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  #1  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:59 PM
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Default What do you write in your cards?

Don't have to tell me exactly what you write, but I struggle to write stuff when sending cards.

Usually I include a message if there is one, who I am and why I'm sending a card, and um thats it. I DK if this is okay, or correct? I feel like I want to write more (so I don't seem like a complete pillock), but don't know what.

Any help would be appreciated.

Oh and sorry if this should have been posted elsewhere.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:07 PM
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Im the same way .. the best person to answer this is Bonnie !!! She sends like a book to everyone !!

I usually mention something current, we had a snowstorm recently so if it's nice where they are (CA, FL, TX, etc) I joke about sending some sunshine up here to get rid of our snow. Or before the superbowl I commented on which team I liked and being excited for the game, etc. Usually I can find stuff to ramble about ... i am bad at small talk though, so the people that get mail from me more than once probably see a theme in what I say !
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:09 PM
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I usually google inspirational quotes and include those in my cards
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:33 PM
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This is a really good question and one I struggled with early on. Now that I’ve been around awhile, I tend to write about everything. I share.....

Who I am and where I live.
I often include pictures of the state I live in and the beautiful environment.
I explain PTO and my affiliation.
I talk about my interests, hobbies, and what inspires me.
I talk about how I spend my days and what I see or am cooking or where I’ve been.
When I travel, I share that and typically include pictures.
I sometimes chatter about current events (although nothing political or controversial).
I talk about my pets and include pictures of them.
I sometimes talk about what I think and what I feel or what moves me.
I share the books I read and movies I've seen.
I share fun facts and if I know an inmate’s interests, I’ll write about those things.
I’ll talk about sports, when it’s something that interests me or if I can communicate without sounding like an idiot.
I sometimes include word games or puzzles.
I pretty much cover the gambit.

One thing I don’t do is I never talk about my family and most especially don’t discuss my loved one in prison. At least not initially. I keep my personal life personal and share generic information, much of which is fun and hopefully mildly amusing. So far, I’ve had no complaints from the peanut gallery. Neither do I ask the recipients personal questions. I notice in time, many are happy to share their stories, but I've never inquired.

What I share and how I share can and often does change, becoming more familiar as time passes, but still I take it slow and am careful. I also use a P.O. Box.

I almost always end my letters (depending on the purpose of the card, letter, or note) with a favorite scripture and a couple of favorite and encouraging quotes.

Each of us participates in this project differently. Each of us has a personal style and formula. I don’t think there is a right or wrote way to do this. What matters here is that we’re doing it. And as Shari pointed out... I do tend to write a book.

Last edited by BJWCA; 03-30-2011 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BJWCA View Post
This is a really good question and one I struggled with early on. Now that Iíve been around awhile, I tend to write about everything. I share.....

Who I am and where I live.
I often include pictures of the state I live in and the beautiful environment.
I explain PTO and my affiliation.
I talk about my interests, hobbies, and what inspires me.
I talk about how I spend my days and what I see or am cooking or where Iíve been.
When I travel, I share that and typically include pictures.
I sometimes chatter about current events (although nothing political or controversial).
I talk about my pets and include pictures of them.
I sometimes talk about what I think and what I feel or what moves me.
I share the books I read and movies I've seen.
I share fun facts and if I know an inmateís interests, Iíll write about those things.
Iíll talk about sports, when itís something that interests me or if I can communicate without sounding like an idiot.
I sometimes include word games or puzzles.
I pretty much cover the gambit.

One thing I donít do is I never talk about my family and most especially donít discuss my loved one in prison. At least not initially. I keep my personal life personal and share generic information, much of which is fun and hopefully mildly amusing. So far, Iíve had no complaints from the peanut gallery. Neither do I ask the recipients personal questions. I notice in time, many are happy to share their stories, but I've never inquired.

What I share and how I share can and often does change, becoming more familiar as time passes, but still I take is slow and am careful. I also use a P.O. Box.

I almost always end my letters (depending on the purpose of the card, letter, or note) with a favorite scripture and a couple of favorite and encouraging quotes.

Each of us participates in this project differently. Each of us has a personal style and formula. I donít think there is a right or wrote way to do this. What matters here is that weíre doing it. And as Shari pointed out... I do tend to write a book.
Oh I hope that didn't come across as offensive !! I have to much love and respect for you and I know everyone loves getting mail from you ... I'm just horrible at how I word some things ! Surprise !

Closer and Bonnie touched on something I forgot ... I used to always go to quotegarden.com and look up quotes surrounding that particular holiday, they have one for each and every holiday ! LOL I would include those .. sometimes jokes but that's harder because you don't know people's humor or what offends them ...

