Cake
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    • A while ago my sister came into my room asking to borrow a pen. I replied that I don't have a pen. She then asked how come I don't have a pen, to which I replied, "It's 2020".

      Then about a week ago my friends were signing a farewell card for a friend of ours who was leaving the office, each writing a short message in a card. I then realised I hadn't actually written anything by hand in a long time, and it was probably quite obvious just by looking at my handwriting 🤣

      It's no secret that a lot of our "writing" nowadays is done digitally, with keyboards replacing pens, and typing becoming more common than actual writing. If I do write, which is quite rare, it's usually just scribbling notes or doing some quick calculations, or drafting out something which will eventually end up being typed out on my computer.

      Sometimes I'm a little sad that writing is becoming more and more rare, and I worry that future generations will end up having absolutely atrocious handwriting as kids nowadays are much more adept at using smartphones and computers, only learning to write at a very young age before moving on to learning how to use computers. But with how much we rely on computers for pretty much everything, I don't see how things can change.

      What about you? How much do you write on a daily basis? Do you write for work? A hobby? When was the last time you actually wrote something by hand?

    • I write daily, beginning the morning with coffee as I write out a schedule for that day...and ending with a cup of herbal tea as I jot down some things I plan to include in the following day’s plan.

      I enjoy physically writing, relishing the look on the page of the crazy combination of lettering and longhand into which my scrawl has evolved. My “style” evolved yet again in recent months when nodules and bone spurs on my fingers (from a long martial arts fighting career coupled with erosive osteoarthritis) necessitated that I either learn to use a much different grip...or rely on “voice to text” technology.

      I now use my thumb and forefinger, which usually bend only slightly, pressed together and resting on other barely curved digits, both to write and to create art. It has come as a great surprise that I like the results much better than the more rigid results of the highly clenched grip I used previously for maximal control!

      Both my handwriting and my artwork now enjoy a heightened sense of rhythm and a “flow” that amaze me, often seeming to go from my lizard brain directly onto the surface, bypassing my logical brain, which is a surly inner critic and obviously highly protective of emotional exposure.

      Writing by hand and creating art are privileges which I’ve come to appreciate since wielding pens, brushes and scissors became both difficult and painful. Ironically, I find myself incorporating both handwriting and visual art into journals, which I never seemed to find time to employ before this challenge occurred.

      As both former Feature Editor of a small newspaper and free-lance calligrapher of many years (two of my many incarnations as a professional dilettante), I never once saw my ability to grip a pen or other tools as a privilege...Now I will risk sounding like a voice from “Pollyanna”, which is definitely not my style, by issuing this caveat: Enjoy being able to get your ideas onto a page in whatever manner pleases you; to do so is not only a joy because you can share your personal expression, but also a way to re-experience and re-evaluate your state of mind when you created the piece of work.

      For me, there is a special sense of who one is, as a sentient being dwelling in time and space, to be found in committing pen and paper...and a “voice to text” app catches only the words, bearing nothing else shaped by character and experience. Handwritten passages might surprise you in all that they reveal!

    • Wow, PeachMcBeach (that names makes me smile; I hope you live near a beach). That was beautifully written. It's clear you love writing and are really good at it. I wasn't surprised to read a few paragraphs in that you were a Feature Editor for a paper.

      You also made me think of a Turkish calligrapher that I discovered yesterday who uses a fork. It blows my mind that anyone can have such control of their hand like this. Every time I try to physically write now my hand erupts in a spasm my brain didn't predict. I used to be good at it before the age of smartphones; I thought writing would be like riding a bike, once you have it, it sticks with you, but not for me.

    • Wow Chris - the Turkish fork calligraphy is amazing!

      Thanks for the props...I do love to write, and am now making it a priority again.

      Childraising while teaching Elementary School Art and free-lancing at calligraphy, etc. - followed by years of “workaholism” as an entrepreneur and champion in martial arts, then as founder/chairman of a nonprofit dog and cat rescue - prompted choices that didn’t include making time for writing or art exploration (among other interests).

      Having realized at last how important to me writing and art are, I am now making them a priority while continuing to save the lives of dogs and cats who are homeless or endangered, provide veterinary care and rehabilitate them physically and emotionally and then find a loving home that’s the right “fit”; helping the animal companions of those whose current circumstances are such that they cannot provide veterinary care or food; and helping with spay/neuter when needed.

      My rescue is now Foster-only, meaning that I will no longer be caring for 30 - 40 animals on premise, necessitating dependence on a helper where I currently live (on 7.5 acres in the middle of nowhere.

      I will be moving within the year to an area near a real city, which I do miss, being from Atlanta. It’s a city I love in GA that has it all...

      I have plans that will incorporate everything I’ve done as a career...and which will allow the constant learning which keeps me going!

      There are some relatively intense hurdles which I must clear before I’ll be free to follow my path...but I am highly motivated and will do everything necessary.

      I’m also working on an autobiography (which may seem self-important, but I have led an interesting life by all accounts).

