It's time for the August edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the rest of the talented bloggers who will welcome you with open arms.
I'll never forget the summer of '67 when our parents took us to Anaheim, CA to see the All Star Game. My dad and brother were huge baseball fans, and my mom and I were excited to be minutes away from Disneyland. Many of the best players in baseball were staying at our hotel, so my brother had his autograph book with him at all times.
Though I was only six, I still remember my mom calling my dad to come directly to the pool, as Sandy Koufax was seated only a few lounge chairs away from us. My brother got his autograph, along with Willie Mays, and several other Hall of Fame players. He guarded his autograph book with his life, and couldn't wait to show all of his friends when we came home.
These memories came flooding back to me when my husband went with my brother, and our boys to a baseball game over the weekend. When they were younger, they also enjoyed waiting for their favorite Cubs to sign their baseballs.
Though I never had any luck getting famous authors' autographs, I've dreamed of being asked to sign a copy of my own book. Unfortunately, that dream could turn into a nightmare, as I've always had horrible handwriting. It was especially illegible on hot school days. As a lefty, my teachers delighted in seeing my smudged papers. Most autographs are written with permanent marker, which means trouble for me even on a cool day. Though I haven't actually written my life story yet, and odds are no one will be lining up for my autograph, all it takes is for one displaced person to ask.
This brings some important questions to mind. If this person is kind enough to pay for my book, is it right for me to deface it with my careless cacography? Would this crime go on my permanent record? I could pretend I'm a Notary Public, and carry my own personal stamp with me at all times. Better yet, I should just change my name to Anonymous.
I'm pretty sure fans don't care about the quality of the handwriting on an autograph, as long as it's legible enough for the name to be read. But if you want to give your readers something extra, you could put on some lipstick and kiss the page as well.ReplyDelete
Hi Julie - that's great your brother achieved so many autographs .. I wonder if he can read those autographs now .. but I like Gorilla's idea .. a lipsticky smudge - sounds good to me ... I'd spell anonymous incorrectly .. but I'd definitely need to change my name .. and as I age then I'd need them to have a cup of coffee while I slowly signed my name!ReplyDelete
Cheers - and let's hope we don't need a seal, some wax and a lit candle! Inferno time - Hilary
Don't worry about the bad handwriting. It adds to the value. I always get asked if I'm a lefty because of my bad handwriting, but I'm not.ReplyDelete
With cursive writing becoming almost non-existent today, you won't have to worry about your bad penmanship much longer. The lipstick smudge sounds like a perfect substitution for you, Julie.ReplyDelete
How awesome for your brother getting all those autographs. Hopefully you'll figure out how to autograph a book Hoping you have that problem soon.ReplyDelete
Sounds like find memories. I'm laughing at your defacing comment. I'm sure your readers will be thrilled with any amount of defacing that may occur. I would.ReplyDelete
Here from Alex's blog. I'm now a follower. Love your blog, it's fun. Now, onto your post--- I've always had horrible handwriting, it's something I've learned to live with. If however, I ever published my book and was fortunate enough to have a reader who enjoyed it, LOL, I'd sign away!!!! The handwriting doesn't matter, it's the name behind it that does. (:ReplyDelete
My sons and I have horrible handwriting too... the therapists attributed it to our ADHD. It's nice to know other creative minds share poor penmanship, and the accompanying fear to write in front of others. Think of it this way... at least no one will ever be able to forge your signature! Great post!ReplyDelete
Gorilla - Thanks for the great tip! You are such a worldly ape!ReplyDelete
Hilary - I'll have to find out if he held onto his autograph book. I'm sure you'd beat me in a legible writing race anytime, Hilary!
Murees - There's stylishly bad handwriting, and just plain bad handwriting. I can't imagine my chicken scratch could ever add value, but thanks for giving me hope.
Arleen - Something tells me even my lipstick smudge will be unrecognizable. Maybe I can hire a stand-in.
Miranda - I know there are much worse problems, but I was wondering if anyone else had the same concerns.
Andrea - You have a wonderful attitude! Hopefully, we'll both get our books published, and happily sign or stamp away! Thanks for following me Andrea, and I look forward to getting to know you!
Lauri - The funny thing is my younger son once got accused of forging my signature in grammar school. His teacher couldn't believe that an adult could have such poor handwriting. Thanks Lauri!
