Letter writing, pens, paper & ink links:
My fellow letter writers will probably enjoy this article by Maria Popova about a book first published in 1876, How to Write Letters: A Manual of Correspondence, Showing the Correct Structure by a J. Willis Westlake. She even links to a public domain site where you have your choice of several options to read the book if you'd like. Even today, some of the tips for letter writing are good and still applicable but others no longer apply and I for one am very glad we're no longer limited to using only white paper and black ink. (For business letters yes, but when you want your paper and ink to help express your mood? No! However would Mail Art survive if we were still limited to that). This was one of my favorite quotes from the article/book but she had several:
"Take pains; write as plainly and neatly as possible — rapidly if you can, slowly if you must. Good writing affects us sympathetically, giving us a higher appreciation both of what is written and of the person who wrote it. Don’t say, I haven’t time to be so particular. Take time; or else write fewer letters and shorter ones. A neat well-worded letter of one page once a month is better than a slovenly scrawl of four pages once a week. In fact, bad letters are like store bills: the fewer and the shorter they are, the better pleased is the recipient."
Campaign for Cursive linked to this interesting video and short article showing the link between good early handwriting skills in young children and better grades later in school.
Books & Reading:
Barbara Pym is an author whose book Excellent Women has been on my TBR list for several years now but I have yet to get around to reading it. But after seeing this review of the book at BookSnob's blog I think I should move it to the top of my list and read it in 2013. Turns out there is even a website dedicated to Ms. Pym. (And I just love that great teapot on the portal page to her site!)
Jane Austen's World has added another post to their "Advice Column - Dear Mrs. Elton" and this one has a very amusing twist. Ms. Birchall has quite a sense of humor.
For the last two years I've posted a flash mob version of Handel's Messiah and at first I thought I'd post it again this year but then I found several other YouTube videos of Handel's Messiah. The first one is the London Symphony Orchestra, I'm not sure about the other three videos but I enjoyed listening to them and think some of you may as well. Because I'm not sure I'll have time to post again until after Christmas, I hope you all have a very Merry and blessed Christmas.