Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "writing-prompts"

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This month’s prompt was suggested by both Jetske and LenaSophie some time ago on the forum:

In August, write about the last book you’ve read.

So… any good literary tips?

The last book you've read

The last book I’ve read is one I’ve read quite a few times, and regularly return to when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It’s a very short read called How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, by Arnold Bennett. Despite being a book from the early 1900s (and thus available for free at Project Gutenberg), its advice still feels very appropriate in the age of digital distractions. I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they are constantly running out of time, for some refreshing perspective.

What about you? What was the last book you’ve read? And would you recommend it? We encourage you to write about it on the postcards you send out this month.

PS – A quick update on our 150 years of postcards party: events are being planned in 12 different countries already, including museum tours and many meetups. Later today we will check our PO box to see if the first postcards for the UPU postcard exhibition have already arrived. We’ll keep you posted! 😊

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

July is here and temperatures in most of Europe lately have been sizzling… (45°C/113°F in France! 😰) It’s way too hot to think about complicated writing topics, so this month we’re keeping it simple and suggesting a refreshing escape with an icy treat.

In July, write about your favorite ice-cream flavor!
Ice-cream!

Though super popular in the summer, ice-creams are a hit in all seasons, so whether it’s summer or winter where you are, it’s always a good time to consume one.

Among the team, our taste choices go to carob and orange for Paulo, coconut milk and corn for me, and Ben and Jerry’s fairy floss for Vicki in Australia. That Unicornetto on the right was a thing of beauty though… have you ever tasted an ice-cream made of unicorns? 🦄

So what about you, do you have a favorite ice-cream flavor? And are there perhaps some flavors that are specific to your country? We invite you to write about them on the postcards you send out this month!

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This month, let’s talk about sports. Do you have a favorite sport to practice or watch?

In June, write about your favorite sport.
The Little Mail Carrier is strong!

Although football is the sport most commonly associated with Portugal, I have to confess that I don’t find it particularly interesting myself. Instead, my favorite sport is definitely swimming! I love the feeling of slicing through the water, and there’s nothing quite like jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. I try to make time for it at least once a week, and often bring a friend along, so we can chat while we lazily make our way across the pool.

If I had to pick a sport to watch though, I would be most interested in watching a game of Quidditch, which I recently discovered is a real sport with tournaments and everything. I hope it’s as fun to watch as they make it look on Harry Potter!

What about you? Which sports are your favorites, or which do you like to watch? Share them with others in the postcards you send out this month!

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This month, our suggestion is all about museums. We love a good museum, where carefully curated collections and exhibitions contribute to scientific knowledge while sparking a universe of learning possibilities!

In May, write about your favorite museum.
Portugal Communications museum

Do you have a favorite museum? Paulo and I like quirky museums, but our favorites so far (no surprise here!) are usually related with mail history.

In Lisbon, the Communications Museum has a wonderful exhibition where you can learn about the postal history of Portugal, from the first mail coaches to its present day modernization. There’s also an interesting section containing a recreation of a real post office, where you can pretend to be either a postal worker or a customer waiting to get some stamps! After so many years being on the customer side of the counter, it’s surprisingly fun to move behind the counter to do the job ourselves. Things look different from there!

So, what about your own country? Which national museum is your favorite? Which place should a postcrosser definitely visit if they find themselves in the area? We invite you to share your best museum tips on the postcards you send this month.

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This month, let’s talk history.

In April, talk about a famous person from your country’s history.
Written postcard

I agonized over this prompt for a long time, no historical figure seeming quite right… and then a couple days ago over dinner, our friend Tiago (aka ogait) asked: “How about Aristides?” and suddenly I felt really stupid. But of course!

Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese consul in southern France when World War II broke out. Portugal was a neutral country and thus an appealing destination for the many people displaced by the war… but these were the dictatorship years. Fearing economic and political chaos, the authoritarian regime in power tightened the border controls and all consulates and embassies were issued strict orders to avoid giving out too many passports and transit visas.

But did Sousa Mendes care? No! He immediately disobeyed the order, on grounds that it was “an inhumane and racist directive”. Despite being officially reprimanded, he continued issuing thousands of visas to refugees who flocked to his embassy in Bordeaux. He was eventually called back to Lisbon, where he was trialed and suffered disciplinary punishments.

The regime took credit for receiving all those refugees, and history books of the time mention the benevolence of the dictator… but in reality, it was Sousa Mendes (and a few people like him) who disobeyed the law and made Portugal a safe haven for many. Alas, they never made a movie about him(*), and his role in history was only recognized many decades later, when it was discovered that he had granted over 30,000 people safe passage to Portugal.

So… which historical character of your own country would you pick? We invite you to share something about a national historical figure in the postcards you send out this month.

(*) I stand corrected: Jéssica (aka J2404Pt) sent me a nice message to let me know they did make a movie about Aristides in 2011! It’s called the Consul of Bordeaux, and I’m off to the local library, to see if they have it there. Brilliant!

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