Handwriting

img_0474

I got a letter in the mail from a friend back in the States. This may possibly be the first personal letter I’ve received in decades. Business correspondence not included, of course. My friend is a Luddite – she has no internet at home, no smartphone and no email address. Anytime she absolutely needs the internet, she visits the local library. I cannot imagine living this way! However, if I’m going to be a good friend and keep in touch, I must respond with a physical letter of my own. And this I did today.

In an interesting little twist, I realized that despite being able to type up a letter to send, I have no way of printing it. I’ve come to depend so much on digital everything, that I don’t even keep hard copies of my own documents. Honestly, if the cloud ever goes down I am positively doomed. But really, I hate collecting paper. I was therefore, compelled to write by hand this letter to my friend.

How often do we actually use handwriting anymore? Besides our signatures, there are few opportunities to ‘write’ at length. My GP and dentist all use electronic forms. Nevertheless, I still hand write often. And strangely, I like my own handwriting. I have kept notebooks for all my writing projects and I nearly wrote the entire first draft of my first book in a series of notebooks. Some things are just better with pen and ink. I wonder though, if the following generations will use handwriting at all. And if they do, if it will be a form of block printing? I hear they’ve stopped teaching cursive handwriting in schools. And if that’s the case, will future generations no longer be able to decipher a document written in cursive?

It makes me a little nostalgic – writing by hand. I think of all the beautiful lines of poetry, the masterful works of fiction, the powerful speeches and philosophical treatises written by hand before being set to type for printing. I hope that somehow this fading skill will not be thrown in the dustbin of history. At least not in my lifetime!

 

This Boot’s Not Made For Walking…

It’s four weeks today since I fell and broke the ankle. It feels like four months. I am absolutely hating all the sitting around. For the first two weeks, I had to keep the leg elevated all the time which really kept me stuck in the chair. After the first two weeks, I had the cast off and the stitches out, now the leg is in a boot. At least with the boot, I can take it off to wash and give the leg a little massage. Sleeping in the bulky boot is a challenge, though. The ankle doesn’t hurt anymore and I don’t have to keep it elevated, but I can’t put weight on it, yet. I’ve been doing exercises on the floor so I don’t get too out of shape. I’m used to walking/jogging 3-4 miles a day. I will say this… I’m definitely going to have more upper body strength when this is all through!

I have, however, been making good use of my time. I’m doing some copy editing for another writer and I have started [restarted] working on my WWI novel. I’ve got a series of sketches planned, two of which are completed and one which is in progress. And of course I am reading plenty of interesting research material.

I guess if you try to look on the bright side, this injury happened in January when the weather is miserable and the days are short. By spring time, I should be healed up enough to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and milder temperatures. Well, maybe not sunshine so much… it does rain all the darn time over here. Nonetheless, I have two weeks to go till my next follow up appointment and I’m hoping for a good report. In the meantime, I’m getting around the best I can:

I plead insanity …

How long has it been?!? I have been an atrocious blogger the last several weeks, maybe months. And I’ve been terrible at reading, visiting and commenting at all your lovely blogs as well. But now its a new year, time for new goals and getting back to business. I promise to visit everyone soon!

I finished up 2019 by doing a lot of reading. I tackled some heavy hitters this year and fell one short of meeting my GoodReads challenge of 30 books. Still, considering the weight of some of the material I covered, it’s a pretty good show. I tackled The Divine Comedy with notes, The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States, The Art of Memory, The Stranger, The Plague and One Hundred Years Of Solitude, just to name a few.

The second half 2019 was insane, there’s no other way to put it. I’m in a new country, new house, finding new friends and my way around unfamiliar territory, physically, mentally and emotionally. But it’s good. It really is.

The move consumed a lot of time and energy and it prevented me from writing and posting here on the blog. That changes now. I am back to writing this week. I have an editing project to work on and another one possibly after that. The very act of working on writing, even though it’s someone else’s material, has given me the inspiration to get started on my own work again.

So this year, I’ll be sharing more of my World War One research, updates on the historical novel, bits and pieces of writing advice/mistakes, and an occasional piece of art. I’m not going to try any challenges this year, though. That became a bit of a burden last year. I am going to try and keep any artwork that I do relevant to my historical work. For example, characters I encounter in research or events set during the Great War.

I hope you all are well and that 2020 is off to a good start. Happy writing and productive editing!