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Suitable Books? Where Can I Go Now?



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For the past few months, I've been working on improving my handwriting. I've always written a lot, when at uni, for example, and developed an unruly scrawl.

 

Unfortunately, my scanner won't work with this computer, so I can't show you examples; generally I had shortened versions of letters, such as a weird half-g, and the general impression that a spider had crawled over my page.

 

The model for my recent attempts at improvement came from the book, "Teach Yourself: Improve Your Handwriting," but I feel I've gone as far as this book can take me, and I'm still not satisfied.

 

There is a youtube pen and ink reviewer called 'The Pen Pixie' who has the style of writing to which I aspire. This vid shows examples of her hand, note that she doesn't begin writing until 10mins into the vid so you can just skip to then:

 

 

I'm not keen on the way she writes her 'b' or 'f', but the general style is nice.

 

Can you recommend any other books which will take me further in my handwriting journey please? Or a particular script which it might be useful for me to focus upon?

 

Thank you,

Catherine :sm_cat:

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Try the books on the IAMPETH website? Best collection of free manuals on handwriting around. Especially for American cursive hands.

 

Enjoy,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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Looks like the standard English monoline derived from Copperplate/English Round Hand to my eye. Although this is a hand I am not all that familar with. Maybe one of our UK members will chime in. American cursive derives from the same hand, different route. The "American cursive" is a group of hands -- Spenserian, D'Nealian, Palmer, English Business Writing, etc -- that evolved out of the need to write a quick, clear hand for everyday business use. Killed by the common use of the typewriter.

 

Pen Pixie uses her pen easily and well, has evolved a good style of clear, easily-read cursive writing that is hers and hers alone. I feel that if you work on your writing, select a few of the common styles to read and mull over, you should improve your hand. But your writing will probably not be confused with hers. It will be yours and yours alone.

 

Enjoy,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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Perhaps this sounds odd, but I'm leaning towards a flowing cursive Italic, written with a flex nib rather than Italic and without that pause between letters which most Italic, which I've seen, has. I'm not sure how I'll achieve this. Maybe a kind of pointy Roundhand (with the flat topped g, d, q and a and pointy topped n, h, b and p).

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Certainly sounds like a unique style. Want to see samples. If no picture, it didn't happen.

 

Very interesting! Enjoy,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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I only watched five or six minutes of the video, but I would guess both from the writing itself and from the accent that this is just a basic American cursive hand, with a few modifications - slightly rounder and less slanted, dropping loops here and there, etc. For the basic principles and letter forms, I'd second Randal's recommendation of the IAMPETH site.

 

Fwiw, I'm pretty sure that Pen Pixie and I had very similar instruction as children, but I know I've picked up a few alternate letter forms along the way and have dropped even more loops than she has. I'm not an expert, but as you describe your ideal hand, I might suggest starting with Palmer or Spencerian - one of the American cursive hands - to get the flowing feel you want, but modify the slant and any particular letter forms to achieve your ideal.

 

Jenny

"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

 

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Thank you for the suggestions. Would the book 'Write Now' by Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay help at all? From a brief look at it on Amazon, it seems to be mostly about Italic. Or should I stick to the IAMPETH American Cursive downloads?

 

To upload samples of my handwriting involves scanning them in to my old xp computer, copying them onto disc and transfering the images onto this computer for upload. My old computer won't talk to the internet and this computer won't talk to the scanner/printer!! Maybe I need another multifunction printer. :gaah:

Edited by BookCat
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Write Now is definitely an italic text, and I gather it's a pretty decent one, although I've never used it myself. If you want to learn (or start with) American Cursive, I'd stick with what you find at IAMPETH; it's good instruction, and it's free except for the cost of printing.

 

I'm afraid that on the rare occasions I've tried to show handwriting samples, I've just taken a photo and uploaded that. I have been taught how to make our scanner/printer talk to my computer several times, but I never can remember how it works when I want it. :)

"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

 

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Let's see whether I remember how to post one of those camera shots …

 

fpn_1412719528__img_0363.jpg

Edited by knarflj

"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

 

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What lovely handwriting you have knarflj! Before I began retraining, I had a very round, loopy handwriting. I don't mean that the ascenders were loopy, but that the method of joining was a little like if you wrote a continuous line of 'e's. I don't join my a, d, g, in the way you do, but do so in an 'e' continued from the previous letter, then add the later part of the letter, which is why my 'a' sometimes looks like 'ei' etc.

