A Pen-Pal update

So, last night the wife and I are watching The Amazing Race while I rearrange my sock drawer, as one does on a Monday night when one has nothing better to do, and I notice my right hand is hurting.  It’s, like, really sore.

You know that constant dull pain you sometimes get in your legs when you’re very tired?  Like that, but much worse and in my hand.  Specifically the fleshy areas under my little finger and thumb.

Then it hits me:  I was writing yesterday.  With a pen.

Yep.  The first letter is making its way across the Atlantic as I sit here typing (I’m not divulging to which of my new pen-pals I wrote – I want it to be a surprise to them).  But apparently writing letters is harder work than I remember.  It really hurt my hand.

My big problem is that I have minuscule handwriting.  When I used to submit assignments for English in high school my teacher often asked me for a magnifying glass.  More than once I had the feeling she wasn’t joking.

A side-effect is that I scrunch up my hand very tightly while I write, leading to muscle cramps I have become familiar with during the many exams I’ve written in my life.  But this is the first time my hand has still been hurting hours afterwards.  Guess I’m out of practice.

Luckily I’m working to fix that 😀

Oh, and I’ve gotten another pen-pal, though she is currently in flux as far as an address is concerned so I can’t write her just yet.  But go say hi to Honoria Plum over at Plumtopia, a blog dedicated to the work of P.G. Wodehouse.  Don’t know who that is?  First, you philistine!  Second, he’s probably one of the funniest men who ever put pen to paper.  Even Sir Terry can’t make me laugh quite as hard as Wodehouse regularly manages.  Honoria is a bit of an expert on Wodehouse, so Plumtopia is well worth the read.

Sock Drawer
And I really did rearrange my sock drawer. You can’t make up stuff like this…

9 thoughts on “A Pen-Pal update

  1. There is such a value to hand-writing that it’s worth the temporary pain! A much more personal way of writing than by keyboard! Have to say, your pen pal idea is brilliant – I’d happily join in & suggest we get in contact, though I fear responses might be a bit erratic from my end.


    1. Another handwriting activity that is very valuable is journalling, but I’ve never been able to keep it up beyond a couple of weeks. Once I re-master letter-writing I’m giving that a shot again.

      I’d love to write to you. I’m expecting erratic responses all round as my letters speed off around the globe, and I’m not promising I’ll be that prompt in my replies either (though I’ll really try 😉 ). If you’d like to join in, send me your address via the contact page, or if you prefer to write first (make sure I’m not a madman collecting personal info from bloggers) I can send you mine.


  2. You know this is where us old guys have it all over you young turks. 1. We don’t wear socks so no need to discover new pains while folding them or organizing a sock drawer. 2. Every day brings a new pain so we never notice a fresh one. 3. Got man eating drugs to knock out anything that shows up. 4. We’ve been writing with pens for years and are in pen shape so to speak.


    1. I was in pen shape, but the past few years all my writing has been on the computer. The only thing I ever wrote by hand were mark sheets at school and notes in my diary.

      I did Maya Angelou’s poem, Old Folks Laugh with my kids a couple of years ago. She writes about the “promise / of dear painless death”. Hopefully you don’t have that many pains yet 😉


  3. There’s a more orthopedically correct way to write, you know…

    Make almost a fist on the table with the back of your hand facing upwards. Then, place the pen between your index and middle fingers and write using those two instead of your entire hand.

    It’s supposed to be much less painful once you get the hang of it. It might also increase the size of your handwriting.


  4. I’m pretty sure with as often as I write I’m going to end up with arthritis AND carpel tunnel… I think I might have one or the other already. Hope your hand’s feeling better now and that as you write more it will hurt less and less 🙂


    1. It’s already feeling better today. I first thought it might be carpal-tunnel related due to the hours I spend on the computer, but it was my hand, not my wrist. Here’s hoping we both get spared that.


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