As a lefty, I"m permanently smudged. Consider it part of the signature and be proud. Also - nice baseball memories - very funReplyDelete
Wow, your brother got some great autographs!ReplyDelete
You can't have a worse signature than I do. And yet people still want me to sign their books...
Joanne - At least I know I'm in good company! Thanks Joanne!ReplyDelete
Alex - It was one of his favorite vacations! I can't believe it's that bad, Alex. I still think it's worse for a woman to have a lousy signature.
Beautiful memories and I'm impressed by the autographs your brother got that day. Hope he still has them.ReplyDelete
I created a signature just for that reason. It's short. It's more graphic than scribble. I was so worried I'd deface someone's book with my usual scrawl.
Wow, I'm in awe of the autographs in your brother's book. I was a baseball fanatic as a kid, and would have loved to have some of them.ReplyDelete
Don't worry about your penmanship. Just consider your autograph... unique. Like you.
LOL I also have terrible handwriting. And I've found that now that I type so much more than I actually write it just gets worse and worse. I have to print addresses on envelopes or there is no way whatever I'm sending would ever make it to its destination.ReplyDelete
People who don't want their name to be copied just draw lines with bumps. They can go fast and the pharmacist knows who they are. Oh, maybe it is the printed name on the paper.ReplyDelete
Even I can draw all line across a page. That will work for anybody.
LOL! People don't care how messy your signature is. They just want a personal touch. Truth, I've had a hard time with this to begin with, but after about the 10th signed book, it just became part of the game.ReplyDelete
My handwriting was always horrible - I got C's. Now it's even worse, so I print. Sort of. Mostly I can read it, but sometimes it's a lost cause. My signature is a whole other story.ReplyDelete
Well, as a reader, if I am asking for the autograph I do not care about that, so much. It is nice if you can actually read it, so you can show it off, and prove you got the autograph. You would be creating a treasure for me whatever it looked like, so no you would deface nothing, but create a beautiful keepsake.ReplyDelete
Juneta at Writer's Gambit
I like the lipstick kiss idea. I bet your handwriting is better than you think it is, and no admirer is going to complain about an author's autograph.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to have an autographed copy of your book.ReplyDelete
If doctors can get away with atrocious handwriting, then why not authors? Remember, these are the same people who have developed fine motor skills for precise surgical procedures. Makes you wonder, hey?ReplyDelete
And I really DO hope you have that autograph problem... SOON!
Lee - I'm impressed you created your own signature for this purpose. I'll have to find out if he still has his autograph book.ReplyDelete
Susan - All of the men in our family are huge baseball fans, so they would be very excited to see that book today. "Unique" is such a great word that is a polite way of describing so many things. Thank you?!
Julie - My printing has gotten a little more legible. Sadly, there are kids who can't read or write in cursive anymore. I'm sure your mail always reaches its destination.
Yvonne - I'll have to try the line across the page trick!
Crystal - I agree with the "personal touch," but I have a feeling mine would look more like a personal attack!
Carol - I'll have to continue to work on it. Maybe I'll eventually stop getting dirty looks at the bank!
Juneta - You are much too kind! Thanks for cheering me up!
Janie - I'll have to practice the lipstick kiss. That also could go terribly wrong if done incorrectly.
I'm jealous that your brother got Koufax and Mays's autographs. Wow! As for your signings, I sympathize. Maybe just keep it really brief. I usually write "To -- Enjoy! Bob"ReplyDelete
Hi, Julie. Sounds like some great family memories. Does your brother still have that autograph book? I think people who buy books and ask for an author's autograph don't expect a perfect signature. As long as they can read it, they are happy. I know that is my experience. : )ReplyDelete
OOPS! I should clarify that that is my experience as a person who has purchased a book and asked for an author's autograph. : )ReplyDelete
Rhonda - I might have to offer discounts for autographed copies! Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG Rhonda!ReplyDelete
Michelle - I guess it depends how shaky their signature looks! Thanks for giving me something else to worry about, Michelle!
Bob - I agree it's best to be brief. My brother actually never met Willie Mays in person. His manager struck up a conversation with my mom at the pool, and brought him the autograph later. No one was supposed to know he was staying at our hotel. Nice to see you Bob!
Susanne - I have a feeling it's long gone, but I'll ask when I see him this weekend. I'm sure fans will be lining up for your autograph one day, Susanne!