What a great thread !
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:58 PM
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Shari, absolutely you didn't offend me. Never have!!! Never will!!! What you share is accurate. I do tend to write a book. But that's became I type all my letters and I type at 125 words a minute. Now if I could only think that fast. Hahahaha

Thanks for the quotegarden.com tip. I'll check it out.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BJWCA View Post
This is a really good question and one I struggled with early on. Now that Iíve been around awhile, I tend to write about everything. I share.....

Who I am and where I live.
I often include pictures of the state I live in and the beautiful environment.
I explain PTO and my affiliation.
I talk about my interests, hobbies, and what inspires me.
I talk about how I spend my days and what I see or am cooking or where Iíve been.
When I travel, I share that and typically include pictures.
I sometimes chatter about current events (although nothing political or controversial).
I talk about my pets and include pictures of them.
I sometimes talk about what I think and what I feel or what moves me.
I share the books I read and movies I've seen.
I share fun facts and if I know an inmateís interests, Iíll write about those things.
Iíll talk about sports, when itís something that interests me or if I can communicate without sounding like an idiot.
I sometimes include word games or puzzles.
I pretty much cover the gambit.

One thing I donít do is I never talk about my family and most especially donít discuss my loved one in prison. At least not initially. I keep my personal life personal and share generic information, much of which is fun and hopefully mildly amusing. So far, Iíve had no complaints from the peanut gallery. Neither do I ask the recipients personal questions. I notice in time, many are happy to share their stories, but I've never inquired.

What I share and how I share can and often does change, becoming more familiar as time passes, but still I take it slow and am careful. I also use a P.O. Box.

I almost always end my letters (depending on the purpose of the card, letter, or note) with a favorite scripture and a couple of favorite and encouraging quotes.

Each of us participates in this project differently. Each of us has a personal style and formula. I donít think there is a right or wrote way to do this. What matters here is that weíre doing it. And as Shari pointed out... I do tend to write a book.

I am glad someone brung this up, because I seem to struggle with the same thing. Thanks for this list because it gives me ideas on what to include.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:32 PM
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Great topic.. I am just getting back into the swing of things and have had alittle trouble knowing exactly what to say..
I have been sending the personal message from the PTO member that request the card be sent, and then quotes, cute saying, crossword puzzles, etc.. I have also wrote a "P.S." in each card basically saying for them not to worry about writing me back, to feel free to send the thank you through -whoever posted the card request- and to save that stamp!! I was hesitant to do this at first, but I am not interested in becoming pen pals with anyone at this time.. I have (or had) about 5 that I do not even write to any longer.. I hope that does not offend anyone.. The fact that I am not interested in corresponding with anyone limits what I feel like I can say in the card.. Because I do not want to ask any questions or make any open ended statements..
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:17 PM
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This is great!

I think it is a good thing that everyone does their own thing. Like if we all start going to quotegarden.com, then they are going to start getting the same things. On another thread, a guy said he got a bunch of the same St. Pat's cards. I'd rather send something unique. But I am sure he loved them all...

I was just replying to an email because my guy can get a lot of stuff in the mail that most places can't get (stickers, handmade layered cards, glitter glue, etc.).

But my guy said while he LOVES and truly appreciates the effort I put into everything, sending more mail often is bigger deal than one giantly awesome something & then nothing for days (even though we email back & forth a zillion times a day). He said even just my name on a piece of paper would make him happy.

Something about that mail call is so critical to them. After I asked him how it works one day, I kinda got why. I asked, do they roll a cart around & shove it through the door to them? He said, no. The mail bag comes for the unit & the officer just starts pulling mail out and actually really calling the guys names out & then they go grab their mail. It is not pre-bundled by inmate, so if he gets 2 cards from me in the same day (which happens... though I try to send every day, they clump up in the system anyhow) they will just call him twice as they get to it.

I can just imagine that poor guy waiting on tippy toes to hear his name and NEVER gets mail. Must feel like not getting picked for a team. I go through the same sadness when I don't get mail from my guy, but I am alone & the only one that notices that, again, I got nothing. I don't have to tell my whole neighborhood I wasn't loved today...

Precisely why what we do is so important!

What we we talking about? ha ha ha Obviously, I am never at a loss for words!
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by His#1&only View Post
Im the same way .. the best person to answer this is Bonnie !!! She sends like a book to everyone !!

I usually mention something current, we had a snowstorm recently so if it's nice where they are (CA, FL, TX, etc) I joke about sending some sunshine up here to get rid of our snow. Or before the superbowl I commented on which team I liked and being excited for the game, etc. Usually I can find stuff to ramble about ... i am bad at small talk though, so the people that get mail from me more than once probably see a theme in what I say !
LMAO ... She does and the inmates LOVE it!!!

