Lament for Letters Lost

French.mistress.front cover
by Susan Holloway Scott

I can’t deny that computers have improved the writing life.  My trusty MacBook is the most loyal of companions, instantly converting my thoughts into legible words, helping with research, fixing my horrendous spelling.  I can’t imagine writing a book without a computer, and there’s no doubt that without one my backlist would probably be two or three titles instead of over forty.

Yet I still mourn the loss of the handwritten word.  Once upon a time, and not so very long ago, a person was judged by her or his handwriting.  Penmanship (the very word sounds so hopelessly dated) was given the same  care as arithmetic and spelling in elementary school, with endless loops drawn over special blue-lined pages.  The grown-up pride of being able to write in cursive!  The magic of carefully developing a signature, practicing over and over to get just the right swash and dash for perfect self-expression!  The secret thrill of writing “Mrs. Paul McCartney” just to see, you know, how it would look!

A handwritten word reveals much more than simple syllables: anger or haste, affection or care.  My family has always been letter-writers, and even without reading a word, I always recognize the writer at once: my father’s spare and upright handwriting, half-printed, half-cursive, and always in a felt-tip pen; my mother’s careful slant in blue ball-point; one grandmother’s spidery loops and the other’s squat little letters in a line.  My grandmothers are both long gone, but I still can feel an instant link to them when I come across a book they inscribed to me for a birthday or a recipe card tucked into a cookbook.  For the same reason, I have all my husband’s love-letters and notes to me from college, tucked in a pillow-case for safekeeping. 

One of the best parts for me about writing historical fiction is that my characters are based on people who actually lived.  Reading their transcribed letters is an important research tool, but finding those same letters in their John Churchill letter

original, handwritten form is almost shockingly immediate.  The hurried note of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, written to his wife Sarah (the heroine of my book Duchess) soon after he had beaten the French at Ramillies in 1706, is endlessly evocative in its run-on sentences and abbreviated endearments that he knows Sarah will understand. His closing (shown above) is certainly worthy of any romance hero: "Pray believe me when I assure you that I love you more than I can express. J." If you're game to try to make out the faded writing for yourself, the original letter can be found on the Library of Congress site here.

Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, is the heroine of my July '09 historical novel, The French Mistress (That's the glorious cover up there, making its WordWenches debut.)  Louise never lost the loopy, Louise signature
girlish handwriting she’d been taught in a French convent school; her 1692 signature –– "L. duchesse de Portsmouth" –– looks more appropriate to a teenager than a woman in her forties.  Somehow reading her wandering penmanship make her efforts to write in her adopted English –– each word painfully phonetically spelled out –– seem doubly touching. 

I'm fascinated by the difference between how Louise's royal lover, King Charles II, signed a treaty or declaration with careful formality, as opposed to the dashing exuberance of his many love-letters to Louise, the words clearly flying from his pen: "I should do myself wrong if I told you that I love you better than all the world besides, for that were making a comparison where 'tis impossible to express Charles-II-sig
the true passion and kindness I have for my dearest, dearest Fubs! – CR"  (‘Fubs’ was his pet name for her, short for fubsy, or chubby –– which she was, and which he adored –– and the CR was for Charles or Carolus Rex, because even in love-letters full of exclamation points, he was still the king.)

Would that letter have the same magic if it had been sent via a Blackberry or cell phone, the emotions reduced to texting shorthand? OMG! How can an email ever convey the same fervor or passion as a handwritten letter?  I suppose one can imagine the distant Beloved’s fingers tapping away on the keypad, but somehow it isn’t the same.  And how do you save a text message under your pillow? 

Personally I find computerized correspondence woefully lacking.  Yes, it’s a lot easier to read than my handwriting, but my handwritten notes are full of little cartoons and drawings, ups and downs and swashing underlines, flying hearts and lightning bolts and laughing bears.  Emoticons just don’t cut it. 

I know this is dinosaur-thinking.  We have passwords and numbers to identify us now, not signatures. Though my children can still be beaten into producing thank-you notes for their grandparents, they don’t write much of anything by hand.  College mailboxes are so neglected nowadays that when a package arrives, the mailroom has to send a text message to the student to make sure they pick it up.  Penmanship has been dropped from school curricula, to be replaced by the far more useful keyboarding.  Even bill-paying is done on-line, and checkbooks are the payment of last resort.  There’s 

such a decline in written correspondence that the Post Office is considering cutting back delivery days.  

Sign your name, make your mark.  The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the keyboard trumps them both.  And maybe, for the sake of romance, individualism, and old-fashioned self-expression, that’s not such a good thing.

What about you?  Do you still write the occasional letter by hand, or keep a handwritten journal or diary? (Heck, do you still even write a grocery list by hand?) Do you miss the hand-written word, or do you find the trade of clarity for expression a fair one? Do you have a secret stash of letters sentimentally tucked away somewhere, or is an "Incoming Mail" folder just fine with you?  I'll give away one of my books (your choice from any on my website) to a name drawn from those who post a comment between now and Tuesday night.

160 thoughts on “Lament for Letters Lost”

  1. I’ve noticed a deterioration in my handwriting that has nothing to do with age. Well, maybe a little. Mostly it’s because I don’t write in long hand anymore. Writing by hand appears to be a physical skill requiring constant practice to keep honed.

    Reply
  2. I’ve noticed a deterioration in my handwriting that has nothing to do with age. Well, maybe a little. Mostly it’s because I don’t write in long hand anymore. Writing by hand appears to be a physical skill requiring constant practice to keep honed.

    Reply
  3. I’ve noticed a deterioration in my handwriting that has nothing to do with age. Well, maybe a little. Mostly it’s because I don’t write in long hand anymore. Writing by hand appears to be a physical skill requiring constant practice to keep honed.

    Reply
  4. I’ve noticed a deterioration in my handwriting that has nothing to do with age. Well, maybe a little. Mostly it’s because I don’t write in long hand anymore. Writing by hand appears to be a physical skill requiring constant practice to keep honed.

    Reply
  5. I’ve noticed a deterioration in my handwriting that has nothing to do with age. Well, maybe a little. Mostly it’s because I don’t write in long hand anymore. Writing by hand appears to be a physical skill requiring constant practice to keep honed.

    Reply
  6. I was an early adopter of WP and computer tech. As in, the dawn of the 80’s. I miss the pen not at all – and I enjoy the freedom of expression typing affords me. Prior to the Wp and computer, I had an IBM selectric in my home and prior to that (as a kid and teen) I had a very, very, very old manual typewriter I bought from my parents junk shop and oiled and cleaned and treated like other kids treat their cars.
    I’m LD, and when I write it’s cramped, hard to read, crossed over, half of one word running into a another, my brain going faster than my fingers and mucking it all up. When I type, it’s as natural as conversation. I don’t miss the printed mail much at all, though I do still send the card or post card with photos.

    Reply
  7. I was an early adopter of WP and computer tech. As in, the dawn of the 80’s. I miss the pen not at all – and I enjoy the freedom of expression typing affords me. Prior to the Wp and computer, I had an IBM selectric in my home and prior to that (as a kid and teen) I had a very, very, very old manual typewriter I bought from my parents junk shop and oiled and cleaned and treated like other kids treat their cars.
    I’m LD, and when I write it’s cramped, hard to read, crossed over, half of one word running into a another, my brain going faster than my fingers and mucking it all up. When I type, it’s as natural as conversation. I don’t miss the printed mail much at all, though I do still send the card or post card with photos.

    Reply
  8. I was an early adopter of WP and computer tech. As in, the dawn of the 80’s. I miss the pen not at all – and I enjoy the freedom of expression typing affords me. Prior to the Wp and computer, I had an IBM selectric in my home and prior to that (as a kid and teen) I had a very, very, very old manual typewriter I bought from my parents junk shop and oiled and cleaned and treated like other kids treat their cars.
    I’m LD, and when I write it’s cramped, hard to read, crossed over, half of one word running into a another, my brain going faster than my fingers and mucking it all up. When I type, it’s as natural as conversation. I don’t miss the printed mail much at all, though I do still send the card or post card with photos.

    Reply
  9. I was an early adopter of WP and computer tech. As in, the dawn of the 80’s. I miss the pen not at all – and I enjoy the freedom of expression typing affords me. Prior to the Wp and computer, I had an IBM selectric in my home and prior to that (as a kid and teen) I had a very, very, very old manual typewriter I bought from my parents junk shop and oiled and cleaned and treated like other kids treat their cars.
    I’m LD, and when I write it’s cramped, hard to read, crossed over, half of one word running into a another, my brain going faster than my fingers and mucking it all up. When I type, it’s as natural as conversation. I don’t miss the printed mail much at all, though I do still send the card or post card with photos.

    Reply
  10. I was an early adopter of WP and computer tech. As in, the dawn of the 80’s. I miss the pen not at all – and I enjoy the freedom of expression typing affords me. Prior to the Wp and computer, I had an IBM selectric in my home and prior to that (as a kid and teen) I had a very, very, very old manual typewriter I bought from my parents junk shop and oiled and cleaned and treated like other kids treat their cars.
    I’m LD, and when I write it’s cramped, hard to read, crossed over, half of one word running into a another, my brain going faster than my fingers and mucking it all up. When I type, it’s as natural as conversation. I don’t miss the printed mail much at all, though I do still send the card or post card with photos.

    Reply
  11. Believe it or not I still keep a journal. I also have letters that me and my husband wrote to each other in high school.
    I love my laptop but I love to write just as much.

    Reply
  12. Believe it or not I still keep a journal. I also have letters that me and my husband wrote to each other in high school.
    I love my laptop but I love to write just as much.

    Reply
  13. Believe it or not I still keep a journal. I also have letters that me and my husband wrote to each other in high school.
    I love my laptop but I love to write just as much.

    Reply
  14. Believe it or not I still keep a journal. I also have letters that me and my husband wrote to each other in high school.
    I love my laptop but I love to write just as much.

    Reply
  15. Believe it or not I still keep a journal. I also have letters that me and my husband wrote to each other in high school.
    I love my laptop but I love to write just as much.

    Reply
  16. I still write letters by hand, but I’m very particular about my pens. No ballpoints ever.
    I’ve enjoyed your other books and I’m looking forward to “The French Mistress.” Your publisher does give you nice covers!

    Reply
  17. I still write letters by hand, but I’m very particular about my pens. No ballpoints ever.
    I’ve enjoyed your other books and I’m looking forward to “The French Mistress.” Your publisher does give you nice covers!

    Reply
  18. I still write letters by hand, but I’m very particular about my pens. No ballpoints ever.
    I’ve enjoyed your other books and I’m looking forward to “The French Mistress.” Your publisher does give you nice covers!