I've written many a typo when signing my poetry book, even with my name. I like to write something in addition to my name. The added pressure of having published a book and knowing the autograph really should be perfect, plus my general klutzyness, doesn't bode well for me as an autograph giver. Hint: make happy faces, flowers, or hearts out of your sloppy handwriting.ReplyDelete
Robyn - Thanks for the great suggestions! Since none of those designs are smudge proof, I'll have to remember to wear gloves!Delete
Robyn is spelled with a 'y.'Delete
Unless you're Batman's sidekick.
Al - Holy spell checker! Robyn can be spelled with a "y" for our Life By Chocolate friend, or with an "i" for our friend at Your Daily Dose. Both are fabulous female bloggers. Please pass this along to Kenneth with an "eth."Delete
I remember all the penmanship classes we had in Catholic School. Ay, yi, yi...fine cursive writing while under the dread shadow of a yardstick. Left handers were especially maltreated. I recall Sister Mary Caligula sternly admonishing them that "Jesus wasn't left-handed" and would threaten them with chalkboard cleaning or crucifixion if they didn't change their satanic ways.ReplyDelete
NOTE: I don't recall anywhere in the New Testament which said which hand Jesus used. I may have missed it.
My daughter is left-handed.
But, she's Presbyterian, which is cool.
I don't think Protestants care which hand you use to write.
As long as the check clears.
We've held more book signings than I can remember. You'd think that would help my autograph look legible, but it doesn't. It's good having two of us. I just sign right under my name on the credit on the first page, so people can look at it and figure out, "Oh, that's his signature. Gotcha. I thought maybe it was morse code for 'enjoy the book'."ReplyDelete
If it really bothers you, why not practice using JUST YOUR INITIALS. That way it could be a COOL way to sign and you don't need to worry about it being readable....
If you become so famous that people want your autograph... heck, you can pay someone to sign your stuff!!!ReplyDelete
Own your handwriting. Exaggerate all the involuntary lines so it looks interesting instead of 'horrible'.ReplyDelete
Al - Sister Mary Caligula? What a perfect name for a religious school teacher! Nice lady too! Glad she didn't take your punishment to the next level!ReplyDelete
B & B - I like the idea of morse code. Maybe I could insert a beeping microchip into the cover. Thanks B & B!
Michael - I suppose I could print my initials. Too bad they're not xox!
Robin - Ha, ha! Or maybe I could hire Kramer's intern!
Fred - Or I could hire an art student! I've heard there's a fine line between interesting and horrible!
Playing catch-up I haven't read everyone comments, but I remember when I was young practicing the signature of the boy I would marry one day (like in Shrek 2 'Mrs Fiona Charming'). Never too old to doodle :) xReplyDelete
Suzanne - I also remember scribbling a few names in my notebook during class in junior high. Then I'd run into them on the bus, and they would have no idea who I was. Nice reminiscing with you, Suzanne!Delete
Fun memories about the All Star game!ReplyDelete
I think writers, like doctors, are supposed to have messy handwriting. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
a wannabe writer with messy handwriting
I actually have nice handwriting when I want to. Several kinds of nice handwriting, as when I was a kid I deviated from the official handwriting forms taught in school, and experimented with Elizabethan era handwriting, and two types of German cursive writing. Nevertheless, I've thought that if I'm ever asked to autograph a book, I'd love to translate my name into Korean or Chinese characters and sign my name that way. Just to be cool.ReplyDelete
Her actual name was Sister Estelle. But...great googli moogli was she an absolute terror. A four foot tall ninja with a hairy mole and a yardstick.ReplyDelete
Daisy - You are a talented writer, and poet! I'm glad that your "messy" handwriting helps to strengthen our bond!ReplyDelete
Annakindt - Sounds like you could be a professional calligrapher or forger! This could be the start of an exciting character in a spy novel.
Al - Glad you survived Sister Estelle, and your nickname fits her perfectly! She obviously didn't know who she was messing with!
Thank goodness I'll never be famous enough to be asked for my autograph - my handwriting looks like chicken scratch!ReplyDelete
An author told me AFTER I'd started signing books that you should always change your signature for your booksignings. If you sign the way you sign all the time, someone will just copy your signature and steal your identity. Who would have thought of something like that?!ReplyDelete
Keith - Don't sell yourself short. Your chances are a lot better than mine.ReplyDelete
Stephanie - That's a pretty frightening thought, but I'm sure there's some truth in it. Hope this hasn't caused you any problems, Stephanie.
Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)ReplyDelete
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