Bonnie ... 125 words per minute....holy sh*$....you must have super hero fingers!!!!!
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:20 AM
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I love this thread! I too struggle with what to say on the "one-off" cards, so thanks for all the ideas - I wish I had something to contribute but I can't think of anything more. Thanks everyone, you've helped ensure that in future the guys who receive cards from me won't be bored witless!
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:31 AM
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Great topic, thanks for bringing this up Horse. I usually ramble on about PTO and a little about England but I do get stuck so its brilliant to have some new ideas

Actually I think this would make a good " sticky" because it would help newer members
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:06 PM
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Thanks your replies

I've got lots of ideas now. Keep 'em coming

nursejulie- I never thought that I might not be able to send handmade cards before, the ones I have sent to my pals before have gotten through. However, for the swaps on here I have made them on the computer then printed them off (so they are flat).

Off topic slightly, but is there/ or could we start, a thread to put links for quotes/puzzles/jokes etc? Don't know if that would be okay to do?
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:22 PM
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Great idea, Lisa!

I don't have any trouble at all coming up with things to talk about with my regulars but it does seem more challenging with folks who are new to me. I generally explain a bit about PTO and I will often mention that I have a son in prison because I feel like it gives me a little bit more credibility with regard to "understanding" their situation. My son tells me that he always appreciates it when strangers who write to him share what their relationship is with the prison system because it helps him to feel a connection with them.

I also sometimes use quotes, especially in holiday cards. I always put some sort of personal message in every card rather than just signing my name even if it's just something about the weather or something I know about their state. Depending on how much mail I need to get out on any given day and my mood at the moment I've been known to get pretty wordy too. Judging from the huge pile of letters awaiting responses on my desk I must be doing something right!
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:35 PM
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Niki, I also make my own cards and always put the guys names on the card. They love it!! I also find jokes about the holiday and send them along with the card.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by nursejulie View Post
This is great!

I think it is a good thing that everyone does their own thing. Like if we all start going to quotegarden.com, then they are going to start getting the same things. On another thread, a guy said he got a bunch of the same St. Pat's cards. I'd rather send something unique. But I am sure he loved them all...

I was just replying to an email because my guy can get a lot of stuff in the mail that most places can't get (stickers, handmade layered cards, glitter glue, etc.).

But my guy said while he LOVES and truly appreciates the effort I put into everything, sending more mail often is bigger deal than one giantly awesome something & then nothing for days (even though we email back & forth a zillion times a day). He said even just my name on a piece of paper would make him happy.

Something about that mail call is so critical to them. After I asked him how it works one day, I kinda got why. I asked, do they roll a cart around & shove it through the door to them? He said, no. The mail bag comes for the unit & the officer just starts pulling mail out and actually really calling the guys names out & then they go grab their mail. It is not pre-bundled by inmate, so if he gets 2 cards from me in the same day (which happens... though I try to send every day, they clump up in the system anyhow) they will just call him twice as they get to it.

I can just imagine that poor guy waiting on tippy toes to hear his name and NEVER gets mail. Must feel like not getting picked for a team. I go through the same sadness when I don't get mail from my guy, but I am alone & the only one that notices that, again, I got nothing. I don't have to tell my whole neighborhood I wasn't loved today...

Precisely why what we do is so important!

What we we talking about? ha ha ha Obviously, I am never at a loss for words!
Your post almost brought me to tears!!! (well these days not much doesn't make me want to cry lol) I think about the inmates who don't get mail!! it's sad!! That's why I started doing the card swaps. If I can bring joy with my pen and stamp...SIGN ME UP!!! I know sweetness loves my mail, she has neem in 16 years and I write everyday! She is 42 and says when they call her name she feels like she is 16!!
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJWCA View Post
This is a really good question and one I struggled with early on. Now that Iíve been around awhile, I tend to write about everything. I share.....

Who I am and where I live.
I often include pictures of the state I live in and the beautiful environment.
I explain PTO and my affiliation.
I talk about my interests, hobbies, and what inspires me.
I talk about how I spend my days and what I see or am cooking or where Iíve been.
When I travel, I share that and typically include pictures.
I sometimes chatter about current events (although nothing political or controversial).
I talk about my pets and include pictures of them.
I sometimes talk about what I think and what I feel or what moves me.
I share the books I read and movies I've seen.
I share fun facts and if I know an inmateís interests, Iíll write about those things.
Iíll talk about sports, when itís something that interests me or if I can communicate without sounding like an idiot.
I sometimes include word games or puzzles.
I pretty much cover the gambit.

One thing I donít do is I never talk about my family and most especially donít discuss my loved one in prison. At least not initially. I keep my personal life personal and share generic information, much of which is fun and hopefully mildly amusing. So far, Iíve had no complaints from the peanut gallery. Neither do I ask the recipients personal questions. I notice in time, many are happy to share their stories, but I've never inquired.

