Thursday, May 12, 2005

Could I Please Have Your John Hancock?

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When I was young(er), I used to like to sign my name everywhere, practicing it in flowery script with hearts and flowers, or very jagged script or printing. In a sense, I was having autograph sessions for myself, checking out my handwriting from all different angles and styles.

As I got older, of course my handwriting evolved, as did my personality. And it seems as if my handwriting reflected those changes, as well. It was okay to have flare, and not take as much care with each letter, each rounded shape -- my handwriting became a combination of cursive and print. My handwriting took liberties in how it presented itself.

When I was at the dating stage, I used to practice writing my name along with my male interest of the moment. I was playing, and it was all a game. But when I met my husband-to-be, it felt better than a game, it felt like real-life. And so I practiced writing my name, together with my maiden name, together with my now-husband's last name. Then I'd practice writing my first name with just his last name. And then I practiced writing Mr. and Mrs. ______ & Pearl _______.

And I discovered that practice makes perfect!

I'm hoping that theory applies to my future/intended "career" as a published author. I've practiced writing "autographs" for people who will have bought my children's book, Dance Me a Dance...Please
From the time that I wrote the manuscript and had it accepted for publication, I already wrote a dedication for the book and found myself a phrase to use in autographing copies at readings and children's book festivals.

And since I don't think I'll have a reason to put that phrase to use anytime soon on a title page, I'll share it with you folks: ...Dream a little dream yourself... Best wishes, Pearl _____.


I'd like to know if any of you readers, male or female, have practiced the art of signing your name, as I have -- writing down your name along with that of a member of the opposite sex, someone whom you hoped to share your life with. Writing your name to practice how it would look on an important document or check. Writing a sample "autograph" to hypothetical fans.

And to those actual authors out there whom I know do read this blog, please share your thoughts, too. Did you ever practice your signature or autographed message before actually being able to put it to good use?


Rochelle said...

Pearl, your question brings back memories. In high school--and, okay, in college--I definitely fantasized about the current guy in my life and tried out "Mrs. So-and-so" on pages in my notebooks.

(Since there's quite a bit of me in my protagonist, Molly Blume, Molly has done the same. Often.)

As to handwriting...your post also reminds me of my sixth grade English teacher who forced us to begin each day with handwriting exercises. (She also coerced us into buying tickets for a play she wrote.)

As to signing my name for readers, my difficulty isn't penning the signature. It's coming up, on the spot, with something to say that will sound relevant or witty. On a few occasions, the person will say, "Write something original." Or, "Choose your favorite line from the book." And of course, I blank.

Dindel said...

Hand writing is fun. I love to see my own handwriting. Sometimes I’ll have a pen and a sheet (or even scraps) of paper but nothing on my mind. And I’ll find myself writing out colors or my name. (Never a significant other) it was always just my own. With the little flowers to dot the “I’s”
My hand writing has drastically changed over the years. From perfectly neat cursive to the sloppy version. To the boxy capital letters as I get older. I have this diary (yeah, what..? I’m a girl. I can have one :) any who.. I’ve had it since I’m like 10 and I just put thoughts in it for years. So I always have a guide from what it used to look like.

The worst was when I was about 18 I had a handwriting analysis done. Way to make you self conscience about something.. :)

Mirty said...

Oh sure. I used to have "Mirty + (crush of the moment)" scribbled all over my school notebooks. Then I would draw over the names to hide them. As an adult, I got such a thrill out of designing my wedding invitations and seeing my name and my husband's name linked together. I still get a kick out of it!

tuesdaywishes said...

In high school I used a signature with a big "L" and the rest of the letter tucked inside it. Somewhere along the line an exclamation point got added on there too. I guess I dropped it when I grew up and got married.

I was never a doodler, so I never did the name linking thing. I did doodle a linked initial thing that became the 'logo' on our wedding invitations, but I never did anything like it before or since.

ifuncused said...

I used to write my initials out and try to find one that looked real "cool and neat". I came up with a few. I also used to try classmates initials and when I got older I too tried it with a "crush"

PsychoToddler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PsychoToddler said...

My official signature now is the same one that I deliberately created and practiced over and over when I was 10. However, as I became busier as a doctor, and had to sign hundreds of things each day--scripts, orders, notes--it turned into a scribble and now seems to be approaching a giant X.

BTW, regarding handwriting, here's a creepy post I wrote: handwriting

Air Time said...

My autograph has eveolved from something that was readable to something that clearly has my first and last initial followed by scribble.

As for dedications, I haven't written any of those for my future unwritten books, but I have written goodbye speeches and chosen stories for eulogies of relatives (who are of course still young and healthy) that will probably never actually be shared.

M said...

My signature isn't quite as elegant as I would like. The letters of my name don't really lend themselves to an artistic arrangement. I usually just cover pages with song lyrics and poetry bits... certainly it's distinctive!

Chaim said...

Pearl, see what I told you? guys dont really do the whole scribbling on your notebook type thing.

But one thing I will say about signatures, I can't stand people who's signatures are some sort of "artist formerly known as prince" glyph. either spell out your name or not, but don't make a giant scribble, and then say THATS your singature, it looks stupid.