      BTW, my hands (and arms and legs) also periodically go into spasm. Massage with a truly high-intensity CBD cream, alternating hands when the right hand goes into spasms, and standing up to perform Chi Gong’s “Swinging Arms” - are the only successful strategies I‘ve found so far. They are not always effective, but always worth the small effort involved. Learning to write (and do other things) with my left hand has so far been a far quicker and less daunting skill that it first appeared to be.

      (I’ll be happy to share the source of homemade CBD cream which helps my nerve and joint pain and eases muscle spasms...after 4 others did nothing. You can find “Swinging Arms” in Chi Gong on YouTube...)

      Chris, I’d love it if you’d share any successful strategies you’ve discovered for relieving spasms!

    • I was born in 1958 and grew up in the sixties and seventies. As a child my handwriting was atrocious and I had difficulty getting any homework done which required writing. But, I did not learn until I was in my twenties what the problem had been. I took a battery of tests at a state employment department. When the results were discussed with me, I learned for the first time that I have a physical handicap. I have very poor "small motor skills."

      I actually can write for much longer periods of time when typing than I can when handling a pen because of the small muscles which are involved in handwriting.

      If I have to sign several documents at a time, my signature begins to deteriorate after the first few documents,

      But writing using a computer is a fundamental part of my preparatory work.

    • Glad you were able to figure out what works best for you!

      I was punished for poor penmanship in the 50s and 60s too...but ended up working as a calligrapher for years, lol. I think I’d have done fine if we had a beautiful alphabet available to emulate. There are so many!

      As it was, I never liked the appearance of the traditional “modern cursive“. I guess I just wasn’t motivated to focus on learning it...

      It saddens me that cursive of any description is no longer being taught in public schools! They will miss reading the Declaration of Independence in its full glory!

    • I was very excited when the iPad first came out as I am always wanting to record things so I can remember them and to keep them for future reference. And then I was really excited when we had the ability to automatically and immediately synchronise information between all of our devices, meaning it didn't matter which device I had at the moment, I should be able to either record information or look it up no matter where I was.

      But for some reason that never really happened. I still type things out so I have a record of it and can refer to it later, but I now don't initially record things on either computer, tablet, or phone. Instead I do so on a notebook.

      I have taken to carrying around a notebook with me everywhere. I find it much easier and faster to take out a notebook and pen and write something down that I want to remember than it is to take out my phone or whatever and type it in there. I have since purchased quite a few Field Notes memo books to help me with that.

      I have always enjoyed writing and do it whenever time and inspiration coincide. I also thought that having portable devices like tablets and smartphones would make that easier, but lately I have found myself going back to using a notebook for that. I have now spent more money on notebooks and and pens — I really enjoy writing with fountain pens — than I probably should have.

      It may take more time, but I find I enjoy writing things out with pen and paper and then typing them out in a digital — and possibly more permanent — format later much more than just typing things out on the computer from scratch, so to speak. I am typing out this response on the computer, but I was debating whether or not to write out my response first and then type it out.

      I do worry, though, that in the future no one is going to be able to understand what I have written in my notebooks because I always write in cursive. I know my children may not be able to because, even though they are (finally) starting to learn to read, growing up in Taiwan there is little chance they will be able to learn cursive. I hope I will have time to teach them and that they will have the patience to learn.

    • My best friend enjoys writing. She currently writes things out in a moleskin notebook (which she has told me many times feels incredible), but she's always been writing things down when she's at work, to plan her day, to keep track of her tasks. She's always used physical notebooks.

      When I first knew her she carried around her phone and a notebook every where she went. Then she consolidated her phone and notebook into a single phone, a Galaxy Note 5. She now uses a Galaxy Note FE which she can use to take notes on the go, and also has a Galaxy Tab A 2019 with S Pen support. So even when it comes to technology, she wants to be able to write stuff down. And even with a phone and tablet that support the S Pen, she still uses her notebook and writes in it daily. It's one of the things I admire about her.

    • In the 90s I worked for General Magic, “the most important dead company in Silicon Valley.” I’m in the documentary about it that has been #1 on the iTunes documentary list for weeks, and part of in-flight entertainment on flights around the world. We were designing the iPhone 6 before wireless, screen and battery tech made it possible.

      One of our core thoughts is we believed people would want to send Telecards, as we called them, with the option to hand-write them. We thought people would want to collect autographs from celebs, etc. Otherwise, we feared, people would still carry notebooks around and our device would have less utility.

      Steve Jobs came over and liked what he saw, used it to send us a lot of Telecards, but he didn’t like the pen. He preferred the virtual keyboard. It’s funny, for a guy who studied and loved calligraphy, he liked typing.

    • I get this. I still wish (hope) that Apple will produce a phone “with a pen!” I can dream. I find I think better/ plan better when I write as opposed to type. I have begun to use the pencil with my iPad (and One Note) and I do find that works at least for meetings and notes.

      Typing is still too precise for my mind when thinking - the pen and it work better together !!