Third Letter to Brio

A letter to Brio


Dear Brio,

Thanks for being a patient pen pal. I realize I haven’t been the best correspondent. Life gets busy. But I want you to know that I appreciate you and your letters very much.

Your last reply helped so much. It arrived shortly before Octy was born. I felt relieved to know that everything I’d experienced was to be expected. Thank you.

Octy’s grown into a cute, chubby, happy little boy.


I feel privileged to have two healthy sons.

I almost had a third. That’s why I’m writing, Brio.


Did you ever have a pregnancy that didn’t make it to full term?

Shésti, the mother, explained that the embryo had been infected with a space disease, something called pfura. She didn’t go into details, and, frankly, I’m afraid to know. She actually didn’t talk to me about it at all. She told my elder son.

He relayed the information to me.

I already knew that fetus wasn’t alive.

I felt it spark the first day. But by the next morning, it felt cold.

They say that my body reabsorbs the tissue. So what was is now part of me. It’s OK. Pfura doesn’t spread to humans.

I guess I’m feeling OK. I wanted this child. I am very drawn to the beautiful woman who would have been his mother. She looks like Septemus, and, in fact, through a strange twist of fate, they are genetically kin.

I would have loved to have had a son who was genetically related to Septemus.


But it’s not to be.

I am trying to be philosophical.

At least Octy will be happy! He wanted to go on being the baby of the family.

I already have two healthy sons. But it’s hard not to mourn the one that isn’t to be.


Septemus is angry. He blames Shésti. He says that pollination technicians have the responsibility to ensure that the ovules used are pristine, for the health of everyone concerned. He says he and Octy could have become infected. I think he knows something of the disease, though he shifts the topic whenever it comes up.


We weren’t infected. We are, all three of us, healthy.

I am practicing counting my blessings. I was raised by my grandparents who knew loss, who spent plenty of time mourning, and who at the end of the day, always returned to saying grace for all they had received.

It’s an old-fashioned way. But it’s my family’s way. I’m a role model for my two sons. I want them to understand that loss is part of life. That we can feel sad and grieve. But we don’t need to harbor anger and blame.

When the sun sets, it’s our blessings that matter.


Brio, I hope that all is well with you and your family. I bet the kids are getting big! Fill me in on all their news.

Octavius says that since we aren’t getting a baby brother, we will get a puppy. So, maybe the next time I write, there will be a little spaniel chewing on my shoes in the middle of the living room floor!

Wishing you and yours the best,


<< Previous | Next >>


First Letter to Brio


Dear Brio,

I have a feeling you’re going to be surprised to hear from me. Not that you know who I am–just that I’m writing. You see, I joined the pen pal project in order to get in touch with you.

I’m not a stalker. No. It’s that your kids asked me to write. You see, I belong to an online community for a group of people who are part of a government program. It’s a special program to give homes to kids who need them. Most of us have some kind of experience in education or working with children.

The kids we’ve adopted are a lot like your kids. And your kids, Sirius and Vega, in looking for children like them, came across an online forum we’ve started. I guess our security isn’t as good as I thought–either that, or Vega is a skilled hacker. The end result is that your kids got into our forum, saw us talking about our extraterrestrial kids, and then they emailed me.

They sent me a link to your Pen Pal Project profile.

I must admit: I was very surprised by it.


You’ve got six kids? And, though you’re a dad, you carried them? And did this have anything to do with those hours you can’t remember?

Well, I have a lot more questions, but I feel it’s rude for me to ask them before we’ve even met. Your kids sound really well-adjusted and happy, so it seems like your life is working out well now. I’m glad about that.

I guess I should tell you a bit about me.

I was trained to be a children’s librarian. I work at home, though, as a writer, painter, and dad. It’s a far better life than I could have ever dreamed up.


My boy, Septemus, amazes me. I don’t mean this in a prideful way, for none of it is from me–it’s all him. Well, your kids seem amazing, too, so you probably know what I mean.

We do a lot of typical Dad-Son things. We dance.


We enjoy our favorite meals. Right now, Septemus loves tofu tacos, and I’m on a taco casserole kick.

He calls us the Taco Kids.


I don’t always know what to make of the things he says.

He started talking about black holes this evening and how they have the capacity to devour entire solar systems.

“Where do you suppose a civilization goes when the black hole eats it?” he asked. “Like for example, what happens to the library books?”

How do you answer a question like that?


