Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Work in Progress

I hadn't realized it had been so long since I've posted here. I've come across some good articles on writing, but I've mostly just posted links to them on Twitter. If you want to follow me there, please visit: https://twitter.com/#!/AnneMFaye (I'm happy to follow back).

I've also returned to writing fiction, but due to time constraints, I'm not making the progress I would like. Since finishing up the non-fiction book I was under contract for, I've tried to move sleep a little higher up on the list of priorities, which means cutting out time for other things. I get the chance to work on my story in my head during the day while I'm engaged in other activities, but not having time to get things out on paper is frustrating. When I do have the time, I can't necessarily remember what I thought about and because I'm not writing regularly, I have to face my own fear when I do. It makes it seem like a bigger deal than it is. When I write every day, it is just something I do, and the words flow easily. When it happens maybe once a week, it is an event, and there is much more pressure attached to it and the words get stuck.

Well, it is still good to be back writing - however slow the process. It will get done if/when it should. And if it doesn't, the world will go on.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Does Cursive Still Matter?

We live in a world where almost everything is typewritten. It can easily be argued that it is much more important from a practical standpoint that children today be able to type well rather than write well. My local school system doesn't even teach cursive anymore.

In all honesty, my own cursive writing is atrocious. I pretty much failed handwriting in Catholic school. People forced to read my handwriting are subject to a puzzle of brain-numbing proportions. Thankfully, most of what I write is typed, but the one thing that I still hand write are my private journals. I've been keeping them since I was 15 and I have always planned to leave them to a grandchild someday, hoping that they may be interested. But, I recently realized, that yet-to-be-born grandchild may not even be able to read it, and not just because my handwriting is poor. He or she may not even know how to read cursive.

Children may not need to learn to write in cursive (with the exception of a signature), but if they don't at least learn to read it, we as a people will quickly lose the ability to decipher many historical documents. In May, Historic Deerfield in Massachusetts ran a special series of programs on handwriting. In the advertisement for this, the museum stated: "So much of what we know about the past has been learned from handwritten documents - letters, diaries, and account books are some examples. As we become more and more distanced from handwriting, we could lose an important skill."

The world will not suffer if no one can read my journals after I die. Heck, it might be the better for it! But, there is much to be lost if we don't at least teach our children how to decipher the writing style of the past.