Rendering in Ink

Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...

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If there’s a reason to keep kids learning cursive, it’s so they can send handwritten letters and notes to friends and relatives.

Writing letters isn’t the easiest activity, though it isn’t particularly complex either. As the oft-repeated quote goes:

I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.

Attributed to Mark Twain, Samuel Johnson, and Blaise Pascal, it is true enough. Letters aren’t (weren’t/shouldn’t be) just extended status updates, or self-indulgent/activity-specific blogs, but are the best medium to share experiences with distant friends. A good letter doesn’t just list the weather, or tally the places you visited, or recount your activities, but should encompass all of these (if necessary) and your reactions to them so you can share the adventure that is your life, since they can’t be there for it.

Well, that’s a little over-the-top, and admittedly, I’m not exactly good at it myself. But especially since I’m not all that good at consistently using the phone

Hey! How are you?

It can’t have been six months.

Weren’t you getting my telepathic messages?

Ahem. Anyway, being an old-fashioned sort, I’ve always been more enamored with the idea of letter-writing than the reality. For one thing, I have to actually sit down and write something, the very act of which has three issues: a clear-enough desk or finding on of the incredible disappearing clipboards; finding a pen that will survive the length of the letter; and thinking of something to actually write about.

Right now, that feels something like that

Today, I went to the library. Again. And I read some. I was also online way too long again, and even though I subbed 3 times last week I barely remember it because I subbed 3 times last week and was very tired.

That’s probably not too bad as a tongue-in-cheek start, actually. Basically, like any other kind of writing, getting the first mark on the paper is the hard part. Once you’ve got the scrawl started it word associations will generally carry you along just fine.

Speaking of scrawls, I am reminded that my handwriting is one. Indeed, at times my print resembles the chicken scratching description everyone uses, although I admit I haven’t seen many scratches of chickens. Of the few letters sent to friends, not one garnered a complaint of unreadability. Perhaps they just though I sent them an example of modern art? Should it be that attractive. I try to draft every letter just so I don’t have to cross out words every line when I forgot where my thought was going, or with every misspelling. Then I write the true letter on a sheet of nice-ish stationary—in my budget, that means patterned printer paper from BigLots.

It’s terribly thin, almost tissue or tracing paper, but as long as I only write on one side…

When I bought the printer paper, I did consider writing my letters on the computer and printing them out on the nice paper, but then I though…yeah, you don’t get as much credit for that. Also, I like to practice my handwriting, because my mom has lovely handwriting she learned from her grandmother and I want mine to look like that.

Heh. What do you think of a handwritten blog post?  I could write it, scan it, and post it as an image!


2 thoughts on “Rendering in Ink

    • I love typography! I was very disappointed when I got CS4 installed on my desktop and it didn’t come with very many fonts–no Baskerville Old Face! *gasp*

      Thanks for all your comments!

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