I think it’s going to be good for me to be able to talk to another parent who’s been there. I hope that you’ll accept me as a pen pal, and that you don’t think it’s too presumptuous for me to write you or that you’re bothered by your kids getting in touch with me.

I’m counting it as a blessing, myself. I’ve got a feeling you might be able to help with some of the answers I seek. And at any rate, I could use another dad’s advice.


Here’s hoping you’ll write back,

Sebastion Sevens

<< Previous | Next >>

Handwriting Challenge

A long time ago, like on April 12, 2017, when I was mired in the Big Project at the office, CeCe Rose (cecerose0208, at the Forums) tagged me for the Handwriting Challenge.

Thanks, CeCe! If you’re a fan of CeCe’s stories, found at Dreams & Drama Neighborhood Rotation and CeCeWrites, then you know how lovely it is to open your WordPress Reader and catch up with the Ralstons or find out what’s new with Nivea. And if you’re not yet reading CeCe’s stories, what are you waiting for? These stories are rich!

Thanks, CeCe, for tagging me!

Then, because it took me so long to post this, Sweetnightingale tagged me it May! Thank you, Sweet! Sweetnightingale and I are pen pals of a sort: Some of our Sims write each other in The Pen Pal Project. Through our Sims’ correspondences, I’ve gotten to know the intricate, intertwined fantasy stories of Sweetnightingale. I highly recommend them! You can find them at Simming with Sweetnightingale, and from there, if you click the links to Other Works, you’ll be able to find all her stories.

Now: On to the Challenge!

Here’s how you do it:

  • Write your name
  • Write your blog’s name
  • Write your favorite word and its definition
  • Write something nice
  • Write the name of your favorite song right now
  • What are you writing with?
  • Write a fun fact about yourself
  • Write/draw your favorite emoticon
  • Write a silly message
  • Write who you’re tagging


And because you likely can’t read my scratches, here’s what I wrote:

  • Write your name: Cathy Tea
  • Write your blog’s name: Cathy Tea’s SimLit Anthology
  • Write your favorite word and its definition: Cello – a wooden string instrument that sounds like a breathy singing voice.
  • Write something nice: Think of the most beautiful, brightest spark of light you’ve ever seen. Imagine it! Feel it. That beauty is inside of you.
  • Write the name of your favorite song right now: Allemande in E-flat from the 4th cello suite by Bach
  • What are you writing with? My H Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencil
  • Write a fun fact about yourself: When I went to build my suppor system recently, I realized everyone was already in place! I just had to identify them.
  • Write/draw your favorite emoticon: Dimply smiley face with a nose!
  • Write a silly message: You’re only as silly as you think you are! (which, in my case, is pretty silly!)
  • Write who you’re tagging:
    I tagged those who were then my penpals from the Pen Pal project… plus, for a bonus, AdamsEve, AllieMac, and Pegasus! 🙂

Thank you, friends, for being so lovely! Let’s have tea and draw!

(And don’t you think we look sort of like our handwriting? 🙂 )


Forgotten Art: Giuliana – Mathilda 3

A reply to: A letter from Mathilda


Dear Mathilda:

I thought maybe I should practice writing formal, so here I am. Formal.

Jasper–you remember him, he’s my magical helper–he says that it’s good to talk and write in all sorts of ways: Low-down, hip-cool, fancy, regular, regimentaltudinally, and formal. Because you never know when you might need to write like this.

So much has happened.

You know how we went to the reading room? We went back.


Then me and my brother my brother and I went to the park all the way at the desert. It was a really long ways. We took the train and it took all of two hours and more, and then we had to walk and my brother was so tired that he said he was never walking to the State Park with me again, but then he saw this girl he likes and he forgot all about being tired.

He also forgot all about me.


But that was OK because I was on a mission.  Your mission.


I’ve started looking for stuff!


I looked everywhere. In nooks and crannies and in an old pump that smelled like the stuff the dentist puts in your mouth after he gives you the shot. You know. That metal smell.

And my dad let me take his special chisel-thing that he used to use when he would look for artifacts and crystals and stuff.


(Oops. I forgot about the formal part. You don’t mind if I write regular when I’m telling the story, do you?)

At first I was just thinking about how it was hard work. Because it was really hard work.

But then I started noticing things. Like in this one rock, there were all sorts of other little tiny rocks, and some looked sort of like marshmallows, and some like marbles, and some like the tips of candy corn. I got really curious about how they got inside the bigger rock and how I might get them out.


