The last 72 hours have been crazy. The rise of the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club (IGGPPC) has, to paraphrase Eric Cartman, blown my fragile little mind. But before I get too ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning and explain how this idea became a behemoth. Now I may veer off on tangents, but stay with me kids, I’ll get to the point eventually.
Farquharson Fact: I am a hoarder. Not to the point of being one of those people who live in houses full of empty bean cans and stacks of old newspaper, but by most peoples standards I own A LOT of stuff. Clothes, books, pictures, snow globes, jewellery, nick-knacks, baking equipment, DVDs, CDs, bags, stationary etc, etc and so on and so forth. So much so that we have one spare bedroom that we (The Boif and I) refer to as “The Shit Room” because it’s full of boxes that have things in that I don’t want to throw away but don’t really want out on display either.
Now, for reasons too boring to explain here, in the near future we will be moving house. Not sure when, not sure where but within the next 6 months we will be leaving the Sky Castle (SC) and moving to greener pastures. And those greener pastures are more than likely going to be a hell of a lot smaller than the SC so I have had to purge. For the last fortnight I have been working my way through all my worldly possessions and ruthlessly chucking things out; I figure sometimes you just gotta let go. Well, while sorting I stumbled across a blue tin box that holds all my old pen pal letters from when I was younger (and a selection of notes that were passed to me in class from friends – which is a topic for another day) and I spent a good 3 hours looking through them and the thought struck me that it would be quite nice to have a pen pal again…
It is worth noting at this point that the house move is the reason House of the Fickle Queen is going on hiatus for 6 months. With sorting and packing, trying to find a job, working on illustrations, working at my actual job and all the rest of, you know: life, it, I just don’t have time to give it the full attention it needs and Firth has no net access so it is impossible for her to take over. So we figure, sell all our stock off, have a break then come back with fresh eyes and new ideas and designs in September. So I have been working to promote the clearance which brings us to the next part of our story…
So on Tuesday I was just bumming around on the internet when the adorkable Leslie (aka Darling Stewie) messaged me on Facebook asking me about where in England I am from as she was writing a blog entitled All Good Things Come From England. We got chatting about how Mel B (of Spice Girls fame) comes from Leeds which is a 10 minute train ride away from me and how Patrick Stewart was born in the town where I went to high school. Thirty minutes later she linked me to the post and not only had she given me props for helping her (and called me a ‘lovely English pip’) had very kindly plugged HotFQ (which I wasn’t expecting).
Obviously, the first thing to do when anyone mentions you in a blog is to spam it to all your social networking sites. While posting it on the @_FickleQueen twitter page Leslie brought up the subject of being each others pen pals:
Which then triggered this:
That was 3.30pm (GMT) on Tuesday 19th March. We were both super stoked about the idea and got straight on it. (Right after Leslie taught me the :3 emoji!)
By 7.30pm between us we had: found a suitable sign up sheet, designed a logo, written the welcome, got the URL, worded a disclaimer, agreed on an official hash tag and set it all up to go. IN FOUR HOURS! Then the fun began, initially we blasted it on twitter, tweeting at our female geek compadres worldwide. The memberships started coming in and by 9pm we have around 20 ladies signed up. I retired to my bed for the night and by the time I got up the following morning we were closing in on 100 registrations, the momentum was building.
Through Wednesday we kept tweeting and Leslie set up a FB page for the IGGPPC (which has garnered 560 likes in just over 24 hours). The outpouring of love for the project kept growing and we were both blown away by how much interest it had received in such a short space of time. Our registration numbers were growing steadily higher and tracking the #IGGPPC was getting really interesting. By the time Wednesday drew to a close, the total was sneaking up towards the 200 mark.
Then Thursday happened. Glorious, remarkable, unprecedented Thursday. Thanks to some amazing tweets/blogs from Veronica Belmont(!!), PopsugarTech, Geeky Hostess, Geek Sugar, When Geeks Wed, Girl Gone Geek and a RT from The Mary Sue (as well as all you love lovely ladies who signed up!) the madness began. During the day the registrations started to come in a little quicker and by 6pm we had hit 300. Then within an hour we jumped from 300 to 400. Speed was building and in just two hours 600 ladies had registered. Six. Hundred. This brought us to our registration cap of 1000 and registration closed.
There aren’t enough words to describe how mind-blowingly, proud, humbled, stoked, excited and giddy we are. What started as a spur of the moment idea that we just ran with has turned into the beginning of a world wide network of wonderful, intelligent, creative, geeky girls who can still appreciate the joys of sending and receiving letters.
Now on to the fun part….LET THE PAIRING BEGIN!
Mad Love to you all
PS Here are all the blog posts about IGGPPC that we know of so far: