My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, July 28

Cats & Cursive Writing

Last night, around that witching hour of 3:00 a.m., I heard an odd sound coming from the living room, an intermittent scratching and an occasional thump. So I got up to see what was going bump in the night. We have a cat toy, a motorized circular thing with a round yellow cloth on top, a revolving arm with an attached mouse beneath the cloth that circles back and forth randomly, a black button on top to turn it on. Tiger and Tuffy had turned it on and were busy chasing the mouse. They looked up at me as though asking what in hell I was doing up in the middle of the night. I might have asked them the same. What in hell are you two doing, playing catch the mouse in the middle of the night? I know they’re cute and really bright, but I hadn’t realized they knew how to turn play toys on. I turned it off and went back to bed. The boys probably did the same.

Our other boy, Charlie the elder, seems to have taken over the responsibilities that used to belong to Dusty, to protect and comfort his younger siblings.
My favorite photo of Dusty and Squeakie shows him with his arm around his little girl. And now I have another, eerily similar, showing Charlie with his arm around Tiger. Tuffy wasn’t included, but I’m sure he wasn’t jealous since Charlie frequently gives him a nightly bath. Oh, how I love my three boys.

I ran into a PBS article on the Net, saying that even though cursive writing was on the decline in our schools, it was still an essential part of a young child’s learning. Hmm, “The art of handwriting,” I thought. “The Art.” I could remember Pearl Paul, my third grade teacher, daily drilling the Palmer Method into our little hands: “Push, pull, push, pull, circle, circle, circle.” It was a pain in the . . . hand, but it taught us all to be good little writers. Now, though, with the many devices available even to small children—cell phones, tablets, computers—the art of handwriting and calligraphy may go the way of the bustle, to extinction. My main concern, as an old English teacher, is that too many people now only text, with thumbs that stumble on letters,stumble on thoughts as well, causing the message to be a garbled mess that even spell check can’t correct, and all kinds of texting shortcuts that may communicate but do so without the elegance of what was once cursive writing. I think that cursive writing, within the next ten years, will join the bustles and corsets and horse buggies into that realm of no-longer-needed things. More's the pity.
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