The Write Stuff

River cursive script in the style of Emperor TaiAndrea here, musing today on writing. Or specifically, on handwriting. An old friend of mine wrote me a note about the blog I did on letterpress printing, and shared her own love of letterforms with a sample of the Zen calligraphy, which she’s been studying (and teaching) for a number of years.

I’m in awe of people who can create such beautiful art—for in my opinion, letters are true art. And that got me to thinking about handwriting. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have TERRIBLE handwriting. (right) It’s embarrassing, as I was an art major, should be able to create a nicer IMG_8608looking page than my pitiful scrawl. I try to explain it away by the fact that I’m slightly dyslexic. In typing I tend to transpose letters all the time. (You don’t want to try to read a paragraph that I type in hurry—it’s scary.) And when writing by hand, I do tend to mix up which letter comes next, especially if I try to rush. I have to be really careful at book signings to get a person’s name spelled right. (It’s actually rather stressful.)

Illum msBut my own shortcoming don’t stop me from admiring the art of writing by hand. Illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages are glorious examples—I love their exquisite combination of form, color and illustration. I also really love the poetry of Arabic script. (below) It has such lovely movement and grace. And then there’s the copperplate script that was de rigeuer for ladies and gentlemen of the 19th century.

Getting back to my own illegible scratchings, I decided to take a look at the handwriting of some historical authors Arabicof note to see how their pens fared. Jane Austen’s early works shows an elegant hand, as well as a delightful talent for sketching. Her later work maintains that same smooth flow.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s manuscript for The Great Gatsby shows a very neat and controlled script. (left) Hmmm, I wonder if several martinis helped to round the Gatsbyletterforms. Thoreau had a lovely, lyrical flow to his penmanship–his letters look like birds in flight. (below-left) Conan-Doyle has the sort of precise orderliness one would expect from a from his cerebral Sherlock Holmes. (below-middle) Dickens, however, makes me feel a little better. His handwriting doesn’t conjure the word “artistic.” (below-right)

Composite 1

And neither does the handwriting of J. K, Rowling, though the idea that she can create such intricate plotting outlines gives me the heebie-jeebies!
Rowling

I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll never win any awards for penmanship. What about you? Do you have good handwriting? Do you appreciate a the art of penmanship—or are you just as happy with printed pages and audiobooks?

155 thoughts on “The Write Stuff”

  1. I fear in another ten years, our newest generation won’t be able to read cursive nor will they be able to spell correctly or construct complete sentences. It makes me so sad. Cursive has its own art to it. It can be flowing or cramped, large or small, run uphill or down, but it’s still intrinsically beautiful in its own way. (Except doctors. They can’t write for anything!) 😉
    My handwriting used to be quite nice but as I’ve gotten older and my arthritis has gotten worse, it’s not nearly as nice anymore. My mother had beautiful handwriting. Her mother, born in the late 1800’s retained a bit of that older, more copperplate style of writing. That’s served me well researching my family and trying to make sense of the old documents. I love reading through them, or trying to as a lot of people then couldn’t write well either. I’m just really hoping that cursive makes a comeback. :/

    Reply
  2. I fear in another ten years, our newest generation won’t be able to read cursive nor will they be able to spell correctly or construct complete sentences. It makes me so sad. Cursive has its own art to it. It can be flowing or cramped, large or small, run uphill or down, but it’s still intrinsically beautiful in its own way. (Except doctors. They can’t write for anything!) 😉
    My handwriting used to be quite nice but as I’ve gotten older and my arthritis has gotten worse, it’s not nearly as nice anymore. My mother had beautiful handwriting. Her mother, born in the late 1800’s retained a bit of that older, more copperplate style of writing. That’s served me well researching my family and trying to make sense of the old documents. I love reading through them, or trying to as a lot of people then couldn’t write well either. I’m just really hoping that cursive makes a comeback. :/

    Reply
  3. I fear in another ten years, our newest generation won’t be able to read cursive nor will they be able to spell correctly or construct complete sentences. It makes me so sad. Cursive has its own art to it. It can be flowing or cramped, large or small, run uphill or down, but it’s still intrinsically beautiful in its own way. (Except doctors. They can’t write for anything!) 😉
    My handwriting used to be quite nice but as I’ve gotten older and my arthritis has gotten worse, it’s not nearly as nice anymore. My mother had beautiful handwriting. Her mother, born in the late 1800’s retained a bit of that older, more copperplate style of writing. That’s served me well researching my family and trying to make sense of the old documents. I love reading through them, or trying to as a lot of people then couldn’t write well either. I’m just really hoping that cursive makes a comeback. :/

    Reply
  4. I fear in another ten years, our newest generation won’t be able to read cursive nor will they be able to spell correctly or construct complete sentences. It makes me so sad. Cursive has its own art to it. It can be flowing or cramped, large or small, run uphill or down, but it’s still intrinsically beautiful in its own way. (Except doctors. They can’t write for anything!) 😉
    My handwriting used to be quite nice but as I’ve gotten older and my arthritis has gotten worse, it’s not nearly as nice anymore. My mother had beautiful handwriting. Her mother, born in the late 1800’s retained a bit of that older, more copperplate style of writing. That’s served me well researching my family and trying to make sense of the old documents. I love reading through them, or trying to as a lot of people then couldn’t write well either. I’m just really hoping that cursive makes a comeback. :/

    Reply
  5. I fear in another ten years, our newest generation won’t be able to read cursive nor will they be able to spell correctly or construct complete sentences. It makes me so sad. Cursive has its own art to it. It can be flowing or cramped, large or small, run uphill or down, but it’s still intrinsically beautiful in its own way. (Except doctors. They can’t write for anything!) 😉
    My handwriting used to be quite nice but as I’ve gotten older and my arthritis has gotten worse, it’s not nearly as nice anymore. My mother had beautiful handwriting. Her mother, born in the late 1800’s retained a bit of that older, more copperplate style of writing. That’s served me well researching my family and trying to make sense of the old documents. I love reading through them, or trying to as a lot of people then couldn’t write well either. I’m just really hoping that cursive makes a comeback. :/

    Reply
  6. My mother had beautiful handwriting, as did my Grandmother, who was the person I corresponded with most when I was young. I always took pains to be extra neat with my handwriting when I wrote to her. When I hurry, my “r” tends to look like an “i” without the dot.
    What I miss most about handwriting letters though, was the thought that went into them. Email is fine. You can certainly hear from someone more often. But when writing a letter, I was so much more aware of the distance between us and I took pains to be precise so that there was no misunderstanding.
    I tend to get a little sloppy with email. And don’t even get me started on texting (smile).