    Reply
  19. I still write letters by hand, but I’m very particular about my pens. No ballpoints ever.
    I’ve enjoyed your other books and I’m looking forward to “The French Mistress.” Your publisher does give you nice covers!

    Reply
  20. I still write letters by hand, but I’m very particular about my pens. No ballpoints ever.
    I’ve enjoyed your other books and I’m looking forward to “The French Mistress.” Your publisher does give you nice covers!

    Reply
  21. I really am a dinosaur. I not only write longhand in a reading journal and a regular journal, which hardly deserves the name since I write in it occasionally rather than daily, but I also write the first drafts of everything from poems to blogs to chapters in a reference book by hand. I can revise at the computer, but I need the connection between my brain and the pen moving on the page to compose.
    I rarely write letters anymore because email is easier ans more immediate. I confess I always feel as if I have betrayed my mother’s teachings when I email a thank you. Also, I love reading collections of letters, and every time I read one (the most recent, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell), I wonder if the genre will become obsolete. Even if emails survive, I somehow doubt that collections will have the reflective, revelatory qualities of letters.

    Reply
  22. I really am a dinosaur. I not only write longhand in a reading journal and a regular journal, which hardly deserves the name since I write in it occasionally rather than daily, but I also write the first drafts of everything from poems to blogs to chapters in a reference book by hand. I can revise at the computer, but I need the connection between my brain and the pen moving on the page to compose.
    I rarely write letters anymore because email is easier ans more immediate. I confess I always feel as if I have betrayed my mother’s teachings when I email a thank you. Also, I love reading collections of letters, and every time I read one (the most recent, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell), I wonder if the genre will become obsolete. Even if emails survive, I somehow doubt that collections will have the reflective, revelatory qualities of letters.

    Reply
  23. I really am a dinosaur. I not only write longhand in a reading journal and a regular journal, which hardly deserves the name since I write in it occasionally rather than daily, but I also write the first drafts of everything from poems to blogs to chapters in a reference book by hand. I can revise at the computer, but I need the connection between my brain and the pen moving on the page to compose.
    I rarely write letters anymore because email is easier ans more immediate. I confess I always feel as if I have betrayed my mother’s teachings when I email a thank you. Also, I love reading collections of letters, and every time I read one (the most recent, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell), I wonder if the genre will become obsolete. Even if emails survive, I somehow doubt that collections will have the reflective, revelatory qualities of letters.

    Reply
  24. I really am a dinosaur. I not only write longhand in a reading journal and a regular journal, which hardly deserves the name since I write in it occasionally rather than daily, but I also write the first drafts of everything from poems to blogs to chapters in a reference book by hand. I can revise at the computer, but I need the connection between my brain and the pen moving on the page to compose.
    I rarely write letters anymore because email is easier ans more immediate. I confess I always feel as if I have betrayed my mother’s teachings when I email a thank you. Also, I love reading collections of letters, and every time I read one (the most recent, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell), I wonder if the genre will become obsolete. Even if emails survive, I somehow doubt that collections will have the reflective, revelatory qualities of letters.

    Reply
  25. I really am a dinosaur. I not only write longhand in a reading journal and a regular journal, which hardly deserves the name since I write in it occasionally rather than daily, but I also write the first drafts of everything from poems to blogs to chapters in a reference book by hand. I can revise at the computer, but I need the connection between my brain and the pen moving on the page to compose.
    I rarely write letters anymore because email is easier ans more immediate. I confess I always feel as if I have betrayed my mother’s teachings when I email a thank you. Also, I love reading collections of letters, and every time I read one (the most recent, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell), I wonder if the genre will become obsolete. Even if emails survive, I somehow doubt that collections will have the reflective, revelatory qualities of letters.

    Reply
  26. I too love reading written letters I love it when the mail man delivers a letter rather than a bill and I have lots of letters that my hubby wrote to me back when we were still going out together and I don’t write in a journal anymore but I do have the ones that I kept when I was a teenager.
    I remember learning to write in school with slope cards and all of those things and I think it is sad that they don’t do these things anymore. But in saying that I do write a lot of emails and find them good.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  27. I too love reading written letters I love it when the mail man delivers a letter rather than a bill and I have lots of letters that my hubby wrote to me back when we were still going out together and I don’t write in a journal anymore but I do have the ones that I kept when I was a teenager.
    I remember learning to write in school with slope cards and all of those things and I think it is sad that they don’t do these things anymore. But in saying that I do write a lot of emails and find them good.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  28. I too love reading written letters I love it when the mail man delivers a letter rather than a bill and I have lots of letters that my hubby wrote to me back when we were still going out together and I don’t write in a journal anymore but I do have the ones that I kept when I was a teenager.
    I remember learning to write in school with slope cards and all of those things and I think it is sad that they don’t do these things anymore. But in saying that I do write a lot of emails and find them good.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  29. I too love reading written letters I love it when the mail man delivers a letter rather than a bill and I have lots of letters that my hubby wrote to me back when we were still going out together and I don’t write in a journal anymore but I do have the ones that I kept when I was a teenager.
    I remember learning to write in school with slope cards and all of those things and I think it is sad that they don’t do these things anymore. But in saying that I do write a lot of emails and find them good.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  30. I too love reading written letters I love it when the mail man delivers a letter rather than a bill and I have lots of letters that my hubby wrote to me back when we were still going out together and I don’t write in a journal anymore but I do have the ones that I kept when I was a teenager.
    I remember learning to write in school with slope cards and all of those things and I think it is sad that they don’t do these things anymore. But in saying that I do write a lot of emails and find them good.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  31. When I first started in my current job at hospice, we were still using paper charts. I did so much writing by hand (charting on carbons that went into the patients’ medical histories) that first six months–more than I had done for years before that–and my hand and wrist would ACHE at the end of each day. I was so glad when we finally transitioned to computer charts–not only did it make doctor’s and social worker’s notes easier to read (fewer errors), but it was easier on my hands! I can’t imagine writing by hand anything more strenuous than a grocery list any more–just the thought makes my fingers hurt.
    My kids went to a French immersion elementary school. They never learned printing as we typically do in the USA, just began cursive writing in kindergarten (kindergarten! those teeny tiny kids!) and they did it just fine like it was no big deal. Years later they still write cursive in a “european” style. . .but of course they seldom use that skill now and keyboard everything on a computer.

    Reply
  32. When I first started in my current job at hospice, we were still using paper charts. I did so much writing by hand (charting on carbons that went into the patients’ medical histories) that first six months–more than I had done for years before that–and my hand and wrist would ACHE at the end of each day. I was so glad when we finally transitioned to computer charts–not only did it make doctor’s and social worker’s notes easier to read (fewer errors), but it was easier on my hands! I can’t imagine writing by hand anything more strenuous than a grocery list any more–just the thought makes my fingers hurt.
    My kids went to a French immersion elementary school. They never learned printing as we typically do in the USA, just began cursive writing in kindergarten (kindergarten! those teeny tiny kids!) and they did it just fine like it was no big deal. Years later they still write cursive in a “european” style. . .but of course they seldom use that skill now and keyboard everything on a computer.

    Reply
  33. When I first started in my current job at hospice, we were still using paper charts. I did so much writing by hand (charting on carbons that went into the patients’ medical histories) that first six months–more than I had done for years before that–and my hand and wrist would ACHE at the end of each day. I was so glad when we finally transitioned to computer charts–not only did it make doctor’s and social worker’s notes easier to read (fewer errors), but it was easier on my hands! I can’t imagine writing by hand anything more strenuous than a grocery list any more–just the thought makes my fingers hurt.
    My kids went to a French immersion elementary school. They never learned printing as we typically do in the USA, just began cursive writing in kindergarten (kindergarten! those teeny tiny kids!) and they did it just fine like it was no big deal. Years later they still write cursive in a “european” style. . .but of course they seldom use that skill now and keyboard everything on a computer.

    Reply
  34. When I first started in my current job at hospice, we were still using paper charts. I did so much writing by hand (charting on carbons that went into the patients’ medical histories) that first six months–more than I had done for years before that–and my hand and wrist would ACHE at the end of each day. I was so glad when we finally transitioned to computer charts–not only did it make doctor’s and social worker’s notes easier to read (fewer errors), but it was easier on my hands! I can’t imagine writing by hand anything more strenuous than a grocery list any more–just the thought makes my fingers hurt.
    My kids went to a French immersion elementary school. They never learned printing as we typically do in the USA, just began cursive writing in kindergarten (kindergarten! those teeny tiny kids!) and they did it just fine like it was no big deal. Years later they still write cursive in a “european” style. . .but of course they seldom use that skill now and keyboard everything on a computer.

    Reply
  35. When I first started in my current job at hospice, we were still using paper charts. I did so much writing by hand (charting on carbons that went into the patients’ medical histories) that first six months–more than I had done for years before that–and my hand and wrist would ACHE at the end of each day. I was so glad when we finally transitioned to computer charts–not only did it make doctor’s and social worker’s notes easier to read (fewer errors), but it was easier on my hands! I can’t imagine writing by hand anything more strenuous than a grocery list any more–just the thought makes my fingers hurt.
    My kids went to a French immersion elementary school. They never learned printing as we typically do in the USA, just began cursive writing in kindergarten (kindergarten! those teeny tiny kids!) and they did it just fine like it was no big deal. Years later they still write cursive in a “european” style. . .but of course they seldom use that skill now and keyboard everything on a computer.

    Reply
  36. What a wonderful post, Susan! Since I seldom feature real characters, I haven’t read the many original source works as you’ve done. Even with Harriette Wilson, I’ve only read a copy of a published book.
    Your examples of written letters are wonderful. One can imagine John Churchill scribbling off a note to his beloved after the danger and exhaustion of battle. And Louise’s handwriting really is rather childlike.
    A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? 🙂
    The new cover is gorgeous, and saints above, she has a head!
    Mary Jo, whose handwriting was always sloppy, and has deteriorated with time.

    Reply
  37. What a wonderful post, Susan! Since I seldom feature real characters, I haven’t read the many original source works as you’ve done. Even with Harriette Wilson, I’ve only read a copy of a published book.
    Your examples of written letters are wonderful. One can imagine John Churchill scribbling off a note to his beloved after the danger and exhaustion of battle. And Louise’s handwriting really is rather childlike.
    A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? 🙂
    The new cover is gorgeous, and saints above, she has a head!
    Mary Jo, whose handwriting was always sloppy, and has deteriorated with time.

    Reply
  38. What a wonderful post, Susan! Since I seldom feature real characters, I haven’t read the many original source works as you’ve done. Even with Harriette Wilson, I’ve only read a copy of a published book.
    Your examples of written letters are wonderful. One can imagine John Churchill scribbling off a note to his beloved after the danger and exhaustion of battle. And Louise’s handwriting really is rather childlike.
    A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? 🙂
    The new cover is gorgeous, and saints above, she has a head!
    Mary Jo, whose handwriting was always sloppy, and has deteriorated with time.

    Reply
  39. What a wonderful post, Susan! Since I seldom feature real characters, I haven’t read the many original source works as you’ve done. Even with Harriette Wilson, I’ve only read a copy of a published book.
    Your examples of written letters are wonderful. One can imagine John Churchill scribbling off a note to his beloved after the danger and exhaustion of battle. And Louise’s handwriting really is rather childlike.
    A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? 🙂
    The new cover is gorgeous, and saints above, she has a head!
    Mary Jo, whose handwriting was always sloppy, and has deteriorated with time.

    Reply
  40. What a wonderful post, Susan! Since I seldom feature real characters, I haven’t read the many original source works as you’ve done. Even with Harriette Wilson, I’ve only read a copy of a published book.
    Your examples of written letters are wonderful. One can imagine John Churchill scribbling off a note to his beloved after the danger and exhaustion of battle. And Louise’s handwriting really is rather childlike.
    A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? 🙂
    The new cover is gorgeous, and saints above, she has a head!
    Mary Jo, whose handwriting was always sloppy, and has deteriorated with time.

    Reply
  41. Susan here:
    Joanna, I agree, writing by hand is an exercise like any other, and if you slack off, you lose it. *g* When I was art school, I was totally into calligraphy, and “drew my letters” by the hour, practicing them. I can still remember how the letters are supposed to look, but whenever I try now, the results are pretty awful!
    Liz M — When I write for “work”, it’s much easier to type, and yes, the words flow for me, too. But when I’m writing to a friend, it just somehow feels better to me to write longhand — though they probably wish for legibility sake that I’d typed.
    Kimmy, Connie, & Peggy — glad to hear you’re keeping up the handwritten battle, whether in journals or letters. And I agree: I HATE ball point pens!
    Helen — Isn’t it fun to go back and read those high school journals? Talk about time-traveling!
    Janga, you’re totally right about the end of letters as a resource for future historians. Archivists and librarians are rightly concerned; few people think to print out or save their emails for posterity, and besides, and the texts are pretty much gone with the two-year phone contract.
    RevMelinda, I certainly agree that in the situation you described, computers are the way to go. You have to wonder how many medical mishaps have occurred over time when the next nurse couldn’t quite make out the doctor’s orders!

    Reply
  42. Susan here:
    Joanna, I agree, writing by hand is an exercise like any other, and if you slack off, you lose it. *g* When I was art school, I was totally into calligraphy, and “drew my letters” by the hour, practicing them. I can still remember how the letters are supposed to look, but whenever I try now, the results are pretty awful!
    Liz M — When I write for “work”, it’s much easier to type, and yes, the words flow for me, too. But when I’m writing to a friend, it just somehow feels better to me to write longhand — though they probably wish for legibility sake that I’d typed.
    Kimmy, Connie, & Peggy — glad to hear you’re keeping up the handwritten battle, whether in journals or letters. And I agree: I HATE ball point pens!
    Helen — Isn’t it fun to go back and read those high school journals? Talk about time-traveling!
    Janga, you’re totally right about the end of letters as a resource for future historians. Archivists and librarians are rightly concerned; few people think to print out or save their emails for posterity, and besides, and the texts are pretty much gone with the two-year phone contract.
    RevMelinda, I certainly agree that in the situation you described, computers are the way to go. You have to wonder how many medical mishaps have occurred over time when the next nurse couldn’t quite make out the doctor’s orders!

    Reply
  43. Susan here:
    Joanna, I agree, writing by hand is an exercise like any other, and if you slack off, you lose it. *g* When I was art school, I was totally into calligraphy, and “drew my letters” by the hour, practicing them. I can still remember how the letters are supposed to look, but whenever I try now, the results are pretty awful!
    Liz M — When I write for “work”, it’s much easier to type, and yes, the words flow for me, too. But when I’m writing to a friend, it just somehow feels better to me to write longhand — though they probably wish for legibility sake that I’d typed.
    Kimmy, Connie, & Peggy — glad to hear you’re keeping up the handwritten battle, whether in journals or letters. And I agree: I HATE ball point pens!
    Helen — Isn’t it fun to go back and read those high school journals? Talk about time-traveling!
    Janga, you’re totally right about the end of letters as a resource for future historians. Archivists and librarians are rightly concerned; few people think to print out or save their emails for posterity, and besides, and the texts are pretty much gone with the two-year phone contract.
    RevMelinda, I certainly agree that in the situation you described, computers are the way to go. You have to wonder how many medical mishaps have occurred over time when the next nurse couldn’t quite make out the doctor’s orders!

    Reply
  44. Susan here:
    Joanna, I agree, writing by hand is an exercise like any other, and if you slack off, you lose it. *g* When I was art school, I was totally into calligraphy, and “drew my letters” by the hour, practicing them. I can still remember how the letters are supposed to look, but whenever I try now, the results are pretty awful!
    Liz M — When I write for “work”, it’s much easier to type, and yes, the words flow for me, too. But when I’m writing to a friend, it just somehow feels better to me to write longhand — though they probably wish for legibility sake that I’d typed.
    Kimmy, Connie, & Peggy — glad to hear you’re keeping up the handwritten battle, whether in journals or letters. And I agree: I HATE ball point pens!
    Helen — Isn’t it fun to go back and read those high school journals? Talk about time-traveling!
    Janga, you’re totally right about the end of letters as a resource for future historians. Archivists and librarians are rightly concerned; few people think to print out or save their emails for posterity, and besides, and the texts are pretty much gone with the two-year phone contract.
    RevMelinda, I certainly agree that in the situation you described, computers are the way to go. You have to wonder how many medical mishaps have occurred over time when the next nurse couldn’t quite make out the doctor’s orders!

    Reply
  45. Susan here:
    Joanna, I agree, writing by hand is an exercise like any other, and if you slack off, you lose it. *g* When I was art school, I was totally into calligraphy, and “drew my letters” by the hour, practicing them. I can still remember how the letters are supposed to look, but whenever I try now, the results are pretty awful!
    Liz M — When I write for “work”, it’s much easier to type, and yes, the words flow for me, too. But when I’m writing to a friend, it just somehow feels better to me to write longhand — though they probably wish for legibility sake that I’d typed.
    Kimmy, Connie, & Peggy — glad to hear you’re keeping up the handwritten battle, whether in journals or letters. And I agree: I HATE ball point pens!
    Helen — Isn’t it fun to go back and read those high school journals? Talk about time-traveling!
    Janga, you’re totally right about the end of letters as a resource for future historians. Archivists and librarians are rightly concerned; few people think to print out or save their emails for posterity, and besides, and the texts are pretty much gone with the two-year phone contract.
    RevMelinda, I certainly agree that in the situation you described, computers are the way to go. You have to wonder how many medical mishaps have occurred over time when the next nurse couldn’t quite make out the doctor’s orders!

    Reply
  46. Oh, I loved looking at the samples of penmanship. It makes the people seem more real somehow. There’s a personality in penmanship. No personality on a printed page (well, in typewriter days, we had the typewriter’s quirks) & none on a computer. I used to write my books longhand and have them transcribed but that method eventually proved inconvenient. Yet I still write letters longhand–and all my thank-you notes (when I don’t forget to write them)–even though my handwriting has become a very messy scrawl. Thank you, Susan, for posting those intriguing handwriting samples. They are almost like portraits.

    Reply
  47. Oh, I loved looking at the samples of penmanship. It makes the people seem more real somehow. There’s a personality in penmanship. No personality on a printed page (well, in typewriter days, we had the typewriter’s quirks) & none on a computer. I used to write my books longhand and have them transcribed but that method eventually proved inconvenient. Yet I still write letters longhand–and all my thank-you notes (when I don’t forget to write them)–even though my handwriting has become a very messy scrawl. Thank you, Susan, for posting those intriguing handwriting samples. They are almost like portraits.

    Reply
  48. Oh, I loved looking at the samples of penmanship. It makes the people seem more real somehow. There’s a personality in penmanship. No personality on a printed page (well, in typewriter days, we had the typewriter’s quirks) & none on a computer. I used to write my books longhand and have them transcribed but that method eventually proved inconvenient. Yet I still write letters longhand–and all my thank-you notes (when I don’t forget to write them)–even though my handwriting has become a very messy scrawl. Thank you, Susan, for posting those intriguing handwriting samples. They are almost like portraits.

    Reply
  49. Oh, I loved looking at the samples of penmanship. It makes the people seem more real somehow. There’s a personality in penmanship. No personality on a printed page (well, in typewriter days, we had the typewriter’s quirks) & none on a computer. I used to write my books longhand and have them transcribed but that method eventually proved inconvenient. Yet I still write letters longhand–and all my thank-you notes (when I don’t forget to write them)–even though my handwriting has become a very messy scrawl. Thank you, Susan, for posting those intriguing handwriting samples. They are almost like portraits.

    Reply
  50. Oh, I loved looking at the samples of penmanship. It makes the people seem more real somehow. There’s a personality in penmanship. No personality on a printed page (well, in typewriter days, we had the typewriter’s quirks) & none on a computer. I used to write my books longhand and have them transcribed but that method eventually proved inconvenient. Yet I still write letters longhand–and all my thank-you notes (when I don’t forget to write them)–even though my handwriting has become a very messy scrawl. Thank you, Susan, for posting those intriguing handwriting samples. They are almost like portraits.

    Reply
  51. When people write their signatures nowadays, they write large, with all kinds of swirls and loops, as if they were John Hancock and want the world to read their name across the room. But the name is still illegible.
    Except me. My husband says my signature looks like printing.

    Reply
  52. When people write their signatures nowadays, they write large, with all kinds of swirls and loops, as if they were John Hancock and want the world to read their name across the room. But the name is still illegible.
    Except me. My husband says my signature looks like printing.

    Reply
  53. When people write their signatures nowadays, they write large, with all kinds of swirls and loops, as if they were John Hancock and want the world to read their name across the room. But the name is still illegible.
    Except me. My husband says my signature looks like printing.

    Reply
  54. When people write their signatures nowadays, they write large, with all kinds of swirls and loops, as if they were John Hancock and want the world to read their name across the room. But the name is still illegible.
    Except me. My husband says my signature looks like printing.

    Reply
  55. When people write their signatures nowadays, they write large, with all kinds of swirls and loops, as if they were John Hancock and want the world to read their name across the room. But the name is still illegible.
    Except me. My husband says my signature looks like printing.

    Reply
  56. From Sherrie:
    Oh, how I love this subject! My grandmother and I carried on a regular handwritten correspondence for over 30 years. I am still thrilled when I see a hand-addressed envelope in my mailbox, though they are few and far between.
    I send handwritten thank you notes on cards I’ve made myself (I’m a rubber stamper). I want the recipient to know how much I appreciate them by that personal touch.
    In my desire to write better letters, I took a writing class years ago. Little did I know it would start me on a career as a writer!
    I know many writers who write their first drafts in longhand, using a favorite pen. I am a pen fanatic, and have my own favorite pens. I detest ball-point pens! I also like using a very sharp-pointed pencil and love the nuances of text written with a pencil: sharp or soft, crisp or shadowed.
    I adore addressing envelopes by hand and embellishing them with curlicues, bright colors, and rubber stamps. I mourn the decline in handwritten letters just as much as I mourn the decline in companies that answer your call with a live person instead of an automated answering system.

    Reply
  57. From Sherrie:
    Oh, how I love this subject! My grandmother and I carried on a regular handwritten correspondence for over 30 years. I am still thrilled when I see a hand-addressed envelope in my mailbox, though they are few and far between.
    I send handwritten thank you notes on cards I’ve made myself (I’m a rubber stamper). I want the recipient to know how much I appreciate them by that personal touch.
    In my desire to write better letters, I took a writing class years ago. Little did I know it would start me on a career as a writer!
    I know many writers who write their first drafts in longhand, using a favorite pen. I am a pen fanatic, and have my own favorite pens. I detest ball-point pens! I also like using a very sharp-pointed pencil and love the nuances of text written with a pencil: sharp or soft, crisp or shadowed.
    I adore addressing envelopes by hand and embellishing them with curlicues, bright colors, and rubber stamps. I mourn the decline in handwritten letters just as much as I mourn the decline in companies that answer your call with a live person instead of an automated answering system.

    Reply
  58. From Sherrie:
    Oh, how I love this subject! My grandmother and I carried on a regular handwritten correspondence for over 30 years. I am still thrilled when I see a hand-addressed envelope in my mailbox, though they are few and far between.
    I send handwritten thank you notes on cards I’ve made myself (I’m a rubber stamper). I want the recipient to know how much I appreciate them by that personal touch.
    In my desire to write better letters, I took a writing class years ago. Little did I know it would start me on a career as a writer!
    I know many writers who write their first drafts in longhand, using a favorite pen. I am a pen fanatic, and have my own favorite pens. I detest ball-point pens! I also like using a very sharp-pointed pencil and love the nuances of text written with a pencil: sharp or soft, crisp or shadowed.
    I adore addressing envelopes by hand and embellishing them with curlicues, bright colors, and rubber stamps. I mourn the decline in handwritten letters just as much as I mourn the decline in companies that answer your call with a live person instead of an automated answering system.

    Reply
  59. From Sherrie:
    Oh, how I love this subject! My grandmother and I carried on a regular handwritten correspondence for over 30 years. I am still thrilled when I see a hand-addressed envelope in my mailbox, though they are few and far between.
    I send handwritten thank you notes on cards I’ve made myself (I’m a rubber stamper). I want the recipient to know how much I appreciate them by that personal touch.
    In my desire to write better letters, I took a writing class years ago. Little did I know it would start me on a career as a writer!
    I know many writers who write their first drafts in longhand, using a favorite pen. I am a pen fanatic, and have my own favorite pens. I detest ball-point pens! I also like using a very sharp-pointed pencil and love the nuances of text written with a pencil: sharp or soft, crisp or shadowed.
    I adore addressing envelopes by hand and embellishing them with curlicues, bright colors, and rubber stamps. I mourn the decline in handwritten letters just as much as I mourn the decline in companies that answer your call with a live person instead of an automated answering system.

    Reply
  60. From Sherrie:
    Oh, how I love this subject! My grandmother and I carried on a regular handwritten correspondence for over 30 years. I am still thrilled when I see a hand-addressed envelope in my mailbox, though they are few and far between.
    I send handwritten thank you notes on cards I’ve made myself (I’m a rubber stamper). I want the recipient to know how much I appreciate them by that personal touch.
    In my desire to write better letters, I took a writing class years ago. Little did I know it would start me on a career as a writer!
    I know many writers who write their first drafts in longhand, using a favorite pen. I am a pen fanatic, and have my own favorite pens. I detest ball-point pens! I also like using a very sharp-pointed pencil and love the nuances of text written with a pencil: sharp or soft, crisp or shadowed.
    I adore addressing envelopes by hand and embellishing them with curlicues, bright colors, and rubber stamps. I mourn the decline in handwritten letters just as much as I mourn the decline in companies that answer your call with a live person instead of an automated answering system.

    Reply
  61. Remember doing thos circles on lined paper.
    Keep a pen and scraps of paper next to my favorite chair…scrawl grocery lists there as DW mentions whats needed.
    My Dad’s writing was the most readable of any writing that I have ever seen…and he only went thru third grade.

    Reply
  62. Remember doing thos circles on lined paper.
    Keep a pen and scraps of paper next to my favorite chair…scrawl grocery lists there as DW mentions whats needed.
    My Dad’s writing was the most readable of any writing that I have ever seen…and he only went thru third grade.

    Reply
  63. Remember doing thos circles on lined paper.
    Keep a pen and scraps of paper next to my favorite chair…scrawl grocery lists there as DW mentions whats needed.
    My Dad’s writing was the most readable of any writing that I have ever seen…and he only went thru third grade.

    Reply
  64. Remember doing thos circles on lined paper.
    Keep a pen and scraps of paper next to my favorite chair…scrawl grocery lists there as DW mentions whats needed.
    My Dad’s writing was the most readable of any writing that I have ever seen…and he only went thru third grade.

    Reply
  65. Remember doing thos circles on lined paper.
    Keep a pen and scraps of paper next to my favorite chair…scrawl grocery lists there as DW mentions whats needed.
    My Dad’s writing was the most readable of any writing that I have ever seen…and he only went thru third grade.

    Reply
  66. I used to tell people that one of the reasons I became a teacher is because I have good cursive writing. I really worked at it, though, because I admired my 5th grade teacher and I wanted my handwriting to be perfect.
    I have few 4th grade students who care as much as I did about how neat their penmanship is. They know that ultimately their work will be done on a computer. While computers have made writing, revising, and editing an easier process, it has removed an element of personal connection. If I go on a trip during the year, I will send my students a postcard just so they will get a handwritten note.
    I don’t type and the thought of using a computer makes my brain hurt! I avoid it whenever possible; we still pay bills by check. I use paper, pencil, and pens of many different colors: the brighter the better- no ballpoints!

    Reply
  67. I used to tell people that one of the reasons I became a teacher is because I have good cursive writing. I really worked at it, though, because I admired my 5th grade teacher and I wanted my handwriting to be perfect.
    I have few 4th grade students who care as much as I did about how neat their penmanship is. They know that ultimately their work will be done on a computer. While computers have made writing, revising, and editing an easier process, it has removed an element of personal connection. If I go on a trip during the year, I will send my students a postcard just so they will get a handwritten note.
    I don’t type and the thought of using a computer makes my brain hurt! I avoid it whenever possible; we still pay bills by check. I use paper, pencil, and pens of many different colors: the brighter the better- no ballpoints!

    Reply
  68. I used to tell people that one of the reasons I became a teacher is because I have good cursive writing. I really worked at it, though, because I admired my 5th grade teacher and I wanted my handwriting to be perfect.
    I have few 4th grade students who care as much as I did about how neat their penmanship is. They know that ultimately their work will be done on a computer. While computers have made writing, revising, and editing an easier process, it has removed an element of personal connection. If I go on a trip during the year, I will send my students a postcard just so they will get a handwritten note.
    I don’t type and the thought of using a computer makes my brain hurt! I avoid it whenever possible; we still pay bills by check. I use paper, pencil, and pens of many different colors: the brighter the better- no ballpoints!

    Reply
  69. I used to tell people that one of the reasons I became a teacher is because I have good cursive writing. I really worked at it, though, because I admired my 5th grade teacher and I wanted my handwriting to be perfect.
    I have few 4th grade students who care as much as I did about how neat their penmanship is. They know that ultimately their work will be done on a computer. While computers have made writing, revising, and editing an easier process, it has removed an element of personal connection. If I go on a trip during the year, I will send my students a postcard just so they will get a handwritten note.
    I don’t type and the thought of using a computer makes my brain hurt! I avoid it whenever possible; we still pay bills by check. I use paper, pencil, and pens of many different colors: the brighter the better- no ballpoints!

    Reply
  70. I used to tell people that one of the reasons I became a teacher is because I have good cursive writing. I really worked at it, though, because I admired my 5th grade teacher and I wanted my handwriting to be perfect.
    I have few 4th grade students who care as much as I did about how neat their penmanship is. They know that ultimately their work will be done on a computer. While computers have made writing, revising, and editing an easier process, it has removed an element of personal connection. If I go on a trip during the year, I will send my students a postcard just so they will get a handwritten note.
    I don’t type and the thought of using a computer makes my brain hurt! I avoid it whenever possible; we still pay bills by check. I use paper, pencil, and pens of many different colors: the brighter the better- no ballpoints!

    Reply
  71. I still have the letters my parents wrote to me when I was in college. All the letters from them are handwritten. In college I used to send them long handwritten letters, but now we just email each other. Email seems more convenient, and cheaper. Airmail postage adds up, plus it increases almost yearly. The airmail stamp is almost a dollar now. It makes more economic sense to email instead of mailing letters. Most of my letters are typed, but I do occasionally send out a long handwritten email. I agree that receiving letters written by hand is much more heartwarming than receiving computer printout letters.

    Reply
  72. I still have the letters my parents wrote to me when I was in college. All the letters from them are handwritten. In college I used to send them long handwritten letters, but now we just email each other. Email seems more convenient, and cheaper. Airmail postage adds up, plus it increases almost yearly. The airmail stamp is almost a dollar now. It makes more economic sense to email instead of mailing letters. Most of my letters are typed, but I do occasionally send out a long handwritten email. I agree that receiving letters written by hand is much more heartwarming than receiving computer printout letters.

    Reply
  73. I still have the letters my parents wrote to me when I was in college. All the letters from them are handwritten. In college I used to send them long handwritten letters, but now we just email each other. Email seems more convenient, and cheaper. Airmail postage adds up, plus it increases almost yearly. The airmail stamp is almost a dollar now. It makes more economic sense to email instead of mailing letters. Most of my letters are typed, but I do occasionally send out a long handwritten email. I agree that receiving letters written by hand is much more heartwarming than receiving computer printout letters.

