(Updated as of Jan. 7/2020) Hello! My name is Alison (Al) and I'm a writer, career barista, junk-journaler, 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. These days I usually choose to use he or they, but she will also work in a pinch! -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. I don't offend easily, and try to practice reckless optimism!
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 as he is starting to get older and lose aspects of his memory) Other favourites include: Love Lives Here- Amanda Jette Knox (this book was life-changing for me and I highly recommend it regardless of how you identify) Bastard Out Of Carolina Order of Odd-Fish (a constant re-read) The Best Of Adam Sharp Devil's Trill 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 a number of projects on the go at any given time. I usually write dark NA fiction/fantasy but honestly love to try my hand in all sorts of different genres and styles. I have many notebooks FULL of character studies, short stories, and weird prose, and if I remember I usually like to include some of that in my longer letters!
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, I know) favourites: Amelie, Barton Fink, Withnail and I, Trainspotting, The Favourite, Little Women (2020 version. Sidenote- Jo in the this recent movie is literally me, I am not kidding. They even joke about her being their only brother. I cried 3 times in that movie.), Carol, 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 seriously watch 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/love (in no particular order): The Crown, Brooklyn 99, Shameless, Final Space, Taskmaster (but really any british comedy show), Parks and Rec, Sex Education, End of the Fucking World.
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 junk journaling, 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 have around 18 active penpals at the moment, and that number is bound to grow, so fair warning- a reply may take me a few weeks to get to but I always reply to everything I get! If you sent me something (that warranted a reply/asked for one) and don't receive a reply within a few months let me know! Things slip through the cracks sometimes, however hard I try not to let them!
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. (Again- not the end of the world if they aren't sugar free- I know those can be hard to find and I have plenty of friends/siblings who eat copious amounts of sugar to share with :D)
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