    Reply
  7. My mother had beautiful handwriting, as did my Grandmother, who was the person I corresponded with most when I was young. I always took pains to be extra neat with my handwriting when I wrote to her. When I hurry, my “r” tends to look like an “i” without the dot.
    What I miss most about handwriting letters though, was the thought that went into them. Email is fine. You can certainly hear from someone more often. But when writing a letter, I was so much more aware of the distance between us and I took pains to be precise so that there was no misunderstanding.
    I tend to get a little sloppy with email. And don’t even get me started on texting (smile).

    Reply
  8. My mother had beautiful handwriting, as did my Grandmother, who was the person I corresponded with most when I was young. I always took pains to be extra neat with my handwriting when I wrote to her. When I hurry, my “r” tends to look like an “i” without the dot.
    What I miss most about handwriting letters though, was the thought that went into them. Email is fine. You can certainly hear from someone more often. But when writing a letter, I was so much more aware of the distance between us and I took pains to be precise so that there was no misunderstanding.
    I tend to get a little sloppy with email. And don’t even get me started on texting (smile).

    Reply
  9. My mother had beautiful handwriting, as did my Grandmother, who was the person I corresponded with most when I was young. I always took pains to be extra neat with my handwriting when I wrote to her. When I hurry, my “r” tends to look like an “i” without the dot.
    What I miss most about handwriting letters though, was the thought that went into them. Email is fine. You can certainly hear from someone more often. But when writing a letter, I was so much more aware of the distance between us and I took pains to be precise so that there was no misunderstanding.
    I tend to get a little sloppy with email. And don’t even get me started on texting (smile).

    Reply
  10. My mother had beautiful handwriting, as did my Grandmother, who was the person I corresponded with most when I was young. I always took pains to be extra neat with my handwriting when I wrote to her. When I hurry, my “r” tends to look like an “i” without the dot.
    What I miss most about handwriting letters though, was the thought that went into them. Email is fine. You can certainly hear from someone more often. But when writing a letter, I was so much more aware of the distance between us and I took pains to be precise so that there was no misunderstanding.
    I tend to get a little sloppy with email. And don’t even get me started on texting (smile).

    Reply
  11. I also love those old manuscripts with illustrations. When in Dublin I spent a little time admiring the book of Kells. I couldn’t understand the Latin writing but that didn’t seem to matter. Rather like standing in a beautiful church one is just absorbed by the experience. It can now be viewed online:
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v
    I think there is a lot to be said for a (legible) hand written letter. Email or text messages somehow lack that personal touch which is so important when communicating with a loved one and a typed letter at least has a signature to personalize it.
    If I had a job as an agony aunt (not a current ambition!)I would strongly advise youngsters to practice their hand writing skills before for example attempting to woo a lady. Perhaps adding a little poetry for good measure ….. or maybe I’m just old fashioned!!

    Reply
  12. I also love those old manuscripts with illustrations. When in Dublin I spent a little time admiring the book of Kells. I couldn’t understand the Latin writing but that didn’t seem to matter. Rather like standing in a beautiful church one is just absorbed by the experience. It can now be viewed online:
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v
    I think there is a lot to be said for a (legible) hand written letter. Email or text messages somehow lack that personal touch which is so important when communicating with a loved one and a typed letter at least has a signature to personalize it.
    If I had a job as an agony aunt (not a current ambition!)I would strongly advise youngsters to practice their hand writing skills before for example attempting to woo a lady. Perhaps adding a little poetry for good measure ….. or maybe I’m just old fashioned!!

    Reply
  13. I also love those old manuscripts with illustrations. When in Dublin I spent a little time admiring the book of Kells. I couldn’t understand the Latin writing but that didn’t seem to matter. Rather like standing in a beautiful church one is just absorbed by the experience. It can now be viewed online:
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v
    I think there is a lot to be said for a (legible) hand written letter. Email or text messages somehow lack that personal touch which is so important when communicating with a loved one and a typed letter at least has a signature to personalize it.
    If I had a job as an agony aunt (not a current ambition!)I would strongly advise youngsters to practice their hand writing skills before for example attempting to woo a lady. Perhaps adding a little poetry for good measure ….. or maybe I’m just old fashioned!!

    Reply
  14. I also love those old manuscripts with illustrations. When in Dublin I spent a little time admiring the book of Kells. I couldn’t understand the Latin writing but that didn’t seem to matter. Rather like standing in a beautiful church one is just absorbed by the experience. It can now be viewed online:
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v
    I think there is a lot to be said for a (legible) hand written letter. Email or text messages somehow lack that personal touch which is so important when communicating with a loved one and a typed letter at least has a signature to personalize it.
    If I had a job as an agony aunt (not a current ambition!)I would strongly advise youngsters to practice their hand writing skills before for example attempting to woo a lady. Perhaps adding a little poetry for good measure ….. or maybe I’m just old fashioned!!