 

I really must borrow a friend's digital camera and upload pictures.

 

At the moment my writing is very angular; where yours has a sort of horizontal joining pattern, mine now joins in a zig-zag, which gives it an italic appearance. This is the result of the model used in "Improve your Handwriting". I'm also using a flex pen to emphasise the downstrokes. So I have a stilted hand which is a cross between Italic and Round hand.

 

I'm torn between learning Palmer, or just continuing to practise what I been learning but perhaps modify it a little, and just hope that more practise will produce greater fluency. Right now it just looks awkward. :unsure:

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Thanks, BookCat. I think I occasionally do that "loopy" join on one or two letters when I'm writing really fast, but I can't duplicate it if I think about it.

I own, and have worked a little with, Improve Your Handwriting, so I know what you mean about the zig-zag joins. They obviously didn't stick with me.

 

I'm torn between learning Palmer, or just continuing to practise what I been learning but perhaps modify it a little, and just hope that more practise will produce greater fluency. Right now it just looks awkward. :unsure:

 

Oh, I completely understand that! I don't dislike my own hand, but besides wanting to lighten up a bit so that I'm writing more with my arm and less with my hand, there are little details about my handwriting that I'd like to tweak, that I think would make it more consistent, perhaps more attractive, and a wee bit clearer for others to read. Sometimes, though, I think it would be easier to learn an entirely new script than to make those little changes stick when I'm thinking about the content of my writing rather than the performance of it! And when I do think about my penmanship, it always looks unnatural, never as fluid as when I just use the pen to get a thought on paper.

"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

 

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I think your handwriting is perfectly legible, in fact the only kind of person I can imagine being unable to read it is someone unused to reading cursive and who writes in print. I've briefly tried the 'whole arm' technique as outlined in one of the books I downloaded from IAMPETH, but found that this quickly tired my whole foream and wrist, whereas 'finger writing' isn't tiring at all because I'm so used to it; my right hand muscles have even been strengthened by using a computer mouse. Also, I touch-type which exercises my hands. So 'arm writing' is just tiring.

 

The form of 'I' which you use is interesting. I had never seen it before I joined FPN and began seeing samples of other's handwriting. I don't think it's commonly used in the UK. We form our capital I either like the typed version, or as one straight line.

 

I'll nag a friend to take some pictures of my writing. ;)

Edited by BookCat
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I know my handwriting is legible, but I'm a hopeless perfectionist, at least about the things I'm really interested in. Not so much about the dust on my furniture. ;) When I write to anyone I suspect is not familiar with cursive, I write without any slant, and stick with the more print-like forms of letters like 'r' and 's' - that's my standard note-taking hand, anyway, so I don't have to think about it any more than I do about the slanted cursive.

 

I don't normally notice any fatigue when I control the pen with my fingers (I have played the piano since I was quite small, so I also have fairly strong and well-exercised fingers and hands), but on the rare occasions when I write non-stop for any length of time (as when I wrote letters to two of my children back-to-back last week), my hand does get a bit tired and sore. Also, arthritis is not uncommon in my family. So I'm hoping that if I can train myself to write more with the arm, I'll not only be able to write for longer sessions, but if the arthritis does strike my own hand, I'll be better able to cope with it, at least as far as the pen goes. Not sure whether anything will help the knitting needles at that point - but that I'll worry about if and when I need to.

 

I do notice that when I think about how I actually hold the pen, and consciously try to hold it more lightly, I end up with a sore thumb, which never happens when I grip hard! But the arm movement doesn't seem to bother me, when I manage to get in the rhythm of it.

 

I'm not sure where I picked up that capital 'I'; maybe I saw it here, too. At any rate, it's not the one I learned in grade school, which I've always thought ugly. I do sometimes use just a straight line, though.

 

I will look forward to your pictures.

"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

 

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