I kept looking and looking and I found some really neat stuff!

When I got back to the park building, my brother was there, talking to one of the park gardener ladies.


She was nice. I asked her about how little rocks get inside of bigger rocks and she told me all about geologic flow and gneiss and sedimentary and metamorphic and foliation. Now I know all sorts more about rocks!

Then we ate burgers that somebody grilled. They were so delicious!


Do you know the feeling of when you’ve been running through the desert, looking for rocks and finding them, too, and digging and collecting and collecting questions, also, and then getting all hot and sweaty and really hungry, also, so then you keep running and you come inside where it’s cool, and there’s your brother, and the nice gardener person tells you the answers to the questions you were wondering, and then there are hamburgers, too? With relish and katsup and pickles?

Well, that’s how I felt when I got your letter!

I felt like I had been adventuring forever and all the questions were piling up and it was hot and sticky and I was hungry and even a little sad, because a lot has happened since last time I wrote to you. Then I got your letter, and it was like, Ahhhh!


It was the best.

So I am happy that you wrote and that your daughter was brave and rescued. And of course she was, because she’s YOUR daughter!

And also: I have started my test that you set for me!

Here’s what I have so far: A giant red crystal; a little tiny baconlike rock; a big ice crystal rock; and fossil paw prints.


I know I have to get a lot more stuff. I will, too! This is just the start.

Jasper says he believes I can do anything I set my mind to that is humanly possible to do.

I say, “What if I’m not really human?”

He says, “Then you can do that, too!”


Next time I write, I will have found even more!

And if I start to feel sad, because, you know, I read that that is something that all people do now and then, especially when people they have loved have died–and yeah, that happened to me–anyway, if I start to feel sad, I will read your letter.

Because like I said: hot day, hungry tummy, question head –> cool room, hamburger, answers = YOUR letter.

Thank you, Oh Great Mathilda! 🙂

Your hero-in-training,


<< Giuliana’s Previous Letter

Forgotten Art: Meadow-Dove 2

A reply to: A Letter from Dove Singer


Dear Dove,

You wrote to me! Thank you!

I was so happy to get your reply to my letter. I always feel a little self-conscious after I send letters. I forget what I’ve written, and I know that when my fingers hit the keys, I write all sorts of wild things! I often feel my mind is bypassed and the words come straight from heart and soul, just like Jena’s nonsense stories when she’s feeling happy and free.


Then, after I send the letter, my mind kicks and says, “Hey. Did you really forget to consult me when you were writing that letter? What did you write, anyway?” So, yeah. There’s all sorts of feelings of social awkwardness that kick in after I send anything I write!

But you wrote back, so I guess I didn’t mess up too terribly!

Thanks for the kind things you said about my family. I agree that they are amazing. I recognize that I come from privilege: my family is well-educated and prosperous, and any fatal flaws my family members might possess have always been well-hidden from me. I find them perfect. My brother Norman says I look at the world through rose-colored glasses, and he might be right. But I know my vision isn’t 20-20, and if my prescription calls for rose-colored glasses to correct my sight, so be it! I like the world I see through them.


My dad passed on a few years ago, and my mom a few years before that, so now it’s just me, my brother Norman, and my uncle Jasper. And Jena, of course.

You asked about basil: I don’t know if you get to Windenburg often, but I’ve seen quite a bit growing in the meadows here. In summer, when it blooms, the bees flock to it! I’ve always wanted to eat basil-honey! Do you think it would taste spicy? Or savory?


That’s so interesting that you’re intrigued by modern folklore! Many of my classmates focused on urban legends, and yes, accounts of extraterrestrial-sightings were a hot topic.

I keep an open mind. I’ve never met an extraterrestrials, as far as I know. In college, a lot of my friends claimed to be “Star People.” What they meant was, as they put it, they weren’t “from around here.” They had the feeling that they’d lived past lives on other planets in other solar systems and even other realms of being and this was their first time to incarnate here. I think they were looking for ways to account for the sense of alienation that is so common in my generation. Personally, I don’t think this has anything to do with an alien heritage and everything to do with the isolation and pervasive global fears that permeate life in the 21st Century.

I feel that alienation sometimes. And I also feel very firmly attached to this earth. I know I come from here: I belong here. Maybe it’s because I grew up roaming the meadows and fields.