    Reply
  15. I also love those old manuscripts with illustrations. When in Dublin I spent a little time admiring the book of Kells. I couldn’t understand the Latin writing but that didn’t seem to matter. Rather like standing in a beautiful church one is just absorbed by the experience. It can now be viewed online:
    https://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v
    I think there is a lot to be said for a (legible) hand written letter. Email or text messages somehow lack that personal touch which is so important when communicating with a loved one and a typed letter at least has a signature to personalize it.
    If I had a job as an agony aunt (not a current ambition!)I would strongly advise youngsters to practice their hand writing skills before for example attempting to woo a lady. Perhaps adding a little poetry for good measure ….. or maybe I’m just old fashioned!!

    Reply
  16. I resisted writing email for solong. I used to love to write letters and I collected a huge amount of blank cards and paper to write on and correspond with. People said they always enjoyed my letters so I guess my writing was at least legible but then no one liked to answer me so I started emailing and at least I got responses.
    Cursive writing was taught in school and was a subject in itself. I got good grades so must have written well. Now I am out of practice so tend to scribble!!

    Reply
  17. I resisted writing email for solong. I used to love to write letters and I collected a huge amount of blank cards and paper to write on and correspond with. People said they always enjoyed my letters so I guess my writing was at least legible but then no one liked to answer me so I started emailing and at least I got responses.
    Cursive writing was taught in school and was a subject in itself. I got good grades so must have written well. Now I am out of practice so tend to scribble!!

    Reply
  18. I resisted writing email for solong. I used to love to write letters and I collected a huge amount of blank cards and paper to write on and correspond with. People said they always enjoyed my letters so I guess my writing was at least legible but then no one liked to answer me so I started emailing and at least I got responses.
    Cursive writing was taught in school and was a subject in itself. I got good grades so must have written well. Now I am out of practice so tend to scribble!!

    Reply
  19. I resisted writing email for solong. I used to love to write letters and I collected a huge amount of blank cards and paper to write on and correspond with. People said they always enjoyed my letters so I guess my writing was at least legible but then no one liked to answer me so I started emailing and at least I got responses.
    Cursive writing was taught in school and was a subject in itself. I got good grades so must have written well. Now I am out of practice so tend to scribble!!

    Reply
  20. I resisted writing email for solong. I used to love to write letters and I collected a huge amount of blank cards and paper to write on and correspond with. People said they always enjoyed my letters so I guess my writing was at least legible but then no one liked to answer me so I started emailing and at least I got responses.
    Cursive writing was taught in school and was a subject in itself. I got good grades so must have written well. Now I am out of practice so tend to scribble!!

    Reply
  21. An old friend—my college roommate, in fact—has beautiful Palmer penmanship handwriting. And it’s speedy too. I used to be in awe of her lecture notes. She wrote in script faster than some people could do shorthand. My writing, alas, is pure scribble.
    One thing I find interesting is that my granddaughters both have beautiful penmanship, though it tends to be a combination of cursive and print. My grandsons, on the other hand. produce the kind of scrawl you might associate with kindergarteners. (They’re both about to head off to college.)

    Reply
  22. An old friend—my college roommate, in fact—has beautiful Palmer penmanship handwriting. And it’s speedy too. I used to be in awe of her lecture notes. She wrote in script faster than some people could do shorthand. My writing, alas, is pure scribble.
    One thing I find interesting is that my granddaughters both have beautiful penmanship, though it tends to be a combination of cursive and print. My grandsons, on the other hand. produce the kind of scrawl you might associate with kindergarteners. (They’re both about to head off to college.)

    Reply
  23. An old friend—my college roommate, in fact—has beautiful Palmer penmanship handwriting. And it’s speedy too. I used to be in awe of her lecture notes. She wrote in script faster than some people could do shorthand. My writing, alas, is pure scribble.
    One thing I find interesting is that my granddaughters both have beautiful penmanship, though it tends to be a combination of cursive and print. My grandsons, on the other hand. produce the kind of scrawl you might associate with kindergarteners. (They’re both about to head off to college.)

    Reply
  24. An old friend—my college roommate, in fact—has beautiful Palmer penmanship handwriting. And it’s speedy too. I used to be in awe of her lecture notes. She wrote in script faster than some people could do shorthand. My writing, alas, is pure scribble.
    One thing I find interesting is that my granddaughters both have beautiful penmanship, though it tends to be a combination of cursive and print. My grandsons, on the other hand. produce the kind of scrawl you might associate with kindergarteners. (They’re both about to head off to college.)

    Reply
  25. An old friend—my college roommate, in fact—has beautiful Palmer penmanship handwriting. And it’s speedy too. I used to be in awe of her lecture notes. She wrote in script faster than some people could do shorthand. My writing, alas, is pure scribble.
    One thing I find interesting is that my granddaughters both have beautiful penmanship, though it tends to be a combination of cursive and print. My grandsons, on the other hand. produce the kind of scrawl you might associate with kindergarteners. (They’re both about to head off to college.)

    Reply
  26. I was never able to write cursive attractively. And I was taught penmenship, which was still being taught when I was a classroom teacher. Cursive wasn’t taught before third grade, but I taught both third and fourth grades before I transferred to editing textbooks.
    There wil ALWAYS be cursive writing – it’s what we all do when we “print” quickly. So if teaching cursive is abandoned, each person will produce a non-standard cursive.
    It may be the editor in me, but I compose my emails, as carefullly as I used to compose snail maill letters. The quick send/response of electronic exchanges outweighs any problems email may cause. As does the ease of correction provided by word processing (providing the absence of auto-correct, which should probably be called auto-error!).
    Andrea, dedicate any signed book you produce for me to “a fellow dyslexic” and misspell Sue McCormick at your burden’s pleasure!

