(Updated as of June 24th, 2020) Hello! My name is Alison (Al) and I'm a writer, career barista, crafter, 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: 1) I identify as genderqueer, and I reply to any and all pronouns, although they/them is always the best bet! 2) 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 there is a "c/o" line in my address- please do include that line so that packages actually do make it to me! Don't panic if you forgot- the wonderful postal workers at my local post office know me quite well by now so odds are that they'll put in in anyways, but it's always best not to risk it! You can just call me Al or Alison though! Both work :) 3) 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 in all aspects of my life. 4) That being said, I have absolutely no tolerance for willful ignorance, outright spite, and intentional racism/homophobia/transphobia/xenophobia and will call you out if necessary.
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 in a Trad West Coast Fiddle Band (still on the cello though! Rebel to the end!) and goof off on tracks with my brothers- who are both musicians as well. I have a healthy amount of appreciation for/love of classical music. There is NOTHING as powerful as a bit of moody Brahms while cleaning, let me tell you. 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 re-reading "Girl, Interrupted" by Susanna Kaysen and listening to "Fifteen Dogs" by André Alexis (I am a recent audiobook convert and usually listen while gardening- it's such a good way to "read," especially since I'm finding it harder and harder to find chunks of time to read) Some 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 The Invention of the World- Jack Hodgins (he is my grandfather so I am a little biased!) Generally though, I really am a sucker for some good angst, love, and NA drama, and I tend to write in those areas as well. With my writing, I usually 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(or if you ask!) 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.), Moulin Rouge, The Princess Bride, 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 in my opinion, and that is an opinion I will be standing by until my dying day. There is also something to be said for a good documentary- Disclosure, 13th, a secret love, and Quincy are among recent favourites for me.
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 occasionally will watch some reality TV in the background while doing other things, but only the positive episodes (no joke- I genuinely research them ahead of time. Don't need that kind of negativity in my life!) 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): Arrested Development, Brooklyn 99, Shameless, Final Space, Taskmaster (but really any british comedy show), Ugly Delicious, Sex Education, Dont F**ck With Cats.
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 currently (as of June 20th) have around 37 penpals (including anyone I've set up an expectation of recurring letters with in the last 6 months- some of these partnerships have petered out or just not been replied to, but in general they're all active partnerships). I'm usually open to adding another (and will be doing a serious purge/reconnection sweep of all current penpals soon) but if you don't hear back from me- it isn't personal. Sometimes it can take me up to a month to write back, but I usually aim for about a week or two. 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). IF YOU ARE A CURRENT PENPAL AND HAVE'NT RECEIVED ANYTHING FROM ME IN A WHILE- message me. I make sure to reply to everything I receive and won't just stop communicating without letting you know why first, so odds are it got lost in the mail or there has been an address mistake- it has happened!
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-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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