I can tell that my daughter Jena feels alienation. It’s not surprising, considering what she’s experienced in her two short years. I’m hoping that by growing up here, surrounded by loving people, in a home nestled in the sun-warmed hills, she’ll come to feel that she belongs, and she’ll lose that sense that one heavy sigh of the earth will shake her off into the void.


I do have an interesting extraterrestrial story, though! My own urban legend! When I was little, my dad took me with him up to a ridge where he was installing the wind towers. There, we looked down onto crop circles in the fields below. He asked me what I thought could make them. I said it must be God, feeling bored and wanting to draw. He laughed, of course. Then he went through all the possible explanations. He refuted them all, except the extraterrestrial explanation. “Space craft,” he said.


So, who knows? My dad was ever the rationalist, and he believed what logic told him. I believe my heart, and my heart tells me that this world is vast and the universe beyond, and the universes beyond that, are even more vast!


Can you tell me more about what you’re exploring as a scientist? What do you need basil for?

Thanks for letting me ramble on to you! I can’t wait to read whatever you want to share with me about your life and your interests! What are you reading these days?

Most of my current reading comes in the form of a picture book with very thick pages!


With love,


<< Meadow’s Previous Letter | Meadow’s Next Letter >>

Forgotten Art: Meadow-Watergate 2

A reply to: A Letter from Mr. Watergate


Dear Mr. Watergate:

You are brilliant! A child-development genius!

Did anyone ever tell you that? It’s so true.

Let me tell you what happened, and you will see how helpful your insights were to me.

The other day, my uncle Jasper stopped by.

Jena and I were sitting in the living room, “talking.” As usual, we didn’t have a clue what the other was saying, but we were playing along, both of us trying not to get frustrated by the other’s lack of total comprehension.

Then, when my uncle sat down, Jena looks at him and says, “Assālam ‘alaykum.”


My uncle smiled and replied, “Wālaikum assalām. Ap kaisi hain?”

“Ap se milker khushi huwi!” she said to him.


Jasper turned to me and said, “Your baby speaks Urdu.”

“You mean it’s not baby-talk?” I asked.

She started babbling excitedly.

“Well, that’s baby-talk,” my uncle said. “But before, she was definitely speaking Urdu.”


He went on to say that it was surprising. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, but it’s an uncommon first language. Punjabi is far more common as the language spoken at home.

“Maybe it has something to do with her being born in the refugee camp,” Jasper said.

But at any rate, we discovered that she does, indeed, speak another language! And my uncle, at least, can comprehend her!

So when you wrote to me, “Toddlers like to repeat things they hear. Jena could be speaking in another language,” you were so right!

Oh, thank you, Mr. Watergate! (Can I call you Chancelor? Do you go by Chance?)

(Ha! That sounds like a joke. “Do you go, by chance?” Never mind. I think I’m getting punchy from toddler-cabin-fever!)

So I’ve been using your other piece of advice, about how toddlers like to repeat things they hear, and I’m using flashcards to help Jena learn English. I keep it simple and fun, like a game (or I try to), so she doesn’t get bored or sad. She still gets sad a lot.


At first I thought that I should learn Urdu, so she and I could communicate in her language. But I did a little research on language development in bilingual children. The experts agree that kids do best if each adult speaks only one language with the child, rather than mixing and matching. It helps the brain keep everything in the right file drawer, I guess.

So I decided that I will speak English with Jena. Jasper, who’s a retired professor himself, says that he knows all about the research, and he doesn’t go along with formalized prescriptions, so he will be, as he puts it “the rebel granduncle” and speak whatever language he feels like with her, even French.

“That way,” he says, “her mind can file me in the category of Uncle Polyglot.” He’s kind of a nut.

I’m in the process of  finding someone who will speak Urdu with her. I hope, too, to find an Urdu School in San Myshuno, if not closer, so that she can grow up biliterate, in addition to bilingual.

Jasper has friends and neighbors who speak Punjabi and Urdu, and he thinks they would be eager to talk with her.

The other day, I went out for a jog while Jasper was here looking after Jena, and I ran into (well, not literally 🙂 ) someone I’d seen a few times at the refugee center when we were making arrangements for me to adopt Jena.

Karim came from the same camp.


He seemed a little wary of me at first. But we got to talking. He’s living in Windenburg now, where  he has a technology job as network-server-something. I told him that I’d adopted Jena, and I asked if he’d be willing to visit sometimes, to talk with her.