    Reply
  74. I still have the letters my parents wrote to me when I was in college. All the letters from them are handwritten. In college I used to send them long handwritten letters, but now we just email each other. Email seems more convenient, and cheaper. Airmail postage adds up, plus it increases almost yearly. The airmail stamp is almost a dollar now. It makes more economic sense to email instead of mailing letters. Most of my letters are typed, but I do occasionally send out a long handwritten email. I agree that receiving letters written by hand is much more heartwarming than receiving computer printout letters.

    Reply
  75. I still have the letters my parents wrote to me when I was in college. All the letters from them are handwritten. In college I used to send them long handwritten letters, but now we just email each other. Email seems more convenient, and cheaper. Airmail postage adds up, plus it increases almost yearly. The airmail stamp is almost a dollar now. It makes more economic sense to email instead of mailing letters. Most of my letters are typed, but I do occasionally send out a long handwritten email. I agree that receiving letters written by hand is much more heartwarming than receiving computer printout letters.

    Reply
  76. Here is the second half of my comment, I was having trouble trying to post the comment.
    I go half and half on typing and writing by hand, depending on what I am doing. I can write and type in English and Chinese. I still prefer to handwrite than type in Chinese, even though I can type up to 30 Chinese words/characters per minute. Typing in Chinese is not as clear cut as typing in English. The systems for typing and writing Chinese character are different. You just write the Chinese character, while typing on the other hand… I use the system where you type the symbols of the pronunciation then choose the tone . You may know the pronunciation of the character, but it does not necessarily translate to how you type the character. Anyway, I prefer to write Chinese by hand because it is easier, but the younger generation probably would disagree with me. So yes, this would make me a dinosaur, too. 🙂 Half a dinosaur anyway ;-p

    Reply
  77. Here is the second half of my comment, I was having trouble trying to post the comment.
    I go half and half on typing and writing by hand, depending on what I am doing. I can write and type in English and Chinese. I still prefer to handwrite than type in Chinese, even though I can type up to 30 Chinese words/characters per minute. Typing in Chinese is not as clear cut as typing in English. The systems for typing and writing Chinese character are different. You just write the Chinese character, while typing on the other hand… I use the system where you type the symbols of the pronunciation then choose the tone . You may know the pronunciation of the character, but it does not necessarily translate to how you type the character. Anyway, I prefer to write Chinese by hand because it is easier, but the younger generation probably would disagree with me. So yes, this would make me a dinosaur, too. 🙂 Half a dinosaur anyway ;-p

    Reply
  78. Here is the second half of my comment, I was having trouble trying to post the comment.
    I go half and half on typing and writing by hand, depending on what I am doing. I can write and type in English and Chinese. I still prefer to handwrite than type in Chinese, even though I can type up to 30 Chinese words/characters per minute. Typing in Chinese is not as clear cut as typing in English. The systems for typing and writing Chinese character are different. You just write the Chinese character, while typing on the other hand… I use the system where you type the symbols of the pronunciation then choose the tone . You may know the pronunciation of the character, but it does not necessarily translate to how you type the character. Anyway, I prefer to write Chinese by hand because it is easier, but the younger generation probably would disagree with me. So yes, this would make me a dinosaur, too. 🙂 Half a dinosaur anyway ;-p

    Reply
  79. Here is the second half of my comment, I was having trouble trying to post the comment.
    I go half and half on typing and writing by hand, depending on what I am doing. I can write and type in English and Chinese. I still prefer to handwrite than type in Chinese, even though I can type up to 30 Chinese words/characters per minute. Typing in Chinese is not as clear cut as typing in English. The systems for typing and writing Chinese character are different. You just write the Chinese character, while typing on the other hand… I use the system where you type the symbols of the pronunciation then choose the tone . You may know the pronunciation of the character, but it does not necessarily translate to how you type the character. Anyway, I prefer to write Chinese by hand because it is easier, but the younger generation probably would disagree with me. So yes, this would make me a dinosaur, too. 🙂 Half a dinosaur anyway ;-p

    Reply
  80. Here is the second half of my comment, I was having trouble trying to post the comment.
    I go half and half on typing and writing by hand, depending on what I am doing. I can write and type in English and Chinese. I still prefer to handwrite than type in Chinese, even though I can type up to 30 Chinese words/characters per minute. Typing in Chinese is not as clear cut as typing in English. The systems for typing and writing Chinese character are different. You just write the Chinese character, while typing on the other hand… I use the system where you type the symbols of the pronunciation then choose the tone . You may know the pronunciation of the character, but it does not necessarily translate to how you type the character. Anyway, I prefer to write Chinese by hand because it is easier, but the younger generation probably would disagree with me. So yes, this would make me a dinosaur, too. 🙂 Half a dinosaur anyway ;-p

    Reply
  81. Do you remember 1984 where Winston found it very difficult to write his secret diary by hand because he used a typing device in his work?
    I read the book well before 1984 when computers were still huge, strange things, but now I think of him as working on a pc. Back then I couldn’t imagine not being used to writing. I was a student and used to taking copious notes in class, in practically illegible handwriting which I could just decipher myself.
    I do send hand-written cards and love receiving them, but it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher other people’s handwriting. I wonder if it’s their writing skills or my reading skills that are deteriorating. After all, I do not read that much handwriting any more, except my own, for personal use, usually corrections in computer printouts.

    Reply
  82. Do you remember 1984 where Winston found it very difficult to write his secret diary by hand because he used a typing device in his work?
    I read the book well before 1984 when computers were still huge, strange things, but now I think of him as working on a pc. Back then I couldn’t imagine not being used to writing. I was a student and used to taking copious notes in class, in practically illegible handwriting which I could just decipher myself.
    I do send hand-written cards and love receiving them, but it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher other people’s handwriting. I wonder if it’s their writing skills or my reading skills that are deteriorating. After all, I do not read that much handwriting any more, except my own, for personal use, usually corrections in computer printouts.

    Reply
  83. Do you remember 1984 where Winston found it very difficult to write his secret diary by hand because he used a typing device in his work?
    I read the book well before 1984 when computers were still huge, strange things, but now I think of him as working on a pc. Back then I couldn’t imagine not being used to writing. I was a student and used to taking copious notes in class, in practically illegible handwriting which I could just decipher myself.
    I do send hand-written cards and love receiving them, but it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher other people’s handwriting. I wonder if it’s their writing skills or my reading skills that are deteriorating. After all, I do not read that much handwriting any more, except my own, for personal use, usually corrections in computer printouts.

    Reply
  84. Do you remember 1984 where Winston found it very difficult to write his secret diary by hand because he used a typing device in his work?
    I read the book well before 1984 when computers were still huge, strange things, but now I think of him as working on a pc. Back then I couldn’t imagine not being used to writing. I was a student and used to taking copious notes in class, in practically illegible handwriting which I could just decipher myself.
    I do send hand-written cards and love receiving them, but it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher other people’s handwriting. I wonder if it’s their writing skills or my reading skills that are deteriorating. After all, I do not read that much handwriting any more, except my own, for personal use, usually corrections in computer printouts.

    Reply
  85. Do you remember 1984 where Winston found it very difficult to write his secret diary by hand because he used a typing device in his work?
    I read the book well before 1984 when computers were still huge, strange things, but now I think of him as working on a pc. Back then I couldn’t imagine not being used to writing. I was a student and used to taking copious notes in class, in practically illegible handwriting which I could just decipher myself.
    I do send hand-written cards and love receiving them, but it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher other people’s handwriting. I wonder if it’s their writing skills or my reading skills that are deteriorating. After all, I do not read that much handwriting any more, except my own, for personal use, usually corrections in computer printouts.

    Reply
  86. Susan here again:
    Yes, Mary Jo, the cover of FRENCH MISTRESS does indeed have a head! *g* Not an entire head — poor Louise seems to be peeking from beneath the edge of a book — but at least she has eyes. My whining must be paying off.
    MJP wrote: “A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? :)”
    Today, no! But you have to remember that the 17th century is still a time of famine in Europe, brought on by endless wars and unseasonably cold winters. Being chubby, or better, being outright fat by modern standards, was rare. To have a fat wife was a sign that a man was prosperous enough to feed her and keep her that way. Even in the royal courts, where there was certainly enough to eat, plumpness was much prized. The only criticisms I can recall of women’s size (and that’s a bitchy age, full of criticism!) involve the ones percieved as too skinny, as skeltons or bags of bones. Our modern Size Two’s need not apply.
    So for Charles to call her chubby would have been high praise, and she liked it just fine.
    But I sense another blog coming on….:)

    Reply
  87. Susan here again:
    Yes, Mary Jo, the cover of FRENCH MISTRESS does indeed have a head! *g* Not an entire head — poor Louise seems to be peeking from beneath the edge of a book — but at least she has eyes. My whining must be paying off.
    MJP wrote: “A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? :)”
    Today, no! But you have to remember that the 17th century is still a time of famine in Europe, brought on by endless wars and unseasonably cold winters. Being chubby, or better, being outright fat by modern standards, was rare. To have a fat wife was a sign that a man was prosperous enough to feed her and keep her that way. Even in the royal courts, where there was certainly enough to eat, plumpness was much prized. The only criticisms I can recall of women’s size (and that’s a bitchy age, full of criticism!) involve the ones percieved as too skinny, as skeltons or bags of bones. Our modern Size Two’s need not apply.
    So for Charles to call her chubby would have been high praise, and she liked it just fine.
    But I sense another blog coming on….:)

    Reply
  88. Susan here again:
    Yes, Mary Jo, the cover of FRENCH MISTRESS does indeed have a head! *g* Not an entire head — poor Louise seems to be peeking from beneath the edge of a book — but at least she has eyes. My whining must be paying off.
    MJP wrote: “A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? :)”
    Today, no! But you have to remember that the 17th century is still a time of famine in Europe, brought on by endless wars and unseasonably cold winters. Being chubby, or better, being outright fat by modern standards, was rare. To have a fat wife was a sign that a man was prosperous enough to feed her and keep her that way. Even in the royal courts, where there was certainly enough to eat, plumpness was much prized. The only criticisms I can recall of women’s size (and that’s a bitchy age, full of criticism!) involve the ones percieved as too skinny, as skeltons or bags of bones. Our modern Size Two’s need not apply.
    So for Charles to call her chubby would have been high praise, and she liked it just fine.
    But I sense another blog coming on….:)

