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Topics - andyj

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / What is an applause?
« on: December 19, 2015, 02:08:19 AM »
On the side of messages under the author there is a little "[applause]". . . What does that mean, exactly?  Is that like a Like++?

Exchanges - General Info & Questions (Start here.) / Creating Samples
« on: December 19, 2015, 01:56:41 AM »
What is a good practice for creating samples and posting?  I particularly notice that @InkyFingers has excellent samples which are obviously not done with a scanner (or at least, not all of them) because some feature writing instruments, etc.  Then, I think one must use an external image host (right?) and not upload an image directly.

Is there a topic on this?  Hope this is not where everyone throws tomatoes at me.

Well, to be clear, I can do something, I'm not totally lost but I'm just wondering what the veterans have found to be good techniques for posting samples.

Spencerian Script / Spencerian Variety
« on: December 19, 2015, 01:45:44 AM »
Has their ever been a topic. . . well, I searched "Spencerian variety" and had some interesting results. . . on exactly how many (if any) varieties of Spencerian writing exist?  I may be ruthlessly abusing my newbieness but I'm sort of gathering there are at least this many variations:

1) The Spencerian that I think my great-grandparents wrote (circa turn of the century (uh, yeah, the other century))
2) Business Spencerian
3) Shaded Spencerian

I'm a bit of a genealogist - or used to be.  So I've ran into a lot of #1 (at least that's what I always thought it was).  When I started reading this forum I actually learned about #2 and #3.

Is this break down close or am I way off?  Not to overstate the obvious, but I'd never even heard of "shading" and pointed pen, though it is very intriguing and I think someday I will embark on a Spencerian journey.

I am having a hard time getting my m's and n's and I'm hoping maybe someone has a different drill other than this one by Edward Mill's:

My problem is that there seems to be a very nuanced slope from the bottom of one "n" hump and the top of the other "n" hump.  If the arch of the slope is too great (like mine seems to be), then there isn't that little "v" section between the humps.  But if I try to flatten that arch, I end up with something akin to zigzags rather than the m/n humps.

Is this something I shouldn't worry about or should I keep on keeping on or perhaps someone has a different drill that may give me the feel of it?  If seems like my natural movement produces the closely grouped humps rather than that "deeper" v that is in Mill's exercise.  I circled the part where I think I almost had it but it's still pretty far off. . . :(

Suggestions & Ideas / Category suggestion: Everyday Handwriting
« on: December 15, 2015, 01:08:04 AM »
This suggestion spins from a few exchanges in this topic regarding American Cursive.  First, the proposal:

Category:      Everyday Handwriting
Description:   Styles, suggestions, tools, supplies, and general appreciation for one's everyday hand.

I've read a few other requests for new categories and I can appreciate the need and the value in keeping the categories simple.  However, I would suggest that the most general category of the blessed thing we're talking about is not represented -- everyday handwriting!  While a "General" discussion does exist, without the context of handwriting, in particular, then I think it's overly broad to catch and attract topics aimed at what is really sort of a specific idea (everyday handwriting).  In other words, Everyday Handwriting would be a good point of focus for those everyday styles that we all use everyday and to be honest, take it from a remedial penmanship internet hobo: there's no good place for us to call home. 

As elementary schools continue to exchange "penmanship" for "keyboarding" the resources for this vital personal skill throughout our communities will become increasingly valued - first for parents looking for insights, then for graduated high schoolers unhappy with their primitive penmanship.

Now look at me, for example.  While I'm really interested in calligraphy as I've been seeing it, I'm quite a long ways from it.  Yet, a specific category appropriate for, say, American Cursive, may draw more newbies like myself who could slowly graduate to the more calligraphic and ornate styles.

As a sidenote, I think the tools are probably a bit different, as well, so this could be a good place to discuss the supplies for everyday use.  Maybe gel pens and travel notepads and scrappy fountain pens that you can carry in your pocket or purse.  So that would be another area that could fall into this everyday category.

Other topics as mentioned in the originating link above may be around teaching penmanship, nationalistic styles (I believe, for example, that there is still a very defined and supported French penmanship program in the school system).  All of these would fit well into an Everyday Handwriting topic.

In the previous link, there are some suggestions for a category named "Handwriting" or "Penmanship" which are also good options.  I preferred to suggest Everyday Handwriting because I think it gives a little credit and appreciation to that most personal of skills which -- even in its everyday form -- is arguably the evidence and essence of the most significant accomplishment of mankind.