He said he would.

So, I’m really excited now! It seems like Jena will have someone to communicate with, while she learns English at the same time! Isn’t that exciting?


I also really enjoyed your insights about toddlers being very emotional. I’d never thought about toddler hormones!

But I guess it makes sense. I’ll have to do some research on toddler brain chemistry and development and the connection with emotional states.

That helps me relax so much to know that at least some of this is a natural process: it’s not all the result of a traumatic first few years or of lingering grief.

She does often seem very happy.


And she and I are enjoying our conversations more than ever!


Goodness! This whole letter has been all about me and Jena and Uncle Jasper! I haven’t even mentioned how much I enjoyed the photos you sent of you and your beautiful daughter. She has your smile!

I have to admit to feeling envy when I see how close the two of you are. There’s always a physical distance between Jena and me that mirrors the emotional distance that lingers between us. I hope at some point that we achieve the easy bond that you seem to have with your daughter. Are you that close with all your daughters?

It’s not for me that I want this attachment (I’m emotionally satisfied by my close ties with my uncle and my brother), but for Jena. I want her to experience growing up with healthy attachments so that she’ll be able to form close relationships throughout her life.

Maybe some day.


Please write me more about you and your daughters and your wife! I’d love to hear all about your life and your secrets for creating happy, healthy family!

Thank you again for your wisdom.

Much love,


p.s. Your idea of a play date for our two littlies is so tempting! At present, I’m limiting my social life to the essential. I want to keep my life as simple as possible so that I’m able to give Jena the attention she needs. Maybe later, once she’s better adjusted, we can think about letting our children play together. I must admit, it would be so fun to talk with you in person! I’d love to hear your words of wisdom straight from your lips!

<< Meadow’s Previous Letter | Meadow’s Next Letter >>

Forgotten Art: Jasper – Liam 1


Dear Liam,

I suppose an old man like me shouldn’t be surprised by mysteries. But you know how life goes. Sometimes, we fall into the pattern of the mundane.

“An old Irishman in a young man’s body.” Now there’s an intriguing introduction.

In fact, the hints sprinkled throughout your letter point to mysteries that, for now, I will simply let lie. While investigative by nature, I’m not one to pry, and I’m sure that all I’m intended to know will be revealed through time.

You and I seem to share a love for wood.


I’ve been working in cedar lately. It’s not the best for carving, being soft and splintery, but I’m drawn by the scent which reminds me of youthful days roaming the coasts of the island off Windenberg.

“There truly is magic in the world,” you write.


What do I know of magic?

Only the magic of the everyday, that inexplicable spark that can arise between two beings. Or maybe, staring into vast space, the magic, simply, incredibly, of Being.

But magic of the sort in which wizards and warlocks deal?


I know nothing more than what I’ve read: Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The old folk stories. The works of Carlos Castaneda. A few dabblings with the Tarot and the I Ching.

I’m a scholar, not a magician.

But I will have eager eyes and an avid heart for any mysteries you care to reveal.


So we’re both acquainted with loss, are we?

That’s the price of life.

Condolences on the passing of your Maggie.

My wife and I never had children–by choice, inclination, and temperament.

Bess, my wife, passed years ago. I forget to count. It feels like an instant, but I know, by the lanterns hanging on my tree, that it wasn’t. Each year, since her passing, I hang a new lantern. I’ve stopped counting.


Bess loved Jane Austen, like your Mathilda. It’s something to be married to a woman who reads Austen, don’t you find? Always gazing at us with that wry grin, as if each stoic action we display revealed depths of which we never comprehended we might contain!


As for me, I specialized in American lit of the 19th Century. Of course, I centered much of my study on the New England Brahmins–Thoreau and Fuller, in particular, though I also came to appreciate Alcott: Lousia May, not her father.

Towards the end of my career, I became engrossed in pioneer literature, the diaries and journals, in particular. I suppose I got there by way of Thoreau. His writing led me to John Muir, and from Muir it was only a stone’s throw away to the pioneer journals.

I’m currently trekking my way through Shakespeare. I hate to admit it, but I have not yet read all the works attributed to his name. I’m currently on the histories, and taking my sweet time.

Retirement has shown me that I can take time with all my endeavors. So I hope you’ll pardon my long-winded and round-about correspondences with you!

It’s sweet balm to write to another who’s lived and lost and survived to love on.

Life. Man. What a trip.


