Topic: Writing in the 1980's when we didn't have computers. Did you have a pen pal?
Okay, I'm telling a bit of my age with this topic. Try not to laugh too hard.
Back in the 1980's, my first taste of writing for enjoyment started with pen pals. I was a Duran Duran fan and went to a festival in Houston. There, I met several people and learned what a pen pal was. Before we left, we exchanged addresses. Once I returned home, I started writing to the people I'd met. (Remember, no computers in homes back then.) They sent me these index cards called friendship books. Within the book were decorated cards from other people. They listed their likes (books, music, etc). Finding a blank page, I decorated it and sent it on to another person. So this friendship book traveled to god knows where around the world. People see it and write to you. That's how it worked in the 1980's.
Within a years time I had probably close to a hundred pen pals, I'm guessing because I'm terrible with statistics. Stamps were cheap, so I could write to a lot of people. It was then I discovered I loved writing. One person I remember very well was from Somerville, New Jersey and her name was Stacey Borden. She was a few years younger than I was and we stayed friends, I mean, pen pals, for a couple years. I remember talking to her on the phone a few times. I think she married and moved to Philadelphia in the 1990's. We lost touch. I still think about her at times and wonder how she is, what she's doing, how her life turned out. She was a good friend.
On another note, in 1989 I wrote to a man in Louisiana. A year later, we were living together. Many years later, we married and started a family. Can you believe it? I married a pen pal? And I've been happy since.
Pen pals or computers, you never know who you will meet and build a friendship with. Yes, there are some spooky people out there, but you just have to be cautious. Don't let the spooky ones stop you from meeting that good friend or spouse.
So my question to those of you who were old enough back in the 1980's, did you have any pen pals and what became of them?
Thanks so much, Mary!
You made me think way back ...
I didn't have any pen pals, but I do remember
writing very lengthy letters to friends and
family and leaving them in my old mailbox with the
correct change for the driver to pick up and mail for me.
Here's more about Mary's new release Claiming the Evil Dead
Half-demon Jessie Garrett is searching for an evil vampire that's been preying upon children. She wants to claim the rogue vamp's soul and send it to hell. To find the dead man walking she must partner with another bloodsucker, Drake, even though she doesn't trust him. While Jessie works with Drake, she learns not all vampires are killers and discovers the cold-blooded vamp is a temptation too difficult to resist.
After the fiend abducts another child and Jessie has a near fatal experience with vampires, she turns to Jeremy, a demon she bumped into at a club, and makes a deal with him for his help. Drake disapproves, and Jessie soon finds herself wedged between two volatile creatures. When the chance comes to save the child's life and claim the evil vamp's soul, she must decide whom she can trust—a vampire who cools her feverish desires, or a demon hell-bent on seducing her.
With Valentine's Day so close I thought I'd do an excerpt out of FROM A DREAM which is a Valentine's story - of a different variety.
Jennah opened her eyes. It was dark, completely and utterly . . . dark. What time is it? She rubbed a hand over her eyes and tried to persuade them to focus. Opening them again, she huffed out a breath. It was hopeless, not even a shadow existed wherever she was. She stiffened when she realized that she was lying on something lumpy. She pushed up onto her hand and ran the other one over whatever she was on. It was some sort of padding, scratchy and lumpy. Please let it just be an old mattress.
Sitting all the way up, she hissed and held her forehead. Her head objected to being upright. What had they done to her? Dropping her hand down, she inched it out away from her body to see what she was on. It touched nothing after a few seconds. She moved one leg slowly out. Her foot met air and then fell down to hit the floor. Okay, so it is a bed—or cot is probably more likely considering it’s very narrow.
Something dragged over her leg still on the bed. She froze and tried not to be one of those females that freaked out at the thought of a creature of some kind. Taking a deep breath, she held it as she moved her hand down toward her leg. She held her breath when her hand came in contact with material. A blanket or quilt maybe—I hope.
