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January 24, 2019

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I have a banker's box full of saved letters, but also blank cards I bought, never anticipating that people would stop sending handwritten missives. I felt I hit a new low when I sent a condolence letter to a friend by e-mail. My excuse, that I wanted her to have it before a full week had passed, seems insufficient now. Looking at your sample, I realize that I used to 'now' my friends' handwriting; it was not necessary for a signature. Now I have no idea, for most.

The handwriting of those I've lost leaps off the page like it's their breaths.

I heard about some research on an NPR program that showed that cursive writing hard wires the brain in a certain way that is lost when it's no longer taught. I believe there is a movement to bring it back into elementary schools.

That's "know" my friends' handwriting.

I have a beautiful old fountain pen that was my Dad's. I had it reconditioned years ago, but then never used it.

At the end of 2018, I had a few journaling sessions by hand--I'm usually typing into the computer, but I needed to write, and I had a sketchbook and pen with me, but no laptop. I found it very soothing, the writing on higher quality paper. In my younger days, I wrote in cheap notebooks and filled up lots of them. I do write poems by hand before typing them into the computer. Intriguing to think about this!

Looking at handwriting seems to do to the brain what looking at a face must! Is the handwriting in the first picture yours? I realized I don't even know what your handwriting looks like.
These days in my new well lit home, I have resumed reading books again - wonderful to do in natural light. If I find a paragraph that I particularly like, there is the need to write it in a book somewhere and much like you, I am always taken aback at how much my handwriting has deteriorated.
If you write me a handwritten letter I could do the same for you. But what will we write about since we already have Facebook and Instagram to give us a glimpse into each other's lives. I guess we could write each other a favourite poem.

Now that I seem to be writing poems, my handwriting is back front-and-center. It’s not beautiful, but I am enjoying putting words on paper in my own hand.

I had the very worst handwriting in my third grade class and became the special pupil of a traveling handwriting teacher. Wrote about it here: https://thepalaceat2.blogspot.com/2007/09/little-man-of-letters.html. I get loads of compliments on my handwriting, especially from young people, who seem downright astonished that such a thing is possible. Curious, because once upon a time many people had a good hand, and often added their own flourishes and variations as they grew older.

Beth! I don't understand how you can possibly say that your handwriting has deteriorated! The example at the top of this post is beautiful, characterful, individual, strong. Whereas the one from your grandmother's letter is just nice, pretty but conventional, following a style she was taught. I don't mean to belittle her at all. I'm just puzzled by how perceptions of one's self can vary so much. Anyway, carry on hand-writing in any way you damn please!

Beautiful handwriting is indeed a treat, and handwritten letters even more so. I've always admired American script which has never been taught in the UK. Although as Natalie says your handwriting is excellent!
My daughters are surprisingly developed in their handwriting; in this digital age it's something they enjoy and are good at, perhaps driven by the recent craze for bullet journaling. A good life skill.

I didn't participate in International Handwriting Day, it isn't a craft that brings about fond memories. I was beaten both at primary and secondary school for bad handwriting and although I was a shocking coward when it came to being beaten the beatings didn't bring about the slightest improvements. It was an enormous relief to join the newspaper where the typewriter replaced the pen and the only "writing" I did was in Pitman's Shorthand. The next giant step forward was word processing software which did away with the balls of crumpled paper round my chair - the side effects of trying to come up with a good "intro" when typing "a story" (In journalism we always called them stories, never articles).

I enjoyed reading your following post about buying good art materials. Sixty or seventy years ago I attempted drawing and bought a good rough-textured drawing pad and a 6B pencil. But parsimony (a characteristic of people born in the West Riding of Yorkshire) intervened. I found myself incapable of starting a drawing if I suspected I wouldn't manage to finish it satisfactorily. I believe the pad is now up in the attic. Only three or four pages were sullied. One showed a nude man with a moustache sitting on a chair, more or less complete except for his feet where I ran out of paper. I am mildly curious about the sort of skills I brought to the party but it would take a mental earthquake for me to start searching for it.

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Who was Cassandra?


  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.

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