    Reply
  27. I was never able to write cursive attractively. And I was taught penmenship, which was still being taught when I was a classroom teacher. Cursive wasn’t taught before third grade, but I taught both third and fourth grades before I transferred to editing textbooks.
    There wil ALWAYS be cursive writing – it’s what we all do when we “print” quickly. So if teaching cursive is abandoned, each person will produce a non-standard cursive.
    It may be the editor in me, but I compose my emails, as carefullly as I used to compose snail maill letters. The quick send/response of electronic exchanges outweighs any problems email may cause. As does the ease of correction provided by word processing (providing the absence of auto-correct, which should probably be called auto-error!).
    Andrea, dedicate any signed book you produce for me to “a fellow dyslexic” and misspell Sue McCormick at your burden’s pleasure!

    Reply
  28. I was never able to write cursive attractively. And I was taught penmenship, which was still being taught when I was a classroom teacher. Cursive wasn’t taught before third grade, but I taught both third and fourth grades before I transferred to editing textbooks.
    There wil ALWAYS be cursive writing – it’s what we all do when we “print” quickly. So if teaching cursive is abandoned, each person will produce a non-standard cursive.
    It may be the editor in me, but I compose my emails, as carefullly as I used to compose snail maill letters. The quick send/response of electronic exchanges outweighs any problems email may cause. As does the ease of correction provided by word processing (providing the absence of auto-correct, which should probably be called auto-error!).
    Andrea, dedicate any signed book you produce for me to “a fellow dyslexic” and misspell Sue McCormick at your burden’s pleasure!

    Reply
  29. I was never able to write cursive attractively. And I was taught penmenship, which was still being taught when I was a classroom teacher. Cursive wasn’t taught before third grade, but I taught both third and fourth grades before I transferred to editing textbooks.
    There wil ALWAYS be cursive writing – it’s what we all do when we “print” quickly. So if teaching cursive is abandoned, each person will produce a non-standard cursive.
    It may be the editor in me, but I compose my emails, as carefullly as I used to compose snail maill letters. The quick send/response of electronic exchanges outweighs any problems email may cause. As does the ease of correction provided by word processing (providing the absence of auto-correct, which should probably be called auto-error!).
    Andrea, dedicate any signed book you produce for me to “a fellow dyslexic” and misspell Sue McCormick at your burden’s pleasure!

    Reply
  30. I was never able to write cursive attractively. And I was taught penmenship, which was still being taught when I was a classroom teacher. Cursive wasn’t taught before third grade, but I taught both third and fourth grades before I transferred to editing textbooks.
    There wil ALWAYS be cursive writing – it’s what we all do when we “print” quickly. So if teaching cursive is abandoned, each person will produce a non-standard cursive.
    It may be the editor in me, but I compose my emails, as carefullly as I used to compose snail maill letters. The quick send/response of electronic exchanges outweighs any problems email may cause. As does the ease of correction provided by word processing (providing the absence of auto-correct, which should probably be called auto-error!).
    Andrea, dedicate any signed book you produce for me to “a fellow dyslexic” and misspell Sue McCormick at your burden’s pleasure!

    Reply
  31. I’m fortunate, my dyslexia was caught in 1st grade. One of the ways my Mother helped me was to give me penmanship books. I learned to connect my sticks and balls when I printed, and completing the connection in cursive writing. I later was competent at calligraphy, but college note revealed my natural handwriting is a combination of print and cursive, but passably legible. When I’m flowing with my writing muse, my writing either flows cursive or becomes microprint. I think it depend on if she realizes how tight my paper supply can be. (I use repurposed printer paper. If it has a clean back, it’s fair game for my gel pens.)

    Reply
  32. I’m fortunate, my dyslexia was caught in 1st grade. One of the ways my Mother helped me was to give me penmanship books. I learned to connect my sticks and balls when I printed, and completing the connection in cursive writing. I later was competent at calligraphy, but college note revealed my natural handwriting is a combination of print and cursive, but passably legible. When I’m flowing with my writing muse, my writing either flows cursive or becomes microprint. I think it depend on if she realizes how tight my paper supply can be. (I use repurposed printer paper. If it has a clean back, it’s fair game for my gel pens.)

    Reply
  33. I’m fortunate, my dyslexia was caught in 1st grade. One of the ways my Mother helped me was to give me penmanship books. I learned to connect my sticks and balls when I printed, and completing the connection in cursive writing. I later was competent at calligraphy, but college note revealed my natural handwriting is a combination of print and cursive, but passably legible. When I’m flowing with my writing muse, my writing either flows cursive or becomes microprint. I think it depend on if she realizes how tight my paper supply can be. (I use repurposed printer paper. If it has a clean back, it’s fair game for my gel pens.)

    Reply
  34. I’m fortunate, my dyslexia was caught in 1st grade. One of the ways my Mother helped me was to give me penmanship books. I learned to connect my sticks and balls when I printed, and completing the connection in cursive writing. I later was competent at calligraphy, but college note revealed my natural handwriting is a combination of print and cursive, but passably legible. When I’m flowing with my writing muse, my writing either flows cursive or becomes microprint. I think it depend on if she realizes how tight my paper supply can be. (I use repurposed printer paper. If it has a clean back, it’s fair game for my gel pens.)

    Reply
  35. I’m fortunate, my dyslexia was caught in 1st grade. One of the ways my Mother helped me was to give me penmanship books. I learned to connect my sticks and balls when I printed, and completing the connection in cursive writing. I later was competent at calligraphy, but college note revealed my natural handwriting is a combination of print and cursive, but passably legible. When I’m flowing with my writing muse, my writing either flows cursive or becomes microprint. I think it depend on if she realizes how tight my paper supply can be. (I use repurposed printer paper. If it has a clean back, it’s fair game for my gel pens.)

    Reply
  36. I have been told my handwriting is very neat, however, I print more than I write in cursive. I am not sure why I stopped writing in cursive, it might have been an act of rebellion!! I currently want to learn “hand lettering” to enhance my hand made cards and scrapbook pages.

    Reply
  37. I have been told my handwriting is very neat, however, I print more than I write in cursive. I am not sure why I stopped writing in cursive, it might have been an act of rebellion!! I currently want to learn “hand lettering” to enhance my hand made cards and scrapbook pages.