She turned her head and, ignoring the dizzy feeling movement created, tried to see anything. This is the darkest space I’ve ever been in. She turned and lowered her other leg off the cot. Inhaling deeply, she tried to identify the smells. It was a damp mustiness, but earthy, and not in a good way. Her stomach clenched at the offensive scent. Grimacing, she leaned down until her fingertips touched the floor beside her foot. It was dirt. Cold and damp dirt.
The sound of fabric brushing against fabric dawned on her as she moved her arm back up. She still had her coat on. Frantically, she searched all of the pockets. All they had left her were her gloves. No cell phone. So much for having light, she thought with a groan.
Moving cautiously to the edge of the cot, she began to slowly stand up, keeping one hand a few inches above her head just in case this space wasn’t large enough for her to stand in. When she was standing straight, she reached higher above her head. The ceiling was only a few inches above her. So, this is a very short, dirt-floored . . . something?
She took one careful step with her hand stretched out in front of her. Please don’t let me touch anything—ick! She frowned at her own girlie thought and then shrugged it off, having decided that just about anyone would freak out in her situation—so she was allowed a few weak moments.
I will also be putting up the new contest information shortly - I'm still working out the prize list for it.
As most of you already know my newsletter is out again. To subscribe follow the instructions along the left side of this blog or pop over to my website and download it.
Maddy sighed and closed the book. She stood there debating on whether to go out and tell Colin help was on the way, or to sit here and try to figure it out more before Ginger got here. Colin came bolting into the room.
“A woman just came out of your tree!” He looked over his shoulder and then back to her.
Maddy grimaced. She probably should have warned him about that too. “She’s come to help figure this out.”
He turned and watched as the woman reached the house. “And popping out of trees is okay?”
Maddy glanced behind him to see Ginger coming in. “Uh, yeah.” Colin turned and backed up to the desk, then perched on the edge of it.
Ginger came in the room and stopped short, looking at the man leaning on the desk. “Oh, I hadn’t thought to ask if it was a man from our community, but I see by the look on his face he’s not.”
Colin shook his head. “Lady, I don’t even think we’re from the same planet.”
One from In Our Dream
The nerve of that man!Why won’t he just accept things and go away?She paced back and forth, trying to control the frustration that was pumping through her.Every time she saw him,every hurt moment came flooding back to her and she just wanted him gone.She wanted to move on and live her own life and try her damndest to be happy!
She spun around, expecting someone to be behind her. There was no one there.Was that Dominic’s voice?Oh no, she was hallucinating now!Should she call her doctor?Maybe the stress had finally caught up to her.Was she going to end up spending her holidays alone in the psych ward?
“Jennah, why are you so upset?”
She squeezed her eyes shut.I am not hearing voices! I am not losing my mind!
She heard his deep chuckle.“No, you’re not losing your mind.This is really happening.I should have told you, but in our dream...it’s not really a dream. We’re connecting.”
Her eyes flew open.What?“What?”She stood perfectly still, waiting to see if she could hear him again.
“I can explain it better later. I just picked up on how upset you were...”
She squinted.“Picked up?How?How are you inside my head when I’m completely awake? How can we talk inside my head?”
She heard him chuckle again.“Inside mine, as well.I don’t have time right now. Are you all right?”
She laughed out loud, not knowing if he would hear it in her head too. “Clearly not!I’m talking to a man from my dream inside my head while I’m wide awake standing in the locker room at work!”
Maddy is the oldest witchling to ever attend the Hidden Cove Academy, having been cursed as a teen; she’s forced to have a solitary life outside her own magical community. With her magic so dangerously unpredictable, she rarely takes the chance on mixing with the general public.
From one harmless trip to a museum she finds herself spellbound yet again by an invisible boundary, caused by a three hundred year old curse, dictating that Maddy must stay close to the stunningly sexy Colin.
Being stuck with a tall, dark, incredibly lick-able stranger can’t be all that bad, right? Until they discover if they get too close the spirits bound with the curse will take over their bodies ... at the same time if they’re too far from one another the curse will kill them both.
Will the curse's secrets be unraveled in time or does certain death await them both?