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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Week Eleven: Nancy Sonneman

Write It Clearly

Then the LORD answered me and said, Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. Habakkuk 2:2 (NAS)

Since the invention of the typewriter in 1873, the pen-and-ink folks have become understandably nervous. America’s love of pushing buttons (or in this case, keys) has only escalated over the decades. Now, it’s e-mail and text-messaging. Pen and paper are still being sold, however, and appear to be doing well.

Teachers complain that students prefer to use the “computerese” that is readily acceptable in the chat rooms and telephone screens. Things like “LOL” for “laughing out loud” and the like are making their way into homework across the land. If the teachers can read it, that’s it.

One of the biggest problems around (at least in my humble opinion. Notice that I quelched the urge to say “IMHO” here?) is that penmanship has gone by the wayside. I suppose it is assumed no one writes anymore. At least not the old fashioned way.

That’s where writers like me come along.

A pen accompanies me wherever I go (unless I have a checkbook with me, then the pen gets lost somehow or other. Someday, I’ll have it so “together” that I’ll actually carry both checkbook and pen.), even from room to room in my house.

I write in books I’m reading. Fiction books don’t stand a chance with me as I am constantly writing in the margin what a wonderful turn of phrase or use of sensory image the author has written.
Bibles and non-fiction Christian living books never stay clean, either. Not only do I write the date on which something struck me, but I also underline (I don’t like highlighters, they often bleed through the pages), and in some instances I have underlined the entire page. When the book isn’t mine (from a library or a friend), I keep a notebook beside me.

When I start a new (especially book) project, I get out a file folder and start making notes. I usually fill at least one legal pad with notes such as Scripture references, possible titles, progress reports, etc. I also write “sticky notes” to myself with where I left off, page numbers in reference books to look back at and the like.

Then something strange happens when the next morning comes. I was in such a rush when I wrote some of those notes it is as though a chimpanzee wrote them.
I now have to waste my time trying to decode the mess and trying to think up a believable excuse that the pen actually did it, or was it the paper? Maybe the sun got in my eyes? Some of the notes, however, are not legible at all, and must be crossed out or the liquid correcting fluid that smells like a cross between someone’s gym socks and turpentine used on them. I sigh to myself as I realize I have now lost important data as well as time.

If I had only taken my time and written legibly in the first place, the frustration of not accomplishing anything that day would be nonexistent.

Nancy Sonneman is the author of the book “Patches of Sunshine (A Daily Devotional for Fibromyalgia Patients) January 2002. Visit her on the web: at

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