Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hello, Dear, Thank-you, Sincerely

I'm always learning something new. Some of it comes from what I call teaching myself. I learn by doing. I learn from YouTube, the Internet, and you. I learn from magazines I enjoy. Several of my favorites usually devote time and space to letter writing. A coincidence? Um, no; they know we are here to stay, and we're growing in numbers every single day. This is a page from a secret favorite, "Garden & Gun." It's in their March/April issue. 

I am for anyone who promotes writing by hand anything that's capable of bearing postage and traveling. So this is my nod to G&G for "We Say Thank You Properly." It's No. 41 on their list of "50 Perfect Southern Things." No. 1 shows off a picture perfect magnolia, a piece titled, "The Scent of the Magnolia, A love letter to the fragrant South," by Frances Mayes. No, it's not an actual love letter. It's not even a letter! There's no hello, dear, and nary a single sincerely. Shame on you, Frances. 

"Etiquette expert Elizabeth Edwards, of Arzberger's Stationers in Charlotte, shares the ABCs of a well-written thank-you note." She tells all in steps A - E, actually. Here we go:

A: For notes to family and friends, strike through any formal part of the name at the top of the letter to keep things casual. 

Are you laughing or scoffing? Both? Okay, there's more:

B: Always write out the date in the far right corner, opposite the salutation.

C: Begin the body of the note directly under the "r" in Dear.

D and E? I'm not saying.

I'm almost certain I shared this in time for your Christmas and Hanukkah last year. It never hurts to repeat a good thing though, so again, here we go. "Write Your Cards Well, Timely advice to improve your handwriting from lettering artist Cherrell Avery." I like what she says:

1) Find a good handwriting pen, a roller ball or fountain pen that grips the paper.

2) Sit straight. Bad posture equals bad writing. Make sure your legs aren't scrunched up, your back is straight and hold your pen with a loose, relaxed grip.

3) Keep your fingers flexible, not rigid. Try doodling to practice mobilising your digits.

4) Spend five minutes writing, being mindful of what you're doing, of how your writing looks, the speed and the shapes (not what you're writing).

5) Inspect your writing. Is the scale and proportion of your letters consistent? Are you forming your letters correctly? Many people miss the backbone in the letters n, m and r. Disjoining letters is also common. When writing at speed, n, m and h derteriorate quickly. Get to know what your habits are and practise slowing down to correct them.

Cherrell ( teaches Transform your Handwriting courses at London's Idler Academy,  (December 2014 Issue)

I'm still working on keeping my loops open. For starters. There's always room for improvement. Wait until you see what else I'm working on! 

"How to Write a Thank-you Note, Top manners = repeat invitations. We all know the value of saying "thank-you" at this time of year, (even if Nanny Vi did send bath salts again). . . .




d) LOOK AHEAD. Mention the next time you might see them, or just let them know you're thinking of them.



(from January 2015 The Simple Things)

Do you think rules are important when it comes to penning a message? Did you know penning a letter with red is considered an insult? Do you think I believe any of this matters to any of you? I do. Side notes are often interesting, if not downright laughable.

And, then there's one of my pet projects. Not much beats checking in on my friends that flew south for the winter, or waiting for the free rangers to return. Alex is back from his family trip to Mexico. The first thing he told me was how much he missed me. I confessed that I missed him too. He asked if I cried. I said I did. Erin questioned my reply. I told her I cried in my heart. I did. 

I've been busy writing, and drawing, and coloring and musing. 

It really is true that . . .

FLOW knows.

I'm busy making postcards with my own brand of experimental writing. Colors can make you happier than you think, or imagine. 

I'm so color-happy, I almost don't mind that I messed up my bee. It'll come right in the end, you'll see.

Smudges and smears! Happily, no tears. It's what's inside that matters. The wrappings will only end up in tatters. Humidity makes messes with pen and ink. It poltergeists my tools, I'm beginning to  think. 

A lot of hellos, dear, thank-you(s) and sincerely(s) went out today. Some of it is headed your way.

Sincerely sincere,

Write on.


    Dear Limner

    Thank you for a super post.

    I especially liked your colpourful lettering drawing.

    d) LOOK AHEAD. Mention the next time you might see them, or just let them know you're thinking of them.
    I shall re-visit!

    So thanks again...

    f) SIGN OFF.
    John a.k.a. Scriptor

    1. How absolutely clever. You are the cleverest of the clever! Etiquette exists for a reason. In this instance? The results put a grin on my face that's hasn't disappeared yet.

      Thank you. And you are quite welcome. The pleasure is all mine.

      Are you and Elizabeth distant cousins? :)

  2. Great post! I kinda love the rules of writing. A long time ago, a co-worker told me that there is a grace period of two weeks to return a letter. I've always remembered that ... but I don't often follow it. However, I try to return the favor within a month. Time flies, you know! Love the colors ....

    1. Where would we be without rules, right? They should be broken only if doing so enhances the reason they're in some way. Okay, just for fun too, as long as no one gets hurt or hurts someone else in the breaking. Besides, rule-tending often leads to rigidity and sniffles creativity.

      I think we know when to apply the rules and when to be lax and laid back. I try to answer letters in a "timely" fashion, but am rarely successful. There's too much of it. I'd rather write a decent letter than a fast last letter. See? I break that two week etiquette rule as regularly as the law allows. Besides, not much worth writing about happens in two weeks. :)

      Color rules! Write on.

    2. You have a most valid point ... not much happens in two weeks. You know, I'm going to hang on to that!

    3. I'm sorry. Please accept my apology. I answered from personal experience. I forgot not everyone's life is as slow as my own. :) I just think one should write when they have something to say, or have done something worth writing about. Like a road trip, spring break with a grand, taking exciting photos, imagining great things, living exceptionally well or . . .

      Thanks for being a gracious person who can hang on to something that comes from a limner. :) We mean well.

  3. Loving your pictures and the brilliant way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

    1. Hello! And thank you. You've given me a wonderful compliment that I will cherish. I appreciate your attention and the time you spend here on my behalf.