Writing…

Image copyright BigStockPhoto

Image copyright BigStockPhoto

There’s writing, and then…there’s writing.

These days, I enjoy writing novels, but…I’m actually typing them into a computer, not writing them by hand.

Why? Because, increasingly, I can’t write…not by hand, anyway. Actually, I’ve never been able to write well.

When I was a first-grader, we practiced forming the letters of the alphabet, both upper and lower case. With pencils. On blue-lined sheets of pulp paper in our Montag Blue Horse writing tablets (anyone remember those?) I was never able to do a good job at this.

Mama would “tsk, tsk” over each paper I brought home. She gave me encouragement and instructions on how to make my writing…well, readable. But no matter how much I tried, my scribblings remained just scribbles.

One afternoon, I brought home a paper that made Mama ecstatic. “See?” she said. “I knew if you kept trying, you’d get it right.” She proceeded to point out the smoothness of the strokes, the regular, consistent size of the letters…until she came to the name in the upper right-hand corner of the page. It didn’t say (all crookedy and messy) “Tommie Lyn.” Another little girl’s name was on the paper. (I wonder how her mother reacted when she saw my paper and thought, for one horrible moment, that it was her daughter’s.)

I was careful after that to make sure my papers didn’t get mixed up with someone else’s. Poor Mama, I don’t think she could have taken another disappointment.

My handwriting got worse when I advanced to the next grade and started learning cursive, and it never got a whole lot better. It was never anything to write home about, but it was at least legible. Until lately. During the past several years, it has steadily deteriorated as I’ve aged, and now, no one can read it, not even me. These days, the only way my hen scratching can be deciphered at all is if I print the letters.

Like I learned to do in the first grade.

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4 thoughts on “Writing…

  1. This made me laugh! I can so relate. And we got a grade for handwriting. I don’t think I ever made above a D. I remember my first grade teacher actually guiding my hand to help me form the letters. And then sighing loudly. LOL

    After receiving an autographed copy of your book, though, I’ll have to say you win the prize for bad writing. When I taught, I had to work on making my writing legible so my students could read it. So, it’s a tiny bit better than yours!

  2. This is hilarious,and I can also relate. At the flower shop we used manual order forms to record a customer order. My staff bet each other who would be the first decipher what I wrote. The winner would get a pitcher of Margaritas to sooth their sprained brain. Sigh. And like you, it’s only gotten worse as I’ve aged.

    I can just see your mama’s face when she realized the paper wasn’t yours. 🙂

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