confirmed either way if she received it. And no rating of course....
Response: I was indeed away from Swap-Bot for about 6 weeks, due to a death in the family causing me to travel back home. If the mail was "Unread", it unfortunately meant I simply never saw the message during that time period, as I am good about responding. You did follow up to see if I received your swap, and I gave an honest answer at the time---I was away from home so had no idea. I did rate every piece of mail I received, but to be honest, if I don't receive something--I typically just let it go. I don't give out "1" ratings, I just assume things happen and don't rate at all, instead of ruining someone's feedback. The fact you didn't receive a rating means whatever you sent was not in my pile of mail, but because I believed you sent it as you said you did, I wasn't too worried. The post office is not always the most reliable. I always resend when I know my swaps have gone missing, and will be happy to resend this one as well.:)
Comment: Hey Alayna - I absolutely appreciate the nice envelope you sent. Generally I don't rate down...but this was sent almost 3 weeks after the send by date and I didn't get any heads up. It's important to communicate if you are sending late or something happens. Thank you for the stickers and the Autumn Fairy card.
Response: Frankly, this is one of the things I dislike about Swap-Bot. I put a lot of energy into my swaps, do not send people random stuff in an envelope and call it a swap, and STILL get rated down. I did NOT send late, actually. If you read my profile, 2-3 weeks is the average time it takes for mail to be delivered to and from my part of the world. (I just received a swap from early November). I have no control over this, and never have any idea when something is postmarked, actually leaves California, and have even had swap partners remark that they've received my envelopes without a postmark at all, as if it were hand-delivered. I'm really sorry this was the exception where you chose to "rate down", because it wasn't exactly the fairest one. While it is important to communicate late sends, I didn't do that, so there was nothing to communicate--and the delivery time with my mail service is very clearly noted in my profile. :) I am glad you enjoyed the swap. :) - Alayna <3
taledo rated for 🍂FALL THEMED SWAP🍂 on Nov 21, 2023
Comment: sorry for the late rate, i love everything you sent.
Comment: Thank you so much for the BEAUTIFUL card and the gorgeous stickers! I hope you have a warm wonderful and safe holiday season <3
ericabella rated for Ugly PC Swap #76 on Nov 12, 2023
Comment: Thank you for the "ugly" postcard, Alayna! Happy swapping!

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awilloughby on Jun 1, 2023:

Happy Mother's day, so sorry this is so late, I was having problems remebering how to post graphics here along with having kidney stones.

alt text alt text alt text

cowboypoodle on May 14, 2023:

Mother's Day Profile Decorations <3 best wishes!

cherlita on May 13, 2023:

Mother's Day Profile Decorations

Happy Mother's day!


shiggy on Apr 24, 2023:

Earth Day Profile Decorations 🌎🌱

Happy Earth Day 🌎🌱 Everyday

nancylee on Apr 23, 2023:

bonus Earth Day profile decorations, thanks for joining

cherlita on Apr 22, 2023:

Earth Day profile decorations

Happy Earth day, let's take care of it better!


mchesser12 on Feb 2, 2023:

for: Groundhog Day Profile deco

nancylee on Feb 1, 2023:

Thank you for joining my swap- celebrate a little more with a bonus Groundhog Day Profile Decoration swap

cowboypoodle on Jan 30, 2023:

Groundhog Day profile decoration!

JKartstuff on Jan 26, 2023:

Profile Comment Haiku

Sing the aria

Fill the opera house with

Drama and music

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