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!

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the start of a fresh year, and inevitably some of us will be thinking of kickstarting some of our postponed or idealistic goals with renewed vigor. Scientists say writing down your goals makes you more likely to accomplish them… so maybe sharing them with other postcrossers will also help? 😊

In January, write about your goals and resolutions.

Written postcard

I’ll go first then and share one of my goals for 2020, which is to learn a couple of new Chinese characters every day. I’ve challenged myself to take a language exam in July, so I’ll be working on building up my vocabulary until then. By making the goal deliberately small, I hope I can build up some momentum, and keep it going until the exam date. Wish me luck!

Regardless of whether you call them new year resolutions or perhaps just goals, which objectives or challenges will you be working on this year? Share them with others on the postcards you write this month, and let’s cheer and help each other along the way!

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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!

December is a sweet month in many countries, which got us thinking… what are some traditional desserts from your country? If we visited today, what would you serve us as a treat after lunch or perhaps mid-afternoon, with tea?

In December, write about your country’s sweet desserts.
Pão de ló

Portugal’s confectioneries are numerous and legendary… but sometimes the simplest pleasures are the nicest ones, is it not?

Traditionally made with just 3 ingredients, “Pão de ló” is a fluffy cake you’ll find mostly in the north of the country… but also in places like Japan where it was taken to in the 16th century by Portuguese merchants. Similar to sponge cake, it is most delicious when made “wet” by undercooking, so that it can be eaten with a spoon. And as with most cakes and sweets around here, it takes a ton of eggs to make, which is why all our sweets are very yellow. :)

What about your country? What are those special desserts everyone should try? Share them in the postcards you send this month… and in the comments as well, so that we can make a list of delicious stuff to try when we visit your country! 😋

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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!

Earlier this year, postcrosser Marg (aka MargLondon) sent BBC Radio 4 a really nice sound clip about her favorite sound, which was the sound of postcards being dropped through her mail slot. In the conversation we had with her afterwards, I discovered Marg had been collecting sounds for quite some time, all around the world. In her profile, she asks for members to write about what they hear in their city, home or room, and we thought this was a nice idea.

In November, write about the sounds of your area or your home.
Listening for sounds

So stand very still for a minute and listen carefully to the sounds around you. What do you hear?

From where I sit, I hear mostly swallows and sparrows chirping away. Some distance buzz from traffic, the rustle from the palm trees swaying in the wind… and Paulo, quietly typing away on his keyboard.

If I had to pick one sound to represent this region though, it would be the sound of cicadas in the summer. Their loud buzzing is a permanent soundtrack on warm days around here, starting quietly and then quickly increasing in volume as more of them join in, like a wave of sound. They’re so omnipresent in the region that for us, the song of the cicadas sounds like being home.

What about you, which sounds are special to your place? What do you hear all around you? And what memories do they stir? Let’s listen carefully and write about it on the postcards we 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!

October’s writing prompt comes a few days ahead of schedule but since we’re participating in the global climate strike today, we thought it was the right time for it. This is a topic that has been on our mind this year, and perhaps yours as well.

In October, write about the impacts of climate change in your region or country.
Climate Change

I’ll go first then. As temperatures increase for us in southern Portugal, our summers will become hotter and hotter, with less and less rain — basically, an extension of Morocco’s arid weather. Forest fires will be even more of a problem, and droughts will likely be a yearly recurrence, impacting not just crops but also our ability to generate hydropower.

On the other hand, there’s also the rising sea levels to cope with, and the impact of that rise on many of the coastal ecosystems. Where will the seahorses and flamingoes go, if we no longer have lagoons and salt ponds to host them?

What about where you live, how is the climate changing going to change there? And what is the prognosis for the future of your region? Let’s take this opportunity to inform ourselves and start some conversations about the future of our planet.

PS – If you’re in Europe, this comprehensive study assesses how a 2°C warming scenario could affect the continent in eleven impact areas. If you know of similar studies for your area, please share them in the comments below.

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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, we suggest looking at an interesting part of our cultural inheritance: crafts!

In September, write about regional or national crafts of your country.
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We all know that each country or perhaps even a particular region or town has its own special form of handmade crafts that they’re famous for. Some are even classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, such as the hand-making of washi paper in Japan or the bobbin lace-making in Slovenia. So what about your own region or country? What crafts do people do there?

If I had to pick something to represent the southernmost region of Portugal, I’d probably choose palm weaving. We have lots of palm trees around here, and for centuries their leaves have been dried and weaved intricately to create a variety of products — like baskets, bags, chairs or brushes. They’re well-made, last a very long time, and look beautiful too!

So what are the handicrafts that your region is known for? Share them with others on the postcards you write this month!

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