What I share and how I share can and often does change, becoming more familiar as time passes, but still I take it slow and am careful. I also use a P.O. Box.

I almost always end my letters (depending on the purpose of the card, letter, or note) with a favorite scripture and a couple of favorite and encouraging quotes.

Each of us participates in this project differently. Each of us has a personal style and formula. I donít think there is a right or wrote way to do this. What matters here is that weíre doing it. And as Shari pointed out... I do tend to write a book.
bjwca
I have created files on my desktop with all the valentine's day and st patty's day names I have received. Now i have a file waiting for the easter names I will gt and I added your column to the top. I will spend more time writing not trying to think of things to say. Thank you for the suggestions. They are excellent. jumpy
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Coconut View Post
LMAO ... She does and the inmates LOVE it!!!

Bonnie ... 125 words per minute....holy sh*$....you must have super hero fingers!!!!!

Just curious Bonnie, do you do this with everyone you send a card to or just your penpals? Wish I could find the time since I love to write also.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:59 AM
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Not to speak for bonnie, but I am pretty sure she does it with everyone because my pals often mention her by name... (or by location ) saying they will be writing her back or sending thank yous for the wonderful things they get from her. I know they really enjoy the letters/cards/etc they get. I am glad this thread was posted because I wondered to what exactly was in these great cards that my pals are loving!! I try not to pry but I want to send great cards too!!! I agree though that if everyone does the same thing... they will seem well... the same. I try and include quotes too though! Hopefully I pick original ones. LOL!
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:33 AM
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This is great!

my guy can get a lot of stuff in the mail that most places can't get (stickers, handmade layered cards, glitter glue, etc.).

Ahhh crap see this is y I should ask.....I have 5,000 new stickers and I could have used some when I sent the cards Well guess that is reason to send another one or just a paper full of smiles and stickers lol is there a limit
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:45 AM
lilcountrynhog lilcountrynhog is offline
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ah lawdy I hope they dun talk bout me....I fill the whole empty side up with randome stuff. I talk bout our nature hikes, bugs, birds and some of everything, even the local events going on.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:07 PM
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Ahhh crap see this is y I should ask.....I have 5,000 new stickers and I could have used some when I sent the cards Well guess that is reason to send another one or just a paper full of smiles and stickers lol is there a limit
I don't know if there is a limit... I have a feeling we are about to find out, though!

I just sent a card that was made almost entirely out of stickers. I make labels for my moving boxes color coordinated by what room stuff goes in on the other end (can you tell I move too often?). One big one on top that lists what is inside & a small matching color for the side so you can see when they are stacked. I put a big "bedroom" one in the middle & under "contents" put "You + Me" [blush]. Then I put the little labels with all the other rooms & funny quotes like "is this picture straight?" "what drawer does this go in?" so he feels like he is part of the move! He just got it today, so I was happy. I felt like that was pushing it... so sticker away next time!
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:14 PM
lilcountrynhog lilcountrynhog is offline
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I don't know if there is a limit... I have a feeling we are about to find out, though!

I just sent a card that was made almost entirely out of stickers. I make labels for my moving boxes color coordinated by what room stuff goes in on the other end (can you tell I move too often?). One big one on top that lists what is inside & a small matching color for the side so you can see when they are stacked. I put a big "bedroom" one in the middle & under "contents" put "You + Me" [blush]. Then I put the little labels with all the other rooms & funny quotes like "is this picture straight?" "what drawer does this go in?" so he feels like he is part of the move! He just got it today, so I was happy. I felt like that was pushing it... so sticker away next time!

Oh gosh I got sum of every thing lol cartoons, animals 4 leaf clovers and I do go over board my self with labels. I have every thing in my computer room/office with one on it. u walk in and u will know where I keep everything just by looking around.I even have stuff for my new pals I guess I am jumping the gun a tad
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:45 AM
Lauren286 Lauren286 is offline
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LMAO ... She does and the inmates LOVE it!!!

Bonnie ... 125 words per minute....holy sh*$....you must have super hero fingers!!!!!
Now when you say 125 WPM, You do mean she types it right? I was gonna say, someone get that girl an award! lol
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:07 AM
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Thanks all, I swear at the Halloween swap when I wasn't sure who the original person was all I said was "a little ghost told us you could use some Halloween greetings" lol. So this helps! And I know Bonnie rocks...when Frankie was dictating his birthday thank-yous he wanted me to send to everyone, it was like one line for everyone until Bonnie and then he had a whole paragraph to say! He was shocked when I told him I didn't know who that was (which was true at the time, I've since learned) because he said "she seemed like she knew all about you. So thanks all for the great ideas, I'll try to be more prolific and less grinchy with my Thanksgiving and Christmas cards
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