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Sharon Bill Music Tutor & Author

The Joy of the Written Word


Calligraphy, penmanship, writing and scribble in general, I just love every aspect of the written word.

I like to write (naturally) and I love to read many different genres but I just love the abstract concept of the written word. I love the mechanics of writing; I love pens, pencils and the tactile quality of paper. I love the sound of a pencil as it scratches across the surface of a page. I love the silky texture of an ink pen travelling over hot-pressed paper. I simply like the artistic quality of handwriting for its own sake before I've even read a single word. I also like the look and feel of books quite apart from their content.- so much so that I've covered furniture in shredded pages because of the tone and texture of the paper and print. I particularly like the facsimile reproductions (first editions being beyond my reach) set in courier font on rough textured paper. A friend of mine particularly likes the smell of books, each book (whether old or brand new) is submitted to the sniff test. I even like the visual effect of words positioned on a screen - layout is another artistic wonder to me.

I still indulge in what my friend' and I refer to as "Jane Austen Correspondence". Who doesn't enjoy receiving a hand written letter? Yesterday I spent a happy morning writing letters. I even tried to write a letter in Romanian (with the help of translator software). Not satisfied with merely writing a letter I "made" some writing paper to match the theme of the gift that the letter was to accompany. I found some art work borders on-line (copyright free) and made my own edged notepaper. Years ago the children and I spent hours using the "brush" tool from Illustrator (sadly now defunct software) to make notelet and envelope sets presented in cellophane packets as gifts and for the village Summer Fair. We made innumerable bookmarks this way too. I've even cropped screenshots from photos of my embroideries to make headed notepaper. This isn't to say that I don't like shop bought stationary - I do. I love it all! My mood or the purpose dictates the vehicles for writing. Sometimes I prefer to write in pencil, sometimes fountain pen and sometimes a cheap biro hits the spot.I can remember submitting A level essays (before computer submissions) written in orange pen on green file paper. I'm not sure how I got away with that one!

It's true that I think better when I've a pen in my hand. If it's on paper then you've got the heart of me. My one failing amongst all of this is the humble shopping list. I simply detest shopping and this stains the pleasure of pen and paper when having to create a list. I know that the dismal reality will soon follow my scribbling.