    Reply
  89. Susan here again:
    Yes, Mary Jo, the cover of FRENCH MISTRESS does indeed have a head! *g* Not an entire head — poor Louise seems to be peeking from beneath the edge of a book — but at least she has eyes. My whining must be paying off.
    MJP wrote: “A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? :)”
    Today, no! But you have to remember that the 17th century is still a time of famine in Europe, brought on by endless wars and unseasonably cold winters. Being chubby, or better, being outright fat by modern standards, was rare. To have a fat wife was a sign that a man was prosperous enough to feed her and keep her that way. Even in the royal courts, where there was certainly enough to eat, plumpness was much prized. The only criticisms I can recall of women’s size (and that’s a bitchy age, full of criticism!) involve the ones percieved as too skinny, as skeltons or bags of bones. Our modern Size Two’s need not apply.
    So for Charles to call her chubby would have been high praise, and she liked it just fine.
    But I sense another blog coming on….:)

    Reply
  90. Susan here again:
    Yes, Mary Jo, the cover of FRENCH MISTRESS does indeed have a head! *g* Not an entire head — poor Louise seems to be peeking from beneath the edge of a book — but at least she has eyes. My whining must be paying off.
    MJP wrote: “A thought: how many women would stand for being called chubbettes even if it’s a king doing the nicknaming? :)”
    Today, no! But you have to remember that the 17th century is still a time of famine in Europe, brought on by endless wars and unseasonably cold winters. Being chubby, or better, being outright fat by modern standards, was rare. To have a fat wife was a sign that a man was prosperous enough to feed her and keep her that way. Even in the royal courts, where there was certainly enough to eat, plumpness was much prized. The only criticisms I can recall of women’s size (and that’s a bitchy age, full of criticism!) involve the ones percieved as too skinny, as skeltons or bags of bones. Our modern Size Two’s need not apply.
    So for Charles to call her chubby would have been high praise, and she liked it just fine.
    But I sense another blog coming on….:)

    Reply
  91. Susan here, again:
    Loretta, I agree, the signatures are so personal that they’re almost mini-portraits of the people. I know I tend to read more into them than I probably should, but they do seem to reflect their owners’ personalities…
    Linda, you’re right about signatures today. Most seem to be a big capital, followed by a wavy line. That’s it. I’m glad to hear yours is better! *g*
    Sherrie, I bet people recognize your letters in the mail box! The envelopes alone sound worth keeping. I used to decorate envelopes, too, when I was in college, plus the affectation of sealing wax. I even had a cast-metal stamp for sealing with my monogram.
    Louis, you’re a good man if you stand ready to take down grocery lists, and your DW is one lucky woman! 🙂
    Patty, you sound like a great teacher, computer-skills or no. “Removing an element of personal connection”: that’s exactly what i was trying to say in my whole long-winded blog, haha. I love that you write postcards to your class when you’re away. My daughter had a teacher in 6th grade who made her class write letters to themselves as seniors in highschool, predicting what they’d be like and what they’d be doing. She kept the letters, and to her class’s amazement, did in fact mail them to them six years later. My daughter and her friends were amazed, and delighted, too — though I’m not sure they learned much about the power of letters.
    Helen, I was a teenager in the 70s, too, and I can second your LOL!
    Jacqueline, I have to admit I’ve never even seen a typewriter for Chinese characters, and your description of having to type by pronunciation and tone sounds incredibly complicated. I can see why you’d prefer to write by hand!
    Ingrid, there are so many things in 1984 that have come to pass, aren’t there? Maybe not by that year, but since then. Huxley’s fantasies had more to them than perhaps he realized himself…

    Reply
  92. Susan here, again:
    Loretta, I agree, the signatures are so personal that they’re almost mini-portraits of the people. I know I tend to read more into them than I probably should, but they do seem to reflect their owners’ personalities…
    Linda, you’re right about signatures today. Most seem to be a big capital, followed by a wavy line. That’s it. I’m glad to hear yours is better! *g*
    Sherrie, I bet people recognize your letters in the mail box! The envelopes alone sound worth keeping. I used to decorate envelopes, too, when I was in college, plus the affectation of sealing wax. I even had a cast-metal stamp for sealing with my monogram.
    Louis, you’re a good man if you stand ready to take down grocery lists, and your DW is one lucky woman! 🙂
    Patty, you sound like a great teacher, computer-skills or no. “Removing an element of personal connection”: that’s exactly what i was trying to say in my whole long-winded blog, haha. I love that you write postcards to your class when you’re away. My daughter had a teacher in 6th grade who made her class write letters to themselves as seniors in highschool, predicting what they’d be like and what they’d be doing. She kept the letters, and to her class’s amazement, did in fact mail them to them six years later. My daughter and her friends were amazed, and delighted, too — though I’m not sure they learned much about the power of letters.
    Helen, I was a teenager in the 70s, too, and I can second your LOL!
    Jacqueline, I have to admit I’ve never even seen a typewriter for Chinese characters, and your description of having to type by pronunciation and tone sounds incredibly complicated. I can see why you’d prefer to write by hand!
    Ingrid, there are so many things in 1984 that have come to pass, aren’t there? Maybe not by that year, but since then. Huxley’s fantasies had more to them than perhaps he realized himself…

    Reply
  93. Susan here, again:
    Loretta, I agree, the signatures are so personal that they’re almost mini-portraits of the people. I know I tend to read more into them than I probably should, but they do seem to reflect their owners’ personalities…
    Linda, you’re right about signatures today. Most seem to be a big capital, followed by a wavy line. That’s it. I’m glad to hear yours is better! *g*
    Sherrie, I bet people recognize your letters in the mail box! The envelopes alone sound worth keeping. I used to decorate envelopes, too, when I was in college, plus the affectation of sealing wax. I even had a cast-metal stamp for sealing with my monogram.
    Louis, you’re a good man if you stand ready to take down grocery lists, and your DW is one lucky woman! 🙂
    Patty, you sound like a great teacher, computer-skills or no. “Removing an element of personal connection”: that’s exactly what i was trying to say in my whole long-winded blog, haha. I love that you write postcards to your class when you’re away. My daughter had a teacher in 6th grade who made her class write letters to themselves as seniors in highschool, predicting what they’d be like and what they’d be doing. She kept the letters, and to her class’s amazement, did in fact mail them to them six years later. My daughter and her friends were amazed, and delighted, too — though I’m not sure they learned much about the power of letters.
    Helen, I was a teenager in the 70s, too, and I can second your LOL!
    Jacqueline, I have to admit I’ve never even seen a typewriter for Chinese characters, and your description of having to type by pronunciation and tone sounds incredibly complicated. I can see why you’d prefer to write by hand!
    Ingrid, there are so many things in 1984 that have come to pass, aren’t there? Maybe not by that year, but since then. Huxley’s fantasies had more to them than perhaps he realized himself…

    Reply
  94. Susan here, again:
    Loretta, I agree, the signatures are so personal that they’re almost mini-portraits of the people. I know I tend to read more into them than I probably should, but they do seem to reflect their owners’ personalities…
    Linda, you’re right about signatures today. Most seem to be a big capital, followed by a wavy line. That’s it. I’m glad to hear yours is better! *g*
    Sherrie, I bet people recognize your letters in the mail box! The envelopes alone sound worth keeping. I used to decorate envelopes, too, when I was in college, plus the affectation of sealing wax. I even had a cast-metal stamp for sealing with my monogram.
    Louis, you’re a good man if you stand ready to take down grocery lists, and your DW is one lucky woman! 🙂
    Patty, you sound like a great teacher, computer-skills or no. “Removing an element of personal connection”: that’s exactly what i was trying to say in my whole long-winded blog, haha. I love that you write postcards to your class when you’re away. My daughter had a teacher in 6th grade who made her class write letters to themselves as seniors in highschool, predicting what they’d be like and what they’d be doing. She kept the letters, and to her class’s amazement, did in fact mail them to them six years later. My daughter and her friends were amazed, and delighted, too — though I’m not sure they learned much about the power of letters.
    Helen, I was a teenager in the 70s, too, and I can second your LOL!
    Jacqueline, I have to admit I’ve never even seen a typewriter for Chinese characters, and your description of having to type by pronunciation and tone sounds incredibly complicated. I can see why you’d prefer to write by hand!
    Ingrid, there are so many things in 1984 that have come to pass, aren’t there? Maybe not by that year, but since then. Huxley’s fantasies had more to them than perhaps he realized himself…

    Reply
  95. Susan here, again:
    Loretta, I agree, the signatures are so personal that they’re almost mini-portraits of the people. I know I tend to read more into them than I probably should, but they do seem to reflect their owners’ personalities…
    Linda, you’re right about signatures today. Most seem to be a big capital, followed by a wavy line. That’s it. I’m glad to hear yours is better! *g*
    Sherrie, I bet people recognize your letters in the mail box! The envelopes alone sound worth keeping. I used to decorate envelopes, too, when I was in college, plus the affectation of sealing wax. I even had a cast-metal stamp for sealing with my monogram.
    Louis, you’re a good man if you stand ready to take down grocery lists, and your DW is one lucky woman! 🙂
    Patty, you sound like a great teacher, computer-skills or no. “Removing an element of personal connection”: that’s exactly what i was trying to say in my whole long-winded blog, haha. I love that you write postcards to your class when you’re away. My daughter had a teacher in 6th grade who made her class write letters to themselves as seniors in highschool, predicting what they’d be like and what they’d be doing. She kept the letters, and to her class’s amazement, did in fact mail them to them six years later. My daughter and her friends were amazed, and delighted, too — though I’m not sure they learned much about the power of letters.
    Helen, I was a teenager in the 70s, too, and I can second your LOL!
    Jacqueline, I have to admit I’ve never even seen a typewriter for Chinese characters, and your description of having to type by pronunciation and tone sounds incredibly complicated. I can see why you’d prefer to write by hand!
    Ingrid, there are so many things in 1984 that have come to pass, aren’t there? Maybe not by that year, but since then. Huxley’s fantasies had more to them than perhaps he realized himself…

    Reply
  96. Computers and email and telephones do make communication quick and easy, and they have pretty well wiped out my letter-writing. Yet I do miss real letters. I had some friends who wrote really good ones, with interesting observations and descriptions. We are probably in touch more frequently now, but it isn’t the same.
    Maybe the greatest loss is that future generations will no longer discover a cache of Grandmother’s letters hidden away in the attic.

    Reply
  97. Computers and email and telephones do make communication quick and easy, and they have pretty well wiped out my letter-writing. Yet I do miss real letters. I had some friends who wrote really good ones, with interesting observations and descriptions. We are probably in touch more frequently now, but it isn’t the same.
    Maybe the greatest loss is that future generations will no longer discover a cache of Grandmother’s letters hidden away in the attic.

    Reply
  98. Computers and email and telephones do make communication quick and easy, and they have pretty well wiped out my letter-writing. Yet I do miss real letters. I had some friends who wrote really good ones, with interesting observations and descriptions. We are probably in touch more frequently now, but it isn’t the same.
    Maybe the greatest loss is that future generations will no longer discover a cache of Grandmother’s letters hidden away in the attic.

