Say it isn’t so–The End of Cursive

I recently read that in the U.S., cursive is no longer part of the common core state standards that are followed by 45 of the 50 states. Time devoted to the written word and penmanship has been replaced by building technology skills. Maybe I’m old-fashioned (I’m definitely low tech), but I think it’s sad that writing by hand is now considered passé.  Have we evolved to the point where our only handwritten item has become our signature?

Memories in Black and White and Grey

I remember all those years ago, when I first learned how to print. Every few days there was a new letter to be learned, in both lowercase and capitals. We had workbooks with pink and blue lined paper—groupings of 3 lines in fact, to make sure we formed our letters correctly. Then practice, practice, practice. At age 7 or 8 we learned those letters all over again, but this time in cursive, still in pencil, those big fat pencils—do you remember? I can’t forget—those pencils gave me a large bump on my middle finger that still remains to this day.   Seems I was grasping the pencil too tightly.

Pretty soon we were in pursuit of our next goal—writing in ink.  Graduating from pencil to pen was reserved for the neatest writers in class–penmanship, they called it.  Those of us chosen by the teacher to write in ink felt privileged and, oh so grownup.

Old Habits Die Hard

I am the product of my generation.  I recall preparing school assignments, book reports and essays. The method was always the same–first, I began by handwriting notes on lined paper, then editing, either by scratching out, drawing arrows to redirect misplaced paragraphs or coding with numbers or stars. Back then “cut and paste” meant exactly that–employing scissors, tape and extra paper to rearrange and edit.

My method for creating stories, journal entries and blog posts hasn’t changed that much even to this day.     Words tumble from brain to hand to pen to page.  Then stars, numbers and arrows abound before they are transferred to type where percolation and final edits are made.

The Benefits of Writing by Hand

For me, no matter what I write, the mechanics of writing by hand relaxes me.  It forces me to slow down and often can sooth a harried mood.  I believe that I think better and my recall is improved.  I have more focus.

Maybe most important to my love of handwriting is that it allows me to indulge in my passion for pens, paper and notebooks.  My pen collection is quite diverse and all are used.  I have a few caveats–to become part of my pen collection the ink must be black, the point should be fine, although the occasional chisel tip finds its way in. I prefer fat pens over slim ones, in homage to those pencils of long ago.  I guess that’s why I still have that bump on my finger.

Making Connections

waterlilyblueI’m halfway through the WordPress Blogging 101 course and I’m happy to say it has been a worthwhile experience. The course is well designed with the right amount of challenge for where I am now as a blogger.

This week, we were encouraged to “Meet the Neighbours” (aka fellow bloggers); to “Be a Good Neighbour” by commenting on other blogs and to “Get Inspired by the Neighbours”. Dear Reader, since here at L’Inspired Living I’m always on the outlook for positive and creative t’ings to share with you, these assignments have been especially rewarding.

Before I get to the list of blogs I’ve added to my Reader, I’d like to share with you what attracted me to these particular blogs and convinced me to stick around. These traits are shared by all these bloggers:
1. I like their writing style and their posts make me think, or smile, or both.
2. They are not overly commercial, if at all. Not that I mind someone making a living from blogging, but I don’t want to be “hit over the head”, if you know what I mean.
3. They share freely of their time and talent.
4. They strike a “balance” in tone, skewed on the bright side of life.
5. They often poke fun at themselves.
6. Through their writing style, they seem like nice people, people I’d like to meet.

So, here they are, in no particular order:
1. Carpe Diem – recent favorite post “Day 68: Turning Your Passion Into Your Calling”
2. Morning Story & Dilbert – recent favorite post “Remember When”
3. Michelle Hanton – recent favorite post “Appreciating the English Language”
4. Walking Woman – recent favorite post “Tattered Cats and Glorious Weeds”
5. Aging Matters – recent favorite post “Arts and Aging: The Masters in Later Life”

Take a few minutes and click on the above links, check out their “About” pages (note: not all have one!) and my recommended posts. Click on some additional posts. Oh, and if you have a minute, leave a constructive comment and make a connection. You’ll be glad you did.

Cheers,
L

The Friday Five – Balm for a Restless & Distracted Soul

The Friday Five boats 1

Join me every Friday when I run down inspiring links and t’ings.  February’s theme is “Beautiful Words”.

Previous TFF’s can be seen here.

In the days following a week filled with visitors, I’ve found myself alone, restless and distracted.  This week I am the proverbial dog, circling and circling but never feeling comfortable enough to lie down; i.e., get back into my routine.  I was sorely in need of some beautiful, inspiring words.

Please enjoy this Friday Five countdown of the words and actions that got me back on track:

5.  “7 pieces of Wisdom that will Change the Way You Work.”  from 99U

4.  “You can have an Easy Life or an Awesome One.  Choose Wisely.” from 99U

3.  “Warren Buffett’s “2 List Strategy”:  How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities.” from James Clear

2.  “Minimalism, Success and the Curious Writing Habit of George R.R. Martin.”  from James Clear

Helpful yes, but something was still missing.  I dogged myself into sitting down and plowing through my resistance when I finally realized that I just needed to get away from the studio and the computer to my favorite place.  Here’s what I did:

1.  I grabbed a chair, some paper, a pen and a cuppa and headed down to the beach for a sit and a think and a bit of writing.  There’s something about staring at the ocean that calms and centers me and helps me regain a healthy perspective and focus.  The vast expanse of the ocean, the resilient and soothing nature of the waves and the release that writing just as I am thinking with no thought to structure or grammar or style sets me straight and gets me back to remembering what’s important.

When you’re restless and distracted, how do you get back on track?  Leave your answer in the comments section below.

Cheers,

L

Featured Creative – Sarah Venable

The Story Teller tells Her Story

????????Sarah Venable is a painter of portraits and landscapes—but instead of putting paint to canvas, Sarah puts pen to paper.

A citizen of the world, having called places as far-flung as Japan and Morocco home, Sarah enjoys learning about people, cultures and environments. Ever since she can remember, Sarah has crafted stories. She loves the malleable power of language. Her work can be found in high-end magazines including MACO, Living Barbados and Ins and Outs Magazine, to name a few. I’ve “followed” Sarah for years and it is in my opinion that her star shines brightest when she writes about people. Continue reading

The Friday Five – Beautiful Words, All About Love

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Art by Jay Shogo

Join me every Friday when I run down inspiring links and t’ings. February’s theme is “Beautiful Words”

Previous TFF’s can be seen here.

With Valentine’s Day upon us, today’s The Friday Five is all about Love, Love, Love…..Love, Love.

1. This mural by Miami based artist Jay Shogo says it all!! Don’t you just love how the blue of the sky is the same blue as the top hearts? Me too! See more of Jay’s work here.

2.  There’s still time to make this great card for your Valentine.

3.  Learn how to say “I Love You” in Sign Language.

4.  If you don’t know about Storycorps, you should.  This is one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever heard:  “Danny & Annie”.  (Kleenex alert!)

5. Advice on love between a father and son: “Nothing Good Gets Away” by Letters of Note.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cheers,

L