Daniel had a rough day at DenCon. Already in a grumpy mood from missing the continental breakfast at his hotel, it seemed everyone at DenCon decided to be a real jokester today. “The D stands for Denny’s, you clods!” Daniel exclaimed multiple times an hour. How did they not understand?! The convention was explicitly for Denny’s! “It’s so flipping obvious!” he thought. Yet all day long his fellow DenCon attendees ribbed him about the true meaning of the D.

“Hey man, what’s the D?!”

“I bet it stands for Dummy!”

“No, no, the D is for Dingus!”

“He’s Dankey Kang!”

“Dr. Dump!”

And on…and on…and on. And the DenCon attendees were very clever and knew many, many words that start with the letter D. They clearly knew it was for his diner love, but they razzed him and razzed. “Laugh now, Denizens,” Daniel muttered, “but I’ll show you all. I’ll take the grumpiest photo all weekend. I’ll blind you all with my bright, shining, untanned arms. Now to flex juuuuuuuust right…” Daniel concentrated as the photographer readied his camera when suddenly a voice shouted out from the crowd.

“Hey Captain Derp! Nice pose!”

The audience erupted with laughter. A single, angry tear slid down Daniel’s cheek, 

Show me your big 'D'

So, home girl snapchatted you a selfie with a message, but best check yourself, cause it’s not really as raunchy as an actual letter. I’m talking about a “hand written” letter. An open door to a persons soul, an extension of themselves to you. Something no message set in font could do. Maybe…

Kim Kardashian (left), Notorius B.I.G. One More Chance intro interlude (right)

The other day I realized how bad my handwriting had become after relying on digital means for so long. So I challenged myself to see if I could re-learn penmanship. After all, good penmanship is a sign of a well-rounded individual.

Looks like ass

So what I’ve learned is that penmanship taught in school has been compromised and it sets you up for future penmanship failure. I’ll try not to bore you with history talk, but here’s the jist of it. Since the early 20th century, schools taught the Palmer method of penmanship. It’s purpose was to strip down the previous more elaborate Spencerian method to make it faster to compete with type writers. It was based on an upstroke rather than a traditional downstroke. And just like that, your handwriting looks like ass.

(Above) Show me your big D. Fat Back (left). Oval loop (middle). Fancy shit (right)

Different strokes

Something happens when you start to write cursive. You start using your memory to remember strokes and spellings and then words and eventually meanings. It’s somewhat magical. The more you concentrate on the forms, the more connections are made and thats when style comes into play.

(Above) Pointed/round top lowercase “a”. Certain letters have different heights for their ascenders.

(Above) Bad lower case “r” taught in school. Mid starter for lower case “b” (as opposed to a baseline starter). Double “tt” stylistic alternative. Drop lowercase “r” with a baseline drop ender. Alternate capital “A” and “H”.

(Above) Numbers with ascenders and descenders. Yeah they didn’t teach you that shit in school.

(Above) Molskine Cahier, Coleto Black / Red, Coleto Pencil / Eraser, Pilot Hi-tec C .3mm

Auto-type and a love affair with a pen

There’s no doubt writing digitally eliminates the need for good hand writing. It can be fully editable, be shared and even be dynamic. As much as I now love penmanship I can’t fully admit it’s necessary in todays world. Of course, you still need to know your basic forms. But the convenience of communicating by typing digitally sometimes outweighs the love affair of the personal touch written in pen.

Summer reminds me not to take life for granted. It reminds me of the beauty in sunshine and flower petals and honey bees and the golden freckles on my bare shoulders. It reminds me that there’s nothing more satisfying than homemade vanilla lemonade and obscure ice cream flavors and cucumber salad and grill marks. It reminds me to appreciate cool breezes and ice cubes and Wayfarers and classic rock stations. But best of all, it will now forever remind me that I have a lifetime of tomorrows with your big hands and kind eyes and warm heart and crooked smile.
—  hazel.