    Reply
  99. Computers and email and telephones do make communication quick and easy, and they have pretty well wiped out my letter-writing. Yet I do miss real letters. I had some friends who wrote really good ones, with interesting observations and descriptions. We are probably in touch more frequently now, but it isn’t the same.
    Maybe the greatest loss is that future generations will no longer discover a cache of Grandmother’s letters hidden away in the attic.

    Reply
  100. Computers and email and telephones do make communication quick and easy, and they have pretty well wiped out my letter-writing. Yet I do miss real letters. I had some friends who wrote really good ones, with interesting observations and descriptions. We are probably in touch more frequently now, but it isn’t the same.
    Maybe the greatest loss is that future generations will no longer discover a cache of Grandmother’s letters hidden away in the attic.

    Reply
  101. Susan again:
    Jane, you’re so right. People don’t write the same way in emails than they do on paper. I don’t know why, but they don’t. And, sadly, you’re also right about those never-written letters from grandmothers. You don’t have to be famous to leave your thoughts to posterity….:(

    Reply
  102. Susan again:
    Jane, you’re so right. People don’t write the same way in emails than they do on paper. I don’t know why, but they don’t. And, sadly, you’re also right about those never-written letters from grandmothers. You don’t have to be famous to leave your thoughts to posterity….:(

    Reply
  103. Susan again:
    Jane, you’re so right. People don’t write the same way in emails than they do on paper. I don’t know why, but they don’t. And, sadly, you’re also right about those never-written letters from grandmothers. You don’t have to be famous to leave your thoughts to posterity….:(

    Reply
  104. Susan again:
    Jane, you’re so right. People don’t write the same way in emails than they do on paper. I don’t know why, but they don’t. And, sadly, you’re also right about those never-written letters from grandmothers. You don’t have to be famous to leave your thoughts to posterity….:(

    Reply
  105. Susan again:
    Jane, you’re so right. People don’t write the same way in emails than they do on paper. I don’t know why, but they don’t. And, sadly, you’re also right about those never-written letters from grandmothers. You don’t have to be famous to leave your thoughts to posterity….:(

    Reply
  106. Hi, I was talking about typing Chinese on a computer, I don’t think it is possible to type Chinese on a typewriter (at least I have never heard or seen of a typewriter for Chinese). The Chinese characters system would make it impossible. I think there are several thousand Chinese characters, and there is no Chinese alphabet per say, which makes life interesting when you are learning the characters. At least there are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

    Reply
  107. Hi, I was talking about typing Chinese on a computer, I don’t think it is possible to type Chinese on a typewriter (at least I have never heard or seen of a typewriter for Chinese). The Chinese characters system would make it impossible. I think there are several thousand Chinese characters, and there is no Chinese alphabet per say, which makes life interesting when you are learning the characters. At least there are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

    Reply
  108. Hi, I was talking about typing Chinese on a computer, I don’t think it is possible to type Chinese on a typewriter (at least I have never heard or seen of a typewriter for Chinese). The Chinese characters system would make it impossible. I think there are several thousand Chinese characters, and there is no Chinese alphabet per say, which makes life interesting when you are learning the characters. At least there are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

    Reply
  109. Hi, I was talking about typing Chinese on a computer, I don’t think it is possible to type Chinese on a typewriter (at least I have never heard or seen of a typewriter for Chinese). The Chinese characters system would make it impossible. I think there are several thousand Chinese characters, and there is no Chinese alphabet per say, which makes life interesting when you are learning the characters. At least there are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

    Reply
  110. Hi, I was talking about typing Chinese on a computer, I don’t think it is possible to type Chinese on a typewriter (at least I have never heard or seen of a typewriter for Chinese). The Chinese characters system would make it impossible. I think there are several thousand Chinese characters, and there is no Chinese alphabet per say, which makes life interesting when you are learning the characters. At least there are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

    Reply
  111. I actually wrote a letter to my nephew in the Army recently. It was the first letter I had handwritten in years. I still hand address all my Christmas cards and any other cards I mail to friends and family.
    I do miss receiving letters. And yes I have a few tucked away from old boyfriends. I almost tossed them when I moved recently, but after I re-read them I choose to keep them. They are pieces of my past.

    Reply
  112. I actually wrote a letter to my nephew in the Army recently. It was the first letter I had handwritten in years. I still hand address all my Christmas cards and any other cards I mail to friends and family.
    I do miss receiving letters. And yes I have a few tucked away from old boyfriends. I almost tossed them when I moved recently, but after I re-read them I choose to keep them. They are pieces of my past.

    Reply
  113. I actually wrote a letter to my nephew in the Army recently. It was the first letter I had handwritten in years. I still hand address all my Christmas cards and any other cards I mail to friends and family.
    I do miss receiving letters. And yes I have a few tucked away from old boyfriends. I almost tossed them when I moved recently, but after I re-read them I choose to keep them. They are pieces of my past.

    Reply
  114. I actually wrote a letter to my nephew in the Army recently. It was the first letter I had handwritten in years. I still hand address all my Christmas cards and any other cards I mail to friends and family.
    I do miss receiving letters. And yes I have a few tucked away from old boyfriends. I almost tossed them when I moved recently, but after I re-read them I choose to keep them. They are pieces of my past.

    Reply
  115. I actually wrote a letter to my nephew in the Army recently. It was the first letter I had handwritten in years. I still hand address all my Christmas cards and any other cards I mail to friends and family.
    I do miss receiving letters. And yes I have a few tucked away from old boyfriends. I almost tossed them when I moved recently, but after I re-read them I choose to keep them. They are pieces of my past.

    Reply
  116. Wonderful post, Susan.
    I have some collections of letters, all printed up in books, and though you do get a strong sense of the person through their words, I would love to see some examples of their handwriting.
    I used to write lots of letters and now, alas, it’s emails, except for cards and postcards, mainly sent when I’m traveling and in a hotel room –hotel stationery is always a temptation for me to write a letter, as I love the feel of nice paper. For me, letters are written as much for my own entertainment, as well as the recipients. And yes, I fill them with small drawings (I’m a whizz at stick figures) and silly bits and pieces.
    I have several boxes of correspondence received over my adult life — the idea is that one day when I’m old and confined to a bed or something, I’ll go through the boxes and read everything. No doubt it will be an excercise in confusion, LOL
    One thing that strikes me about email is that at least you have the original email you wrote, so if you wanted to save your correspondence, you’d be able to save the whole exchange.

    Reply
  117. Wonderful post, Susan.
    I have some collections of letters, all printed up in books, and though you do get a strong sense of the person through their words, I would love to see some examples of their handwriting.
    I used to write lots of letters and now, alas, it’s emails, except for cards and postcards, mainly sent when I’m traveling and in a hotel room –hotel stationery is always a temptation for me to write a letter, as I love the feel of nice paper. For me, letters are written as much for my own entertainment, as well as the recipients. And yes, I fill them with small drawings (I’m a whizz at stick figures) and silly bits and pieces.
    I have several boxes of correspondence received over my adult life — the idea is that one day when I’m old and confined to a bed or something, I’ll go through the boxes and read everything. No doubt it will be an excercise in confusion, LOL
    One thing that strikes me about email is that at least you have the original email you wrote, so if you wanted to save your correspondence, you’d be able to save the whole exchange.

    Reply
  118. Wonderful post, Susan.
    I have some collections of letters, all printed up in books, and though you do get a strong sense of the person through their words, I would love to see some examples of their handwriting.
    I used to write lots of letters and now, alas, it’s emails, except for cards and postcards, mainly sent when I’m traveling and in a hotel room –hotel stationery is always a temptation for me to write a letter, as I love the feel of nice paper. For me, letters are written as much for my own entertainment, as well as the recipients. And yes, I fill them with small drawings (I’m a whizz at stick figures) and silly bits and pieces.
    I have several boxes of correspondence received over my adult life — the idea is that one day when I’m old and confined to a bed or something, I’ll go through the boxes and read everything. No doubt it will be an excercise in confusion, LOL
    One thing that strikes me about email is that at least you have the original email you wrote, so if you wanted to save your correspondence, you’d be able to save the whole exchange.

    Reply
  119. Wonderful post, Susan.
    I have some collections of letters, all printed up in books, and though you do get a strong sense of the person through their words, I would love to see some examples of their handwriting.
    I used to write lots of letters and now, alas, it’s emails, except for cards and postcards, mainly sent when I’m traveling and in a hotel room –hotel stationery is always a temptation for me to write a letter, as I love the feel of nice paper. For me, letters are written as much for my own entertainment, as well as the recipients. And yes, I fill them with small drawings (I’m a whizz at stick figures) and silly bits and pieces.
    I have several boxes of correspondence received over my adult life — the idea is that one day when I’m old and confined to a bed or something, I’ll go through the boxes and read everything. No doubt it will be an excercise in confusion, LOL
    One thing that strikes me about email is that at least you have the original email you wrote, so if you wanted to save your correspondence, you’d be able to save the whole exchange.

    Reply
  120. Wonderful post, Susan.
    I have some collections of letters, all printed up in books, and though you do get a strong sense of the person through their words, I would love to see some examples of their handwriting.
    I used to write lots of letters and now, alas, it’s emails, except for cards and postcards, mainly sent when I’m traveling and in a hotel room –hotel stationery is always a temptation for me to write a letter, as I love the feel of nice paper. For me, letters are written as much for my own entertainment, as well as the recipients. And yes, I fill them with small drawings (I’m a whizz at stick figures) and silly bits and pieces.
    I have several boxes of correspondence received over my adult life — the idea is that one day when I’m old and confined to a bed or something, I’ll go through the boxes and read everything. No doubt it will be an excercise in confusion, LOL
    One thing that strikes me about email is that at least you have the original email you wrote, so if you wanted to save your correspondence, you’d be able to save the whole exchange.

    Reply
  121. Not only do I love hand writing letters still, but I also love stationery in all its forms: formal, whimsical, bright and beautiful. And I lament the passing of this most personal of means of communication. But, on a birghter notw, I am now reading Duchess and enjoying it thoroughly. John and Sarah have just met, and being able to see his later love letter to her gave me a thrill. Thank you.

    Reply
  122. Not only do I love hand writing letters still, but I also love stationery in all its forms: formal, whimsical, bright and beautiful. And I lament the passing of this most personal of means of communication. But, on a birghter notw, I am now reading Duchess and enjoying it thoroughly. John and Sarah have just met, and being able to see his later love letter to her gave me a thrill. Thank you.

    Reply
  123. Not only do I love hand writing letters still, but I also love stationery in all its forms: formal, whimsical, bright and beautiful. And I lament the passing of this most personal of means of communication. But, on a birghter notw, I am now reading Duchess and enjoying it thoroughly. John and Sarah have just met, and being able to see his later love letter to her gave me a thrill. Thank you.

