Kitty Burns Florey’s latest, Script and Scribble, recently got a wonderful write-up in the Washington Post. Florey is probably most well known for her previous book, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog, which concerns the lost art of diagramming sentences, and her much-circulated article in Slate about Sarah Palin’s “sentences.” And here she is again with another “lost art of…” title about handwriting.
Yes, handwriting. Something I haven’t thought about since 1993. (My mother, though, did ask me last year for left-handed calligraphy pens. She couldn’t find them in Phoenix.) Florey’s Script and Scribble is a charming introduction to a subject of surprising depth and complexity. Says the Washington Post:
“Because she’s witty and often endearingly autobiographical (she includes illustrations from her third-grade writing workbook), the reader is happy to follow her into any byway of penmanship.”
As it turns out, several very famous contemporary authors still use a pen and paper for first drafts–Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, J.K. Rowling, and even the prolific and enduring Stephen King. Imagine the awesome callouses you’d have…
Anyway, from a child who prefered Office Depot to Toys ‘R’ Us: check out this quirky history of handwriting. Just don’t let your patrons practice in the margins. (We practiced in the office. We’re surprisingly not bad, although it did take us 3 mins/sentence. My D’s aren’t up to par.)