    Reply
  38. I have been told my handwriting is very neat, however, I print more than I write in cursive. I am not sure why I stopped writing in cursive, it might have been an act of rebellion!! I currently want to learn “hand lettering” to enhance my hand made cards and scrapbook pages.

    Reply
  39. I have been told my handwriting is very neat, however, I print more than I write in cursive. I am not sure why I stopped writing in cursive, it might have been an act of rebellion!! I currently want to learn “hand lettering” to enhance my hand made cards and scrapbook pages.

    Reply
  40. I have been told my handwriting is very neat, however, I print more than I write in cursive. I am not sure why I stopped writing in cursive, it might have been an act of rebellion!! I currently want to learn “hand lettering” to enhance my hand made cards and scrapbook pages.

    Reply
  41. Clearly you would make a great agony aunt, Quantum, for your advice to young people is wonderful. I think young men WAY underestimate the power of a note with poetry. You could be the next new advice guru!
    Illuminated manuscripts really are a world of wonder in their own right. Once can spend hours appreciating all the little nuances. And totally agree with you about the special sense of connection to a handwritten letter. A part of the person is there in the paper you are holding.

    Reply
  42. Clearly you would make a great agony aunt, Quantum, for your advice to young people is wonderful. I think young men WAY underestimate the power of a note with poetry. You could be the next new advice guru!
    Illuminated manuscripts really are a world of wonder in their own right. Once can spend hours appreciating all the little nuances. And totally agree with you about the special sense of connection to a handwritten letter. A part of the person is there in the paper you are holding.

    Reply
  43. Clearly you would make a great agony aunt, Quantum, for your advice to young people is wonderful. I think young men WAY underestimate the power of a note with poetry. You could be the next new advice guru!
    Illuminated manuscripts really are a world of wonder in their own right. Once can spend hours appreciating all the little nuances. And totally agree with you about the special sense of connection to a handwritten letter. A part of the person is there in the paper you are holding.

    Reply
  44. Clearly you would make a great agony aunt, Quantum, for your advice to young people is wonderful. I think young men WAY underestimate the power of a note with poetry. You could be the next new advice guru!
    Illuminated manuscripts really are a world of wonder in their own right. Once can spend hours appreciating all the little nuances. And totally agree with you about the special sense of connection to a handwritten letter. A part of the person is there in the paper you are holding.

    Reply
  45. Clearly you would make a great agony aunt, Quantum, for your advice to young people is wonderful. I think young men WAY underestimate the power of a note with poetry. You could be the next new advice guru!
    Illuminated manuscripts really are a world of wonder in their own right. Once can spend hours appreciating all the little nuances. And totally agree with you about the special sense of connection to a handwritten letter. A part of the person is there in the paper you are holding.

    Reply
  46. Oh, I’m envious of your college roommate. I would love to have beautiful penmanship. But I also acknowledge I’m not willing to practice and learn a nice script, so I’m stuck with my scribble.
    The above examples from male authors show that men are perfectly capable of lovely handwriting. But apparently few of them care to learn it!

    Reply
  47. Oh, I’m envious of your college roommate. I would love to have beautiful penmanship. But I also acknowledge I’m not willing to practice and learn a nice script, so I’m stuck with my scribble.
    The above examples from male authors show that men are perfectly capable of lovely handwriting. But apparently few of them care to learn it!

    Reply
  48. Oh, I’m envious of your college roommate. I would love to have beautiful penmanship. But I also acknowledge I’m not willing to practice and learn a nice script, so I’m stuck with my scribble.
    The above examples from male authors show that men are perfectly capable of lovely handwriting. But apparently few of them care to learn it!

    Reply
  49. Oh, I’m envious of your college roommate. I would love to have beautiful penmanship. But I also acknowledge I’m not willing to practice and learn a nice script, so I’m stuck with my scribble.
    The above examples from male authors show that men are perfectly capable of lovely handwriting. But apparently few of them care to learn it!

    Reply
  50. Oh, I’m envious of your college roommate. I would love to have beautiful penmanship. But I also acknowledge I’m not willing to practice and learn a nice script, so I’m stuck with my scribble.
    The above examples from male authors show that men are perfectly capable of lovely handwriting. But apparently few of them care to learn it!

    Reply
  51. I’m fine with handwriting if I take my time. But when I try to hurry typeing or handwriting, I transpose letters, leave out words, as my brain seems to move faster than my hands.
    Your mother’s drill sound very helpful. (And LOL at the Muse tailoring her handwriting to fit the alloted space! Hey buy her a cheap school notebook!)

    Reply
  52. I’m fine with handwriting if I take my time. But when I try to hurry typeing or handwriting, I transpose letters, leave out words, as my brain seems to move faster than my hands.
    Your mother’s drill sound very helpful. (And LOL at the Muse tailoring her handwriting to fit the alloted space! Hey buy her a cheap school notebook!)

    Reply
  53. I’m fine with handwriting if I take my time. But when I try to hurry typeing or handwriting, I transpose letters, leave out words, as my brain seems to move faster than my hands.
    Your mother’s drill sound very helpful. (And LOL at the Muse tailoring her handwriting to fit the alloted space! Hey buy her a cheap school notebook!)

    Reply
  54. I’m fine with handwriting if I take my time. But when I try to hurry typeing or handwriting, I transpose letters, leave out words, as my brain seems to move faster than my hands.
    Your mother’s drill sound very helpful. (And LOL at the Muse tailoring her handwriting to fit the alloted space! Hey buy her a cheap school notebook!)

    Reply
  55. I’m fine with handwriting if I take my time. But when I try to hurry typeing or handwriting, I transpose letters, leave out words, as my brain seems to move faster than my hands.
    Your mother’s drill sound very helpful. (And LOL at the Muse tailoring her handwriting to fit the alloted space! Hey buy her a cheap school notebook!)

