I have had a love affair with pens from a very young age.  As a left-handed writer, I remember handing in cursive worksheets with smudges on them, and deciding that pencils were the bane of my fifth-grade existence.  When I heard that sixth graders were allowed to use pens in every class but math, I was ecstatic.  I loved the fluidity that pens offered, and when I used them my handwriting was mostly legible.  My goal was to acquire the best pens I could, and my allowance money was quickly disposed of as the search for "The Perfect Pen" began.  I began to understand the metric system, but only as it applied to the size of pen nibs. Yes, there is a difference between .6 and .7 millimeter nibs, if you look closely enough.  The lines they make are subtly different.

The boring blues, blacks, and reds of the lowly ballpoint pens pale in comparison to the peacock blue and fuchsia hues available in the nicer pens.  My hybrid cursive/manuscipt writing improved though my ink color choices did not impress my teachers.  Green was frowned upon, and hot pink was deemed too close to red, the "penultimate" choice of educators for corrections to be made.

Fast forward a few decades, and you will still find me carefully choosing the pens that will be gracing my shabby chic pen holder with their presence, next to the number two pencils, who always seem a little in awe of their glamorous new "neighbors."  Just wait, pencils, until the Queen of Pens, the Lamy Safari, arrives in all her finery.


R.I.P., cursive

The fine art of cursive writing seems to be in decline.  Many schools prefer to teach their students computer keyboarding skills, believing that these skills will serve the students better in the future.  I think the students are being short-changed.  If the family computer is viral, or there is an electric outage, completing that rough draft in  longhand will be impossible.  Because keyboarding classes are making penmanship classes a rarity, the student may not even be able to write in manuscript legibly, much less cursive.  Also, documents originally completed in script, such as the Declaration of Independence, may be unreadable by future generations who only recognize letters in simple fonts like Arial..

Like the hieroglyphics of the past, the cursive writings of more recent history may soon only be readable by scholars who specialize in "ancient" writings.  "The handwriting's on the wall."  Let's make sure it's legible, and keep it relevant!



It's 2012, and my literary resolutions are to blog & write more, and to read books I've had that are gathering dust on my bookshelves. These dozen or so books are like orphaned puppies; they want attention, and soon. I hope to venture to places created by Charles Dickens & Jane Austen, and read a book of short stories, something I've never done before.  When it's winter, there is nothing more relaxing than tuning out the world, and reading.  Literary adventures await, and I plan to enjoy the journey.