Erica, please consider!


Guidelines / General question on generating and using guidelines
« on: December 14, 2015, 08:53:15 PM »
HI, folks. . . I thought I would try to use this guideline generator that I found referenced elsewhere on this site.  I am using Edward C. Mills' Modern Business Penmanship as my reference.

A couple of questions: are there "standard" values for this style of writing for these values:

I know 52-degrees and most of them I can sort of figure out.  What I'm still not sure about:

1) Is there a typical value for ascenders/descenders?
2) For the spacing of the angled line (the value after the degrees), is it possible (or desireable) to use a spacing such that one letter should go between each line?  Or due to the variation in letter widths, is this not possible?

I'm also a little baffled about the height of some various ascenders.  In Mills' Business Penmanship, I don't find a lot of references to letter height and the examples are not written on ruled paper.

3)  Are the heights of the d and t the same?  It seems his t's are slightly taller though shorter than the full ascenders
4)  Should the descenders (of, say, f, g, j, p, and y) be the same length?  It seems occasionally the descenders in the midst of a word are shorter than a descender at the beginning or end of the word.

 Though I've read several discussions about being able to use this book to self-study, I think due to my inexperience I'm going to go with someone's recommendation to buy Michael Sull's American Cursive book which I think would provide me more of the needed, detailed guidance.

But in the meantime, could anyone make suggestions on these troubles I'm having?

Thank you!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Fingers #3 and #4
« on: December 12, 2015, 04:09:22 PM »
Hello, friends.  I'm coming from a Spencerian topic where it was suggested that this might be a place to put this question.

I have a really quick question, I think I know the answer but it's like saying "I think this right turn down this country road is the right way".  I don't want to get down the road and have to turn around.

My question is, I'm reading the Mill's Modern Business Penmanship book and he makes quite an emphasis that only the pen point and the third and fourth fingers should touch the paper.  I've also read in numerous places how important this was because it allows for free arm movement and the arm muscles provided less "nervous lines" than "drawing" with the fingers.

At this point, I don't own a pen holder and I'm not doing any ornamental writing, I'm just improving my handwriting in the American Cursive style for the sake of my own gratification as well as for personal correspondence, note taking, etc.

My "thought" of the answer as I've read in numerous places is "go with what feels right".  But I'd like more input on this, if possible, since all these past masters must have known something about what they were talking about to make such a point of it.  On the other hand, they probably didn't have to contend with moleskin notebooks or spiral bound steno pads in practical application so maybe the context in this day and age have changed.

Would appreciate your thoughts on how I should approach this fundamental technique.  Thank you!


Spencerian Script / Ummm. . . Spencerian Business Writing?
« on: December 12, 2015, 01:51:21 AM »
I'm not sure if this is the write forum/topic for this but I'm going to throw caution to the wind and ask it!  First, I'll give my story (will keep it brief!).

Our kids - as with most kids today - have not really been taught penmanship.  So one day I thought to introduce them to italic - which I'd been introduced to at one point, though I hadn't learned it I had some interest in its broad application as a writing hand.  I started that with them right after breakfast and before school but their practice sort of trickled away.  I won't say their interest fizzled but that's another story.

Anyhow, they are no longer involved but I'm still trying to improve my handwriting and actually have sort of got sucked into this whole world of calligraphy which I find really cool but way (read: way, way) beyond where I am.  I am just trying to improve my writing at this point but am keeping my future options open.  I saw this exemplar from the redoubtable Mr. Fraser and was really awestruck so I've been practicing the Mill's Modern Penmanship book online.

My question then is where should I post questions and such on this website?  What I'm doing is very, very basic as compared to the rest of this forum but it seems to me that if I ever advance beyond business penmanship (which I view as an everyday hand, which is what I'm after at this point) then I suppose it would be Spencerian but it's really not.  What would be the appropriate forum "category"?  Is it here or some other "Not Quite Flourishing" category?

Introductions / Hello from Oregon!
« on: December 04, 2015, 01:01:11 AM »
Hello!  I had to get some practice in tonight so I am uploading:

I have limited time and resources but my goal is (seemingly) simple - I'm trying to improve my handwriting!  I've never, ever had a consistent script.  If I were to look over my past 40 some years of writing I don't think any two years in a row would be of the same style.

I'm so impressed by both the talent and kindly nature of the members on this forum.

Thank you for hosting this, Erika.

I hope to be around and learn a thing or two! :-)



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