    Reply
  56. I’ve tried to get her to switch to a notebook. She likes the printer paper. At least I’m getting a second used out of it. I don’t feel bad if I have to recycle the paper since it has been thoroughly used. Thank Goodness for computers and editing programs (I use Grammarly). I, too, type faster than my hands can type. At least with a keyboard, it’s easier to correct. When I start seeing too much red underlining, it’s time to rest.

    Reply
  57. I’ve tried to get her to switch to a notebook. She likes the printer paper. At least I’m getting a second used out of it. I don’t feel bad if I have to recycle the paper since it has been thoroughly used. Thank Goodness for computers and editing programs (I use Grammarly). I, too, type faster than my hands can type. At least with a keyboard, it’s easier to correct. When I start seeing too much red underlining, it’s time to rest.

    Reply
  58. I’ve tried to get her to switch to a notebook. She likes the printer paper. At least I’m getting a second used out of it. I don’t feel bad if I have to recycle the paper since it has been thoroughly used. Thank Goodness for computers and editing programs (I use Grammarly). I, too, type faster than my hands can type. At least with a keyboard, it’s easier to correct. When I start seeing too much red underlining, it’s time to rest.

    Reply
  59. I’ve tried to get her to switch to a notebook. She likes the printer paper. At least I’m getting a second used out of it. I don’t feel bad if I have to recycle the paper since it has been thoroughly used. Thank Goodness for computers and editing programs (I use Grammarly). I, too, type faster than my hands can type. At least with a keyboard, it’s easier to correct. When I start seeing too much red underlining, it’s time to rest.

    Reply
  60. I’ve tried to get her to switch to a notebook. She likes the printer paper. At least I’m getting a second used out of it. I don’t feel bad if I have to recycle the paper since it has been thoroughly used. Thank Goodness for computers and editing programs (I use Grammarly). I, too, type faster than my hands can type. At least with a keyboard, it’s easier to correct. When I start seeing too much red underlining, it’s time to rest.

    Reply
  61. Great post! One part of my career was serving in the records room of a private school which had the same penmanship/calligraphy teacher (Benjamin Eakins, father of Thomas Eakins, the American realist painter) for over 50 years. The students of that era had permanent record files that were works of art. We had several diplomas from the 1880s, hand drawn on vellum by Benjamin, that were exquisite. It made going to work every day a pleasure. I had beautiful penmanship (thank you Sister Miriam) until I broke my elbow and now sadly it has deteriorated.

    Reply
  62. Great post! One part of my career was serving in the records room of a private school which had the same penmanship/calligraphy teacher (Benjamin Eakins, father of Thomas Eakins, the American realist painter) for over 50 years. The students of that era had permanent record files that were works of art. We had several diplomas from the 1880s, hand drawn on vellum by Benjamin, that were exquisite. It made going to work every day a pleasure. I had beautiful penmanship (thank you Sister Miriam) until I broke my elbow and now sadly it has deteriorated.

    Reply
  63. Great post! One part of my career was serving in the records room of a private school which had the same penmanship/calligraphy teacher (Benjamin Eakins, father of Thomas Eakins, the American realist painter) for over 50 years. The students of that era had permanent record files that were works of art. We had several diplomas from the 1880s, hand drawn on vellum by Benjamin, that were exquisite. It made going to work every day a pleasure. I had beautiful penmanship (thank you Sister Miriam) until I broke my elbow and now sadly it has deteriorated.

    Reply
  64. Great post! One part of my career was serving in the records room of a private school which had the same penmanship/calligraphy teacher (Benjamin Eakins, father of Thomas Eakins, the American realist painter) for over 50 years. The students of that era had permanent record files that were works of art. We had several diplomas from the 1880s, hand drawn on vellum by Benjamin, that were exquisite. It made going to work every day a pleasure. I had beautiful penmanship (thank you Sister Miriam) until I broke my elbow and now sadly it has deteriorated.

    Reply
  65. Great post! One part of my career was serving in the records room of a private school which had the same penmanship/calligraphy teacher (Benjamin Eakins, father of Thomas Eakins, the American realist painter) for over 50 years. The students of that era had permanent record files that were works of art. We had several diplomas from the 1880s, hand drawn on vellum by Benjamin, that were exquisite. It made going to work every day a pleasure. I had beautiful penmanship (thank you Sister Miriam) until I broke my elbow and now sadly it has deteriorated.

    Reply
  66. Thanks for a lovely post, Andrea. Your friend’s calligraphy is definite a work of art! My penmanship varies from day to day depending on what I’m writing and how much care I take.
    One of the women in my book group decided this summer to send out letters to friends and family. She was sending out upwards of seventy pieces of mail a month. She’s been disappointed at the few returns she’s received. We’ve been keeping a volley going now for months; it certainly makes checking the mail exciting.

    Reply
  67. Thanks for a lovely post, Andrea. Your friend’s calligraphy is definite a work of art! My penmanship varies from day to day depending on what I’m writing and how much care I take.
    One of the women in my book group decided this summer to send out letters to friends and family. She was sending out upwards of seventy pieces of mail a month. She’s been disappointed at the few returns she’s received. We’ve been keeping a volley going now for months; it certainly makes checking the mail exciting.

    Reply
  68. Thanks for a lovely post, Andrea. Your friend’s calligraphy is definite a work of art! My penmanship varies from day to day depending on what I’m writing and how much care I take.
    One of the women in my book group decided this summer to send out letters to friends and family. She was sending out upwards of seventy pieces of mail a month. She’s been disappointed at the few returns she’s received. We’ve been keeping a volley going now for months; it certainly makes checking the mail exciting.

    Reply
  69. Thanks for a lovely post, Andrea. Your friend’s calligraphy is definite a work of art! My penmanship varies from day to day depending on what I’m writing and how much care I take.
    One of the women in my book group decided this summer to send out letters to friends and family. She was sending out upwards of seventy pieces of mail a month. She’s been disappointed at the few returns she’s received. We’ve been keeping a volley going now for months; it certainly makes checking the mail exciting.

