Author Topic: Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!  (Read 553 times)

Offline Zivio

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Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!
« on: June 13, 2021, 06:47:32 PM »
Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! I was very pleased to find this online forum and already have found it to be very interesting and informative. Please allow me to share with you why I am here:

My particular interest is in learning Spencerian handwriting, and I've been on the journey for about nine months now, practicing on average an hour per day. My natural cursive writing is execrable, and I had what my brother called a "caveman's grip."  As a younger man, I loved to correspond by snail mail (the *only* mail of the day) with my sisters who had moved from our hometown. Among other things, I got into computer programming in the very early '80s at which time coding was typically done in printing, so I had completely lost the skill of cursive writing because of that and just never used it. I've always admired calligraphy and writing of all sorts and hoped one day to work on my own.  An erstwhile coworker's handwriting was especially inspirational it was simple Zaner-Bloser but executed very neatly.  He explained that the sisters at his parochial school insisted on accuracy and mastery.  It left me with the hope that with time, patience and practice I might one day improve my own writing. About thirty years ago I picked up a copy of "Better Handwriting in 30 Days" by Paula Sassi at a used bookstore and held onto it all this time, eventually deciding that I might avail myself of it "when I retire."  Well, I retired on 1/1/2020 and eventually kept my personal promise to look into it.

Some of the samples of various people's handwriting in that book made me want to find a unique "masculine" style of writing that I could adopt and adapt to express my own personal style, but soon after beginning the exercises in the book I realized that it didn't seem possible I'd be able to do this I felt I really had no particular aptitude for emulating any writing but then stumbled upon the Spencerian style and then the Platt Rogers Spencer reprints of Spencerian Penmanship Theory and copybooks. Besides loving what I saw, having a methodical way of learning was a great match for my personal learning style, so I got started. Since then, I've also used Michael and Debra Sull's "Learning to Write Spencerian Script" and 1873 edition of "The Payson, Dunton & Scribner Manual of Penmanship" downloaded from Archive.org as well as many other resources found on the web. In particular, I have been fascinated by the explicit instruction given in some of the older texts on the proper handgrip and using arm motions almost exclusively for writing. I understand there are various opinions about this, but after a lifetime of horrible writing habits and techniques, I felt I'd have the best chance of learning by starting over completely with any of my muscle memory ideas about how to form letters. 

My learning so far has had moments of frustration, elation, plateaus, fascination, and questioning, but I have been committed to experiencing it as a journey without too much looking ahead to a final destination.  My hopes are to soon replace my rote daily practice with actual handwritten snail mail letters to my loved ones and acquaintances and to help keep alive the art and beauty of expressing oneself in this way.

So happy to be here, and wishing all many happy life moments!
Karl
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 11:57:50 AM »
Hi Karl, @Zivio
We are so happy you joined us!  ;D I enjoyed reading your journey with handwriting. I find those of us with coding/programming/analytical skills often go hand in hand with calligraphy (did you see what I did there?).  ;D I was also inspired by my teacher in sixth grade who also learned in Catholic school and later in life but an executive I worked with who had the most beautiful penmanship I had seen yet and also learned in Catholic school although by his recount of learning was not very fond of the process.  ;)

I did the same as you and went back to basics several years ago in order to relearn how the masters did and utilize whole arm movement. Worth every bit of effort!

I hope you dig in to the archives here as we have so many good Spencerian posts. And hopefully you will join an exchange so you can share your progress with us.
Welcome to Flourish!
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline Zivio

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Re: Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2021, 06:42:15 PM »
Thank you for the kind words of welcome, Erica!  Already I've been working my way through the Spencerian archives here and really enjoying it.

Joy to you and yours!
Karl
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