With warm regards, and anticipation, already, for your next letter,

Jasper McCumber

<< Jasper’s Previous Letter | Jasper’s Next Letter >>

Forgotten Art: Meadow – Lenora 1

A reply to: A Letter from Lenora




Dear Leonora,

How happy I was to get your letter!

You’ve raised five little ones! Oh, my! The Mama-Goddesses must be looking after me to send you to me as a pen pal!

I need help! And so does my little Jena.


I’m so grateful that you’ve had experiences with orphans. How old were your children when you adopted them?

Had they come from hardship? Well, I suppose all orphans have, or they wouldn’t be orphans. Imagine–losing a parent, or two. Or a family. Or a whole tribe.

No wonder little Jena feels so sad and lost so often.

I fear that she experienced trauma at the camp in Turkey. She’s Pakistani, but the refugee camp where she was sent was in Turkey. I read online that a Pakistani refugee said he’d go “anywhere but Turkey.”

I guess it’s really terrible there–not just the living conditions, but the treatment.


I try to give Jena as much comfort as I can.

She has moments when she’s content.


When I watch her playing with her dolls, I feel hope that it’s not too late. Maybe she came to me soon enough that she’ll still be able to form healthy attachments.


Her pediatrician says she’s healthy. She was in a hospital here in Windenburg before she came to live with me, and the parasites and infectious diseases were removed. She got all her vaccinations.

But I worry. I’m a mom now, and I guess that comes with the territory.

She has nightmares. She hardly ever sleeps the night through.

Most nights, around 2 a.m., I hear her calling me, and I come downstairs to see her with a look of fear on her face.


I comfort her as best I can. I try to remember all the lullabies my mom sang to me. Usually, I’ll just sing some silly pop song.


And then, we’ll spend the rest of the night eating snacks and “talking.”

I’ll tell her anything. She listens to everything! Sometimes, she’s quiet and just listens, and sometimes she “talks” and I have no idea what she’s saying.

But it’s time together, and that counts, right?


Oh, I make it sound like it’s so hard and terrible. And sometimes it is, but then we have a golden moment and hope flames up in my chest!


Until the difficult moments return.

She rejects me sometimes. Is that normal? I wonder if that’s a trauma response. Do you think it’s a sign of something troubling that she would push me away?


I did something terrible the other day. I hope you don’t think I’m an awful person, Lenora. You seem so kind, that I know that even if I did mess up, you’ll help me figure it out and learn how to do better.

The other day when she pushed me away, I scolded her. “I was only trying to help!” I said. “How can I help if you push me away?”


I felt so badly afterwards. Who knows what she’s going through, and that’s how I responded?

I let her be for a while. I went and painted. Then, she picked up a plate of mac and cheese I’d set out for her, sat on her favorite chair, and stared at me, wearing the biggest pout.


After a few moments of silence, she said, “Ap kaisi hain. Ap kaisi hain? Kaisi hain?”

Over and over. I played along.

I sat with her and talked about the painting I was doing. I told her about space and distance and form and color. She smiled and laughed.

“Kafi weqt se ap ko dekha nehin!” she said.


She followed me into the kitchen while I ate my snack, and she danced. So I think she forgave me. Do you think so?


Oh, goodness! This whole letter has been about me and Jena, and I didn’t even get to your question about how Jena came to be with me! Well, I’ll have to save that for another day, for I can hear her waking up from her nap now. Time for snack, bath, and play time!

Lenora, thank you so much for finding my profile and for letting me bore you with all my new-mommy stories! I appreciate you so much already! Please tell me all about yourself, your life, and a typical day in the life of Lenora Landgraab in your next letter! 🙂

Lots of love–and a world of gratitude!


<< Meadow’s Previous Letter | Meadow’s Next Letter >>

Forgotten Art: Giuliana’s Profile


Name: Tazer 1541Z (Is that a cool handle? Mom says never use real name on anything online.)

Select your age bracket: Under 15

Please get your parent or guardian’s permission to participate in this project. A representative from our company may get in touch with them before completing the processing of your account.

Profession: Doy. Didn’t we just establish that I’m a kid? Kids don’t have professions. They’re kids!


How many pen pals are you interested in acquiring? I don’t know. How many is a lot? I’m pretty busy. I’ve got my brother who always tells me to do stuff, and I’ve got school, and I’ve got investigations. How about two? Or three? You decide.