    Reply
  70. Thanks for a lovely post, Andrea. Your friend’s calligraphy is definite a work of art! My penmanship varies from day to day depending on what I’m writing and how much care I take.
    One of the women in my book group decided this summer to send out letters to friends and family. She was sending out upwards of seventy pieces of mail a month. She’s been disappointed at the few returns she’s received. We’ve been keeping a volley going now for months; it certainly makes checking the mail exciting.

    Reply
  71. All of the above, lol! I was fortunate to be in grade school when the curriculum still had time for cursive writing, which ideally could be as graceful as holding a quill pen in one’s fingertips. Oh, those lines of rolling Os. Such fun to practice. I wince when I see youngsters today clutching a pencil as though it were an icepick. Still, they get the job done, so who am I to judge? And I admit, the ease of fine-tuning a word processor paragraph has its own pleasure, as long as I turn off the evil auto-carrot and actually proofread what I’ve written. (It was a running joke on Tiny Kittens for a while when the sedative gabapentin got “corrected” to “The kittens’ trip home was pretty smooth, thanks to the effect of the gaga penguins.”)

    Reply
  72. All of the above, lol! I was fortunate to be in grade school when the curriculum still had time for cursive writing, which ideally could be as graceful as holding a quill pen in one’s fingertips. Oh, those lines of rolling Os. Such fun to practice. I wince when I see youngsters today clutching a pencil as though it were an icepick. Still, they get the job done, so who am I to judge? And I admit, the ease of fine-tuning a word processor paragraph has its own pleasure, as long as I turn off the evil auto-carrot and actually proofread what I’ve written. (It was a running joke on Tiny Kittens for a while when the sedative gabapentin got “corrected” to “The kittens’ trip home was pretty smooth, thanks to the effect of the gaga penguins.”)

    Reply
  73. All of the above, lol! I was fortunate to be in grade school when the curriculum still had time for cursive writing, which ideally could be as graceful as holding a quill pen in one’s fingertips. Oh, those lines of rolling Os. Such fun to practice. I wince when I see youngsters today clutching a pencil as though it were an icepick. Still, they get the job done, so who am I to judge? And I admit, the ease of fine-tuning a word processor paragraph has its own pleasure, as long as I turn off the evil auto-carrot and actually proofread what I’ve written. (It was a running joke on Tiny Kittens for a while when the sedative gabapentin got “corrected” to “The kittens’ trip home was pretty smooth, thanks to the effect of the gaga penguins.”)

    Reply
  74. All of the above, lol! I was fortunate to be in grade school when the curriculum still had time for cursive writing, which ideally could be as graceful as holding a quill pen in one’s fingertips. Oh, those lines of rolling Os. Such fun to practice. I wince when I see youngsters today clutching a pencil as though it were an icepick. Still, they get the job done, so who am I to judge? And I admit, the ease of fine-tuning a word processor paragraph has its own pleasure, as long as I turn off the evil auto-carrot and actually proofread what I’ve written. (It was a running joke on Tiny Kittens for a while when the sedative gabapentin got “corrected” to “The kittens’ trip home was pretty smooth, thanks to the effect of the gaga penguins.”)

    Reply
  75. All of the above, lol! I was fortunate to be in grade school when the curriculum still had time for cursive writing, which ideally could be as graceful as holding a quill pen in one’s fingertips. Oh, those lines of rolling Os. Such fun to practice. I wince when I see youngsters today clutching a pencil as though it were an icepick. Still, they get the job done, so who am I to judge? And I admit, the ease of fine-tuning a word processor paragraph has its own pleasure, as long as I turn off the evil auto-carrot and actually proofread what I’ve written. (It was a running joke on Tiny Kittens for a while when the sedative gabapentin got “corrected” to “The kittens’ trip home was pretty smooth, thanks to the effect of the gaga penguins.”)

    Reply
  76. I use “clean on one side paper” as much as I can. I not only use entire sheets, I cut up half-used paper into quarters and keep a stack of those quarters on hand for note taking.

    Reply
  77. I use “clean on one side paper” as much as I can. I not only use entire sheets, I cut up half-used paper into quarters and keep a stack of those quarters on hand for note taking.

    Reply
  78. I use “clean on one side paper” as much as I can. I not only use entire sheets, I cut up half-used paper into quarters and keep a stack of those quarters on hand for note taking.

    Reply
  79. I use “clean on one side paper” as much as I can. I not only use entire sheets, I cut up half-used paper into quarters and keep a stack of those quarters on hand for note taking.

    Reply
  80. I use “clean on one side paper” as much as I can. I not only use entire sheets, I cut up half-used paper into quarters and keep a stack of those quarters on hand for note taking.

    Reply
  81. My handwriting has gone downhill, since I don’t use it as much. I do notice that among the people I know, it’s the ones who attended Catholic school that have the most beautiful handwriting. I guess the nuns stressed penmanship!

    Reply
  82. My handwriting has gone downhill, since I don’t use it as much. I do notice that among the people I know, it’s the ones who attended Catholic school that have the most beautiful handwriting. I guess the nuns stressed penmanship!

    Reply
  83. My handwriting has gone downhill, since I don’t use it as much. I do notice that among the people I know, it’s the ones who attended Catholic school that have the most beautiful handwriting. I guess the nuns stressed penmanship!

    Reply
  84. My handwriting has gone downhill, since I don’t use it as much. I do notice that among the people I know, it’s the ones who attended Catholic school that have the most beautiful handwriting. I guess the nuns stressed penmanship!

    Reply
  85. My handwriting has gone downhill, since I don’t use it as much. I do notice that among the people I know, it’s the ones who attended Catholic school that have the most beautiful handwriting. I guess the nuns stressed penmanship!