    Reply
  124. Not only do I love hand writing letters still, but I also love stationery in all its forms: formal, whimsical, bright and beautiful. And I lament the passing of this most personal of means of communication. But, on a birghter notw, I am now reading Duchess and enjoying it thoroughly. John and Sarah have just met, and being able to see his later love letter to her gave me a thrill. Thank you.

    Reply
  125. Not only do I love hand writing letters still, but I also love stationery in all its forms: formal, whimsical, bright and beautiful. And I lament the passing of this most personal of means of communication. But, on a birghter notw, I am now reading Duchess and enjoying it thoroughly. John and Sarah have just met, and being able to see his later love letter to her gave me a thrill. Thank you.

    Reply
  126. Susan here again:
    Jacqueline — Many thanks for explaining the differences between Chinese on a computer vs. a typewriter — I just couldn’t figure out how that worked. The computer makes much more sense.
    Anna B. — I bet your nephew read and reread that letter, wherever he is stationed. And I’m glad you kept those old letters, too.:)
    Anne — Many letters by “famous” people are on line now, in various places. Try googl’ing for images with their name, plus signature, or letters, or autograph.
    I’m glad someone else doodles in their letters — I have lots of little pix and sketches scattered throughout. That old art school impulse never quite fades away!

    Reply
  127. Susan here again:
    Jacqueline — Many thanks for explaining the differences between Chinese on a computer vs. a typewriter — I just couldn’t figure out how that worked. The computer makes much more sense.
    Anna B. — I bet your nephew read and reread that letter, wherever he is stationed. And I’m glad you kept those old letters, too.:)
    Anne — Many letters by “famous” people are on line now, in various places. Try googl’ing for images with their name, plus signature, or letters, or autograph.
    I’m glad someone else doodles in their letters — I have lots of little pix and sketches scattered throughout. That old art school impulse never quite fades away!

    Reply
  128. Susan here again:
    Jacqueline — Many thanks for explaining the differences between Chinese on a computer vs. a typewriter — I just couldn’t figure out how that worked. The computer makes much more sense.
    Anna B. — I bet your nephew read and reread that letter, wherever he is stationed. And I’m glad you kept those old letters, too.:)
    Anne — Many letters by “famous” people are on line now, in various places. Try googl’ing for images with their name, plus signature, or letters, or autograph.
    I’m glad someone else doodles in their letters — I have lots of little pix and sketches scattered throughout. That old art school impulse never quite fades away!

    Reply
  129. Susan here again:
    Jacqueline — Many thanks for explaining the differences between Chinese on a computer vs. a typewriter — I just couldn’t figure out how that worked. The computer makes much more sense.
    Anna B. — I bet your nephew read and reread that letter, wherever he is stationed. And I’m glad you kept those old letters, too.:)
    Anne — Many letters by “famous” people are on line now, in various places. Try googl’ing for images with their name, plus signature, or letters, or autograph.
    I’m glad someone else doodles in their letters — I have lots of little pix and sketches scattered throughout. That old art school impulse never quite fades away!

    Reply
  130. Susan here again:
    Jacqueline — Many thanks for explaining the differences between Chinese on a computer vs. a typewriter — I just couldn’t figure out how that worked. The computer makes much more sense.
    Anna B. — I bet your nephew read and reread that letter, wherever he is stationed. And I’m glad you kept those old letters, too.:)
    Anne — Many letters by “famous” people are on line now, in various places. Try googl’ing for images with their name, plus signature, or letters, or autograph.
    I’m glad someone else doodles in their letters — I have lots of little pix and sketches scattered throughout. That old art school impulse never quite fades away!

    Reply
  131. Susan again:
    Valerie L –Another stationary collector! I have a hard time resisting those little boxes of glorious paper, too. And I’m so glad that John Churchill’s letter turned up just in time to coincide with your reading DUCHESS. Makes it more real, doesn’t it? (At least it did for me while I was writing it!)

    Reply
  132. Susan again:
    Valerie L –Another stationary collector! I have a hard time resisting those little boxes of glorious paper, too. And I’m so glad that John Churchill’s letter turned up just in time to coincide with your reading DUCHESS. Makes it more real, doesn’t it? (At least it did for me while I was writing it!)

    Reply
  133. Susan again:
    Valerie L –Another stationary collector! I have a hard time resisting those little boxes of glorious paper, too. And I’m so glad that John Churchill’s letter turned up just in time to coincide with your reading DUCHESS. Makes it more real, doesn’t it? (At least it did for me while I was writing it!)

    Reply
  134. Susan again:
    Valerie L –Another stationary collector! I have a hard time resisting those little boxes of glorious paper, too. And I’m so glad that John Churchill’s letter turned up just in time to coincide with your reading DUCHESS. Makes it more real, doesn’t it? (At least it did for me while I was writing it!)

    Reply
  135. Susan again:
    Valerie L –Another stationary collector! I have a hard time resisting those little boxes of glorious paper, too. And I’m so glad that John Churchill’s letter turned up just in time to coincide with your reading DUCHESS. Makes it more real, doesn’t it? (At least it did for me while I was writing it!)

    Reply
  136. Another letter writer here. Actually there is a whole sub-culture devoted to penpalling and snail-mail – even on facebooks there are groups for people who want to exchange real letters!
    I am European so I learned to write in longhand in school; I only started to print when I started to teach, as my writing is not the most tidy and my students could not read it. Plus I can write really fast and that was not a good thing in foreign language teaching!
    A friend of mine is a secondary school teacher and she told me there are quite a few troubles connected to not learning to write in longhand (ie only learning to print). According to her, about half of the people they refer to specialists for “learning difficulties” or “dyslexia” have nothing of the sort – but with printing, it is much harder to see where words end/start, so many pupils were unsure about these things. Had they learned to write in longhand, it would not be a problem. Quite interesting. I do wonder what’s so hard at learing to write longhand, that it had to be dropped… and it is certainly much faster than printing, which was useful during lectures. Maybe students take their laptops these days although i am not sure it works out the same… hm…

    Reply
  137. Another letter writer here. Actually there is a whole sub-culture devoted to penpalling and snail-mail – even on facebooks there are groups for people who want to exchange real letters!
    I am European so I learned to write in longhand in school; I only started to print when I started to teach, as my writing is not the most tidy and my students could not read it. Plus I can write really fast and that was not a good thing in foreign language teaching!
    A friend of mine is a secondary school teacher and she told me there are quite a few troubles connected to not learning to write in longhand (ie only learning to print). According to her, about half of the people they refer to specialists for “learning difficulties” or “dyslexia” have nothing of the sort – but with printing, it is much harder to see where words end/start, so many pupils were unsure about these things. Had they learned to write in longhand, it would not be a problem. Quite interesting. I do wonder what’s so hard at learing to write longhand, that it had to be dropped… and it is certainly much faster than printing, which was useful during lectures. Maybe students take their laptops these days although i am not sure it works out the same… hm…

    Reply
  138. Another letter writer here. Actually there is a whole sub-culture devoted to penpalling and snail-mail – even on facebooks there are groups for people who want to exchange real letters!
    I am European so I learned to write in longhand in school; I only started to print when I started to teach, as my writing is not the most tidy and my students could not read it. Plus I can write really fast and that was not a good thing in foreign language teaching!
    A friend of mine is a secondary school teacher and she told me there are quite a few troubles connected to not learning to write in longhand (ie only learning to print). According to her, about half of the people they refer to specialists for “learning difficulties” or “dyslexia” have nothing of the sort – but with printing, it is much harder to see where words end/start, so many pupils were unsure about these things. Had they learned to write in longhand, it would not be a problem. Quite interesting. I do wonder what’s so hard at learing to write longhand, that it had to be dropped… and it is certainly much faster than printing, which was useful during lectures. Maybe students take their laptops these days although i am not sure it works out the same… hm…

    Reply
  139. Another letter writer here. Actually there is a whole sub-culture devoted to penpalling and snail-mail – even on facebooks there are groups for people who want to exchange real letters!
    I am European so I learned to write in longhand in school; I only started to print when I started to teach, as my writing is not the most tidy and my students could not read it. Plus I can write really fast and that was not a good thing in foreign language teaching!
    A friend of mine is a secondary school teacher and she told me there are quite a few troubles connected to not learning to write in longhand (ie only learning to print). According to her, about half of the people they refer to specialists for “learning difficulties” or “dyslexia” have nothing of the sort – but with printing, it is much harder to see where words end/start, so many pupils were unsure about these things. Had they learned to write in longhand, it would not be a problem. Quite interesting. I do wonder what’s so hard at learing to write longhand, that it had to be dropped… and it is certainly much faster than printing, which was useful during lectures. Maybe students take their laptops these days although i am not sure it works out the same… hm…

    Reply
  140. Another letter writer here. Actually there is a whole sub-culture devoted to penpalling and snail-mail – even on facebooks there are groups for people who want to exchange real letters!
    I am European so I learned to write in longhand in school; I only started to print when I started to teach, as my writing is not the most tidy and my students could not read it. Plus I can write really fast and that was not a good thing in foreign language teaching!
    A friend of mine is a secondary school teacher and she told me there are quite a few troubles connected to not learning to write in longhand (ie only learning to print). According to her, about half of the people they refer to specialists for “learning difficulties” or “dyslexia” have nothing of the sort – but with printing, it is much harder to see where words end/start, so many pupils were unsure about these things. Had they learned to write in longhand, it would not be a problem. Quite interesting. I do wonder what’s so hard at learing to write longhand, that it had to be dropped… and it is certainly much faster than printing, which was useful during lectures. Maybe students take their laptops these days although i am not sure it works out the same… hm…

    Reply
  141. Hi everyone. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: . I found only this – . How is working capital finance typically structured at sbi? Get explanation of finance terms equity – finance. Thank you very much ;-). Afric from Japan.

    Reply
  142. Hi everyone. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: . I found only this – . How is working capital finance typically structured at sbi? Get explanation of finance terms equity – finance. Thank you very much ;-). Afric from Japan.

    Reply
  143. Hi everyone. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: . I found only this – . How is working capital finance typically structured at sbi? Get explanation of finance terms equity – finance. Thank you very much ;-). Afric from Japan.

    Reply
  144. Hi everyone. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: . I found only this – . How is working capital finance typically structured at sbi? Get explanation of finance terms equity – finance. Thank you very much ;-). Afric from Japan.

    Reply
  145. Hi everyone. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: . I found only this – . How is working capital finance typically structured at sbi? Get explanation of finance terms equity – finance. Thank you very much ;-). Afric from Japan.

    Reply

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