Second drafts
And why you might need a third (or more)

The secret of the second draft?

Answer: You probably need a third.

First draft (sort of rough)

Second draft (getting better)

At least that’s the case with lyrics. And the untold story of the first draft is that it may have very well been preceded with an audio dictation. Really, writing is about getting your thoughts down, and refining. You know a draft is really coming to shape when the words on the paper talk back to you and tell you what to change, or what needs to be added, shortened or otherwise rearranged. People often mistake writing as a product. And just to be clear it is most definitely that, but more even more so and most of all it’s a process. Some may even say an art.

Twenty years later
And why I never gave up

I could have easily …

Let this song die on the vine.

As sung twice, once at his 50th birthday (by cassette tape) and a second time very unrehearsed (yes, it had been some years) at his official retirement in 2017.

I don’t even know if that’s an expression. But I didn’t. Why? Let’s just say I’m not sure other than it might have something to do with this webpage. I mean — where do you store old writings from a previous life, if you can say that a mere 20 years ago can be qualified as that. In any event, Ron retired. And the person that replaced him retired, too. And yes, I wrote a song for him, too. But then out of the blue I ran across Ron’s farewell song. As for Ron leaving, it’s a bit of a misnomer — He’s still around. Only I don’t see him that much. And perhaps even more bizarrely: I wrote this song for his 50th birthday party, which I couldn’t attend, and now twenty some odd years later, I’m a couple years older than that. The thing about Ron — He’ll always be older than me no matter how old I get. He was both my boss, an enigma (as all good bosses should be) and a person whom I greatly admire, and try to live my life by. As for the song, I’m so glad I found it, handwritten after all the years. I don’t think I ever typed it into a computer, and probably never will. But check out the BobbyAngel.Org website in the coming weeks for a live rendition of the song. Thank God for hording. Thank God for old friends!

Handwriting workshop
How To: Getting started

I’ll be the first to admit …

That this isn’t the best handwritten note.

Letter writing in action, with play by play analysis

But the truth is you’ve got to start somewhere. And in retrospect, it’s not all that bad, even though it started poorly and really didn’t have a strong finish. The secret? When in doubt go for the margin to write a good P.S.. In this case, actually, the P.S. wasn’t all that good. What it did show was extra effort, and when it comes to letter writing, effort counts.

What really makes this letter stand out is the play by play analysis.

About Penmanshape
The inside scoop on Cap'n Killivine

What exactly is penmanshape

and what is our process?

What I do: Write

Quite frankly, I’m a pencil. All I do is write. Or at least that used to be the case – before I got a phone. For the past decade all I do is work my thumbs, and most of the time that means autocorrect. Sadly, my eraser is all but untouched and my point has dulled to a nub of its former self. My goal? Get back to what I do best. That’s right. I mean some good old fashioned writing – just me, my point on a piece of paper and an occasional cross out.

More about my process

Our process is simple. Pick up a piece of paper and start writing. I know what you’re thinking – what if I have writer’s block? What if I were to tell you writing about writer’s block is one of my favorite topics to write about? Some of our mantras:

  • When in doubt, write it down
  • Writing is believing
  • Penmanshape makes perfect

So thanks for stopping by and hope to see you soon!

Nature Folk Fortified
Cap'n Killivine joins the Nature Folk team

Considering how fast he runs …

It took Cap’n K a little longer to join the team.

Cap’n Killivine is part of the Nature Folk team

The reason? For one, writing by hand is a slow process. And sending letters by snail mail even slower. Yes, emails get there instantly, and email and texting has its place, but none of the above or any other technological invention has replaced what a good old fashioned hand-written letter (or even note to yourself) can do.

That’s where Cap’n Killivine steps in: True, he’s had a few rough years and — yes — he was all but resigned to being thrown away and forgotten on the great junk pile of forgotten (and useless) arts. Or in summary, he was feeling like an old nub of himself. The good news: Cap’n Killivine is back and part of a greater Nature Folk team.

It’s good to have him onboard and around the campfire.

Too much of a good thing?

Let’s face it …

Email was a false prophet.

Full Podcast – a 10 part series

It promise the world, but delivered something much less. Even worse than that, it obliterated the tradition of writing letters by hand. I’m not a Luddite by any sight – don’t get me wrong. But aren’t we all being a bit naïve with regard to the promise of email that ultimately failed.

As for the antidote: In my opinion it’s handwritten notes. But for who receives them and for who wrote them the most. There is nothing quite as informative to ones inner soul as putting your thoughts to pen and paper without the help of a computerize device.

Beating writer’s block
Secret tips that aren't so secret

The best thing about writing:

The entry bar is pretty low.

All you need is a pen and some paper. As for writer’s block? As far as I can tell it doesn’t apply to letter writing. I get it: sometimes on certain topics writer’s sometimes hit a snag, or a wall, or the end of cliff – whatever you want to call it. But writing a letter to yourself or really anybody else it’s just about talking or writing about whatever comes to mind. In that sense, there is always a path around the block. In that way, maybe what’s not written about is more interesting that the words that are actually put down.

My point?

If you’re bored, pick up and pen and start writing. I highly doubt that you’ll get more bored by doing so, and more than likely you’ll get a “big kick” and great exercise jumping over all the so-called writer’s blocks.