    Reply
  86. I do admire anyone who is talented and creative. People who are artistic make me feel awed.
    On the other hand, I now generally send everything possible typed on my computer. I formerly wrote very clearly. Now, I am always afraid that no one will ever understand what I say.
    Thanks for this post….really interesting.

    Reply
  87. I do admire anyone who is talented and creative. People who are artistic make me feel awed.
    On the other hand, I now generally send everything possible typed on my computer. I formerly wrote very clearly. Now, I am always afraid that no one will ever understand what I say.
    Thanks for this post….really interesting.

    Reply
  88. I do admire anyone who is talented and creative. People who are artistic make me feel awed.
    On the other hand, I now generally send everything possible typed on my computer. I formerly wrote very clearly. Now, I am always afraid that no one will ever understand what I say.
    Thanks for this post….really interesting.

    Reply
  89. I do admire anyone who is talented and creative. People who are artistic make me feel awed.
    On the other hand, I now generally send everything possible typed on my computer. I formerly wrote very clearly. Now, I am always afraid that no one will ever understand what I say.
    Thanks for this post….really interesting.

    Reply
  90. I do admire anyone who is talented and creative. People who are artistic make me feel awed.
    On the other hand, I now generally send everything possible typed on my computer. I formerly wrote very clearly. Now, I am always afraid that no one will ever understand what I say.
    Thanks for this post….really interesting.

    Reply
  91. Glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. The Japanese art of brushwork calligraphy is amazingly beautiful, isn’t it?
    The “going to the mailbox” is part of why a real letter is so nice. Nowadays, one expects junk and bills. It’s such a delight when there’s actually something personal there. Most of us (myself included) need to be like your friend and get active in sending missives. It’s a smile to friends.

    Reply
  92. Glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. The Japanese art of brushwork calligraphy is amazingly beautiful, isn’t it?
    The “going to the mailbox” is part of why a real letter is so nice. Nowadays, one expects junk and bills. It’s such a delight when there’s actually something personal there. Most of us (myself included) need to be like your friend and get active in sending missives. It’s a smile to friends.

    Reply
  93. Glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. The Japanese art of brushwork calligraphy is amazingly beautiful, isn’t it?
    The “going to the mailbox” is part of why a real letter is so nice. Nowadays, one expects junk and bills. It’s such a delight when there’s actually something personal there. Most of us (myself included) need to be like your friend and get active in sending missives. It’s a smile to friends.

    Reply
  94. Glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. The Japanese art of brushwork calligraphy is amazingly beautiful, isn’t it?
    The “going to the mailbox” is part of why a real letter is so nice. Nowadays, one expects junk and bills. It’s such a delight when there’s actually something personal there. Most of us (myself included) need to be like your friend and get active in sending missives. It’s a smile to friends.

    Reply
  95. Glad you enjoyed it, Kareni. The Japanese art of brushwork calligraphy is amazingly beautiful, isn’t it?
    The “going to the mailbox” is part of why a real letter is so nice. Nowadays, one expects junk and bills. It’s such a delight when there’s actually something personal there. Most of us (myself included) need to be like your friend and get active in sending missives. It’s a smile to friends.

    Reply
  96. Andrea
    I enjoyed your post. I have CP and when I was a child only family could understand me when I spoke and no one could read my writing. After many years of speech therapy I speak very well and after many years of practice my writing is very good and I laugh when others say how clearly I write I want to say if you only knew how long it took to learn the skill. Computers are a godsend to children and adultsthat are chalanged. I always think what else I could have done had school not been such a fight. Don’t get me wrong I got a masters degree and was a librarian for 30 years because people told I couldn’t do it and I told them I’ll show you.
    Thanks for listening

    Reply
  97. Andrea
    I enjoyed your post. I have CP and when I was a child only family could understand me when I spoke and no one could read my writing. After many years of speech therapy I speak very well and after many years of practice my writing is very good and I laugh when others say how clearly I write I want to say if you only knew how long it took to learn the skill. Computers are a godsend to children and adultsthat are chalanged. I always think what else I could have done had school not been such a fight. Don’t get me wrong I got a masters degree and was a librarian for 30 years because people told I couldn’t do it and I told them I’ll show you.
    Thanks for listening

    Reply
  98. Andrea
    I enjoyed your post. I have CP and when I was a child only family could understand me when I spoke and no one could read my writing. After many years of speech therapy I speak very well and after many years of practice my writing is very good and I laugh when others say how clearly I write I want to say if you only knew how long it took to learn the skill. Computers are a godsend to children and adultsthat are chalanged. I always think what else I could have done had school not been such a fight. Don’t get me wrong I got a masters degree and was a librarian for 30 years because people told I couldn’t do it and I told them I’ll show you.
    Thanks for listening

    Reply
  99. Andrea
    I enjoyed your post. I have CP and when I was a child only family could understand me when I spoke and no one could read my writing. After many years of speech therapy I speak very well and after many years of practice my writing is very good and I laugh when others say how clearly I write I want to say if you only knew how long it took to learn the skill. Computers are a godsend to children and adultsthat are chalanged. I always think what else I could have done had school not been such a fight. Don’t get me wrong I got a masters degree and was a librarian for 30 years because people told I couldn’t do it and I told them I’ll show you.
    Thanks for listening

    Reply
  100. Andrea
    I enjoyed your post. I have CP and when I was a child only family could understand me when I spoke and no one could read my writing. After many years of speech therapy I speak very well and after many years of practice my writing is very good and I laugh when others say how clearly I write I want to say if you only knew how long it took to learn the skill. Computers are a godsend to children and adultsthat are chalanged. I always think what else I could have done had school not been such a fight. Don’t get me wrong I got a masters degree and was a librarian for 30 years because people told I couldn’t do it and I told them I’ll show you.
    Thanks for listening

    Reply

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