What qualities do you seek in a pen pal? Um. OK. So here’s what you need to know about me. I may be nine, but I’m smart. My teacher says I read at tenth-grade level. So that means, I don’t want a pen-pal who will write to me like I’m six. And I really don’t want another kid my age, because, let’s face it. I don’t really get other kids sometimes, and they don’t really get me. Except for Max. So. How about someone really old? Like 90 or 15 or something. That way I can learn from life! I don’t really care, as long as they don’t boss me around or write down to me.

Do you have a desire to meet your pen pal face-to-face? Hello! Did you catch that I’m a kid? Don’t you know anything about Internet Safety? Never meet in person anybody you meet online! Doy! My brother would kill me. He’s like super protector dude.


Please describe, in as much detail as possible, your reason for wanting to join the pen pal project: So. I want to see the world. But I can’t because I live in the City and we don’t have a lot of money. I mean, we’ve got enough money that we can eat and we have an apartment, unlike some of my friends who sleep in cardboard in the alleys. They’re not kids. They’re grown-ups. Charles, and Rocket, and Peter. They’re nice. And they really don’t have any money. But we always give them some. Plus I buy them vendor food.

Anyway, like I was saying, I want to see the world.


I figure, if I can’t see it, I can read about it.

And what better way to read about it than through people who’ve lived it?

Like, I know about the City. But maybe my pen pal knows about the country! So my pen pal can tell me all about the country, and I’ll tell all about the City.

For example, I live in a really tall building in the Art District. We live on the top floor, and we’ve got to take an elevator!


Before I walk to school, I always run down to the square to get breakfast. It’s like it’s our living room or something. All the vendors know me. Sometimes they give me food for free, and sometimes they put it on Mom’s tab and sometimes I pay. It depends on if I have a quarter.


I know I said I wanted to see the world, but that doesn’t mean I want to live anywhere else. I think where I live is just right. It’s the best place.

Have you ever had an experience where you feel like you are right smack in the center, and you feel sort of warm and happy and peaceful all at once? That’s how I feel when I’m in the City.


So, that’s my world, and if you’re my pen pal, I will tell you all about it. And then you can tell me all about your world, and it will almost be like, for that exact moment, that we’re living two lives!


Forgotten Art: Meadow-Dove 1

A reply to: Dove Singer’s Profile


Dear Dove,

I saw your profile at the Pen Pal Project, and I wanted to write you immediately!

(Doesn’t it seem that a Meadow and a Dove belong together? 🙂 )

You look so beautiful! I hope you don’t mind me saying that. I tend to be very shy in person, but there’s just something about writing. It’s like an immediate conduit opens to my heart, and I just have to type out what I feel, as I feel it!

How do you like living in San Myshuno? Isn’t it a beautiful place? My uncle lives in the Spice District, and when I visit him, I love to hang out in the square to take in all the colors and flavors!

I don’t get much chance to visit my uncle these days, though he does often come to see me, because I’ve recently adopted a baby, a two-year-old Pakistani refugee. Such a sad story, and if we become pen pals, maybe I can tell you more later. But for now, I’ll just say that she’s healthy and keeping me on my toes!


You and I seem to have a background in science in common–I am not a scientist, but my father was and my brother is. My dad was a physicist, and he was devoted to sustainable energy. He installed the first wind farms here in Windenburg, and now my brother Norman manages the business, including the facilities and R & D.

I could have gone into the family business, too, but I chose to study the humanities. My degree is in cultural studies, with a focus in folklore. I’m hoping my knowledge of folk and fairy tales of the world will help me entertain little Jena!


I have to tell you, it feels like such an indulgence to write to an adult! Now and then, I can sneak in a little computer time or a little time behind the canvas (I love to paint), but most of my waking hours are devoted to keeping house, cooking, and caring for this incomprehensible being with whom I now share my life.


So, at any rate, what a joy to write to you about things other than tantrums, animal crackers, and nursery rhymes!

Oh, that reminds me of a nursery rhyme I can’t get out of my head ever since I saw your name!

The dove says coo, coo, what shall I do?
I can scarce maintain two.
Pooh, pooh! says the wren, I’ve got ten,
And keep them all like gentlemen.

I hope you feel that we would make good pen pal matches! If not, I completely understand. And at any rate, it has been fun to write this letter to you!

Wishing you a happy time in the lab and the city,

(Hopefully) Your new friend,



<< Meadow’s Previous Letter | Meadow’s Next Letter >>